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.

    Greetings, chatters. We've got a couple hours here to talk all things Mizzou. Let's get started.
    3 parter:

    Do you have any news on Jontay getting a professional contract anywhere?

    If he isn't with a pro team (NBA or elsewhere) by the end of the season, how does that impact Mizzou's APR as he wouldn't meet one of the two exceptions cases?

    If he signs with a team next season or the following, can the APR be retroactively adjusted?

    Just curious in general how APR works in unique cases like this.
    Jontay is living in Denver with his brother and sister and isn't playing basketball professionally. Maybe he'll get some offers in the offseason if he's fully recovered and in shape. As long as he was in good academic standing when he left Mizzou - and there's no indication he was in bad academic standing - it shouldn't negatively affect the APR. Kentucky loses freshmen and sophomores to the NBA draft all the time and maintains a perfect APR. The APR grade doesn't change if the player who left school early does or doesn't make an NBA roster.
    While I think he is a very good coach, is Martin's job in jeopardy due to record and lousy attendance at games.
    I figured we'd get this question a lot - even though it comes up every week and I give the same answer every week:
    Missouri cannot fire Martin without cause until after the 2020-21 season. He's protected through the first four seasons of his deal by virtue of winning 20 games and making the NCAA Tournament his first year at MU. That's how atrocious this job and program were viewed when there was an opening the last time: Martin was able to negotiate a protection clause that guaranteed he couldn't be fired until after year four as long as one of his first four teams wins 20 games and/or makes the NCAAs. 
    (He could be fired "for cause" at any point during his contract, but that would require NCAA violations, illegal activity, etc.)
    After next season, Missouri would owe Martin a buyout of $6 million if it wanted to fire him. That's a lot of money. 
    In other words, he's not getting fired after this season. Even without the protection clause, I don't think he would get fired anyway. He's going to get more time than Kim Anderson to revive this program. 
     
    What is the window for the next signing period?
    For what sport? For football, the signing date is Feb. 5 and they can continue to sign through April 1. 
    For basketball, they can sign from April 15 to May 20. 
    Coach Martin didn’t fare well when he was “miked” up during the Tennessee game, lots of short incoherent phrases?
    How does one fare well or poorly when miked up? Were there judges judging his oratory skills?
  • Does the Tilmon injury make it more likely he'll be back next year or will he still have plenty of overseas opportunities?
    No idea. I would think a player in his position would want to have one great year at this level before jumping into the pros, but I'm not coming from his financial situation. He might decide he wants to start earning money immediately no matter the situation.
    Good morning, Dave.

    Hypothetically, of course, if St. Louis University's MBB team instead of Florida's showed up at Mizzou Arena Saturday ---- who wins?

    Also, is Tilmon's season finished due to the fractured foot?

    Thank you.
    SLU's a decent defensive team, middling offensive team. Not much size but very good on the offensive glass.
    If you look at the advanced metrics, Missouri is marginally better team offensively and across-the-board better defensively. 
    SLU's a better 3-point shooting team. Missouri is better inside the arc and much better at the foul line.
    Missouri is better defensively by every measure and has also played a much stronger schedule, according to the metrics. 
    Overall, MU is No. 56 at KenPom and SLU is 99. At the NET rankings, MU is 72 and SLU is 66.
    So I think it would be a fairly even game. I'd give Missouri a much better shot against SLU than Florida. 
     
    As for Tilmon, all the team has said is that he's out indefinitely. No plans for surgery as far as what I've been told. I would think he'll have a chance to come back this season. 
    What does the baseball team look like this year? Football was disappointing, both basketball teams are going down that path, so what do we have forward to look for in the spring?
    Well, for one, no postseason. Don't forget, the baseball team (and softball team) can't play in the SEC tournament or the NCAA tournament. There are high hopes for Bieser's pitching staff. I'm not as sure about the lineup, but his teams have historically gotten better each year at the plate. I'll write about them closer to the start of the season.
    8500 fans at the Mizzou SEC opener. I don't think it's even been that bad for a home SEC opener. What is the problem? Record was 8-5 which is ok. Weather fine. School in session. Game was against Tennessee which is a good team (not Vanderbilt).
    Classes are NOT in session. The semester doesn't begin until Jan. 21, so that explains why there weren't many students at the game. 
    There's just not much excitement around this team or when it comes to seeing SEC basketball. This is nothing new. When you lose to Charleston Southern, the bandwagon is going to get light. Granted, Missouri scored a nice win in St. Louis over Illinois, but even then Illinois had considerably more fans - and that game is more of an event than a Tuesday night 6 p.m. regular-season game in January. 
    And don't knock Vandy. They almost knocked off Auburn on the road last night. They're going to win some games in the SEC this year. Stackhouse has some talent on that roster. They might be better than Tennessee - and Missouri. 
    With the recent UGA defections to the NFL, does that open up the SEC East division race or does GA have enough reserves to stay at the top? Does HCED have enough experience to compete for the division title or will the reduction in recruits mandated by the NCAA limit MU to settle for their usual 6-6 record?
  • Missouri isn't winning the East next year. My guess is Florida will be the heavy favorite. The Gators keep getting better and have more continuity at quarterback. Georgia might fall back a bit - but still probably has the talent to win nine or 10 games. The NCAA sanctions aren't going to be the reason Missouri doesn't win the East in 2020. He'll have 81 scholarships instead of 85. It's not like all 85 ever see the field or play significant roles. I think Missouri will be competitive in 2020. Seven wins isn't out of the question. Maybe eight. But too many question marks at this point to reasonably expect more than that.
  • Do you think it is likely that the OLine coaching hire delay is due to : A) Can't find Anyone B) The new coach is still actively coaching somewhere (playoffs). C) needs bigger budget D) Other
  • I'm not sure but I'm told today Mizzou is down to two candidates. Might have a hire by tomorrow at the earliest.
  • Any buzz yet from in state HS Football coaches and any connections that the staff may be making?. I know it is very early, but social media feedback from those involved travels fast.
    I quoted several high school coaches shortly after the hire was made and shared their early impressions. It's still an NCAA dead period until Jan. 16, which means no in-person contact with recruits until Jan. 17, the start of the next contact period, which runs until Feb. 1.
    Isn't Martin's contract equally obstructive to other schools who would potentially be looking to poach him (unlikely a concern at present)? I forget the specifics, but I seem to remember that it was more or less a 5 year commitment on both sides.
    He would be free to leave for another job, but it wouldn't make a lot of sense unless another school is going to pay him more than he's making now. If he leaves before April 30, he owes Mizzou $5 million. That goes down to $3 million next year.
    Missouri had the biggest % attendance drop out of any power 5 team last year: 15,061 in 2018 down 32% to 10,253 in 2019. I bet the average attendance this season is way lower than that 10,253. Are ticket prices way up the last 2 years? Did they jack the prices up when MPJ was on board and never lowered them after he got injured and/or left?
    Don't get too caught up in those numbers because they're sometimes fudged. Mizzou sold out of season tickets in Martin's first season, so the attendance was always listed at 15,061, which is capacity - even though the arena was only rarely at capacity. Even though Mizzou won 20 games and made the NCAA tourney, ticket sales dropped, probably because some of those purchases were more about seeing Michael Porter Jr's name on the back of the jersey instead of the name on the front of the jersey. I'm not sure of prices off the top of my head but they have not gone up the last two years as far as I know.
    He means that Martin didn't sound very motivating or connected to the players. I noticed that too
    I wouldn't read too much into what you hear on TV during those mic'ed up segments. There's a person who's listening to the mic and deciding which segments to air on TV. That person works for MU, so they're not going to broadcast anything that's remotely harsh ... or interesting.
  • After staying with Tennessee for most of the game Tuesday night and looking like they had a 50-50 chance to prevail, I was disappointed to see the Tigers fall flat on their faces the last 5 minutes of the game and lose to the Volunteers similar to last year ‘s home game vs LSU. I was satisfied with their effort for the most part, but there is going to have to be a time when they start defending their home court and using it to their advantage instead of rolling over once again at the end of the game. The time to do it is Saturday vs another quality team, Florida. I was hoping the Tigers effort in St. Louis vs the Illini would spur them on to better times when the conference season started. Vanderbilt who was the only team below MU in the SEC preaseason lost at Auburn by only 4 points. That gives the sinking feeling that MU might end up 14th if the Tigers can’t defend their home court.
    Forget about that SEC preseason poll. Vandy is much better than Texas A&M and South Carolina. 
    Tuesday's game was a major disappointment. That was MU's most winnable game among its first five in the SEC. I would not be shocked if MU loses Saturday and gets swept on the road next week in Starkville and Tuscaloosa. I still think Martin has the pieces to have a decent team that's capable of beating some quality opponents. But they need to unlock this offense. Dru Smith needs to stay on the floor. He's far to valuable to be fouling out with five minutes left. MU crumbled when he fouled out the other night - and the Vols pounced. The Tigers went away from their strengths and allowed too many open 3s on the wing and lost all poise on offense. 
    It seems like how and where Mizzou markets its sports programs gets brought up a lot online. I listen to local STL sports radio and podcast off-and-on throughout the day and have always enjoyed when you are brought on the show(s). The problem is (for me) that there is very limited Mizzou coverage outside of that. IF there is any Mizzou coverage, it's usually brief or negative. For comparison, Travis Ford is on multiple radio shows, podcast and local news throughout the week marketing his program. It seems to work as SLU BB/Travis Ford are brought up a lot and in a positive light.

    It might already be happening in other markets like KC or Columbia, but do you ever see Mizzou making a push to get their coaches and others on local media more often (radio, podcast, tv, etc.)? It seems to me that they are missing a big opportunity here to market to a large number of alumni and potential fans.

    On your side of things for curiosity.. Do you like being on the shows? Are you/others paid for your time or is promotion/marketing of your name/brand? How does one typically reach out to get you booked? Thanks for all your work!
    I hate to sound selfish here, but my only concern is my coverage at the Post-Dispatch and at STLtoday.com. Mizzou gives me pretty good access during the season - it helps that I live in Columbia - and maybe some of the STL outlets would get better access if they headed west on I-70 every once in a while. 
    As for local radio, I had a paid deal at a local station for a few years but that's no longer the case. The best producers usually request a radio hit at least 24 hours in advance. If the time is convenient for me, I don't mind going on the air with a host I know and respect, but I rarely agree to something if I'm asked at the last minute. 
    Do you think the receivers drop less passes this year not having to catch any Drew Lock fastballs? Who do think leads the corps?
    I'm confused here. Drew Lock was a Denver Bronco this past season, not a Missouri Tiger.
    Since the start of the Tilmon injury (Illinois or so), Reed "Mr Consistent" Nikko has been reasonably productive in a starting role for a player of his athletic ability. In your opinion, will he need to increase production to stay in the starting lineup or is he a stopgap until Cuonzo can get Jackson or Braun up to speed and let Mitchell slide over to the 5?
    Nikko is the center for now. Maybe Mitchell Smith can slide over and play the five and let Jackson or Braun start, but I'm not sure that's happening any time soon. Nikko is usually in the right place at the right time but he's got a low ceiling offensively. He's only good for a put-back or a dunk off a screen. He can't create his own shot or shoot beyond the shadow of the rim.
    Good day Dave. Geez, I want Cuonzo to succeed. But he's whiffed on Fletcher, Love and Liddell, and now can't seem to get these guys to again overcome a key injury, unlike Tennessee, for example, who beat MU on our court, despite missing Turner and committing 21 turnovers. Also, for players with a rep as deadeye marksmen, when are Watson and even Mark Smith for that matter, going to show consistency in scoring? This team drives me mad!
  • Smith and Watson are 3-point specialists who have been far from special against high-major competition. This offense doesn't have much of a chance if neither one of those guys can hit a few shots from deep. They're both limited athletically and just don't seem interested in putting the ball on the deck and driving to the rim. In 14 games Watson has attempted only 12 shots inside the 3-point arc and only eight free throws. 
    As for recruiting, yeah, it's fair to criticize Martin for missing on so many local targets. He did a nice job landing talent early, especially local talent. But all that momentum is long gone. It's hard to figure out what they're doing on the recruiting trail. The last two players to sign are both 7-footers that didn't have much interest from anyone else. 
    Hi, Mr. Matter. Enjoy your outstanding coverage of Mizzou sports. Will Martin ever recruit a player who can actually shoot? Watching this team shoot 3-pointers is almost embarrassing. And, will Tillmon ever reach his potential at Mizzou? I know he's injured now, but his nickname should be "Ghost" because even when healthy you rarely see him on the court bdue to foul trouble.
    Tilmon has been an enigma. He dealt with a back injury last summer, and I wonder how much that affected him early in the season. He's making a higher percentage of his shots but his scoring and rebounding were down before the foot injury. He's just not making the kind of progress you'd expect from a player who's reached his third year in college. 
    I thought this team would shoot the ball better from 3, but they clearly struggled with the deeper line. Mark Smith is hot and cold. Watson goes invisible for stretches. Pinson has hit some big 3s but can't consistently get into any rhythm. 
    Here's an interesting stat. Javon Pickett is averaging 10 points per game in MU's eight wins ... and 3.7 points per game in MU's six losses. Maybe he's the critical link on the offensive end. 
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