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.

    Hello, chatters. Welcome to this week's Mizzou conversation. I'll  be here for the next couple hours to talk all things Mizzou or whatever else comes up during the chat. Just a note: There will be no chat next week while I go off the grid for the first of my two week-long furloughs. Look for a couple Mizzou stories in the meantime, starting Friday. Now, let's get to your questions ...
    I know you don't typically do recruiting predictions, but say Mizzou lands all three targets at ESL. How big would that be for the program and Drink in his first year?
    It would be a big statement for a number of reasons ... 
    1. Mizzou needs playmakers for this offense. There are three scholarship WR additions joining the team this season but one of them is a grad transfer good for only one year. 
    2. We all know the sporadic recruiting relationship Mizzou has had with East St. Louis over the last decade-plus. Signing three of the core players from one of the region's elite programs would be a huge win for Mizzou and Drinkwitz's credibility.
    3. If Tyler Macon is indeed the future franchise quarterback, who better to have as his targets than his two best high school targets. Check out Lovett's numbers from his junior year: 73 catches for 1,541 yards and 18 touchdowns. Lewis was a great No. 2 option with 39 catches for 829 yards and 10 scores. 
    Dave

    Thank you for the chat!

    So, according to your twitter, no NCAA basketball or Football video games, coming back? What about the talk that congress might intervene with the image, likeness staff, and forcing all states and the NCAA to have one policy in place, will that bring the games back? And do you know if either of those games was profitable? I also know there was a baseball college game at one time, but I don’t know if that was profitable?
    I found it a little amusing that the No. 1 response from sports fans by the NCAA ruling wasn't about the athletes (finally) getting the chance to profit off their name, image and likeness but the disappointment that this doesn't clear a path for a video game. Here's why a video game featuring college players isn't possible: College football players can earn money by third-party endorsements, but there's no system for them to profit collectively. There's no college athlete union and no mechanism for the athletes to negotiate as a collective unit. That's something the schools have always resisted. Because if the athletes can unionize, then they're employees, not students. And that's the last thing the schools want.
    Major news for Mizzou recruiting: Lutheran North four-star defensive end Travion Ford just committed to the Tigers. That's seven commitments for MU's 2021 class and five from the St. Louis region.
    I loved your series on the top 30 athletes during your time covering Mizzou. I wondered what your reasoning was for not including Blaine Gabbert in the group.
    Simply put, I didn't think he was good enough or had a good enough career at Mizzou as a two-year starter. He had one huge win against Oklahoma and was the QB during a very good 10-win team. Otherwise, he never earned All-Big 12 honors, never won the division and went 0-2 in bowls. I would have ranked James Franklin ahead of Gabbert (won two divisions, 2-0 in bowls) and didn't have room for Franklin either.
  • Good morning Dave& hope all is well your way. Question about this new pg from Hawaii that Mizzou signed: it seems to me MU was pretty deep at that position already with Smith & Pinson sharing the duties. So by signing this kid, is it possibly an indication that Cuonzo & the coaching staff think there's a very good chance that Pinson might be moving on regardless of whether he gets drafted in the NBA or not? Goodness, I sure hope not but otherwise can't understand why they would sign another pg. Also this kid Buggs certainly doesn't sound like he's the answer to the team's 3-point shooting woes--I saw he shot under 30% at Hawaii. Sigh. 😫
    A couple thoughts on Buggs. 
    1. There's no guarantee Pinson comes back. Whether or not Pinson is back this team still could use a third ball-handler. This team was better last year when Pinson played the point and Dru Smith played off the ball. Both get in foul trouble often. They can't be on the floor forever. Buggs is a third playmaker for the backcourt - or a second if Pinson sticks in the draft. 
    2. Buggs isn't a 3-point shooter. But Dru Smith was a great 3-point shooter until he took on more of the ball-handling duties last year. Maybe with Smith playing off the ball more and he'll be in better situations to shoot from the perimeter. Buggs, as a primary pass-first point guard, that could help bring out what was an elite skill for Smith before he got to Mizzou. That goes for Mark Smith and Torrence Watson, too. Having a pure point guard looking for them on the perimeter could help stretch the floor and get them better looks from deep.
     
    Dave

    Just an observation:

    I think that even those ( the readers) who disagree with you on some things, know that without you , we will know less and understand less of what is happening in Mizzou’s athletics.

    Thank you for your work!
    Thanks for the note. Sports wouldn't be fun if we didn't have different opinions on different topics.
    Dave, hi! The following is a fun shelter-in-place “what if” Mizzou football Q & A game I played with my son. During the tenure of each of the starting QB’s (dating back to Brad Smith), if you could change one Regular season game from a loss to a win, which game & why? Going with regular season because post-season is too obvious. Criteria for the “why” would be improved legacy for QB, improved program stature, and/or changed course of that particular season. So, which one regular season game for each QB’s tenure (Bryant: 2019, Lock: 2015-18, Mauk: 2013-15, Franklin: 2011-13, Gabbert: 2009-10, Daniel: 2006-08, Smith: 2002-05) would go from a loss to a win & why? Love to know your thoughts.
    Fun game ... 
    Bryant, 2019: Vanderbilt. Who knows if that's enough to stop the slide that started in Nashville but maybe it's a different season.
    Lock, 2018: Kentucky. If Missouri wins that game, maybe they're 8-4 heading into the bowl game with a chance to play in a better game than the Liberty and send off Lock with a more fulfilling legacy.
    Mauk, 2014: Indiana. The Tigers still won the East but might have been a better bowl candidate were it not for that ugly loss to the Hoosiers.
    Franklin, 2013: He didn't play in the South Carolina game - that was Mauk - but during Franklin's era, that's the one game you'd like to turn around. Runner-up would be 2012 Syracuse. Win that game and the 2012 team goes to a bowl. 
    Gabbert, 2010: Texas Tech. Just a really ugly game for Mizzou. They were coming off a loss at Nebraska the previous week and let it turn into two losses. Win that game in Lubbock and you've got a chance to win the division and finish with 12 wins.
    Daniel, 2008: Kansas. That season was a bit of a bummer, but losing to KU in Kansas City was especially deflating
    Smith, 2004: Oklahoma State. Hold on and win that game in Stillwater and maybe you prevent the slide that led to a losing season.
    Does the addition of Ed Chang and Mr. Buggs put Cuonzo’s program farther along the road to the next possible NCAA tournament? Thanks, Dave, and stay well.
    As long as the three NBA draft guys come back - no guarantee - then Martin is essentially swapping in Chang and Buggs for Jackson and McKinney. Maybe long-term Jackson and McKinney become better players, but that's an unequivocal upgrade right now. Buggs is a legit D-I point guard. Chang wasn't productive enough at San Diego State to carve out a role - on a team much better than Mizzou - but he's 6-8 and can shoot 3s. That could play in a reserve role. 
    Now does that mean a sub-.500 team is going to make the NCAA Tournament in 2021? Not without major strides from Mizzou's returning players. The Tigers will need more from the Smiths, Pinson, Tilmon, Watson ... everyone, basically. Is the returning core talented enough to push 20 wins and get Mizzou into the postseason? Staying healthy is critical, but even at full strength, is there enough there to reach the NCAAs? I'm not sure. I thought so going into last season but less convinced now. Multiple players are going to have to put together their best seasons. 
    Dave

    Thank you for the chat.

    Your personal rank of the five best college towns.
    I haven't been to every college town, but I'll just do an SEC version. I'll leave out Columbia, Mo., because it's home and I'm biased. (Also, I don't count Nashville. Great city, but not a college town in the traditional sense.)
    1. Athens, Ga. 
    2. Tuscaloosa, Ala.
    3. Lexington, Ky.
    4. Knoxville, Tenn.
    5. Oxford, Miss.
    In the Big 12, I enjoyed trips to Boulder, Colo., and Lincoln, Neb., more than any other place. I've been to a few Pac-12 towns and about half the Big Ten towns. Morgantown, WVa., is charming in its own unique way. I haven't been in 20 years, but I loved Madison, Wis., when I visited there. 
    Has the hoops team inquired into hiring a shaman or medicine man so that their best player doesn't get immediately hurt for the fourth year in a row?
    Not to my knowledge. Maybe not an bad idea.
    Loved the review of your top 30. Since we're all still staying at home how about writing about the next 30? Ha!!
    That's not in the plans, but here are some of the athletes I had on my master list who didn't make the cut for the top 30:
    James Franklin
    Kim English
    Michael Sam
    William Moore
    Jeff Wolfert
    Justin Britt
    Clarence Gilbert
    Keyon Dooling
    Rickey Paulding
    JT Tiller
    Amanda Lassiter
    Kyle Gibson
    Jayce Tingler
    Aaron Senne
    Rhea Taylor
    Kearston Peoples (track)
    Peter Malnati & Jace Long (golfers)
    Michael Chadwick & Dominique Bouchard (swimmers)
    Following up on the 2 points you made about the Buggs signing - Do you know if the signing of Buggs suggests that Martin sees Pinson leaving as a likelihood?

    As you pointed out "Buggs is a third playmaker for the backcourt - or a second if Pinson sticks in the draft."

    Why would a grad transfer leave a starting position in hawaii to play as the 2nd or 3rd guy off the bench? Is it because Martin already knows he will be the 2nd option?
    I talked to Buggs about his decision over the weekend. (Story coming TBA). He wanted to play for a team that gives him a better chance to have a winning season and be surrounded by better players. Some grad transfers leave their school so they can expand their role. Some leave because they want to win more games. Buggs appears to be in the latter category.
    Buggs talked about playing with Dru Smith AND Pinson at Mizzou - while at the same time acknowledging nothing is certain with Pinson. But he definitely left the impression that Pinson could be part of the backcourt equation. 
    So now that Ford is in the fold, if they get the ESL guys could this class end top 25?
    Maybe, but these things don't happen in a vacuum. Rankings depend on how other teams recruit, too. With Ford in the mix, Mizzou's class ranks No. 27 by both Rivals and 247Sports. It's still incredibly early to put much stock in these rankings. Below MU you'll find a lot of teams that traditionally have top 20 classes: Auburn, Missisippi State, Florida State, Nebraska, Oklahoma and ... a certain team from Tuscaloosa that has only three commitments right now. A lot will change. 
    Mizzou has done a great job of building momentum and collecting early commitments. But a class of three stars won't get you in the top 25. You need the four- and five-star recruits to make a splash in the rankings. Ford helps. Lovett from East St. Louis would obviously help, too. 
  • Hi Dave. I am feeling a little more optimistic that college football with fans in the stands happens whether it be on time or later. So what is your way too early look at the upcoming football season including where the Tigers end up in the SEC East. Thanks
    If I had to fill out my preseason SEC ballot right now in the East Division, I'd probably go with ... 
    1. Florida
    2. Georgia
    3. Tennessee
    4. Kentucky
    5. Missouri
    6. South Carolina
    7. Vanderbilt
    Without a proven QB for Mizzou, it's hard to put the Tigers any higher than fifth, in my opinion. Too many questions with a first-year staff when you're up against two playoff contenders at the top (Gators, Dawgs), a much-improved Tennessee team that returns talent to Knoxville and a Kentucky program that I've learned to stop overlooking each offseason. Stoops lost some great defensive players last year and had a wide receiver playing QB and still won eight games. 
    Mizzou should have the talent and the schedule to win six or seven games and maybe surprise the top half of the division if Drinkwitz's offense clicks and the defense builds on last year's progress. 
    Hi, Dave! Thanks for your time and insight. I'd like to hear your take on the following. I've always felt it 'unfair' or 'unfortunate' that Chase Daniel never really got a shot to be a starting quarterback in the NFL. I get not being able to unseat Drew Brees - but he goes to the Eagles and they draft Wentz, then same situation in Chicago with Trubisky. How do you think he'd have fared as a starting NFL quarterback for a decent team?
    I don't know if unfair is the right word, but I think some teams might have regretted not giving him more chances to be their starter. But these days, it's hard to overcome the stigma of being labeled a career backup when you've had a long career and that's all you've been, a backup. Jeremy Maclin made that point in the Daniel story that published Sunday. He really thought Chase might get to start in Philly in 2016 when Wentz was drafted. Instead, the Eagles gave Wentz the job as a rookie.
    Here's the real fascinating thing about Daniel's career: He's the victim of bad timing on two fronts. 
    1. In 2009, 6-foot was considered way too short to play QB in the NFL. Russell Wilson helped change that. Baker Mayfield, too. Now you've got 5-9 Kyler Murray getting drafted first overall. Had Daniel played in college in 2005-2018 instead of 2005-2008, he's probably a first-round pick. 
    2. Early in his career, before he was established as a roster commodity, teams were less willing to thrust young QBs into starting roles. Now in 2020, it's sink or swim for first-round picks. A decade ago, if Chase were a 10-year veteran from the Andy Reid tree, he'd have a chance to start for someone while they maybe groomed a first-round draft pick. Teams aren't that patient any more.
    But, all that being said, he won't complain about the life he's got. Lots of money, very little physical wear and tear. 

    Dave

    Since Odom was relieved of his position , did you have any type of exchange with him?
    I have not. I reached out to him a couple times after the last game but never heard back. There was a perception among some fans that he and I had a tight relationship. We got along well enough when he coached at Missouri - had a few disagreements over the years - but it wasn't always super chummy. I imagine we'll cross paths, maybe for a story in the paper. Who knows.
  • Any idea how football season tickets are going?
  • Mizzou hasn't shared any recent numbers. I know they sold quite a few after the coaching change, but I suspect with so much uncertainty about the season there's been a pause on sales.
    Dave

    Did you have a chance to watch the last season, and as a sports journalist do you think that even though Krause has a huge ego, he is being treated unfairly in the doc, without the chance to respond?
  • "The Last Dance," I presume? Yes, we've watched every minute. It's the most my kids have been interested in pro sports, maybe ever. 
    Watching it in real-time the Krause treatment did seem a little over the top, but that's how those players (and eventually the head coach) felt about the GM at the time. And clearly still do. It's unfortunate that he couldn't defend himself, but more than anything, I thought the owner should be held accountable more. But Reinsdorf seemed to pass the buck, too, and blame Krause. 
  • Were stipo/sundvold gone before you were at mizzou?
    Yes. Their last season was 1983. I was five years old.
    Dave, looking back at what Chase did I agree he should be number one on the list. If you think about it, if 2007 doesn't happen then maybe Gabbert doesn't come to Mizzou. Maybe Aldon Smith doesn't come. If they don't come maybe Mizzou doesn't have continued success in the coming years.

    Thoughts? I just feel like that without what Chase and the team did in 2007, there maybe isn't a 2013 or even 2014 season. Hell, the SEC maybe wouldn't have wanted Mizzou. Chase was a starting point for great things to come.
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