Mizzou chat with Dave Matter

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




  • Good morning, Mizzou chatters. Late morning, I suppose. I'm here for the next couple hours to take your questions.
  • Hi Dave, thanks again for the chat. Might as well get this out of the way: How likely are Beckner, Lock, and Heupel to be back next year? And when do Lock and Beckner get their NFL grades? Thanks!
  • They haven't made any decisions yet to my knowledge, so hard to predict at this point. Draft grades usually come in around late December. In the past, MU coaches waited to share the grades with players after the bowl game so they're not distracted leading up to the game. I wouldn't be shocked if either player entered the draft, nor shocked if they stayed in school. So much comes down to the grade. I suspect both will make a sound decision. As for Heupel, if a mid-major/Group of Five job offer comes along and he believes he can't pass it up if he wants to launch his head-coaching career, then he'll have to consider it. At this point, I don't think there's an open job that he'd take in favor of a nice raise at Mizzou.
  • Has CJ Roberts, returned to the team..
  • He's still on the team as far as I know. He went home to visit family during the holiday break.
  • How does the NFL draft evaluation work for underclassmen? For instance, does a first round grade indicate a high likelihood that the player will actually be picked in the first round, or rather that the player has the requisite “first round” talent level to have a good chance, but might not be picked based on team needs, etc. How often does a player get picked below their grade? Even as good as Beckner is, I have to think there are a very limited number of the first and second round grades that actually get handed out, and he might not get one. Is it a foregone conclusion he leaves?
  • I don't think it's a foregone conclusion that he leaves. 
    Here's straight from the NFL:

    The ratings go like this: potential first round, potential second round, or neither, which is effectively a recommendation to stay in school.

    Ahead of the 2015 NFL Draft, the College Advisory Committee evaluated 149 underclassmen, 53 of whom (35.6 percent) declared their special eligibility. Twenty of the 53 players were evaluated as potential first- or second-round picks (six potential first-round picks and 14 potential second-round picks). Of those 20, 18 (90 percent) were, in fact, selected in the first two rounds. The other two were selected in the third round.

    The next year, the CAC evaluated 173 underclassmen, 65 of whom (37.6 percent) declared early for the 2016 Draft. Twenty five of the 65 players received potential first- or second-round evaluations (two potential first-round picks and 23 potential second-round picks). Nineteen of the 25 (76 percent), were selected in the first two rounds. The remaining six were selected in the third (3), fourth (2) and fifth (1) rounds.

     

  • What percentage of this Heupel-leaving talk would you assign to an agent making a play for more money and what percentage is legit desire to be elsewhere? Would he want to be O Coordinator for a better program or does he want to be a head coach? His stock will fall as soon as his offense is not powered by Drew Lock's right arm.
  • I can't speculate on percentages. AL.com reported that Heupel expressed interest in the South Alabama job along with two others. I suspect that info came from the school, not three different agents. I'm sure Odom would like his top assistants to get raises this year. That was always a concern for Pinkel. When he turned down a chance to interview at Michigan, he instead accepted an extension at Mizzou but no raise - just raises for his staff.
  • Good morning Dave. Was anything ever said last week about Arkansas getting the ball at the 25 on the first play of the second half after the confirmed targeting penalty? How does that happen on a nationally-televised game?
  • Missouri declined the penalty yardage because the spot was more favorable at the 25. I wasn't at the game, but from what I understand the TV announcers didn't explain the situation accurately.
  • Dave - I grew up in the 70s when Mizzou football played an ambitious (sometimes overly) non-conference schedule. I'm aware times have changed, but it would be nice to see at least one marquee non-con game every year. Any chance we see this in the future or are we locked into the K-State "get four sure wins" mentality?
  • Well, Mizzou just scheduled a two-year series with K-State, so by your analogy, Mizzou is Mizzou a sure win for K-State? Missouri has a series with West Virginia to complete in 2020. There's nothing wrong with the Purdue series or the upcoming Boston College series. MU just scheduled a four-year series with Illinois. Schools like Florida and South Carolina and Georgia don't have to schedule a high-profile noncon opponent every year because they already have one built-in with their rivalry games against FSU, Clemson and Georgia Tech. Missouri doesn't have a game like that, unless Illinois becomes more of a fixture.
  • Any thoughts on the possibility of Grinch coming in as DC next year to play in a more prestigious conference? Although if Leach leaves, I suppose he's a viable replacement at Wazzu. As a follow up, even though Grinch and Odom didn't work together, I'm sure they've crossed paths...any idea of their philosophies / approaches are compatible?
  • Grinch and Odom are good friends. They worked on MU's staff together as grad assistants early in the Pinkel years. I don't think anyone who wants to be a coordinator in title only will join the staff. Odom has made it clear he wants to call the defense next year. He is essentially the defensive coordinator. My guess is he'll promote co-DC Ryan Walters to full-fledged DC but continue to call the defense on Saturdays.
  • I am shocked at the number of people surprised that Odom is getting extended. It really comes down to the fact that a coach with only three years left on his contract has a harder time recruiting as opposed to wanting to reward him for his job this year. It's a harder job to convince a recruit when you can't guarantee you will be there for their entire career. Or am I wrong with this thinking? Even with an extension he can be fired after next year if there is another big downturn.
  • That's absolutely why he's getting an extension. Some fans (and media) forget that college coaching contracts don't work like real world economics. I'd venture to guess most if not all Power 5 coaches who have teams in bowl games are under contract for at least four years. It's standard operating procedure in today's game. You either fire your coaches or give them enough security so it doesn't become something other coaches use against them in recruiting. Adding years to Odom's contract doesn't guarantee he's the coach beyond 2018. His buyout is relatively cheap. Every contract has an exit door.
  • Sunday night’s BB championship game started at 8:30 pm CT(9:30 ET) which seems like a very odd time to start a championship game. I assume ESPN didn’t want to telecast on Saturday in competition with its full day of football, and didn’t want to compete with the NFL games on Sunday so that’s why it started when it did. If you’re trying to get people to come to a game 9:30 pm before a workday is going to cause some people not to come. As so often is the case today TV dictates start times and the fans attending and watching on tv are secondary considerations. Also isn’t it strange for MU to schedule a game in Orlando 4 days after they left early Monday morning?
  • The Thanksgiving holiday weekend is loaded with basketball tournament games on ESPN, so there's only so many convenient hours to play the games. Duke and Florida, two top-10 teams, played later than Mizzou's game, so it's not some kind of anti-Mizzou conspiracy. As for the Orlando game, with the coaching change MU got a later start to making the schedule and Cuonzo wanted to play a second true road game during nonconference play and UCF had an opening. Keep in mind: Mizzou deputy AD Brian White oversees the basketball program. His brother, Danny, is Central Florida's AD.
  • Hi Dave,
    The targeting penalty on the second half kickoff, there was a 15 yard personal foul called. Yet after the targeting review, the ball was placed on the 25. There was no mark off of half the distance. Didn't anyone notice that?
  • As mentioned earlier, Mizzou declined the penalty yardage.
  • Does Missouri provide guarantees to get December non conference foes like Miami OH, Green Bay, North Florida and Stephan F Austin to come to COMO. I assume it is much less than the $1.3 million Idaho got in October FB game.
  • Yes, those are buy games, and yes the fee is much less for basketball games. I don't have the payment numbers handy, but football fees are much greater.
  • Dave, can you shed any light on Cuonzo Martin's use of Terrance Phillips this season? I assume its nothing to do with off-court things as Martin praises Phillips' leadership often, and Phillips body language during games does nothing to seem he is pouting over his situation. Especially during a game like West Virginia whose defense necessitates experienced ball handlers, I was disappointed with Phillips' minutes. And then even more confused with Cuonzo's quote that "He thought Jordan played well."

    Is this a situation where they are still trying to figure out rotations and minutes now with no MPJ? Does Cuonzo want the most experienced Robertson handling the point? Something entirely different?

    Thanks Dave.
  • Geist is a much better on-ball defender. The staff sees Phillips as a decent catch-and-shoot scorer, but he's not seen as quick enough or a strong ball-handler to play heavy minutes at point guard for this staff. He was no better than Geist with the ball once WVU went to the press. Martin appreciates Phillips' attitude and energy but he's not going to get the bulk of the minutes because of his limitations.
  • Thanks Dave. You're right, the announcers didn't explain it at all. I guess I'm also curious how a targeting penalty being accepted could possibly give a team worse field position. Doesn't make much sense at all.
  • Again, I wasn't at the game so I didn't hear a clear explanation.
  • Enjoy the chats Dave. I would really like to see the Tigers win their bowl game and get their first win of the season over a team with a winning record. With next year's schedule you take out Tenn and Vandy...two teams we creamed...and add a 10-1 Memphis and a trip to Tuscaloosa---it could be hard to match this year's record...much less improve on it. What ya say?
  • Perhaps, but there's really not as much carryover from how a team plays from one season to the next, as we saw this year when MU finished 2016 strong, returned a bunch of starters, and came out miserably flat in September. Memphis and Wyoming and playing at Purdue sounds more ominous than this year's noncon lineup, but Memphis could lose its coach, Wyoming will lose its quarterback and who knows what's going to happen to Purdue's staff. Also, so much depends on Lock. If he returns, Mizzou could be a contender in the East. If not, it's more of a rebuild season.
  • exact number of games MPJ plays for mizzou this season?!
  • One, unless (1). he's cleared medically to play again (2) he wants to play again (3) he's allowed to play again.
  • Drew Lock set the single season TDS passing among others Peyton Manning, Johnny Manziel and Danny Wuerffel. Where does Lock fit in with those players? Peyton is HOFer so it’s unfair to be compared with him, but with the rumors going around about whether Lock should turn pro or not, I look at the lack or success of Manziel and Wuerffel in the pros and come to the conclusion that maybe another season in the SEC would be better for him.
  • Lock hasn't played a pro game yet, so it's not really fair to compare a 21-year-old to three guys who are all out of football already. Wuerffel and Manziel didn't do much in the NFL, but obviously did more as college players than Lock, other than throw for 43 touchdowns. At this rate, if Lock indeed leaves for the NFL - and I'm not saying he will or won't - his legacy is a lot of yards and touchdowns but not necessarily a lot of wins or anything close to a championship. He's had a very good year - but well short of comparing to Heisman winners and Heisman finalists.
  • Do you sense any tensions between the medical/coaching staff and the porters? MPJs social media posts and the rumblings that they went against the medical staffs recommendations makes me think that something is going on there. Do you think we will ever hear directly from MPJ what he meant by that post insinuating he would be back sooner?
  • As I've written a couple times now, he did exchange messages with me on Sunday clarifying his Instagram post: “All I meant was that I’m feeling good, recovery/rehab is going great." 
    That's fair, and as Martin said earlier this week, Porter feels good post-surgery, which is to be expected because that was the whole point of the procedure. That doesn't mean he's ready to step on the court or lift weights or bang with SEC power forwards. 
    Is there tension with the Porters and the medical staff? That might be a strong statement. It's unconventional to look for treatment outside the local medical network, but there's nothing wrong with looking for a second opinion, especially when millions of dollars are at stake. That said, MU's medical staff has nothing to be upset about by his comment that the given timetable came from "liars." Because it didn't come from MU's medical staff. It came directly from Porter's parents and his doctor. MU's media relations staffers who put out that statement aren't just making up recovery times. 
  • I think one of the four non conference games should be scheduled against teams like Kansas St. or Iowa St or Nebraska since KU doesn’t want anything to do with MU. I would like to see DIV2 teams like MoSt and DelSt removed from future schedules. They are non competitive and of no interest to me.
  • One: Missouri State is not a Division II team. Missouri and other FBS teams don't play Division II teams. Every team in the SEC plays an FCS opponent. Missouri isn't going to remove those games from the schedule when Alabama, Georgia, LSU and Florida always play an FCS opponent. 
    Two: Sure, it would be great to play a former Big 12 team every year. But it takes two to reach an agreement. 
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