Chat Mizzou sports with Dave Matter at 11 a.m. Thursday

Chat Mizzou sports with Dave Matter at 11 a.m. Thursday

Bring your Tigers football, basketball and recruiting questions, and talk to Mizzou beat writer Dave Matter in a live chat at 11 a.m. Thursday.

    Happy Thursday, Mizzou chatters. Let's get this started.
    Looks like the BB roster is set. How many wins do you see this team getting next season?
    The addition of Ronnie DeGray III puts Mizzou at 12 scholarships. Martin could always add another, but it wouldn't surprise me if they stick with 12 seeing that there's only one current senior on the team and there's some down-the-road value in balancing out the classes. That said, if someone comes available in the transfer market that fills an obvious need then they'll explore that option. 
    As for wins next season, it's really hard to make those guesses in May with a roster that returns just three players who have been on the court together, including one that essentially took a redshirt this season in Jordan Wilmore. Can this team win 20 games and make a run at making the NCAA Tournament? I don't think it will be less talented than last year's team. There won't be as much cohesion in terms of returning players who have been on the floor together - but not many teams will have that quality after the nationwide roster turnover. 
    It seems like CM will be going into next year without a proven PG or C. I know a freshman could emerge and positional flexibility is becoming increasingly popular, but should fans be concerned that now 6 of our expected regulars aren’t conventional big men or ball handlers? I’m worried we’ve got a roster full of guys that can attack the rim and hopefully hit some 3’s, but no one who can effectively distribute the ball or control the boards. Is my line of thinking out of touch with today’s game?
    I would consider Boogie Coleman a proven point guard. Yes, he played at in mid-major conference, but he put up good numbers across the board as a scoring point. Anton Brookshire will get to the play the point as well. Not proven in the college game, but he's someone the staff targeted for a long time as an impact player. 
    At center, it's really become an antiquated term. Not many teams play with a traditional center who plays exclusively inside with his back to the basket. This team will definitely feature some small-ball rotations with guys like Kobe Brown, Ronnie DeGray and maybe Trevon Brazile and Yaya Keita as the biggest body on the floor. 
    There's obvious concerns and question marks with so many unproven pieces being tossed together like this, but that doesn't mean it can't work. 
    Seemed like a good draft for Mizzou. How much of a roll will it play in future recruits choosing Mizzou?
    I think that concept is a little overrated, but it can't hurt Mizzou to have the evidence to tell recruits they can become an NFL draft pick by playing football at Missouri. At the same time, those five guys weren't exactly high-profile recruits - and still managed to develop into NFL players. Borom and Gillespie were two-star prospects. Rountree and Bledsoe barely had any serious Power 5 interest. Most college teams found reasons not to recruit Bolton. And they all still developed into NFL draft prospects - playing the bulk of their career for the former staff.
    Good morning Dave,
    Does the most recent UMass transfer provide us the much-needed upfront power forward factor we sometimes lack? More incite please. Talk to me.
    John L
  • DeGray brings some versatility. At UMass he was usually the second-tallest player on the floor last season next to 6-9 Tre Mitchell. He was a pretty efficient offensive player: 61% inside the arc and 37% outside the arc. He's got the frame to guard the 3 and 4 position and maybe play the 5 some in a small-ball rotation. 
    You're not going to find many 6-10 proven big men in the portal who can replace Jeremiah Tilmon single-handedly, but if you're looking for a rotational piece who can check a few different boxes than DeGray looks like a decent fit. Martin and his staff recruited him out of high school and have been extremely familiar with him. So this isn't like they're taking a flyer on a mystery prospect. They would have signed him a few years ago. 
    Who has best chance to start next season out of the MIZ NFL draft picks? Bolton & Borom?
    Bolton will have to beat out veteran Anthony Hitchens in Kansas City, and if that doesn't happen he could start in a nickel package and see plenty of initial snaps that way. 
    Borom might have a shot at right tackle in Chicago. The Bears signed Elijah Wilkinson to compete for that job, but it's wide open after they released Bobbie Massie. 
    The Raiders drafted three safeties, including a second rounder most considered a first-round prospect. Gillespie should have a shot with a strong camp to earn snaps.
    I wouldn't think Bledsoe or Rountree see serious snaps early unless the Pats and Chargers have major injuries. 
    Was there ever any particular reason or reasons given as to why Mizzou scheduled their Spring Football game so ridiculously early this year? Why not have had it in mid-April as usual when the weather tends to be nicer rather than I think it was around mid-March?
    Drinkwitz explained the early schedule when the practices began. It was all designed that way to give the players more time post-spring for the team activities they're allowed to have with the coaches - basically walk-throughs without pads - and then a full offseason in the weight room. That gives the team four months of uninterrupted training for the season. That was the key for his spring schedule. Basically, get any spring injuries out of the way early so players can recover sooner in time for preseason camp. Also, he doesn't like spring practices to be interrupted by spring break, which I understand. If you have three weeks of practices, then everyone goes home or on vacation for a week, when you return for those final two weeks, it takes a few days to get re-acclimated to the practice schedule, guys are rusty or recovering from the week off. Doing four straight weeks of practice is more efficient. 
    Here's how Drinkwitz explained it: "We want to try to create as little contact but as long recovery as we can to really enhance player safety. I think it gives a lot of flexibility to your staff. I personally have never liked the idea where you go practice for seven, eight practices, then you break and then you come back. If we're going to get out there, let's let's get our minds on our business, let's go for four weeks, let's make sure we're improving every day. It's gonna be a grind. But when it's over, we can all drink Mai Tais on the beach and have a good time."
    The drafting of 5 Mizzou FB players by the NFL is a respectible showing for a .500 team. Without looking it upI would assume Alabama had the most players drafted and in the early rounds too. How did middle of the pack teams like Kentucky, Mississippi and Arkansas compare with Mizzou in the number of players drafted?
    Here's the final tally for NFL draft picks from SEC teams:
    10: Alabama
    9: Georgia
    8: Florida
    7: LSU
    6: Kentucky
    5: Missouri
    4: Auburn, South Carolina, Texas A&M
    2: Ole Miss, Miss St, Tennessee
    1: Arkansas, Vanderbilt
    That's a pretty good showing for Missouri. Only x other non-SEC teams had more draft picks than Mizzou's five. That would be Ohio State (10), Notre Dame (9), Michigan (8), Penn State (6) and Pittsburgh (6). 
    Also at 5: Clemson, BYU, Oklahoma, North Carolina, USC, UCF, Texas, Stanford, Oregon.
    Those rankings aren't the end-all, be-all to measure college football programs. Clearly Clemson and Oklahoma are better programs and had a better 2020 than Kentucky, Mizzou, Michigan and Pitt. But it's good company to be in if you're Drinkwitz. You can tell your recruits they can reach the NFL by playing at Mizzou - and that's the dream/goal for most of them.
    Who is Mizzou's top draft prospects for 2022 NFL draft?
  • At this point I'm not sure there's an obvious first- or second-round prospect. I'd start the list with Trajan Jeffcoat. If you can earn first-team All-SEC honors as an edge rusher after taking off a full season you can continue to develop and work your way into the draft. I'm not sure if MU's two veteran offensive linemen, Maietti and Cook, have NFL futures. There's not much positional value at the running back position in today's game, so I'm not sure if Tyler Badie is a complete enough player to become a draft pick. Obviously he can catch the ball out of the backfield and be a solid wing man at tailback, but does he bring enough to the table as a pure runner to hear his name called? Not sure. I'm really looking forward to seeing what he can do with an expanded workload. I've always wondered why he doesn't get more touches. If Kobie Whiteside stays healthy and is productive he could work his way into the draft. I have high expectations for Martez Manuel, but he'll  be just a junior - technically a third-year sophomore eligibility wise. Is Keke Chism fast enough? What happens with Jalen Knox this year?
  • Time will tell how well the MBB team gels, but I like the athleticism the freshmen and inbound transfers bring. I thought it was very noticeable playing against the quicker, more versatile guards last year.
    Good point. I've brought this up a few times over the last couple months, but when Mizzou struggled defensively against LSU on the perimeter, that was the first takeaway the staff had: They need better athletes. DaJuan Gordon fits that mold. Some of the freshmen, too. Maybe Ronnie DeGray as well. 
    He had legit high-major interest coming out of prep school - Arkansas, Oklahoma State, Mizzou - but he was one of several players from his prep school who went directly to UMass after their prep school coach was hired by the UMass staff as an assistant. (He's no longer on the UMass staff.)
    Is Tre Mitchell from Umass joining DeGray?
    He hasn't committed anywhere yet, but no indication he's considering Mizzou at this point.
    Have any Mizzou footballers
    Signed Free Agent contracts with NFL teams?
    Yes, Damon Hazelton signed with the Houston Texans. He was really the only MU draft prospect who wasn't drafted. It was a relatively small group of prospects, probably because so many of the seniors came back for the super senior/graduate student year of eligibility.
    Have you heard anything on Jordan Johnson possibly transferring to Mizzou?
    I've reached out to a few people close to the situation and it's been a very quiet situation. I wouldn't say Mizzou is out of the running by any means, but no sign that he's leaning one way or another.
    Hi Dave, did you get to know Bob Broeg very well? Wasn't he a big Cardinal and Mizzou fan?
  • He probably wrote more words about Mizzou sports and the Cardinals than anyone else in history, but I wouldn't call him a fan per se. 
    I never met him in person, but I did interview him over the phone many years ago. 
    I have gotten to know his wife's son - from an earlier marriage - and he was gracious enough a few years ago to give me one of Mr. Broeg's original editions of "Ol' Mizzou," his MU football history book. (I think I'm up to three copies now.) It's a treasure. 
  • Is B12 FB imploding? Not a single 1st round pick. Iowa St is possibly best team in conference. Would not have predicted that several years ago
    It just wasn't a great year for high-end Big 12 prospects. Next year the Big 12 might produce two of the three best quarterbacks in OU's Spencer Rattler and Iowa State's Brock Purdy. 
    I still think Oklahoma is a national championship contending program. Who knows how the Sark hire will work out in Austin. Iowa State should be a legit top 10 team. I think West Virginia has a heck of a coach in Neal Brown and could be sneaky good. Oklahoma State is always good, occasionally great, hardly ever elite. 
    All that said, if anyone should be campaigning for the expanded playoff field it should be the Big 12 chancellors and presidents. 
    If Bazelack doesnt improve on his deep ball would Drink ever sub in Cook or Macon to take a deep shot?
    From what I've seen Bazelak has the best arm of the three and it's not particularly close.
    Dave, thanks as always for these chats. Recognizing that the NCAA process for hosting regionals in non-revenue sports can be a little fuzzy at times and knowing that Mizzou has been pre-selected as one of 20 sites for softball, what does your crystal ball tell you about MU’s chances to host a regional? Thanks.
    This is a question about softball. Mizzou likes its chances. A strong finish this weekend against Tennessee and then next week at the SEC tournament will surely help their cause. Mizzou has a great new facility. That fact can't be overlooked. It's an SEC stadium, but still centrally located enough geographically that teams from the Big 12, Missouri Valley and Big Ten aren't too far away. I'd give Mizzou a great chance at hosting a regional.
    Hi, Dave. On the football side of recruiting which holds more value. Number of wins in recent seasons or number of players getting drafted to the NFL. Thanks for your time
    Not all kids value the same factors, so I don't think there's a blanket statement to make here. Kids want to win. They want to play, usually right away. They want to develop into NFL prospects. They want to wear cool uniforms and play in shiny facilities. They want to play close to home ... or get far away from home. So, not dodging your question, but I don't think it's a one way or the other.
  • Good day to you Dave and hope all is well your way. What's with the 2022 schedule in 🏈 you posted for next year? With 2 non-con games on the road, that equals out to only 6 home games next year(vs. Vandy, UK, Uga, and Ark in the SEC). They've always had at least 7 home games and regardless, playing at KSU and Middle Tennessee ST on the road in the same non-con schedule is ridiculous. Someone really screwed this one up--who's responsible?
    It's not unprecedented to only play six home games. It happened in 2007 (Illinois in STL, at Ole Miss, Kansas in KC), 2008 (Illinois in STL, Kansas in KC), 2009 (Illinois in St. Louis, at Nevada), 2010 (Illinois in STL, Kansas in KC), 2011 (at Arizona State, Kansas in KC), 2015 (at Arkansas State, BYU in KC). Granted, all of those years included neutral-site games, so it's less than ideal to play two nonconfernece games as true road games, but nonconference scheduling is a real challenge because non-Power 5 teams are commanding more money than ever to play a road game at your stadium - or only settling for a home-and-away series, which is how you end up with road games at Middle Tennessee, UMass, Florida Atlantic, North Texas, San Diego State, etc. 
    Will Jimbo Fisher back up his recent comments about Saban?
    At some point the Aggies will beat Alabama. If Kevin Sumlin can build a team that beats Nick Saban, then I trust Jimbo can eventually do the same.
    With only 3 returnees to MUBB next season, only one senior on the roster, it might be a long season with all the unknowns about the players coming in, realistically it looks to me like a .500 season might be a struggle to attain. Are othe SECBB teams experiencing the same type of turnover?
    Yes, it's common across all of college basketball. There were nearly 1,500 players in the transfer portal. Teams across the league lost starters and lost backups and took on other team's starters and other team's backups.
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