2017 Tiger Mailbag: 39th Edition
Every week, PowerMizzou.com publisher Gabe DeArmond answers questions from Tiger fans in the mailbag. This format allows for a more expansive answer than a message board post. Keep your eye out each week to submit your question for the mailbag or send them to firstname.lastname@example.org. On to this week's inquiries.
austinanderson asks: If we are really going to a "youth" movement why is Cheadle a starting CB & Sherrils back in the two deep?Cheadle has no chance out there & Sherrils has made enough mistakes to get a DB Coach fired.Tre Williams gave us the most (only) outside pressure v. KY, yet he's second team behind a guy who cannot even sniff a QB?
GD: It's definitely a fair question, not specific to Logan Cheadle, but as a general approach. I've advocated going full on youth movement and jumping in with both feet. It appears the approach is to go semi-youth movement and play young guys more but not all the way. I understand the hesitation. You still have to play the guys that you think give you the best chance. If you throw out all freshmen and sophomores, you're probably more likely to have mistakes that lose games and if you lose too many games, you lose your job. But I've said I think his best argument would be to put all the young guys out there, see some improvement and sell the future, both to fans and his boss.
At the beginning of this season, the Royals had a roster full of guys who were going to be free agents. They took an approach of kind of going all in, but also kind of trying to play for the future. It didn't work. They ended up as a .500 team, which is the epitome of a team that was halfway in. Either you're all in with the present or all in with the future. It's really, really hard to do both at the same time and have success. I'd go all in, but like I said, I understand why the coaches would be hesitant to do that.
For the record, I agree on Tre Williams. He had a bigger impact in two series than any other defensive end had in three-and-a-half quarters.
mexicojoe asks: Does a conference actually assign the "best" officials to the "best" games and the least experienced to the worst games or is that just an urban myth?
GD: I honestly have no idea how officials are assigned within a league. I can try to find out, but I don't know.
MIZLOU100 asks: What is Eric Beisel's role on this team? He is a senior captain (some would say "the captain") and has seen limited reps. Missouri is giving up an average of 40 points on the season and the player other players looked at for answers (stating it this way based on previous articles and the fact he was voted a captain by his peers), isn't getting reps. He is a player that proved himself at the end of last year and was one of the main focal points of the offseason, leading on the field and by example.
GD: As of now, it's to be a backup linebacker. Being a captain doesn't guarantee playing time. Based on the way reps are assigned, it's obvious the coaches think Cale Garrett is a better option. You can disagree with that, but the people that make the call don't obviously. Has Garrett made some mistakes? Definitely. So has Beisel when he's been in. The defense has a ton of issues. I'm not sure making a switch at middle linebacker would fix them. Fans like vocal players with personalities. Beisel fits that bill. But it doesn't necessarily equate to being the best player at his position. Maybe he is, but obviously the coaches don't really think so.
rams721 asks: How likely is it that Blake Harris is the starting point guard for the game against Iowa State? I maybe overrated this kid but I really like this kids ability to pass the ball.
GD: I don't think it's likely. He'll play and he might start during the season, but I don't see it being game one. Jordan Geist is going to play more than you guys think. I think he might start the opener. Terrence Phillips has been through the battles and will play too. Harris is going to play, but I don't think he's a game one starter.
BradN11 asks: Assuming our basketball class grows by at least 1-2 more recruits....Are we going to hold spots for Gordon and Ramey? It appears Gordon is "all SLU" right now, although things can always change. Do we have a back up target name for a post player? I would think if we are adding essentially 3 wings (maybe a pg) we would want a legit big to go along with. And let's get silly for a minute....say we add Gordon AND Ramey somehow, where would this class finish ranking?
GD: I really think the only guys that Missouri would definitely take right now are Carte'Are Gordon and Courtney Ramey. If they find out they're definitely not getting those two, they probably move on to others. In my opinion, the main backups would be Jericole Hellems and Alex Lomax. But I think they'll wait to find out what happens with Gordon and Ramey before going all in on either of those players. And if that means they don't add anyone else to this class, that's a risk they'll take.
tunnel asks: Some publications have us finishing 6 thru 8 in the SEC. Is this because of coaching, lots of first year players, not much returning, class ranked to high, SEC is a lot better or all the above. Sure seems like the talent we have coming in should offset some of this. You could start all new faces, Tilmon, Porter, Porter, Robertson, Harris. Not to shabby.
GD: I think that's probably a little low, but it's not out of the realm of possibility. For all the new talent on the roster, none of it has ever really produced in college and none has been part of a winning team. Missouri was really, really bad the last three years and so a healthy dose of skepticism is warranted. Kentucky clearly has the most talent in the league. Florida and Texas A&M ought to be really good and South Carolina is coming off a Final Four. I think Arkansas has a chance to be pretty good too and Alabama brought in a lot of talent. So there are five teams that you can make a decent argument can finish above Missouri.
Like I said, I'd probably pick Missouri a little higher (3rd or 4th would be my guess), but I don't think 6th is unreasonable. Remember two months ago when people were picking Missouri to be last in the SEC East in football and everybody said they were stupid because there was all this talent they weren't looking at? Just saying.
Uoz533 asks: If the team remains undisciplined on penalties and false starts and poor tackling. Should Odom be removed? It seems like this stuff should be a given
GD: Depends on what the record is. If they lose a bunch of games because of that and finish 3-9, then probably yes. But if they overcome it and go 6-6, he's not getting fired because they have too many false starts and missed tackles. The bottom line is all that really factors into it.
kctiger30 asks: Random, irrelevant questions because the complaining about football has been beaten to death... Summer or winter? Preferred vacation destination? If you had to become the beat writer for any team, any sport, who do you pick? Most overrated holiday?
GD: I totally agree with the premise of your questions. Glad to have something else to talk about. Maybe people won't get as mad at my answers to these as they will at the football ones. Anyway...
Summer. Winter sucks.
Anywhere with a beach and booze.
I don't know who I'd want to cover, honestly. I'm pretty happy doing what I'm doing. I don't want to cover the NFL or MLB because I just want to be a fan of those. The Warriors would be awfully fun to cover these days. Lots of good stories there.
New Year's Eve is the worst holiday ever. I haven't left the house other than to take my kid somewhere in years. I was one of those that was thrilled the playoff was on NYE last year so I could have a beer and watch by myself without all the annoying drunks. Also, get the hell of my lawn!
Mizzou Monster asks: Energizer or Duracell?
GD: Whatever's on sale.
mexicojoe asks: What is your speculation of the starting 5 for the Iowa State game? And why?
GD: I'm extremely confident Michael Porter Jr., Kassius Robertson and Jeremiah Tilmon will start. As of right now I'll go with Terrence Phillips at point guard, but wouldn't be surprised to see Blake Harris starting pretty early in the year. The fifth starter, I think, will be Kevin Puryear. As for why, a combination of guessing and things I hear from people.
ABaumli asks: So this conclusion to the North Carolina NCAA investigation, it is going to happen with results released or am I just imagining things?
GD: No idea. It's the NCAA, so if you have to guess, always guess later.
aholtmeyerMUTCB asks: Assuming they get blown at in Athens as Vegas and many others expect, do you think there will be more people at the parade and Mizzou Madness combined or the football game?
GD: Football. I went to football games in the 80's and 90's when Missouri had been this bad or worse for a long time and there were always 30-35,000. So to beat that, you have to sell out Mizzou Madness and have 20K at the parade. Don't see that happening.
RockwallTiger asks: I know there's no easy answer to this question, but it's the one most of us are wondering about: What does Barry have to do to save his job?
GD: If they win five overall, I think that's good enough to feel pretty safe. If they win fewer than four (meaning the best case is wins over Missouri State, Idaho and Connecticut), I'd put my money on a coaching search. At 4-8, I think that's when it would depend on who they beat and how they looked in the losses. The easy path is to beat Idaho and UCONN then win two of three against Arkansas, Tennessee and Vandy, which are all better than Mizzou so far but far from great teams. If he can do that, I think he gets next year.
MIZ25! asks: Gut feeling on what happens with Carte'are Gordon and Ramey?
GD: Gordon to Mizzou, Ramey to somewhere that isn't Mizzou, but I don't know where.
rmotigers asks: When do they announce the all conference preseason team for basketball?
GD: Shortly after league media days, which are next week in Nashville. I would imagine Michael Porter Jr. will make the first team. He will get some conference player of the year votes as well, and may even be the pick.
Skeltner asks: Do you see Sterk during the season either publicly or privately telling Odom and the staff they will be retained? The upside in theory is coaches can focus on games and not their resume. Downside is you might be stuck with a coach that goes 1-11.
GD: I can't see it. He's been pretty adamant that he makes decisions at the end of the year. And the thing is, if you are bringing him back, you don't have to say anything. Why lock yourself in? Just stay quiet. Then when people ask after the season you can say you're bringing him back. Plus, at 1-4 (soon to be 1-5 in all likelihood) he can't guarantee he's bringing him back.