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.

    Let's have a chat. I'll be here for the next couple hours to take all your Mizzou questions.
    How many times did you watch the Drink freak out video? I live in Austin TX and whole Rakestraw to Mizzou topic is very popular on the HornFM radio station.
    I watched it and wrote about it and asked him about it. I'm not sure Mizzou could have anticipated the reception that the video got online, but I thought it was a positive for Mizzou and Drinkwitz. He had people talking about the program who normally wouldn't give a hoot about a three-star recruit.
    Which is greater? Drink's freak out video views or Booches burgers eaten by Dave?
    I'd go with the former, probably.
    Is there an opportunity to still supplement the FB roster although signing day has passed. If so, any JC or HS grads they are specifically looking at?
    Yes. Straight from my story: The NCAA-mandated scholarship restrictions put a ceiling on the 2020 class at 17 or 18, Drinkwitz said, though there’s still some “roster flexibility” to add pieces, possibly transfers.

    “I think college football roster management's changed over the past two years because of the transfer portal, the ability to add players and manage your roster through transfers and immediate eligibility,” he said. “Been fortunate to be able to utilize that in my past and will utilize that moving forward as we already have with Damon. We do have some roster flexibility if the right person or fit comes available. But the biggest thing for me was not to rush and assign people that we didn't know or panic. We need to sign the right player that fits who we are, the right fit for us, and we wanted to be very disciplined in our approach.”

    I'm not aware of any specific unsigned players they'll want to add, but names will surely surface in the transfer portal between now and the summer. MU will need some players to leave the team for there to be roster room. 

    Drink out-recruited Saban and Herman for the Texas kid. Is this a sign of things to come or a one off, rare recruiting upset?
  • If Missouri is going to consistently beat Alabama and Texas for recruits then that would be unprecedented, obviously. I don't think this will be a regular occurrence for out-of-state recruits. That's just not something that has ever happened historically. And recruiting trends don't tend to change that much. What is certainly possible is that Drinkwitz is able to fend off the bluebloods when it comes to the high-profile in-state recruits. Gary Pinkel was able to do that more often than not. Barry Odom was not. That will be the true rest of Drinkwitz and staff's ability to recruit. Can they land the elite players in the state of Missouri? His staff is making in-state recruiting and evaluations its major priority. We'll see how that works out.
  • how would you grade Drink's first recruit class??
  • Ask me again in two or three years when these guys are playing. I'm not big on the draft-day grades or signing-day grades. I've never seen any of these players play in person, so it's hard to really measure or project how they'll perform at the college level. I thought the staff did a nice job of addressing some obvious needs in a short amount of time: wide receiver, defensive line and defensive back. Damon Hazelton Jr. might be the most accomplished grad transfer the team has added since the rule went into effect a few years back. You can make the case he was a better player at Virginia Tech than Kelly Bryant was at Clemson. Same for Alex Ross, Chris Black, Khalil Oliver. There's no reason Hazelton shouldn't be the team's No. 1 receiver the first day of spring practice.
  • Any comment on the article on page 3A of today’s news section with the headline “Missouri lawmakers take aim at NCAA”? While I agree with many of the legislators ideas, is it really a good idea at this stage of the game after the NCAA’s final decision to aggravate them anymore? We wouldn’t want the NCAA to bypass Missouri in future NCAA BB regionals after the one coming up in a month in St. Louis. Their final decision has been made and getting the Missouri legislature mixed up in the situation can hardly be favorable to the state’s future.
  • I know the legislatures behind the bill and their efforts are admirable in keeping the story in the headlines. I'm not sure what kind of results they really expect to come from the resolution. If anything it seems they'd like to see Jim Sterk and Alex Cartwright follow through on their vow to initiate the changes within the NCAA that they talked about back in Kansas City in November when the NCAA appeal was denied. I don't know how much traction any movement will really make or how committed Mizzou truly is in leading the charge.
  • Evan Yerkes got 9 minutes vs. A&M. Good for him - I didn't see the game so I don't know the circumstances. I'm also not one to criticize hard work so I'll assume the playing time was rightfully earned through that means during practice. Although I'm bemused by what it says about a coach or a team that a 2nd year walk-on gets more playing time than 3 scholarship players?

    I realize that Evan is a different position than the guys in question, but a walk-on is generally for garbage time or a last ditch maneuver. Is CM recruiting the wrong players? If so, then can we give Yerkes the scholarship and scare off the boys from South Park and the frenchman? If you have that little faith in them to handle A&M then get rid of them.
    Yerkes is a shooting guard. Mark Smith didn't make the trip because of his back injury and Pickett fouled out early in the first half. The Tigers were basically down to Dru Smith, Xavier Pinson and Torrence Watson at the guard positions. Pinson had a couple early fouls and wasn't playing well. Watson wasn't playing well. Martin didn't have great options at that point. Kobe Brown was on the floor for 19 minutes but Martin was not happy with his play, getting beat on the boards consistently by his man.
    Hi Dave you are an excellent writer I think about football 24/7 365 do you think jack Tatum be in the hall of fame thanks
  • Great college player, good NFL player. Not sure he did enough in his decade of pro football to merit a place in Canton. He never made first-team All-Pro but had a lot of interceptions.
  • Know he’s being punished for stingily incident but he was so great at Ohio state and then with raiders it really bugs me that he is never considered for hall of fame
  • I'm still trying to wrap my mind around the Kim Anderson era--he recruited guys (and got several on campus) who had some success at mizzou (but mostly elsewhere)--what does it mean when a coach is "in over his head" as that phrase has often been used to describe KA
    Namon Wright didn't do much at Colorado. Willie Jackson has been productive at Toledo, but that's a step down in competition. Wes Clark had one good run at Buffalo. Tramaine Isabell was a better player after he left Mizzou. Mostly mixed results for the players who left. 
    Anderson wasn't much of a recruiter. He wasn't all that interested in going on the road to see players. There was some disconnect between him and his staff and a handful of players. He was coaching a different caliber of player at Division II and I think it's fair to say some players at Mizzou didn't relate as well to him. A good man who landed his dream job but by the end even he knew it was doomed to fail. 
    Mizzou basketball’s offensive woes are well documented. My bigger concern is that Cuonzo, as a defense-first style coach, fields a team that has consistent defensive lapses every game. They won’t guard 3, they’ll lose men on assignments for easy baskets, they won’t get defensive rebounds, etc. What has happened? If we can’t score 60, I’ll take still games where we win 50-49.
    Agreed. This hasn't been an efficient offensive team all season other than against some mid-majors and the Florida game, which is the ultimate outlier. If you're a player it's much easier to control things like effort, boxing out, guarding your man, defending without fouling and rebounding than it is making a jump shot fall. And that's why Martin gets more frustrated with defensive lapses. There's less pure skill involved there and more about effort and concentration and intensity. He expects those things to be on high for every player, every game. It should be a given, in his view of the game, regardless if shots are falling. This team is built to play that style and overcome an off shooting night. But instead they foul and they have breakdown and get beat on the boards. Missouri actually shot the ball better from 3 than A&M the other night, but the Aggies dominated the glass and got 20 second-chance points because they were more physical at that part of the game. And that's by design with this A&M team because Buzz Williams knows they can't shoot.
    How many of the remaing 9 regular season BB games will the BBTigers win? I see only 3 - vs Arkansas in COMO, at Vandy and home vs Mississippi. HBCM’s record is now W 45 and L 42, precariously close to being a .500 coach with a $3 million salary. I know he has no fear of being fired due to the required payout after the next couple of seasons, but his teams are not getting better as time moves on. He should be competing for NCAA bids every year not settling for a bottom 4 position in the SEC the last 2 years. It was hard to watch the last 3 road games at WV, AL and TXAM. They should be able to split with TXAM. There is no excuse for not winning home games vs SEC teams in the bottom half of the standings. I watched the Duquesne-SLU game last night and found it to be a much more exciting contest that the most recent stretch of MU games played by teams that are at a level I would assume to be lower than SEC levels. I would think HCCM would be on the hotseat next year if he can’t get things turned around before this season merctfully ends.
    They'll have a chance to win Saturday against an Arkansas team with no size and no bench and no Isaiah Joe, but the Hogs best players available are still playing better than any MU player. They can beat Ole Miss at home or on the road and can win at Vandy, but not if they play like they have lately. Those teams showed last night they're capable of beating anyone in this league. Vandy took down LSU and Ole Miss beat South Carolina. I don't give MU any chance at LSU next week or home against Auburn in a week - and probably little to slim chances at Arkansas. Unless things change drastically very soon.
    Ben Frederickson and I talked a lot about the future of the program on this week's podcast. (It should be online soon.) Martin isn't getting fired after this season. That topic is a non-starter. But he might have to look at staff changes to help in recruiting and player development and strategy. He might have to clear some roster space for players who can be more productive. Whatever they're doing now isn't working. The team is getting worse. Vitriol from the fans will turn into a much more dangerous form of widespread apathy if this continues.
    In Dallas the local newspaper likes to report in the “Top 100” National Prospects for football and what college they have committed to. I was surprised to see that 5 St. Louis / Missouri high school guys were included. I did not think that our area was strong enough to have 5 guys in the ranking of Top 100. As it relates to these guys, did Mizzou ever have a shot at:
    • Dontae Manning – Oregon
    • Jordan Johnson – Notre Dame
    • Antonio Johnson – Texas A&M
    • Antonio Doyle – Texas A&M
    • Mookie Cooper – Ohio State

    Are all these guys 5 star recruits who went to programs that are a notch or two above poor old Mizzou.
    Doyle committed to Missouri last summer then backed off his pledge in the fall. 
    The others never looked seriously at MU from what I recall. That's a problem. You don't have to sign all the elite in-state talent but you can't miss on all of them and expect to be competing for anything meaningful in the SEC. 
  • Dave, thanks for the chat. Considering the FB coaching move I think Drink did well.
    Men's BB is another story entirely. For a defense first team I'm not seeing it since the start of SEC play. Good defense is played with your feet and getting into proper position. One only has to look at the foul numbers to see a lot of hand and arm fouls, which means they're poorly positioned. And good defensive teams rebound on the defensive boards. Just watching the games I see a lot of standing around; not putting a body one someone and blocking out. That was a shameful display of rebounding in the Texas A&M game.
    We can talk all day about the team's lack of offensive ability or talent, but lack of focus and effort on defense is in another category all together.
    I would expect Saturday's game will be an indicator of whether the team is responding to Martin and his statement regarding their recent performance.
    Completely agree. This team isn't going to magically start making 40 percent of its 3s overnight. But they can control effort and intensity and focus on the defensive end and on the glass.
    Do you think Drink's offensive scheme will be difficult to learn as in Game 1 under HCED is 100% his scheme, or will there be some carry over like Dooley carried over some Huepels scheme at first?
    I would not expect any carryover in terms of his install. What exactly was there to carry over from Dooley's scheme? 
    That will be the one major difference between the program in 2020: Drinkwitz has a plan offensively. He has a meticulously designed offense to install the same way he installed it at NC State and App State. He'll format the offense around his personnel, but he'll have a base scheme to work from. 
    Thanks Dave you’re one of best f
    lol I’ll
    How disappointed was Drink in losing St. John? Or did they not really try that hard to keep him?
    He didn't visit Mizzou after the coaching change, so I don't think they realistically expected him to pick MU. They wanted one O-lineman for sure and checked that box with Dylan Spencer.
    I really appreciate your reporting, keep up the good staff. I'd be interested in learning more about your journalism experiences. Did you go to Mizzou for journalism school? Where else besides the post-dispatch have you worked? Why do you like working at the STLPD?
  • I attended Mizzou in the late 90s and while in college began working part-time for the Columbia Daily Tribune. I was lucky enough to turn that into a full-time job in the fall of 2000 as the paper's Mizzou football beat writer. I took a brief hiatus in 2004 - I was a little burnt out on the industry after getting turned down for a job or two - but returned to the Tribune the following year and spent about nine months covering high schools. Then I fell back into the Mizzou football beat in 2006 and held that role until landing the job I always wanted at the Post-Dispatch in 2013. It's been a great experience going on seven years. I miss not having a newsroom to visit - I live in Columbia and don't get to St. Louis all that often - but we've made it work.
  • If the team is having defensive breakdowns and getting beat on the boards isn't like mostly on the coaching staff?
    Ultimately everything that goes wrong on the floor is the coach's responsibility to fix. That's true for every team in every sport, right? That's Martin's job to fix. This is a unique problem for his teams. 
    It's still a top-40 defense when it comes to shooting percentage and forcing turnovers, but the boards have been a big problem lately. 
    Following up; how significant is the signing of Ennis Rakestraw from the Dallas area. I am seeing him listed at #92 on the “Top 100” local prospects. Granted the Dallas area has talent but #92 does not seem that special. He is nowhere to be found on the “Top 100” Texas recruits and certainly not one of top recruits in the country.
    This signing was more important because of who else wanted Rakestraw, not because of his ranking. Alabama and Texas very much wanted to sign him. Nick Saban was in his house on an in-home visit three weeks ago - and liked him enough after the visit to invite Rakestraw to an official campus visit a few days later. 
    As I wrote yesterday, Rakestraw was one of five FBS defensive backs in the Duncanville secondary in 2019. You make your ranking as a junior, and he got overshadowed a bit by a couple high-profile four-stars, including Illinois' highest-rated recruit last year. Based on who wanted to sign him after his senior year - he had a couple really strong games against Power 5 receivers - it's fair to say he's probably underrated. 
    But, again, Drinkwitz's reaction was all about winning the competition against the kid's home-state team and "dream school." Hardly ever has Missouri gone into the state of Texas and signed a player that Texas actually wanted. 
    I've been looking at some other signing classes. I'm always intrigued by Illinois' program. Lovie did a good job squeezing six wins out of that team this year but I was stunned to see that it didn't translate on the recruiting trail. Illinois' class ranks last in the Big Ten and No. 88 nationally by 247Sports. Illinois did a nice job in St. Louis getting a couple players from Trinity Catholic, but somehow didn't sign a single player from the state of Illinois. Of the top 20-rated players in Illinois, four went to Iowa, three to Northwestern, one to Texas A&M, Michigan, Notre Dame, Cincinnati., Vandy, Tennessee, Oregon, Wisconsin and Iowa State. Illinois had a small class, only 13 players, but I would have thought the class would be a bowl bump. In-state recruiting isn't as easy as some might think. 
    Other class ranking surprises: 
    Arizona State at No. 24. I thought the game was supposed to have passed Herm by? Not so. 
    Ole Miss at 39. That won't last long with the Lane Train in Oxford. I''ll be shocked if the Rebels don't have a top 15 class in 2021.
    USC at No. 55. I know there's been uncertainty in L.A. with Helton's job status the last couple years - and USC only had 13 signees - but there's no defense of USC landing only two four-stars and not a single five-star.
    UCF and Virginia Tech at No. 70 and 71. You'd think those programs would attract more premium talent. 
    Memphis at No. 75. Memphis might be the best Group of Five program right now (outside of Boise State) but 10 Group of Five teams had had higher ranked classes, including Tulane, East Carolina, FIU and FAU.
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