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.

    Obviously his track record tells us he's not an elite coach - but he's a good coach who has his strengths, especially with Xs and Os. He's a respected offensive mind when it comes to building a system that gets the most of his players' talents on the offensive end. Interestingly, this past year's Tulsa team - possibly his second-best team in six years there - has been his best defensive team. We talked about that some a couple weeks ago. He now runs a matchup zone that shifts from man to zone on different parts of the floor depending on plays and matchups. His undoing at Mizzou came down to recruiting. He probably banked too hard on transfers, and while he landed three really productive transfers - Jordan Clarkson, Jabari Brown and, to a lesser degree, Earnest Ross - he also took chances on some guys that were either bad for the team on the floor or the program or both. Frank's problems at Mizzou stemmed from his departure from Miami and the NCAA case that exploded there - to the surprise of the folks who hired him at Mizzou. That caused some distrust and tension with Frank and his bosses and once the shine of that 30-win team wore off, relationships weren't always the healthiest within the department. 
    But in terms of just coaching the game, I think he sometimes gets a bad rep. His first Mizzou team is among the very best offensive teams in all of college basketball over the last 20 years. That's not hyperbole. 
    What's the best cup of coffee in Como?
    Well, for the last month it's come from the Ninja coffeemaker in my kitchen. Otherwise, I prefer to support the local places. Lakota is probably my preference. If I'm going chain coffee, I'm team Dunkin over team Starbucks.
    How is the football team going to install the offense without spring practice and possibly part of summer practice cancelled
    They're trying to make the most out of weekly position group meetings and team meetings, but if there's a season in 2020 they'll have to have some system of minicamps or summer workouts before the start of preseason camp. It's a major challenge for any first-year staffs or first-year coordinators who are installing new systems.
    I have also enjoyed your top 30 list. One thing that I find interesting is the “All-American” designation for different sports. For example, Karissa Schweizer was a dominant runner for two years and was named an All-American more than any other Mizzou athlete in history. In contrast, a couple of wrestlers were dominant over the entire duration of their college careers, winning dozens of matches and multiple championships, but with fewer All-American titles, although they were just as dominant in their specialties as Karissa. Can you comment on how this process works?
    There are major differences between athletes in sports like track and swimming where they can compete in multiple events in a given season. Schweizer and fellow track athletes can All-American honors in multiple events per season by finishing in the top eight in any event. For Schweizer, for example, the 3,000, the 5,000, the 10,000. A thrower can be an All-American in the shot put, the discus, the hammer throw. Also, remember, track athletes have indoor and outdoor seasons. Over a four-year career they have eight seasons to earn those accolades. For the long-distance runners, they have 12 seasons to earn All-American honors when you factor in cross country in the fall. 
    A wrestler, though, has to finish in the top eight in his weight class at the NCAA Championships to earn All-American status. 
    It looks like spring transfer free agency will be the new normal in college basketball. 2 questions:

    1) For a program like Mizzou basketball, on average, how many scholarships do we need to hold on to for the spring portal entrants vs high school recruits?

    2) Mid-majors have become a bit of a farm system for high majors. If the NCAA gets rid of 1-and-dones and removes the 1 year transfer penalty will that make Mid-tier high majors (Mizzou's of the world) the farm system for Duke/Kentucky/UNC/etc?
    Don't forget, that transfer door swings both ways. So I don't think coaches need to intentionally hold open spots for incoming transfers because odds are you're going to lose transfers, too. More than anything it just forces coaches to constantly manage their roster and constantly monitor the portal. If you get to the spring with open scholarships - and I can't imagine there are many schools with zero scholarship space by March/April - then you have to decide two things: (1) Do you need to fill all 13 scholarship spots? Some coaches are philosophically opposed to having 13 active scholarship players on the roster because it's impossible to keep them all happy. (2) Are the options on the transfer market more appealing than unsigned high school/junior college prospects? I think the best coaches stay flexible and adjust quickly. 
    For your second question, if all those scenarios unfold like that, then it'll  be a free-for-all for transfers. It'll be like a version of Transfer Natural Selection. The best mid-majors will be attractive to the middle tier of high-major teams and the best transfers from the mid-tier high-majors will be appealing for the cream of the high majors. That's not to say only Duke, UNC, Kansas, etc. will land the transfers from Georgia Tech, Minnesota and Mizzou. Some guys will want to get closer to home or reunite with former coaches/teammates. Some will just want more minutes somewhere else. But, yes, I would think there'll be some sense of tiers in the transactions. 
    Dave

    Thank you for the chat.

    How is Kim Anderson doing these days? Did he find success in DII? Does he have any type of a relationship with Mizzou?
  • Kim has been the head coach at Pittsburg State the last three years. He's gone 46-44. I'm sure there are a few folks at Mizzou he keeps in touch with, but he's not showing up in his black and gold to cheer the old alma mater after they fired him.
    Dave

    Thank you for writing; 00 Things Missouri Fans Should Know and Do Before They Die (
    And thank you for being so prominent, in not only reporting about Mizzou’s present , but also allowing us to reflect, celebrate, and be inspired with its past. I hope a couple more of those are coming.
    Thanks, Mike. Much appreciated.
    Dave, what’s the first sport that comes back? Looks like golf or NASCAR so far...which plays first, NHL or MLB? Hockey and NBA will probably come back at same time, seemed linked together on that.
    The PGA plans to return in June at Colonial. We'll see if that happens. Golf makes sense as a sport that could function in social distancing terms.
    No clue on the rest. I would think there's more incentive to finish the NBA and NHL seasons because of the financial stakes involved. 
    Hi, Dave. Thanks for your time!! A couple of things. The University of Arizona's president said last night that he's doubtful college football will return this fall. Are you hearing anything similar. And secondly - I know the fans in St. Louis want an NFL team back - but consider yourselves lucky that you haven't had to go through 3 months of sports talk radio that could only be called 'Wall-To-Wall All Day Mock Draft Coverage.'
    I'm cautious in putting too much stock in April comments on what will happen in September, but at this point, I put more stock in college presidents/chancellors than college coaches and ADs. The university leaders are likely in contact with the timeline decision-makers more so than the ball coaches and their immediate bosses. Nobody at Missouri is making any statements as bold as what we heard from the Arizona president, though UM president/Mizzou interim chancellor Mun Choi said in a letter to staff/students that he expects in-person classes this fall. Obviously those expectations are subject to change, but if schools can hold in-person classes, that should signal hope there can be sports this fall.
    Dave....Will you confirm or deny the remaining three on your Top 30 list are: Ben Askren, J'den Cox and Chase Daniel?
    Those three haven't shown up from No. 30 to No. 4. And I would think any list of the best Mizzou athletes from 1998-2020 should include those three. But I won't confirm or deny anything.
    Dave - Thanks for the chats and the top 30 series. Brad Smith famously was the first QB to pass for 8,000 and run for 4,000 and I've heard that referenced many times... but never heard who the other QBs since him have done this. Can you help answer who else has?
    Here's what I've found from SportsReference.com:
    Colin Kaepernick, Nevada: 10,098 passing yards/4,112 rushing yards
    Lamar Jackson, Louisville: 9,043 passing yards/4,132 rushing yards
    Here's the amazing thing about Jackson: He did in just three years. Kaepernick and Smith played four years. 
    A few more college QBs ran for 4,000 yards but came up short of 8,000 passing yards: West Virginia's Pat White, NIU's Jordan Lynch, Michigan's Denard Robinson, Navy's Keenan Reynolds.
    Dave - So if Mizzou is being considered by a top recruit, but they also have offers from Alabama, Auburn, Georgia and Florida, How would you finish this sentence if you were the Head Football Coach. "Come to Mizzou because----------". You have to give it all you got to persuade him. Thanks
  • I struggle with these questions because I've never been in position to make this sales pitch. Right now, other than pushing proximity if you're recruiting local players from within the state, Mizzou's main sales pitch over those more established programs is recruits can be on the ground-floor of the program build. Not that Mizzou is in such terrible shape that the program faces a massive rebuild. (Drinkwitz inherited a better situation than Larry Smith and Gary Pinkel but probably not as good as Barry Odom inherited in terms of roster talent.) At a place like Mizzou, if you win 10 games or even get the program to the conference championship game, then you can go down as an all-time icon. That says more about the standard and expectation level at those programs compared to Mizzou, but that's the reality.
    Dave,

    Like a lot of people I think you did a fantastic job with the top 30. I even got a subscription to the P-D because of you. How many hours did you spend compiling the list and writing the articles?
    I spent a couple days putting together the list and revising it. Several hours for each story. Some more than others. I tried to get fresh interviews with as many of the people on the list as possible. Unfortunately played endless phone/text/email tag with a few and never connected by deadline. Justin Smith had no interest in an interview, which is usually the case for him. Others were eager to talk. Sophie, Brad Smith, Marcus Denmon, Maclin, Coffman ... and each of the top three. Glad you enjoyed. Stay tuned.
    Ok, chatters. That's it for today. One more chat next week before I disappear from your lives for a week. Be on the lookout for the final three installments of the Best of Mizzou series Friday, Saturday and Sunday.
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