October 12, 2011
2011 Tiger Mailbag: 25th Edition
Each Wednesday, PowerMizzou.com publisher Gabe DeArmond and recruiting editor Pete Scantlebury will answer questions from subscribers in our Tiger Mailbag. This feature will allow for longer, more in-depth answers than you may get on the message board on a daily basis. To have your question in next week's mailbag, send an email to Gabe at email@example.com. On to this week's inquiries:
MU-TIGERS asks: Who are our other targets at running back if Jonathan Williams waivers on his committment? What are the chances of him decommitting?
PS: Missouri will be looking just to be safe, but in my opinion, Williams' is still Missouri's to lose. The Tigers will get the final official visit from the four-star running back and he knows the program very well. Missouri was his first offer, and they've had nearly a six-month head start since he committed. The only thing left is for his parents to visit Columbia with him, which will happen in December or January (Allen figures to go deep into the Texas State Marathon, er, Playoffs, so his visit may be delayed). Should Missouri start worrying about Williams' commitment, they could make a big push for La Marque's Tim Wright, who remains uncommitted. But, as of now, I think it's going to be a moot point.
Another in-state guy like Lee's Summit King Frazier COULD get a late look, but if he doesn't have an offer now -- and Missouri knows him well -- it's unlikely he'll get one down the road.
Mizzou Dominate asks: This kind of piggy back's off fudgeman's question, but how much can you put not being prepared on coaches vs. players? I keep hearing certain broadcasters laying all the blame on coaching, but I believe most coaching is done in the offseason and in the week leading up to Saturday. At some point, the players need to rally themselves and find a leader that will get them going before and during games. I'd almost put it at 25% coaching and 75% players as far as getting ready to play and focus. Your thoughts? Secondarily, is there anyone on this team that should/could be the vocal leader ie: Weatherspoon?
I will take the second question first. We're always looking for the next Spoon, the next Maclin, the next Daniel. Those guys don't come around very often. First-round picks haven't exactly grown on trees around here before the last three years. Weatherspoon was one of the most vocal guys you are ever going to find. I don't see a guy like that on this team. That doesn't mean there aren't good leaders. It just means there aren't guys that lead like that.
As far as players vs coaching, it's a combination of both. Sure the coaches need to get guys ready to go. But if you're a Division One football player, you're going to get about 50 games in your life. For most kids, those are the last 50 games they'll ever play. Do you NEED a coach to tell you it's important and hype you up? I wouldn't. I never played sports at the college level. But when I did play, whether it was a baseball game, a swim meet, whatever, I got up because, well, I didn't get to play that many games. Every one I played was one less I had remaining. They were all important. To be fair, though, being up doesn't mean you'll play well. Some days you don't. It happens to everyone. Unfortunately for Missouri, it happened to pretty much everyone on the same day last week.
tigristo asks: How do your basketball season projections change with the loss of Bowers? I believe you previously stated that this team should be at minimum an NCAA tourney team...does that still hold true in your view?
GD: It's a really, really tough blow to overcome. I'm one who believes this Tiger team could afford to lose Bowers even less than Denmon. There are other guards who could replace what Marcus does to some extent. Not so much in the front court. One of our national writers was asking me what Mizzou's starting five will be without LB. I came up with Dixon, Denmon, English, Ratliffe and Moore. I don't think those are the five best players, but I think it is Missouri's best lineup. You just can't play with only one guy over 6-6 and only two over 6-2 for most of the game. You can do it for stretches, but not all game. With Bowers, I said this was a tournament team at a bare minimum. Without him, I would consider a tourney bid a successful season.
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