Here are the highlights from Mizzou’s weekly chat with Post-Dispatch readers.
Q: What big men are there now for tigers? Was the extra money for Gamarion Sharp in Western Kentucky?
a: I don’t know of any specific goals that employees pursue. Osunniyi will be from St. Bonaventure is a great addition, but Mizzou wasn’t related to it. He’s been to Florida and Iowa. Maryland/Georgetown’s former big man Qudous Wahab would also be intriguing. Tigers can really use a rim guard and someone to provide an indoor presence. There is no indication of any common interest with these two centres.
As for Sharp, I know a lot: Heading into last weekend, the Mizzou staff fully expected Sharp to move to Missouri. Plans were underway for him to move to Colombia. Then the two sides went quiet on Sunday and shocked everyone on Monday when he announced that he would be staying in WKU. The employees were shocked. By Wednesday, Sharp was publicly lobbying WKU fans to support the NIL group set up by WKU promoters to help benefit athletes, which is perfectly legal and wise for players to promote. (Mizzou’s main NIL group isn’t public yet.)
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Q: Missouri brought three top players out of the gate to convince them that this would be the best place for them to showcase their talents. What do you think the reason for rejecting them all?
a: I can’t really have an opinion on something without knowing the facts. They have not publicly explained why they did not choose Missouri. It is naive to think that all three based their decision on the same factors. I always thought GT Daniels was a long shot. He was known to not like the idea of playing in the SEC and playing against his former team (Georgia). Jayden Daniels went to a more established program (LSU) two years after winning the National Championship and now leads a more experienced head coach at Brian Kelly. As for Jerry Bohannon, I’m not sure. He flew from Balor to South Florida. Maybe he really loves Tampa. It certainly looks like he really clicked on FA coach Jeff Scott, his staff, and his offenses. If he’s planning on playing just one more season of college football to polish his NFL credentials, he could do so in the USF.
Yes, the SEC is a better conference than the American Athletic Conference, but perhaps Bohanon wasn’t really looking to play against a better competition. Besides, Big 12 has become a much better defensive league. He won’t necessarily play better defenses in Mizu’s table. He might even play a better table at USF. BYU, Florida, Cincinnati, Houston, Louisville, UCF: These are some very good programs. Then again, he might be able to put out better numbers and display more of his abilities in an attack that developed two NFL starters Deshaun Watson and Trevor Lawrence. How many NFL QBs has Mizzou’s offense developed?
Q: The road is a very early question: Who is at the start of the upcoming fifth season of Men’s Collars?
a: The list isn’t complete and still lacks a real center, but if the season turned today, I’d choose something like:
That’s with both guards on the floor together, which is something Dennis Gates said we’ll see this year. You could take out Honor or East and start Hodge at 2, then maybe move Noah Carter, DeAndre Gholston or Tre Gomillion to third.
Q: Do you think this year’s men’s basketball team will be better than last year’s? Obviously they didn’t play but based on past stats and the team’s needs, does the roster look better?
a: It’s hard to win less than 12 college basketball games in a season unless you schedule too many good non-conference teams or take too many hits to beat. This task force still needs to address the list’s shortfall. I think they can add another fixed sight. But adding two dedicated East and Honor point guards can make all the difference, especially late in close matches when ball handling and decision-making are at a premium. The Tigers learned that lesson the hard way last season.
Gates believes that having 2 point guards will make the rest of the team shoot better than the 3 point range because they will take better shots and get the ball into more convenient shooting positions. He has studied the 3-point shooting of all 11 players and believes they can all be productive shooters. we will see.
Q: How does where Brady Cooke in his development compare to where Chase Daniels was coming in in 2006, Blaine Jabert coming in in 2009, and James Franklin in 2011? Daniels seemed to have the most experience in the game as a backup and Jabber had 5 star credentials. But is it fair to expect Cook to have the kind of success that Franklin did at the start of his first year?
a: Who is Chase Daniels? I should ignore this question, but I’ll bite anyway.
Daniels appeared in 10 games as a freshman and attempted 66 passes.
Gabber appeared in three games as a freshman and attempted 13 passes.
Franklin played 10 games, attempted 14 passes, and ran the ball 23 times.
Then you have Cook, who has appeared in seven games for Miso in two seasons, attempted 65 passes and ran with the ball 23 times. So, he’s a year older in terms of being on campus than those three guys who are freshmen as sophomores. This will be his third year in the same crime. He threw the ball a lot more than the last two. I wouldn’t compare him to Daniels, though, because Daniels played in a very influential position in the 2005 Iowa State game that saved the season and job-saving Gary Pinkel. The cook often took over the cleaning up until the whole pot game got up and running – with most MU beginners sitting on the sideline.
Is it fair that Cook had the success of Franklin 2011? That year, Franklin threw 2,800 yards and 21 TDs (11 smarts) rated 140 passers and also ran for 981 yards and 15 touchdowns. That’s nearly 4,000 yards from the total offense. Most importantly, he won eight games, beat Texas and national-ranked A&M, beat rival Kansas, and was the best player to beat North Carolina State. It’s an impressive season for the first time that QB starts at the Energy Conference. The bar is high for the cook to get past. But it is not impossible.
Q: With the QB portal research recently and Gabbari Johnson’s QB recruitment for 2023, they seem to think Sam Horn won’t be here. How can they keep both the four-star Horn and the four-star Jabari Johnson?
a: Nah, don’t read in Johnson’s commitment as remotely related to Horne’s position. Good employees take quarterback every year, even if they stack four- and five-star QBs in back-to-back chapters in each hiring cycle. You get as many good QBs as you can take on the team and let the depth sort itself out. Some will move no matter what. You cannot make everyone happy. But it’s always better to lose a talented QB when he can’t win the job because there are too many talents on the roster than not enough QBs to stage a contest. Mizzou was taking QB in 2023 no matter the state of the century.