March 7, 2012

2012 Tiger Mailbag: 8th Edition

Each Wednesday, 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 protected] On to this week's inquiries:

mglassma asks: What is the time table for the Foster injury? How much does Matt Hoch or George White factor in a DT? Any rumors about an OL being switched to that side of the ball and who you would consider switching AND Give me a prediction as to who you think will be the biggest breakout player on offense AND defense during the spring.

GD: Foster is expected back some time early in the season, around September, I believe. Hoch is a good athlete and has a chance. With White, it's not my business to write kids off, but the fact of the matter is he's been on campus for four years and we haven't seen him in the rotation yet. It's not out of the question, but I think it would be a surprise. Haven't heard anything about switching an OL. The fact is, if you switch a guy in the spring, it's not realistic to expect him to contribute at a new position in the SEC six months from now.

MU-TIGERS asks: What's the biggest thing this team has to do to win the big 12 and or a national championship? Will our lack of depth hurt our chances to win the big 12 tournament?

GD: It sounds really simple, but they have to make shots. If Missouri is mving the ball and shooting the way they did against Texas Tech in the second half, the Tigers are capable of beating anyone in America. They're not going to beat Michigan State or Kentucky in a 60-58 defensive battle in my opinion. But I think if they're hitting from outside, they're capable of outscoring teams like that even if those teams are playing well. If English, Dixon and Denmon all get hot at the same time, Missouri can outscore anybody in the country. If one or both of the Presseys are hitting too, Missouri's offense is virtually unstoppable.

As far as depth, I think it's overrated. We got conditioned to believe that you had to play ten players to win. You don't. Kentucky isn't that deep. Neither is Kansas. As Phil Pressey told me this week, they're young. They've practiced all year for this. They may not win but I don't think it will be because of fatigue or lack of depth.

thays81 asks: If we meet kU in the Big XII tourney championship and we win, would we get our #1 seed back? What's the chances that Mu and kU get a #1 seed if this happens

GD: My story this morning outlines the possibilities. Syracuse and Kentucky are locks meaning there are two one seeds available. If Duke or Carolina makes the ACC title game, they're going to get one (I don't think Duke has to win it and I'm almost positive UNC doesn't). The chances of Missouri AND Kansas getting number ones are very, very small. I think the Tigers could get it if they beat Kansas in the tournament. But I don't think it's a slam dunk by any means.

mizzou_kev asks: Thoughts on Arky being our new "rival"? Good for Mizzou, or bad?

GD: I love it. Rivalries are built on animosity and familiarity. Texas A&M hasn't been a rival and it wouldn't be going forward simply because they've been in the same league. I've heard that the football staff prefers A&M because it keeps them in Texas. I respectfully disagree. I don't see one game in College Station every other year influencing a kid from Texas. The fact is, we've already seen the Tigers' footprint in Texas go down a decent amount this year. They're going to have to go to other places to find kids. They'll get some out of Texas, but not as many as they've gotten the past few years. I love Arkansas as a rival, but I understand some will feel differently.

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