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 1 p.m. Thursday.

    Hello there, chatters. Let's get this thing started. Lots to discuss. I'll take your questions for the next two hours or so.
    Hi Dave:

    Enjoy your thoughts and insight on MU athletics. Wish you had a bigger umbrella and could cover more sports, but greatly appreciate what you do.

    I have a question about athletic scholarships. When an athlete on full-scholarship at MU declares they are going to transfer, does their scholarship end immediately? At the end of the semester? At the end of the academic year?
    What about when an athlete quits or is dismissed from the team?
    Typically they stay enrolled for the rest of the semester to finish up their courses, unless they're actually dismissed from the university for a disciplinary reason. MU usually honors their scholarship through the end of the semester in the case of a transfer.
    Every day this week I see a different report on Kelly Bryant and whether he will play on Saturday. What do you think?
    I think we won't really know until the offense jogs onto the field for the first possession. Odom might have an update on his radio show tonight, but at this point, he doesn't have a real incentive to be 100 percent honest. As of Wednesday he said Bryant took the majority of the first-team snaps in practice. If that's true, it wouldn't make much sense to have Bryant working that much with the starters if you didn't expect him to start. That answer changed a lot from what Odom said after Tuesday's practice. If Bryant is still compromised with the hamstring injury, I'm not sure there would be a major dropoff between him and Powell, especially against this Georgia defense.
    Dave, how about that move that Braun got into the lane with last night? He looked good in very limited minutes. Hope he gets some playing time at some point because it’s obvious he has some skill.

    This Mizzou team looks like it has some pieces that they definitely did not have last season. McKinney, Brown both bring some serious athleticism
    I'll be surprised if Braun is a regular in the rotation early in the season. He'll have to earn those minutes in practice. With Martin, it's always about defense. Spin moves in the lane are nice, but he'll have to commit to defense to earn a spot in the rotation. He's not playing ahead of the other guys at the four and five position, at least not now. But Martin believes in Braun's potential.
    Good morning Dave,
    What's the probability Mizzou will be able to run the ball against Georgia this weekend?
    I hope Dooley doesn't abandon it too quick.
    This is not an ideal matchup for a struggling running game to suddenly improve. Look at what teams have done on the ground against this Georgia defense:
    Notre Dame: 46 yards on 14 carries
    Tennessee: 70 yards on 29 carries
    Florida: 21 yards on 19 carries
    Kentucky and South Carolina had some success on the ground, and Vanderbilt, too, to some degree. The key for Missouri is staying on schedule. You can't allow tackles for loss, sacks or commit penalties that puts the offense behind the chains and out of ideal running situations. 
     
  • Hey Dave! I tuned in for the hoops opener last nite. Kobe Brown looked more like Kobe Bryant during the time I watched. Slow start, but, he was all over the place during the second. I get the fact that it was IW not NC but how did Kobe only get a 3 star rating? Also, by what criteria are these athletes (football included) star rated and who rates them? Thanks much!
    The different recruiting services have analysts who come up with the ratings. Obviously it's not a perfect science. I think the sites generally get more ratings right than wrong. Brown has been impressive. He's versatile. He's got a good feel for the game. (Not a surprise. He's a coach's kid.) More than anything, he's an athlete. That might be the biggest difference between this year's team and last season: the upgrade in athleticism at the four/power forward position. Brown and Tray Jackson give this team elements that it didn't have last year.
    I didn't see the game, but Mark smith didn't have great box score numbers while still getting a lot of minutes. Were there intangibles that kept him on the floor over Pinson who flashed some signs of growth (albeit against an easy opponent)?
    For one, they play different positions. Smith is not a primary ball-handler. Pinson can play off the ball, but he's always going to be in the game when Dru Smith comes out. Mark Smith didn't shoot very well, but he's a good defender and led the team with eight rebounds. He's not going to get benched just because his shot isn't falling. He finds other ways to contribute. Any time he's open Martin wants him shooting the ball. The shots just weren't falling last night.
    Hey, Dave: At this point, I'm so flummoxed by Mizzou football, I don't even know what questions I should be asking you. Is Odom the right man for the job? What's happened to Albert O? Is there a leadership problem on the team? How have two teams (Wyo, and KY) with no capability of passing the ball run roughshod over the Tigers? Where is the discipline? What's going on?????????
  • It seems you found a way to ask several questions. Is Odom the right man for the job? I think he's got four questions to answer that question. Two wins should be the bare expectation. You finish the regular season 7-5 and you can come away saying you had some self-inflicted losses but figured out a way to salvage a winning season, albeit a disappointing record considering the schedule. Good coaches can have bad years. Missouri isn't a program that takes a wrecking ball to the foundation after a 7-5 year, as long as you're confident the foundation is still built the right way. 
    Albert O? I wrote about that earlier this week. I agree with Dooley. They've got to do a better job designing plays to get him the ball. Albert has to do a better job getting open and catching the ball. And the QB needs to commit to throwing him the ball. If those things then don't happen, then it's time to admit he's a very dangerous red-zone threat, but in the other areas of the field he's too limited and this offense is too limited to make him a more dynamic player.
    Leaders? I'm not sure this team has the guy who will put his fist through a wall to fire up the troops. Is there a Lorenzo Williams? A Martin Rucker? A Sean Weatherspoon? A Tommy Saunders? A L'Damian Washington? Where's the passion? 
    As for the rush defense, bad tackling was the problem at Wyoming. At Kentucky, the defense looked like a unit that was tired of carrying the rest of the team. They forced two takeaways at midfield and the offense did zilch with it. In the first half at least the tackling wasn't very crisp. They looked a step slow. 
  • I have also heard that the reason for the lackluster effort and results are due to the fact they KNOW that the bowl ban will be upheld. Any reason to think this may be possible?
  • No, no, no. 
    The NCAA is the only organization that announces its own rulings. When the NCAA finalizes its rulings, it publicly announces them. The schools only get a 24-hours notice of the final ruling. The athletics director doesn't know what the ruling will be, which means the coaches don't know, which means, the players absolutely do not know.
  • I thought the bball team looked good last night. My question is the game is on the line who takes the last shot? Do you think that person is Dru Smith? Last year it was Geist. Or do you think it depends who has the hot hand in each game?
  • If we're talking about needing a 3-pointer I'd be comfortable with Dru Smith or Mark Smith. If we're talking about driving the ball for a bucket or a trip to the foul line, Dru Smith or Pinson.
  • Any significant difference(s) as to how Odom handled this off week compared to the one earlier in the season?
  • He didn't share a whole lot about the content of the bye week. With the extra time, the coaches always do some self-scouting to identify their own strengths and weaknesses. Fair to say the offensive staff needed to do a lot of that coming off the Kentucky game.
  • DM: You are very measured in your reporting and these chats, which I appreciate because if your tone varies in any way, I know it means something. Based on this, I get the sense from your pre-season reporting that you see a lot of potential for Men's BB this year. You're not gushing, but you do seem to feel the team is sleeper that is going to surprise. Am I reading you accurately?
    I'd say that's fair. This team checks a lot of boxes. Playmakers. Shooters. Athletes on the wing. Defenders. Big man inside. Depth. Glue guys. You know this team will play hard every night. That's a given with Martin's teams. They might not execute perfectly on the defensive end, but it won't be for a lack of effort. He's talked some about the Florida State model. The FSU team that beat Mizzou two years ago in Nashville that went on to make the Elite Eight was had great depth and good size inside and on the perimeter. The Noles might not have had elite NBA players, but Leonard Hamilton could out-athlete most teams with waves of players in rapid substitutions. Martin noticed and liked that about that team. You can see that in this team. This team MIGHT have the depth and ability to wear you down. It's no fun playing against a Pickett and a Tilmon ... and then when they need a rest you've got this gangly high-motor 6-10 Mitchell Smith all over you, and then a fresh Torrence Watson or Mario McKinney swarming you on the perimeter. And after their quick burst, you have to go back at it against a fresh Picket/Tilmon/Brown, etc. It could make for a real tough matchup most nights.
    No Okongo even in garbage time last night, is he hurt? Do you think he contributes at all this season?
    Based on conversations I've had with folks in the program, he's going to need a few months to really establish a spot in the rotation. They like his raw ability and work ethic. He's got to learn the system, learn his role on the floor, learn the sets and learn how to communicate. There's still a bit of a language barrier with him when it comes to on-the-fly instructions during the course of a practice or game.
    Not a great start for my hope that the refs wouldn't be anticipating fouls on Tillmon, but he played a great game. Looks like Coach Martin hit the nail on the head with the Fla St. comp. Depth should let them play more aggressively on O and D. Excited for the season!
  • Missouri has played two games and we've seen both opponents get warned for flopping. That's a good sign for Tilmon and his foul issues.
    I shared this on Twitter yesterday, but just wanted to pass along: Stephon Abron, the Univ. Central Missouri student who died when a gun accidentally discharged on Monday, was the son of former Mizzou running back Zack Abron. 
    Obviously I covered Zack during his Mizzou career (1999-03), but I had a random connection to Stephon, too, and knew some people on his mother's side in St. Charles. (Dating myself here, but through a prior relationship, I was at several family functions when Stephon was just a baby.) Such a tragedy. Keep Zack and Stephon's family in your thoughts through this rough time.
    Healthy or not, if Bryant continues to lock-in on ONE receiver rather than checking down, it will be ugly. He locks in then runs. There are often open receivers that he can hit.
    And that's not something he was doing before the two losses. In fact, a big reason he was completing passes at a higher rate than any Drew Lock season was his willingness to hit the safe checkdown. At one point in the season, Tyler Badie was leading all SEC running backs in receptions. (Now he's third). 
    At the same rate, the passing game has just stopped trying to complete deep balls down field. The routes are there, but the ball is barely getting 10 yards downfield. It's hard to function as an offense when there's zero vertical threat. 
    You are in favor of paying college athletes who generate the millions of dollars that are floating around in college football and basketball. How would you distribute the money - equally among all players of a given sport or just to the high profile athletes who generate the most income like Kelly Bryant, Albert O or Cale Garrett for example? Would you require recipients to actually graduate before they get anything? Would non revenue sport athletes get anything? Athletes who get full scholarships also have an advantage compared to non athlete students. Athletes do not have the huge debts after they leave that the non athlete student who is borrowing to pay their tuition. That debt will burden them for many years after graduation.
    I'm not necessarily in favor of paying athletes an outright salary. But I'm completely in favor of allowing athletes to profit off their name/image/likeness from outside sources. Free market, baby! There's no reason the softball left fielder has to make the same amount as the starting quarterback if we're talking about endorsements. 
    Athletes can't work part-time jobs like other normal students. They don't have extra spending money outside of their cost of attendance stipends, which pay for some things but not everything. If a car dealer wants to put Kelly Bryant or Aijha Blackwell or Jeremiah Tilmon on their billboard and pay them $1,000, I've got zero problem with that. 
    How is the ground game shaping up for next year? Do you think we'll get another year of Rountree?
    What is this that I hear that if (when) Mizzou loses at Georgia Mizzou may accept the bowl ban. If true, why would they do that if they most likely can still win another game in order to be eligible?
    That's absurd. Don't believe what you hear. Missouri is spending untold thousands of dollars on lawyers fees to fight these sanctions, plus all the billboards around the state. They're not just going to wave the white flag and accept the ban. If the postseason ban is upheld, Mizzou will lose out on around $9 million in SEC revenue from the SEC championship game, the bowls and the College Football Playoff. Why would Mizzou go this far in the appeals process only to give up now and suffer all the consequences they've been fighting for months to avoid? What about the other sports? Lose to Georgia in football and then MU would accept the ban in football but not baseball and softball? Or they would accept the ban in softball and baseball just because the football team is having a disappointing season? Neither scenario makes any sense, which is why that premise is ludicrous.
    Ed O’Bannon filed a lawsuit years ago because his image was used in a video game but he was not paid any compensation for use of his image. Did he ever get any money? I think he was out of school by the time the video game came out. I assume the NCAA kept all the money to themselves. This is a clear cut case where the athlete should have been compensated, but wasn’t.
    A lot happened and came out of the O'Bannon case, more than I care to dig into today. Give it a Google search. There's a lot there to learn.
    What is the deal with Jaydin Eierman?
    He reportedly entered the transfer portal. That's not all that uncommon for NCAA wrestlers. He has one year of eligibility left but is taking an Olympic redshirt this season to prepare for 2020 Tokyo. That's the extent of what I know about the situation.
    MU is paying Barry Pdom and Cuonzo Martin $3 million dollars each to be head coach of their respective sports. It looked like MUFB had turned the corner with the 5 game home winning streak despite the poor showing at Wyoming. The past 2 games at Vanderbilt and at Kentucky have me wondering if such handsome salaries should be paid to a .500 coach who hasn’t won a bowl game yet? I presume MU will never compete with Alabama, LSU, Auburn and Georgia, but losing to Vanderbilt even in Nashville is the pits. Same question for CMBB. He had an ubder .500 second season and is 13th in the SEC preseason poll. Surely they can find a coach who could produce those results for a lot less money, right?
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