Greetings, chatters. Welcome to our favorite two hours of the week. I'll take your questions on all things Mizzou for the next couple hours.
Yes, if the final ruling of the appeal has not been announced by the time bowl pairings are announced on Dec. 8, then a Missouri team with six wins will be eligible for a bowl game. Actually, if the ruling isn't announced by that Friday, Dec. 6, then the Tigers will be eligible. The NCAA doesn't put out rulings on weekends, so that Friday would be the final day to uphold the ban for the 2019 postseason.
They've got to cut down on the turnovers, but that's been the case since the start of last season. I'm afraid the Tilmon factor is going to be a factor as long as he's part of this team. The foul issues are always going to be an issue, for a multitude of reasons. If he's on the floor for 25 minutes or more, it's a win - not necessarily a win on the scoreboard but a positive for the team. This team has the makings of an elite defensive team, which is what Martin values most. They're tough. They'll play hard from the opening tip to the final buzzer. They will hound teams on the defensive end. They've got good size on the perimeter to make life difficult for opponents. Do they have enough skill on offense? Can they maximize possessions and play more efficiently on offense? If so, this can be a pretty good team.
It's fair to be frustrated that Mizzou struck out on so many local targets, but this was never going to be a huge class. Remember, there's only one senior on the roster in Reed Nikko, so as long as the staff wants to keep all the freshmen, sophomores and juniors on the roster for 2020-21, there was only going to be room for one addition. Now, there's a chance this could be Tilmon's final college season. Roster turnover with some younger players is always possible. If you have another target you know you can sign, you can find roster space somehow, some way. I would expect Missouri to be in the market for more additions in the spring signing period.
The high ball screens might need to be re-evaluated. At the same time, Martin usually blames the guard on those plays because the guard with the ball controls that play and sometimes is too slow to get around the screen and causes the screener to move while he's trying to set the screen. That said, if those kind of fouls keep up, at some point you have to assess what you're doing and decide if it's setting Tilmon up for failure.
It seems you're only talking about the offense, because the defense was up for the Georgia game. That was one of the rare games that UGA's offensive line didn't control the line of scrimmage. Missouri did a nice job bottling up the run more often than not, and more impressive was the pass defense. That was the worst single-game completion percentage of Fromm's career. Mizzou played a big role in that with the rush and the coverage. So, half the team is still competing hard and making crucial plays. The offense has been pretty lifeless. Georgia might have the best defense in the country and MU was woefully undermanned at quarterback and also didn't have its leading receiver. That's no excuse for being completely dysfunctional offensively, but I look at everything with context.
I was impressed with Bazelak in camp ... but he had his share of freshman moments in live drills. He's got the raw goods. A strong arm and delivery. He's comfortable in the pocket. He's got a real low-key demeanor, probably won't get too ruffled. So, yes, I agree on his future. I wouldn't count him out as a future starter. But I don't agree with the Twitter knee-jerk reaction that he should supplant a healthy Bryant as the starter for the next three games. But should Bryant have a setback or really struggle to move the ball, I wouldn't hesitate to put Bazelak in the game over Powell.
It's not like Pinson isn't playing a lot already. He's played 50 minutes the last two games. Pickett has played 54. Remember, offense is only half the game. Pickett can defend multiple positions. He's matched against bigger guards and small forwards. Pinson's not going to be able to guard a small forward. Watson has struggled offensively. I'm not sure he needs more minutes at this point. Either way, Pickett is going to play 25-30 minutes most nights because he brings value as a defender and can add some scoring occasionally. He's not someone who can carry you offensively for a night, but don't forget, it was Pickett in each of first two games (UCM, Incarnate Word) who ignited the spark that got Mizzou to pull away in both games.
Missouri doesn't have an opening, so hard to compare situations. Rutgers and Florida State also have openings. USC could be open. Maybe Vandy. Maybe South Carolina, but Muschamp has a massive buyout.
I think that's an overgeneralization on their roles. Brown has done a little bit of everything when he's on the floor. Martin wants these guys to take open 3s if they're within the structure of the offense. Brown has made a few big shots.
Technically, no. Reed Nikko is the only senior.
I don't think he ever had a first-round grade. He certainly didn't after last season when he got an evaluation from the NFL ... otherwise he would have entered the 2019 draft. I suspect he'll want to leave, but there's no way he's helped his stock this season. He's not much of a blocker. He's dropped a lot of passes. He doesn't get open. He's a non-factor outside of the red zone. I wouldn't be surprised if he's a mid-round or late-round pick, but he's not playing like an NFL tight end this year.
The 2015 line really struggled ... and had two current NFL starters in Boehm and McGovern. I'm surprised this line has struggled as much as it has, but that's what happens when returning starters don't improve and new starters aren't as good as the players they replaced, which is true for one of the two new starters.
No idea what he's thinking. For one, he hasn't talked to the media in almost a month, which is disappointing because he's a starter, a captain and a thoughtful guy who normally has good insight. Also, I don't know what kind of evaluation he'd get. The NFL draft advisory committee gives underclassmen one of three grades: 1st round, 2nd round, go back to school. I can't imagine Rountree is a first- or second-rounder. Running back is not a highly valued position in the NFL and he's not close to one of the best in the country at that position. He's not that much better than Damarea Crockett - who wasn't drafted and didn't make anyone's 53-man roster.
I understand that frustration. It bothers Martin, too. But you're right. Ultimately it's up to Tilmon to adjust the way he plays. The officials aren't going to change. He's so strong and physical that when he makes contact it looks different than a big man who's not as strong and physical. I'm not sure how that resolves itself.
Fined why? There's no honesty policy in college football or the SEC when it comes to injuries. As a reporter I'd obviously prefer coaches be transparent and honest, but Odom doesn't have any incentive to announce on Wednesday, Thursday or Friday that Powell is starting. Powell said they told him he was starting on Wednesday. Odom has since said they told Powell to be ready to start on Wednesday. Either way, they needed Powell to know there was a good chance early in the week that he very well might start. Maybe if Bryant looked ready by Friday they could have still started him. Bottom line, Mizzou had few, if any, advantages in this matchup. No sense in giving Kirby Smart multiple days to know the dual-threat senior QB wasn't playing.
It was awful. Obviously the Georgia safety flopped, but he was the SECOND defender that Scott shoved after the whistle. It was especially bad considering a play earlier Scott didn't make much of an effort to catch Powell's deep ball down the sideline. I believe it's OK to leave your feet to catch a ball.