October 10, 2012

2012 Tiger Mailbag: 36th Edition

Each Wednesday, 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 powermizzou@gmail.com. On to this week's inquiries:

tommyjay25 asks: Any surprises about the SEC that you have experienced, both good or bad?  Or, for the most part, to quote the Reverend Dennis Green, is the "SEC what we thought they were?" Also, give me hope for the 'Bama game (as it is pretty much empty this morning).  What are the important factors that MU MUST do to compete, be in the game in the fourth quarter, and win?

GD: I'm not sure if the SEC is what I thought it was. But I'm pretty sure now that the SEC is what everyone told me it was. First of all, the defenses are faster and better. No doubt. But my main conclusion on the SEC hasn't come from the losses to Georgia or South Carolina. My main conclusion came from the loss to Vanderbilt, plus games like Kentucky leading South Carolina, Ole Miss pushing Bama for a half and Texas A&M for four quarters. There are no easy wins in this league. In the Big 12, there were two or three games every single year that you pretty much KNEW Missouri would win. That's not true here. Kentucky is the closest thing to a sure win and, if you're being honest, nobody is ready to mark that one down for the Tigers just yet.

As far as the Bama game, I'm not sure I've ever said this about a Mizzou game in the last ten years. But the Tigers can play a perfect game. And I think they'll still need some help from Bama. If Missouri plays as well as it possibly can, the Tigers can win...but only if Bama is off its game. And that would be true for most teams that play the Tide.

tigersf19 asks: I dont buy the o-line players we put out there are the best. You cant tell me a one-legged Elvis who was beat on almost every pass play gives us the best chance to win. With that said why not try Freeman and Nick. It cant be any worse. Maybe they just aren't the best practice players (Josey). Close the splits up,get under center and tell them to block the guy in front of them. Do you think that is a possibility and what would it hurt to try. Corbin wont make it till half if we dont do something. Thoughts?

GD: I have a hard time believing that the coaches don't play the best players. In fact, I don't believe it. I know fans want to win, but there's no way they want to win as much as the coaches. They don't have six and seven figure salaries riding on winning. Plus, we don't see players in practice, in the film room, in the class room, in the locker room. We don't know what goes on for 192 of the 196 hours in any given week. If you don't trust the coaches to put the best players on the field, then you believe they need to be fired. There is no in between. I'll trust that Gary Pinkel and his staff put the guys out there they believe give Missouri the best chance to win. Anything short of that is sheer negligence.

Jay0864 asks: CFH has two scholarships to award.  JW3, W Selden, and T. Jones (forgetting the other) seem to be the top choices.  If you can land two of those players, do you take them?  Or with the recent track record of landing high profile transfers,  would you take one and hold one open for a transfer?  Speaking of transfers, does it seem in the recent years that there have been much more high profile b-ball transfers than normal? 

GD: There is NO QUESTION WHATSOEVER that if two of the players you mentioned want to commit, you take them. Period. Bar none. You take the best players you can get as soon as you can get them. When you only have three to five scholarships available during a year, you can't afford to hold on to one. You can do it in football where you're giving out 20 or 25, but not in hoops.

In addition, I think the multiple transfer days are over. Haith did that in his first two years to balance out the classes. That's done. Things are evened out now. I'm not saying Missouri will never take another transfer. If you have a chance to get one that can help you, you do it. But I don't think they'll be searching for transfers like they probably were the last couple of seasons.

As far as the general situation with transfers, yes, I think the number goes up consistently. The reason is simple: Kids don't want to sit and wait their turn. They want to play and they want to play now. If they're not doing so, they'll go find a place they can get on the court and maximize the number of games they get to play in their college careers.

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