Mizzou chat with Dave Matter

Mizzou chat with Dave Matter

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

    Happy Thursday, folks. It's time to chat. Already a lot of questions in the hopper. I'll get to as many as possible over the next couple hours.
    I understand that a lot has been going around in college sports, but has there ever been any "official word" for the Mizzou baseball and softball team and where the 2021 seasons stand as far as post-season play goes?
    Nothing official. The baseball and softball coaches do not expect the postseason ban to carry over to 2021, but the NCAA has not informed Missouri of any decision at last check.
    When does football practices officially begin for Mizzou?
    Players returned June 8 for voluntary strength and conditioning workouts. Teams that start their season Sept. 5 — Mizzou included — can conduct up to eight hours per week of weight training, conditioning and film review from July 13-23. Then from July 24-Aug. 6 they can have 20 hours per week of team activities. Then they can begin regular preseason camp on Aug. 7.
    Hi Dave! Thanks for the chats, they are fantastic. Why did Quinn Snyder not have success here? Have you been surprised by his success in the NBA? Did he makes some changes or what..?
    I would argue he had some success. He led Mizzou to the NCAA Tournament each of his four seasons including a trip to the Elite Eight, farther than Mizzou has ever reached in the Big Dance. But ultimately he struggled to maintain some early success. Quin probably wasn't ready for a job of this magnitude at just 32 years old. He learned under the game's greatest coach, but Duke clearly operated at standards that weren't possible for a 32-year-old coach at a program like Mizzou. Most damaging, his relationship with his boss soured over the years, and as Quin struggled with structure and accountability he didn't have that internal support from his boss to fix the problems. 
    That said, no one ever accused of him of not knowing the game. He's a brilliant basketball coach. His intellect might be better suited for the pro game and more mature players who are more dedicated to the game and learning the intricacies of the game. I give him credit for taking some humbling jobs in the NBADL and overseas in Russia to rebuild his career. Now at 53 years old he's widely respected in the NBA. I'm happy for him and his success. 
    Dave, these protests of the last few weeks have made me think a lot about the Tigers 2015 team and the threatened boycott--how do you think history will remember that team? Similar issue/question--do college athletes realize the power that they have in these multi-billion dollar industries and institutions? Just think if more players did (or built on) what Chuba did at OSU
  • Players around the country are starting to realize how much power they have and the impact and the potential of their platforms. Personally, I think it's beautiful to see. Look at what's happened at Iowa, at UCLA, at Oklahoma State. Some of these millionaire coaches - some, not all - become so seduced with money and power that the cultures within their programs become dictatorships - but the programs aren't possible without a willing workforce. 
    Were Missouri players in 2015 ahead of their time? Perhaps. There are some key differences. They got involved in a very localized issue that originated with campus unrest over graduate students and their insurance benefits. The 2015 movement at Mizzou did not start with racial incidents ... but the racial issues came on the heels of the graduate student protests and grew from there. We can debate whether the football players were misguided or whether their tactics were appropriate, but we can't debate the impact they had on the situation. 
    The protests and power moves we're seeing on other campuses are linked by more common national causes but practiced on a local level. Still impactful, though, in their own way.
  • What about college athletics has changed the most since you began covering them? What's surprised you the most in your time covering college sports? Thanks for the work you do. You're a helluva reporter
    Thanks for the kind note.
    Access has changed more than anything - and I'm not talking about the access challenges caused by COVID-19. We just don't get as much time with the coaches or athletes as we did in the 1990s and early 2000s. For one, there's more media, more student media, and bigger media scrums means less 1-on-1 time with subjects to tell exclusive stories. And over time schools have granted less access to their players and coaches while simultaneously producing their own in-house media content, essentially turning themselves into competition with the media. It's not a unique thing at Mizzou. It happens everywhere. And to MU's credit, my access is better than what most reporters get who cover other schools, especially in the SEC. 
    What has surprised me the most? I can't think of any surprises. Media trends seem to evolve slowly over time and don't take anyone by surprise. 
    Do you see much hope for the newspaper industry, or media in general? Is it just me or is there less quality reporting? (or is it drowned out by all of the garbage?) Please give me some hope.
    I think the media coverage from the best reporters and writers is better than ever. There's just a lot more "coverage" that, to use your word, drowns out some of the boots-on-the-ground reporting that's done by journalists who actually cover teams in person. Look at our staff at the P-D: Rick Hummel has been enshrined in the Baseball Hall of Fame. Derrick Goold is a former president of the Baseball Writers Association of America and three times has been named the national beat writer of the year (for any sport!); Jim Thomas was one of the country's longest-tenured and best NFL beat reporters and then seamlessly made the jump to the NHL and thoroughly covers the Stanley Cup champs; our columnists, Frederickson, Hochman and Gordo, cover a ton of ground every week. Across the state the writers in Kansas City do a helluva job covering that market. There are countless writers at The Athletic, Yahoo!, ESPN and what's left of Sports Illustrated who continue do great work covering sports. But there's just so many other outlets who just regurgitate the original reporting and share their personal hot takeaways, that market is flooded with more and more content. The future seems bleak for the newspaper industry, but people will always want to consume news and reporting and fresh writing about the sports and the teams they love. The market will evolve. The medium will evolve. The thirst for sports coverage won't change, at least that's my hope and prayer.
    It appears as Drink & Co are doing a better job of closing the borders. At least they are restoring home-state pride. What top P5 recruits have already committed outside the state? Please mention East STL & KC KS recruits that committed elsewhere.
    Jakailin Johnson, cornerback from De Smet in St. Louis, Ohio State
    Gabriel Rubio, defensive lineman from Lutheran St. Charles, Notre Dame
    Brody Wisecarver, offensive guard from De Smet in St. Louis, Illinois
    Beau Stephens, offensive tackle from Blue Springs, Iowa
    Demetrius Cannon, wide receiver from Trinity Catholic in St. Louis, Louisville
    Tobechi Okoli, defensive end from Lincoln College Prep in Kansas City, uncommitted
    Jermaine Hamilton-Jordan, linebacker from Lincoln College Prep in Kansas City, Arkansas
    Howard Brown, defensive tackle from Lincoln College Prep in Kansas City, Iowa State
    Wisecraver, Hamilton-Jordan and Brown do not hold Mizzou offers.
    Also--I thoroughly enjoyed the Talladega piece, what did you like most about covering NASCAR and doing a piece like that? Tell the brass at the PD that we need more Matter!!!
    I covered some NASCAR back when I worked at the Columbia Tribune when Carl Edwards was the biggest star in Mid-Missouri. It's different than any team sport I cover more regularly, and while I wouldn't call myself a die-hard fan, it was fun to follow back when one of Columbia's own was winning races. The Bubba Wallace story was interesting on so many levels and with a chance to write some columns this month it's a topic I wanted to tackle. Glad you enjoyed.
  • Excited about the momentum the football program is creating with regards to recruitment. Is this tangible or is it simply better communication/marketing?
    There's genuine excitement around the state about Drinkwitz, his energy, his vision, his personality, etc. Sometimes it just takes a fresh voice and a fresh message to get players engaged with the program. I don't think he's selling anything different than what players heard from the last coaching staff, but there's clearly a different energy and vibe, and sometimes that's enough to open some doors that were starting to close in the past.
    What’s the Mizzou scholarship count look like after an impressive run on the recruiting trails?

    What were the specifics on the NCAA scholarship reductions again? How many scholarships, when does it start and how long imposed?
    Mizzou can only have 81 players on scholarship for 2020, so the recent commitments have no impact on the 2021 roster, which will be back at 85.
    Good job by mizz football coach recruiting so far, just hope we can keep all recruits. Go mo.
    I see that MLB baseball is going to play with nobody in the stands. is that what you think will happen with college football or other college sports?
    To be accurate, MLB teams are considering options with some fans in attendance at some point this season, as Derrick Goold wrote about in today's paper.
    As for college teams, Mizzou is planning for several different possible models, 20 percent capacity, 50 percent capacity, etc. The most common plan I've heard schools mention is 50 percent. That would put Memorial Stadium's capacity right around 30,000. A month from now the state of the virus could shift the models in either direction. It's just too early in late June to finalize seating plans for games that don't start until September. They can push off those final calls until August. 
    Out of all the athletes you've cover at Mizzou. If you could choose 3 who were multi-sport athletes in high school to participate in a different Mizzou sports team, who would they beamed what sport?
    Great question. Let me think ... 
    Drew Lock, basketball 
    Mark Smith, baseball 
    Evan Boehm, wrestling 
  • I don't know if active COVID cases are certain schools will turn off recruits, but I do think it's impacting recruiting in terms of travel. Kids can't visit schools ... and coaches can't visit recruits in person. So, for now, recruits are committing to the schools where they've already developed relationships with the coaches and, in most cases, have already visited the campus and facilities. You're not seeing kids commit to a place sight unseen.
  • You expect a better pass rush this year from the defensive line especially the defensive ends? I know we've gotten a few good recruits that might be able to help but it looked like the cupboard was pretty bare as far as turning defensive ends go.
    I'll believe they'll have a better edge rush when I see it. There were glimpses last year but not a steady rush off the corners. I'm not sure any of the new additions will crack the rotation. Tre Williams, Chris Turner and Jatorian Hansford are the top three guys. Can redshirt freshman Z'Core Brooks or freshman Johnny Walker crack the rotation? Not sure.
    A lot of people aren't very optimistic that we will even have hey college football season this year. Doubt you're going to want to lay any odds but are you leaning one way or the other?
    Teams are going to make every effort to start the season. No one should be surprised if some teams have to forfeit some games. There are going to be virus outbreaks within a team. Teams will decided against traveling to certain regions. We're already seeing early games in college and the NFL get canceled or rescheduled. I think it would be naive to expect every FBS team to play its full slate of games as scheduled.
    twitter is the worst thing ever for the media.....do you agree?
    It's good and evil. I use Twitter mostly to find links to other interesting stories I want to read and to communicate with other writers and sources. I don't think it's a healthy place to have productive discussions with readers. I don't think it's a fair place to get an accurate read on how the public feels about a certain topic. It's a place for extreme views, not nuanced, middle of the road, measured views.
    What position group of the Mizzou football team are you most excited about? Which one is the one group that worries you the most?
    I'll be excited if there's a football season and we have access to the stadium and interviews. 
    As far as which position group interests me, you have to start at quarterback. Who wins the job? Will they play more than one? Will they run some Wildcat with other playmakers? 
    From there, I'm curious to see what the receiver group looks like. They've added some pieces there. Can the two senior safeties develop into the SEC's best tandem? 
    If I were paid to have concerns about the roster, I'd start with cornerback, offensive line and defensive end. 
    I thought last year’s women’s basketball team did not have enough “Alpha players” and too many role players having to expand the role they were expected to play. This season looks to be different as we now have three point guards and can field a tall, athletic lineup. Troup can now be our 3-point specialist and allow the point guards run the offense around our two sophomores as well as the transfers we have added. I believe this is the team Coach P envisioned Sophie’s senior year by being able to press when they need to, but can play the half-court mismatch game she likes. Your thoughts?
    It's going to be a completely different team this year. Two anchors in Frank and Blackwell, then a host of newcomers. Dufficy is going to add some 3-point range on the wing. Williams could be more of an inside scoring threat. Dickson and Dembele can take the ball-handling duties off Blackwell's plate. They might not have much depth beyond the top six or seven players, but it looks like an upgrade in talent and size.
    Will the US Government help universities financially who are struggling because of the covid-19? They gave American stimulus checks I just wondered if they do anything to help colleges who are going to lose a lot of money because of the covid-19 epidemic.
    I'm sure schools would love their own stimulus checks, but we're talking about non-profit entities that don't pay taxes. I'm not sure if they should be anywhere near the front of the line for government relief.
    In adding to the question submitted by djf3348 about how media coverage has changed, years ago I was talking with the late, great Stan Isle. He told me one thing that changed in the late 20th century compared to the early part of the century was newspapers definitely were more into yellow journalism, especially on the east coast. He said the reporters in his day had to be more "homer-friendly" or get cast aside. He said rarely did anyone write about a player's personal life. It just wasn't done. He said Babe Ruth would have a hard time in the 1980's because reporters liked to dig up stuff to make a name for themselves.
    I don't think that's a recent change in media, at least not in the 22 years I've covered sports for newspapers.
Powered by Platform for Live Reporting, Events, and Social Engagement