January 14, 2010

2010 Tiger mailbag: First edition

Each Thursday, PowerMizzou.com publisher Gabe DeArmond 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:

TigerTuff asks: Is it not a priority to teach or emphasize to bb players to put their butt on an opposing player and prevent them from getting a rebound? Good job against KSU but we've got to keep it up. Why can high school girls shoot FT's better than men college bb players?? (not including ball size) Has JT slid back a bit from last year's FF run?? Is he pressing a bit with all the guards around him? While he's still a very good defender, he has his moments on O that he seems out of control that I thought he would be over in his senior season.

I'll answer in order. As far as the rebounding, this team isn't going to lead the Big 12, but it looks to be getting better. The Tigers have done well on the glass against Illinois, Georgia, K-State and Texas Tech, winning the battle by an average of 3.5 boards per game in thos four. As far as the free throws, I think it's a simple matter of kids not practicing them growing up as much, due to the prevalence of the dunk and the three-pointer. While Missouri's free throw shooting wasn't great against the Cats, it was better than K-State's. And the free throw shooting won the game at Tech. On Tiller, early in the season, I think he wasn't healthy and was pressing. I think he needs to simply focus on what he's good at (driving, distributing and defense) and realize he has more help on this team than we thought he did at the beginning of the season. You can't take away his aggressiveness because that's the player he is, but he has to know when to go 110 miles an hour and when to slow down to 95.

mizzou606 asks: What, if any, changes do you see the football coaches implementing in the offense and defense for 2010?

I think the spread is still going to be the base offense for Missouri, but I see some changes coming in particular in the use of the tight end and in the running game. I don't know what they'll be exactly, but I think we'll see some new things unveiled in spring ball. On defense, I'm not sure. It's tougher for a non-coach like me to evaluate a scheme on defense than it is on offense. On that side of the ball, I'm just going to wait and see what happens.

fshdom asks: You said in the aftermath of the Texas Bowl loss that every starting position should be up for grabs. Now that we've had some time to look back on the game, are you still convinced that nobody should feel safe as a starter? What positions do you feel have the highest chance for seeing someone else takeover (other than people who have left the program)?

I believe what I said is that every position in the defensive backfield should be open and I'll stand by that. I also think things should be wide open at receiver. There are plenty of guys who are in good shape to be starters for sure, led by Blaine Gabbert.

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