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 Thursday, everyone. Welcome to Mizzou Coaching Search Day 6. Or is it Day 5? Do we count Saturday, the day Mizzou fired the last guy? Either way, the search is on and the quest to cover the search is on, too. I'll share what I can here in the next couple hours. You might even want to talk some hoops. Let's get to it.
    First, let's touch on some updates ... 
    An interesting name entered the discussion, first brought up by Gabe DeArmond at PowerMizzou.
    Nevada’s Jay Norvell.
    He might not be the Norvell whom Mizzou fans were hoping to hear about — that would be Memphis’ Mike Norvell, who won’t figure into Mizzou’s search — but the third-year Nevada coach checks a few boxes.
    He’s had some success as a head coach, though measured. He's 18-19 and 15-10 the last two years with back-to-back bowl-eligible seasons. His Wolf Pack teams have beaten a couple Power Five teams (Purdue, Oregon State) and won last year’s Arizona Bowl.
    Norvell, 56, is a proven recruiter at the Power Five level. He was Bob Stoops assistant offensive coordinator and receivers coach for seven years at Oklahoma. Before that he coached on staffs at Wisconsin, Iowa State, Nebraska and UCLA, plus NFL stints in Indianapolis and Oakland. After leaving Oklahoma he spent a year at Texas coaching receivers — Mizzou D-line coach and current interim coach Brick Haley was on that staff, too — and then a year at Arizona State as the passing game coordinator.
    Is he a candidate at Mizzou? He’s on the list, not necessarily near the top, a source confirmed Thursday.
     
    What about all that Jim McElwain buzz the last couple days? Overblown, a source said Thursday.
    That doesn’t eliminate the Central Michigan coach — at Florida he won back-to-back SEC East Division titles in 2015-16 — but the Chippewas coach isn’t handing out Mizzou business cards just yet.
     
    Then there's Blake Anderson. Definite mutual interest between the two sides, I'm told. 

    Dave

    Thank you for your time, in doing this chat.

    Lane Kiffin is mentioned as a possible replacement to coach Odom , but are people in the athletic department aware of his very poor record when it comes to the treatment of females. In Tennessee he used females ( as was was published in the book “the system”)as “hostesses”, and this year FAU refused to answer to an inquire of whether he is still using hostesses to recruit players. And just this past year (as was published in the FAU students newspaper) his quarterback was accused of raping a female student . And while she dropped the charges after pressure from the quarterback , it was confirmed that she was drunk , and that he pressured her to sleep with him, while she was hesitant. And a part from being suspended from the team for the length of the investigation, he wasn’t really disciplined for his actions. In today’s world when we set new standards for how to treat women with respect , do we really want a figure such as Kiffin, who shows the opposite , heading the football team and being a role model for young men?
    Pump your brakes on the Lane Train. Missouri has not talked to him about the job, I'm told. There was never any indication that Kiffin was seriously interested in the job. He prefers a warm climate and has his eyes set on bigger jobs either this cycle or in the near future. Don't count out Arkansas or Ole Miss, but I wouldn't be surprised if he sits tight in Boca Raton and waits for a bigger, better job after the 2020 season.
    Mizzou had a Tiger hostess problem not too long ago, but no longer. 
     
    Dave - Do you have any updates or insights to how the search for the new coach is going. Thank You
    I suppose we'll get around to a season review later, but, off the top of your head, which if any of the players actually improved over the last half of the season? I think Bannister, Bolton and obviously Elliott were already good, for example. But it seems almost all the others regressed, or held their own at best.
  • We'll review the season in Friday's paper. Great question. I'd agree on Bolton, Elliott and Banister. Badie was a solid playmaker all season despite playing behind a rough offensive line. On defense, Tre Williams made a few plays at D-end - and a few penalties. Devin Nicholson at linebacker clearly improved. Gillespie was a solid player all year.
  • I am surprised Josh Heupel's name has not mentioned more frequently. I know you mentioned it a few days ago but you indicated because the two AD"s are tight and he has not been at UCF very long. That being said he has a Mizzou connection, is a young offensive minded coach, although short tenured has had positive results as a head coach. I can't believe if Mizzou really wanted him his AD would stand in the way no matter what the relationship. Your thoughts?
    One big reason why MU wouldn't be interested: Heupel has a $10 million buyout. I can't imagine Sterk has the stomach (or the deep pockets) for that kind of cash right now. Yes, Sterk is close to the White family. Danny White is UCF's AD, but I'm not sure that makes this kind of hire more likely or less likely. I'm also not sure Heupel is dying to get back to Columbia. He had a nice two-year run here, but other than making the College Football Playoffs there's nothing he can do at Missouri that he can't do at UCF - and Mizzou isn't making the playoff anytime soon.
    Do you think the undisciplined nature of this team (excessive personal fouls and unsportsmanlike penalties, other stupid - for lack of a better term - penalties, too much on-field chattering while losing) influenced Sterk's decision?
    Absolutely. This team didn't just win five straight games but they played an watchable brand of football at times. Until Odom started benching a few guys for these penalties (Kam Scott, for example), this team looked poorly coached and undisciplined with the mindless penalties and constant yapping and flexing.
    Dave - What Head Coaching position is more attractive - Mizzour or Arkansas - if you take out the deep pockets Arkansas provides or the penalties Mizzou is up against over the next year? Thank You
    Well, you can't really measure two programs if you take away those factors. 
    Arkansas made about $23 million more in athletics revenue last year and spent about $18 million more on athletics. That's absolutely a factor when you compare the two programs. Advantage: Arkansas. 
    I'd give Mizzou a slight edge in homegrown talent base, but Arkansas is also closer to Texas and Louisiana for out-of-state recruits. Advantage: Push.
    Mizzou's one clear advantage is its division - for now. The East is home to one current superpower (Georgia), another recent superpower on the cusp of becoming one again (Florida) and a third program with the history and resources to get back there (Tennessee). In the West, you've got two superpowers (LSU, Alabama), another always on the cusp (Auburn) and a fourth with the resources to get there (Texas A&M).
    What odds would you place on the candidates that we know of for the HC job?
    I don't do odds on stuff like this with such incomplete info.
    was attendance a factor in Sterk's decision? After all, the Florida crowd was sizable
  • Announced attendance was up slightly this season, but when Sterk talks about momentum and energy he's touching on fan support/crowd size. I wouldn't say attendance was at the top of the list on reasons to fire Odom, but it's a factor that reflects where the program was trending under his watch.
  • Do you think Jim Sterk’s seat is getting warm? The NCAA penalties, low fan attendance, the state of the football and basketball programs have Mizzou athletics swiftly spiraling downward while the department is operating in the red. There is a huge mess to overcome before the department is likely to see an upward trend and I fear it could get worse before it gets better. Will a successful football hire and program be enough to cure all of the problems?
    No matter who he hires as a football coach won't be fairly judged for at least a year, maybe two. So, I don't think it's fair to say five days of a coaching search that's still ongoing is a referendum on how he's doing his job. I think it's fair to criticize the AD on how the NCAA case was handled. Largely, the decision was in the hands of the NCAA infractions committee and the appeals committee, but the process unfolded on Sterk's watch. It's fair to second-guess MU's level of cooperation, the decision to admit to Level I violations and the messaging in the wake of the infractions. He shouldn't take the bulk of the blame by any means, but maybe a different AD handles this differently.
    I'm not giving up the Cuonzo Martin regime by any means. This is a coach who averaged 21 wins a year before coming to Missouri. He's got some problems to fix on this team - clearly. But the guy knows basketball, he knows how to run a program. He needs to unlock this team's offense. They need to play more consistent defense. If not, this season could completely unravel. 
    But is Sterk's seat getting warm? Sure seems like there's some fan unrest, but his status will always be defined by how his football and basketball coaches perform. He doesn't have a football coach yet. A winner will take off any heat from the AD.
    Dave - Do you see Barry Odom getting another head coaching position or it be as a defensive coordinator? Thank You
    It all depends on the job market. If he's OK with just being a coordinator he could have a number of possible openings. Virginia Tech, Texas, Arizona, Arkansas, Ole Miss, Florida State. If he wants to be a head coach, the Memphis job could be open soon. If a Group of Five coach leaves for jobs one of the SEC jobs or Boston College or Florida State, then a job could open that's appealing to Odom. Maybe that's Louisiana-Lafayette if Billy Napier gets another job. Maybe that's Arkansas State if Blake Anderson gets a job. A lot of smoke has to clear before we have any sense where Odom goes next.
    Any comment from Jay Maclin?
    He tweeted that he's not commenting on the situation for now. My guess is he'll wait to see who Missouri hires.
    Who owns the teams offensive and defensive playbooks? Do Odom, Dooley and Walters get to take them with them? What about the position coaches?
    Nobody owns them per se. I can't imagine they'll just let their playbooks or downloaded plays/designs sit around and let the next coach use them.
    Do you have any theories as to why the team's 3-point shooting has been so bad? The longer we get into the season, the more concerning it gets, and it does not appear to just be a case of rust. Decent shooters from last year have regressed. Outside of Tilmon (still perfect!) and the M. Smiths, things are bleak. I can't remember the last time a tiger was shooting 5% from beyond the arc, but Pinson's there.
    It's a big problem so far. Maybe the deeper 3-point line has messed with their shots. I didn't think it would be that big of a challenge for guys like Watson and Mark Smith who have been shooting lots of deep 3s for years, but maybe that explains some of the struggles. It was obvious the other night that Charleston Southern was letting guys like Watson and Kobe Brown shoot open 3s because they weren't afraid of them getting hot from the arc.
    Frank Cusumano said on air a couple of weeks ago that there were rumors of "unrest behind the scenes" with Sterk. Does Odom's firing resolve any such unrest? Do you think Frank heard correctly?
    I've touched on Odom and Sterk's weekly Wednesday meetings in past stories. They met after the Florida game, after which neither came out sounding too positive about what they discussed. I asked Barry the following Tuesday if he felt he had Sterk's support and he would not answer. That was telling. I don't think it's any mystery that there was some friction there in the relationship.
    If I am a successful mid-major coach, I just don't see how a job at Ole Miss or Arkansas is a better career move than the Mizzou job given the stiff competition in the SEC West. Is it solely about a little extra $$$, or what am I missing? Thanks.
    For some coaches it's about geography, too. They have families that are part of the decision. The line on Billy Napier is that he prefers to stay in the South and that Ole Miss would be preferable to him over a job like Missouri. A lot of people don't like to move, especially if they're in a secure place and their family is content.
    We can say that coaching in the East is preferable than coaching in the West, but you also have to take into consideration factors at each individual school. Mizzou just fired an alum who was bowl eligible three straight seasons. If I'm a coach with a decent job who believes he'll have better opportunities in the future, I'm not necessarily thrilled with that situation.
    That's why I've said for weeks that if you finish 7-5 or 6-6 you have to be prepared for targets who are hesitant to replace a guy who just got fired for that record. 
     
    Is there a chance that Cornell Ford will be retained, due to his STL recruiting ties?
    Not sure. Cornell doesn't know for sure. A lot will depend on the next head coach. He's done a nice job coaching the running backs. Mizzou got away from regional recruiting under Odom, so Ford has been more focused on recruiting his position group instead of recruiting St. Louis exclusively.
    On that note, Elijah Young, a running back commitment from Knoxville, Tenn., has opened his recruitment but will still keep MU at the top of his list.  
    Recently you said HCBO had a 3-25 record against Div 1 schools with a winning record. I assume that was a big factor in his firing and I think it should be. Do you have a similar stat for Cuonzo. I know he made the NCAA tournament his first year, but he was under .500 last year and Tuesday night’s debacle does not give me any comfort that things are going to be better this season.
    Odom was 3-25 against FBS teams with winning records. 
    Here's Martin's records against high-major teams with winning records. I count high-major as the Power 5 plus the Big East: 8-11 his first year, 4-14 last year and 0-3 this year. Those records don't include some high-major teams that ended up with losing records. He beat Illinois last year when the Illini finished under .500. Same for Iowa State two years ago and a handful of SEC teams the last two years. 
    Any insight on what is going on with men's basketball? They looked like they didn't even want to be playing on Tuesday night. It's hard to understand. Was it some kind of fluke or are we in for a long, painful season?
    They're a better than what they showed on Tuesday, but clearly there are some issues to resolve. They have a handful of decent players, but none of them can have productive games on the same night. The shooting is a concern. The defensive lapses is a concern. The turnovers are a concern.
  • I would think that this is it for Andy Hill. I was surprised to see a comment earlier today that the new coach might be asked to keep him on.
    That might be up to Andy. I think he's an asset to have on the staff, especially for an outsider coach.
    Based on your knowledge of Mizzou Football and your contacts who do you believe will be Missouri's next head football coach? And do you believe that person will be a solid hire?
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