Mizzou chat with Dave Matter

Mizzou chat with Dave Matter

Bring your Tigers football, basketball and recruiting questions, and talk to Mizzou beat writer Dave Matter in a live chat starting at 11 a.m. Thursday.

    Happy New Year, chatters. We're in the middle of the SEC men's basketball teleconference right now, so I'll be juggling the chat and the call here for a bit longer. I'll be here for the next couple hours to take your questions. Fire away.
    How does Mizzou match up against Kentucky this weekend?
    Kentucky is a tough team to figure out. They had a really bad home loss to Evansville earlier in the year but they also have two of the SEC's best wins over Michigan State and Louisville. They don't shoot many 3s and when they do they don't make a high rate. That could neutralize one of Mizzou's strengths, guarding the 3-point line. Kentucky has two big post players in Nick Richards and EJ Montgomery, so this will be a pivotal game for MU's fours and fives. UK scores a high percentage of its points at the foul line - and shoots very well from the line. The Tigers have to play sound defense without fouling. That's been a challenge for this team at times. It's always a tough matchup at Rupp, but Missouri's playing well right now - and if you're going to face Kentucky, it's usually better to get them in early January than late February or early March.
    Dave, I know Saturdays matchup looks tough for Mizzou, but what do they need to show in the next couple of weeks to possibly be a NCAA tourney selection? Thanks.
    Cut down turnovers, shoot well from 3. I wouldn't say Missouri's defense is consistently elite, but when they invest in their defense and do it without fouling, it's hard to score against this Missouri team. Offense is the unknown from night to night. If MU can get Watson or Mark Smith hitting 3s and cut down on turnovers and offensive fouls this team can beat anyone in the SEC. There's the Tilmon factor, too. He's not 100 percent healthy. What can you get out of him for 20-25 minutes?
    Hi Dave. Can the Tigers go 11-7 in league play? I fear anything less is NIT. Thanks
    11-7 puts you at 19-11 and then there's the game at West Virginia. That's looking like a much more difficult game than most expected when the Big 12/SEC pairings first came out. It's probably going to take 10-8 or 11-7 to feel safe on the bubble this year. The SEC might not get as many teams in the NCAA field this year because of some bad losses around the league. The SEC already has five Quadrant 4 losses - and SEC teams are just 11-23 in Quadrant 1 games. SEC teams have 10 losses to teams ranked 100 or higher in the NET rankings. KenPom has the SEC as the fifth-best conference. All that signals that the SEC might not get those 7-8 bids like it has the last couple years.
    Any thoughts on Bush Hamden, offensive assistant for Mizzou football?
  • Interesting background for sure from a personal basis. He's moved around a lot. Sometimes that's a red flag. Sometimes not so much. Washington fans weren't happy with the job he did this past season with the Husky offense. Without covering the program on a daily basis it's hard to know if criticism was warranted or if he was a convenient scapegoat. Either way, he's not going to be in charge of Mizzou's offense and won't be calling plays, so he'll be in a different capacity in Columbia. On the surface, he sounds like a smart coach, was greatly admired as a player at Boise.
    Dave - the SEC East pecking order I have 4 groups - Ga and Fla, UK, TN and SC and then Mizzou and Vandy, how long before Drink climbs the groups, what Stoops has done at UK is amazing and they return 19 starters so I’m living in today not yesteryears, FLA ready to battle Ga for East supremacy and TN and SC i just don’t see a huge jump they both suffer major player losses, Vandy, well, it’s a nice school - Your thoughts
    I would not put South Carolina ahead of Missouri. Georgia and Florida are in their own stratosphere in the East. Tennessee made major strides this year. The Vols have more upside as a program than anyone in the league outside of the Gators and Bulldogs. I'd put Kentucky next because of the consistency Stoops has developed there, especially with his staff. I'd put Mizzou one notch below - and ahead of South Carolina and well ahead of Vandy. South Carolina probably would have made a coaching change after its dreadful season were it not for Muschamp's buyout.
    Happy New Year to you Dave. Hope all is well with you and that you're not as conflicted with your feelings over how much you liked or disliked SW 9 The Rise of Skywalker as I am.
    My question is this: With so much emphasis put on drawing fans to football & basketball games from the STL & KC areas and on getting the students at the University to attend--and all the subsequent worrying & concern when there's such a struggle as there's been in recent years to get MU fans from all three of those bases to attend those games-- I've always wondered how much of an emphasis does the Mizzou athletic department and those responsible for being in charge of marketing in particular in the athletic department put on drawing fans who are residents of the general Columbia area population itself?
    Is it possible they're so overly focused on drawing from the two biggest cities in MO and the student population that they actually somehow neglect to market to regular citizens of the 4th most-populous city in MO, and the fastest growing city in the state at that(or at least that's what Wikipedia tells me) right in their backyard?
    Not a bad question. The university is the biggest business in town here in Columbia and the Mizzou brand is everywhere. I'm not sure it makes a lot of sense to spend a lot of money on marketing here locally - because Mizzou markets itself in Columbia naturally. There's no competition here in town, unlike St. Louis where you've got MLB, NHL and another major college program. In KC you've got MLB, NFL, MLS and two Big 12 teams just across the border.
    As for "Rise of Skywalker," there were some obvious nits to pick with the story and plot but I left the theater satisfied.
    What did the MUBB team accomplish by beating Chicago St. by 58 points? The box score in my PD did not list the attendance for this game. Students were on break, although it looked like the Antlers were there in the background of the picture of the game that accompanied the article. I also understand the Tigers were off for Christmas break and needed to get back into game shape before the conference season begins, but giving unknown thousands of dollars to ChiSt to come to COMO to absorb a whipping seems to me they could done themselves better by at least getting a competitve opponent. This game was so unappealing, the SEC network didn’t even bother to show it. In a way I’m glad they didn’t because spending 2 hours to watch this game would have been just as unproductive for fans at home as it was for the team itself.
    Announced crowd was 9,359. That was probably a bit inflated, but it was one of the better crowds of the season so far. The lower bowl didn't have nearly as many empties as some past noncon games.
    Scheduling isn't as easy as people think, especially when you're looking for a home game during the holidays this close to the start of league play. Mizzou's home schedule was brutal this year in terms of fan appeal. Unfortunately all the appealing games came away from home. That wasn't necessarily by design. Utah was supposed to be a home game this year, but the Utes couldn't find a date that works. 
    still no info on who the new offensive line coach might be?
  • It's the final spot to be filled. Drinkwitz said he hoped to have the staff finalized by Jan. 6. There are still some compelling O-line coaches on the market.
    So Tilmon is said to be with his. foot injury "day to day"? Didn't Cuonzo basically say the same thing last year with Mark Smith and it turned out he was done for the season? So should MU fans mentally prepare themselves for the same thing with Tilmon?
    I'm not sure I'd put them in the same category. Mark Smith's injury was nothing new. He first suffered it in high school and then it got worse when he landed on it the wrong way at Arkansas last year. MU tried rest and rehab for a few weeks before he came back for a couple games then shut it down for good when he had surgery. Tilmon was able to play on his foot in the Braggin' Rights Game but clearly wasn't 100 percent. Martin said the caliber of Monday's opponent had nothing to do with the decision to rest Tilmon ... but he also said he expected him to play against Kentucky. At this point, it's in Martin's best interest to be vague with Tilmon's status instead of giving Calipari a heads up on the situation.
    What should we know about Shawn Robinson? With his Power 5 experience and Bazelak's injury, he seems like the clear favorite to win the starting QB spot.
    Robinson had mixed results in his experience at TCU. In 2018, he completed almost 61 percent of his passes. That's not bad for a young passer. He nearly threw as many INTs (eight) as TDs (nine), but also averaged about 5 yards per carry after figuring sacks into the mix. But a fresh start with an offensive-minded head coach - after getting a year to sit out and learn more about the game - could be great thing for him moving forward.
    (Your) Odds of Missouri hoops making the NCAA tournament? Thanks!
    That Charleston Southern loss is going to be hard to overcome. If not for South Carolina's loss to Stetson, it would be by far the worst loss by any SEC team so far this season. 
    To win 10 or 11 SEC games, Mizzou is going to have to beat some quality teams at home and win a couple road games. That hasn't been easy for this team. MU probably has to sweep Texas A&M and maybe win three of four against the two Mississippi schools. You better win two of three at home against Florida, Tennessee and Auburn. That won't be easy. KenPom gives Mizzou better than 50 percent chance to win 11 of its 18 SEC games. I'm not great with odds, but I'd put Mizzou's chances of making the NCAAs around 40 percent right now. 
    Why all the cloak & dagger on the offensive assistants’ responsibilities? Based on past experiences, seems pretty clear who will doing what?
    Not necessarily. Luper has coached both running backs and receivers. Woods has coached tight ends and receivers. Hamdan has coached quarterbacks and receivers. If you start assigning positions before you complete the staff you limit yourself in who you can hire next. Obviously they still need an O-line coach.
    How common is it for players other than QB, WR or RB to transfer, as graduates or otherwise? Could MU find a DE better than who they already have this way, or is JUCO or February signing a more likely route?
    There are a handful of defensive linemen in the transfer portal who will be eligible immediately this season, according to a database of reported transfers at 247Sports. Most of those listed are D-tackles. Junior college might be the place to find someone who can help right away at D-end. MU returns Tre Williams, Chris Turner, Jatorian Hansford, Sci Martin and a few freshmen who either played some this year or redshirted.
    Once again, not many minutes for Tray Jackson the other night, even in a blowout with Tilmon sitting out .......
    They don't play the same position, so Tilmon's injury isn't going to affect Jackson's playing time. You've got to earn the minutes. Martin isn't just going to play a guy because he's a freshman or had four stars next to his name.
    Hey Dave, what is your opinion on having so many coaches on staff that have previously been coordinators at the power 5 level? At first glance I thought that was great with so much experience but after I thought about it I wondered if there could be too many "loud" voices that can lead to some conflict and mixed messages.
    I don't think it's a bad thing. Experience is a luxury, and more often than not, coaches understand the chain of command. On the defensive side, Walters used a collaborative approach when it came to preparing and game-planning and calling the defense on game days. I don't suspect it'll be an issue for him to have some experienced voices on his staff. Two of the three defensive assistants with coordinator experience have already worked with Walters (Haley and Gibbs). On the offensive side, this is clearly going to be Drinkwitz's system. He'll call the plays. I don't think you have to worry about having too many cooks in the kitchen when the head coach is the head chef.
    21,000 were at the Tennessee basketball game last Saturday. Their students were gone on break as well. Mizzou couldn't get more than 6,000 (realistic) fans. Lots of yellow seats
    Tennessee always draws big crowds when it has a good team - and that game was against Wisconsin, a high-major name brand opponent. Hardly Chicago State or Southern Illinois.
    BTW, drove from STL for the Chicago St game, and the announced crowd size looked right - surprised to see so many. My guess, based on more than a few seasons, is that the vast majority of the fans at MU MBB games are from CoMO Or close by. And yes, thoroughly enjoyed the blowout, seeing the walk-ons score, etc
  • A new football coach is fine and all, but isn't the name of game really being able to get the 4 and 5 star recruits? Until then, new coach or not, I don't see us competing with Alabama and Georgia etc. consistently. The new coach can easily be 25-25 5 years from now.
    How about consistently beating South Carolina and Kentucky before setting the standard at Georgia and Alabama? Gary Pinkel built his program mostly with three and some four-star recruits and a very strong player development program. MU won 10 games five times in an eight-year span mostly by beating the second- and third-tier teams in the Big 12 and SEC. Mizzou wasn't consistently beating Oklahoma, Texas, Georgia or Alabama for recruits or victories. That doesn't mean Mizzou shouldn't aim for a higher standard, but it's unrealistic for a program with no experience of sustained national success suddenly overtaking established powerhouse programs.
    I thought the O-line personnel changes last year were a big problem and created inconsistency for a unit that was perceived to be a strength going into the season, with 3 returning starters and experienced back-ups filling in for the 2 openings, so I'm glad the O-Line coach wasn't retained by Coach Drink. Who are the top candidates for O-Line coach and starters this year?
    No word on who he's going to hire on the O-line. The new coach isn't sharing that kind of intel (yet) with the local scribes he just met. I think you have to at least give Harry Hiestand a call - not because he coached at MU previously in the 1990s, but because he's been a really good O-line coach at other spots, especially at Notre Dame. He's in his 60s, and most of Drinkwitz's hires have been on the younger side, but this staff could use a veteran, especially at that position. He might be out of MU's price range. Matt Limegrover was just let go at Penn State. He's been an O-line coach with the Nittany Lions and Minnesota, where he was also offensive coordinator - against Mizzou in the 2014 Citrus Bowl. 
    I didn't understand what MU was doing with its O-line in 2019. So much mixing and matching and moving guys around. I could understand if they didn't have much cohesion or chemistry when you've got guys constantly on the move through the season's first month outside of Durant at left tackle and Castillo at center. 
    So, regarding the poor performance by the Mizzou Offensive line, from your perspective was it a talent issue or Coaching? Seems like a big drop off from the previous season.
    It's hard to blame coaching when you're not in the meeting room or on the practice field every day with the team to really have enough intel to point fingers. But I didn't understand all the shuffling. They essentially spent all of spring practices and preseason camp with five guys in place on the No. 1 line, with the exception at left guard where Cook and Borom rotated. Then after one game they blew it all up and had guys on the move for the next five or six weeks. Borom played guard and tackle. Wallace-Simms flipped from right to left - and went from being first-team All-SEC to a penalty machine as a senior. White all but disappeared after spending the whole offseason/preseason as the No. 1 right tackle. There were a lot of questions to ask about what was happening along the line, but when the position coach doesn't talk to the media it only adds to the mystery. It was a strange situation.
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