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.

    Hello there, chatters. Thanks for joining this week. I'll be here for the next few hours to take your questions on all things Mizzou.
    Is Barry Odom essentially coaching for his job in the Tenn game? At a minimum the decision on BO has to be made the Sat or Sun after the Ark game?
    If Odom is coaching for his job Saturday that would mean a win at Arkansas and a 6-6 finish means he gets fired - and I don't believe that's necessarily the case. I've said this for years, but smart ADs just don't base these million-dollar decisions on the outcome of one game. What if Mizzou has major injuries in this game and they lose in double OT on a missed field goal that hits the uprights? That's still a loss ... just as losing 77-0 is a loss. But those two things aren't one and the same. Context is always important. And Jim Sterk is more thoughtful and this is too complex a decision than to just base everything on the outcome of one game.
    Mizzou hoops just announced that it will play in next year's Myrtle Beach Invitational in Conway, S.C. The event is next Nov. 19-22. Field includes Nebraska, Pittsburgh, Utah State, Dayton, Penn, Loyola-Chicago and Charlotte. Not a great field. Loyola made the Final Four a couple years ago and Utah State is nationally ranked this year but not the strongest group of high-major teams.
    Hello Dave! I've brought this up for a few years now but it's still an issue. Why is the basketball arena 1/2 full? They still insist on having alumni on the TV -facing side and it's always empty. I know you will say......it's a weekday, it's Moorhead St., it's the weather, it's non-conference........yada yada yada.......but it wasn't full at all the last few years even in SEC games or weekends. Maybe a few CRUCIAL games were mostly full but 90% of the time it is embarrassingly bad. Not sure about the student side though. It seems that it won't change but if most don't show up why can't they either move the benches and cameras to face the student side, or move the alumni? It seems that I remember that they moved the benches to the alumni side years ago because the opposing teams were getting berated when the Antlers were behind the bench. In any case it is a bad look. Mike Anderson used to implore fans to show up. It was an issue then too and they were winning 20+ games. Is it the arena? The parking?
    There has been a decent showing of students for the home games this year. But they sit behind the west basket.
    Simple answer: These aren't great, name-brand opponents and the hassle of getting to the arena on week nights isn't worth the payoff of seeing Mizzou play Morehead State and Wofford. That's the answer because that's the answer. Mizzou doesn't sell season tickets like it used to sell season tickets for obvious reasons: The product on the floor hasn't been as good. I'm bullish on this year's team, but the Mizzou fan approach is to invest in teams only after they've proven to be successful instead of investing in teams to be part of the building process.  
    Dave - If Odom wins out, do you see him staying at Mizzou as head coach but Jim Sterk wanting a new Offensive Coordinator? Thank You
    Sterk isn't the type of AD who will micromanage and tell his coach who to hire and fire. You pay Odom $3 million a year to make those decisions. If Odom believes that Dooley isn't getting the job done, he'll make that decision on his own.
    Dave - Do you think teams that bring in transfer quarterbacks for one year will have void in leadership at that position? Thank You
    It depends on the contingency plan. Oklahoma brought in Jalen Hurts, who appears to be one of the game's great leaders, and behind him they have a five-star freshman waiting in the wings. Every situation is different. It's the most important position on the field and the most important position in recruiting and roster-building. Failure to prepare is preparing to fail.
    Martin didn't seem all that concerned after the game.
    Dave - If Mizzou were to make a change at Head Coach, do you think it would have similar candidates as Arkansas to replace Chad Morris? Thank You
    Possibly, but Arkansas usually has more money to spend on coaches.
    Has anyone on theFB staff figured out why MU averaged 38 points in the first 5 games and have scored only 27 in the last 4 games? I know the first 5 were against relatively weaker teams, but isn’t that why they play a softer September schedule so that they be ready for the tougher SEC schedule when the SEC schedule starts?
    I know they have had a key injury to the defense and offense, but the last 4 games are just a total collapse and is not showing any improvement over the last couple of seasons.
    If they figured out the problem don't you think they'd have some success at fixing it? 
    You're right, the five-game homestand was full of much weaker teams than most of us thought going into the season. South Carolina, West Virginia and Ole Miss are all going to be 4-8. Even Troy is having a rare down year at 5-5. To some degree, what happened in those games was fools' good. Then you look at individual units and players have regressed. The O-line didn't improve. The receivers have struggled to make big plays. The running game is stuck in gear. Bryant had two injuries and hasn't developed as a passer as much as they would have liked. Add it up and you've got an offense in a major rut. Dooley was a first-year coordinator last season blessed with an NFL quarterback. He doesn't have that luxury this season and this team doesn't have a clear offensive identity or strength. Throw in a bunch of penalties that a bad offensive team can't afford, plus two games against elite defensive teams, Georgia and Florida, and you've got a pretty rotten situation. Or, as Dooley put it, football hell.
    Hey Dave! I’ve played and watch football at all levels for 50 years and I’m not sure I have ever seen 3 penalties called on the same play on the same team. As I see it, that play epitomizes the Tigers season. Illegal formation, holding and personal foul. As much as I like the progress Odom has made from the disastrous 2015 debacle, these penalties come down to coaching, especially on the offensive side of the ball. Should Odom stay, where do come down on Dooley’s chances to keep his job? Also, is Brad Davis still the Oline coach? If he is, he shouldn’t be, as I see the O line as the most disappointing component of this team. Thoughts?
  • This is too rich. Starting about last October up until six weeks ago, the most common question on this chat EVERY single week was about losing Dooley to a head-coaching job or a better coordinator position. Dooley's success left fans paralyzed in fear that he'd parlay his time at Mizzou into a better job. 
    Funny how quickly the tone can change. 
    As I wrote Monday, Odom is starting to make some pretty strong comments that point to his frustration with the offensive staff. You don't say, "We have enough players on offense" unless you're clearly disappointed with your offensive coaches. Then again, Odom is the one responsible for hiring Dooley. He had a devil of a time finding an OC to take this job, even with an NFL quarterback on the roster. Should Odom keep his job and look to make a change at coordinator, what kind of candidate pool will be out there? What proven play-caller is going to jump on this ship? Who's going to leave a good job to take that job?
    As for Davis, Odom has gone out of his way several times to call him the best offensive line coach in the country. He says it on his radio show every other week. Hard to justify that praise if you're going to jettison him. 
     
    IF the Vanderbilt game had come 2,3 weeks later in the season do you feel the season show a different record at this point? In other words did that loss so rock the locker room and perhaps the coaches that it explains the spiral ?
    I don't know. It hurts my brain to play the hypothetical game. I don't think the Vandy game caused anything other than bruised confidence, which was probably false confidence in the first place propped up by wins over teams that have proven to be worse than anyone thought. I'll always contend that the five-game homestand did more harm than good. This team probably got too comfortable and felt invincible coming off five wins over weak opponents, to the point they had no idea how to react when Derek Mason's team punched them in the mouth.
    Smart ADs don't base these million-dollar decisions on the outcome of just one game. They're based on multiple games like Vandy, Kentucky, no offensive TD's in 30 offensive possessions, etc. Until Mizzou acts as a competitive member of the SEC & not a doormat bloodbank & pays a proven winning coach accordingly, see 'Bama, LSU, Florida, etc -Mizzou will remain an unentertaining unwatchable losing mess.

    Under optimal conditions, who would be 3 suggestions for new Mizzou coach?
    You're making my point for me. Yes, smart ADs base their decision on the entire body of work and don't just walk into the stadium on Saturday and have it in their mind that the final score will decide the coach's fate. If Sterk goes into Saturday convinced that a Mizzou loss will compel him to fire his coach - even by one point in overtime - then he's already made the decision before the game starts.
    As for hiring a "proven winning coach accordingly" like Bama or Florida, where is this magic money tree that allows Mizzou to pay a head coach the same figure that Bama ($8.9 million) and Florida ($6 million) pay their head coaches? 
    I'm not naming coaching candidates when the current guy can still get to eight wins. It's mindless speculation. If you want to ask me about a certain coach and how he'd fit at Mizzou, I'd gladly answer. 
    Line play is crucial if you want success. The QB becomes much better, the receivers have time to get open. It all starts with the O line.
    Cuonzo seems to be changing his Tilmon backup plan by the game. Is that opponent related, practice related, some other intangible?

    I'd like to see more of Reed given that he played 1 minute and 3 points last night. At that rate we could've seen Chamberlain-level numbers out of the guy.
    Braun has much more upside, especially on the offensive end. If you've got a redshirt freshman than can benefit from playing in games like this over a center who's probably hit his ceiling, then you play the freshman. Martin loves Braun's potential, especially if he bulks up. He's the team's best shot-blocker. He's smart on both ends of the floor and has a good touch in the paint. Reed will get his minutes against bigger, more physical SEC teams when Tilmon goes to the bench, but in these games I like the approach to giving Braun chances to develop on the floor.
  • I see from Monday’s BB box score(not that I actually saw it with my eyes since most of November’s game have not been shown on the SEC network) that Tilmon made a 3 pointer. Why is he shooting 3 pointers to begin with. Shouldn’t he be going to the basket after setting his screen and looking for an easy dunk or going after the rebound of a missed shot? I understand they are playing lesser teams, but I hope the plan is not to have Tilmon putting up threes when they reach conference play.
    He works on that shot and can make it. It's not something that will become a staple of the offense, but he was coming up the court trailing the guards, was wide open and let it fly. What's the harm? He's got a good looking perimeter shot. Jontay Porter is an inch taller and nobody complained when he took up to seven 3s a game his freshman year.
    Hi Dave. 3-21 against winning teams. Why is this such a hard decision?
    No one said it's a good record.
    If the FB Tigers win 1 more game and the NCAA doesn’t rule on the bowl ban appeal, and since the Illini are also bowl eligible, could MIz and ILL play each other in a bowl game? Seems like a natural to me since they haven’t played in several years. By the way, I’m not all that confident that MU can win both of their last 2 games against TN and ARK. Both of the remaining games seemed like sure things a month ago. I hope the BB season goes a lot better than the last half of the FB season.
    Should Missouri get bowl eligible, the Belk Bowl or Music City Bowl would be logical landing spots. It would be one of the SEC's pool of six, which is those two games plus the Liberty Bowl (played there in 2018), Texas Bowl (played there in 2017), Outback Bowl and Gator Bowl. There is technically no pecking order for those six bowls, but I doubt Mizzou would be in the running for the two games in Florida. The Music City Bowl matches the SEC against the ACC or Big Ten. (If the Music City gets an ACC team, the Gator Bowl gets a Big Ten team, and vice versa). The Belk Bowl is SEC vs. ACC. So, yes, there's a chance for a Mizzou-Illinois matchup but only in Nashville.
    care to predict an over/under on number of butts in the seats Saturday night? I expect announced attendance to be over 40,000 but not 50,000, actual bodies to be far less, given that the students will be on break.
    That's probably a fair range. High 40s, low 50s.
    Since the BB Tigers are playing twice in KC next Monday and Tuesday, does that mean they will be more open to playing twice in St. Louis every other year - once in their traditional pre Christmas game with Iliinois and also once every othe year in a home and home series vs SLU? Now that Travis Ford is putting together a competitive team it seems to me that MU might benefit more in January by playing a one more competitive game than beating up on the Incarnate Words, Chicago Sts, or Charleston Southerns of the NCC world. Plus it gives MU recruits from St Louis a chance to play in front of their friends and family. MU would certainly draw more playing SLU than they did against Incarnare Word.
    This is a tournament in Kansas City that Mizzou plays in every few years. I wouldn't jump to any conclusions that it means Mizzou would be more likely to play SLU in St. Louis.
    If it ever happens that Mizzou and SLU would agree to a series, the Billikens would have to be willing to play a game in Columbia, too. I'm just not sure it's a real priortiy for Mizzou with scheduling right now. It's not like it's an age-old rivalry that Mizzou fans are dying to see played. We never hear these cries for a Mizzou-SLU game when both teams are struggling - and we especially never hear about it when just the Billikens are struggling, only when there's a competitive team in St. Louis. Personally, I'd be all for it. It would be a heck of a lot more interesting than games like Northern Kentucky or Incarnate Word, but I also understand why Mizzou would be hesitant. 
  • I thought Tilmon's defense looked particularly good the last two games, especially Wofford, and the HCCM clearly was using Braun strategically to spell Tilmon both games. I'm good with 3PTs, 1rebound, 1-3 minutes from Nikko at this point, unless Braun regresses
    It seems the head coach agrees.
    Looks like we got up so much so quick on Morehead that our shooters thought they could just hoist 3s, the game was effectively over.
    Martin noted that the way Morehead was going under ball screens that entices the player with the ball to launch a 3 because he's open. But those shots don't always come within the rhythm or framework of the offense, so he doesn't consider those quality shots, especially off the dribble. That happened a handful of times last night when Martin wanted to see players work the offense to find a better shot. They were fortunate to learn that lesson against a lesser opponent.
    So, based on last two games, it appears that the bench may be shortened, but may not necessarily be the same 9 or so every game?
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