2020 Macadoodle's Mailbag: 41st Edition
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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.
Carnell75 asks: What do you feel is the strong point of this team and what is the weakest point? DO you feel that they have accurately addressed the deficiencies during recruiting? Lastly if Macon comes in early do you think he gives Bazelak competition coming in? How many drops by receivers have we had in the first two games in your review... Thinking its not offense its a lack of execution hurting the offense at the moment.
GD: Before Saturday, I would have said the strong point was the defense. At this point, that's a tough thing to say. Nick Bolton's a hell of a player, but he's not getting enough help in the front seven. Tre Williams told us yesterday Bolton is "giving like 130%" because he's not only doing his job but trying to cover for other guys who might not be. And Bolton missed some tackles (three) on Saturday too. I've actually been relatively impressed with the secondary considering it opened against the best receiving corps in the country, but Tennessee didn't really do much to test that group. It's tough to say the running game is the strong point when I'm not sold on the offensive line (even though it has been better than I expected it to be in the preseason). To boil it down, I think Missouri is searching for its strong point right now.
The weak point? Offensive consistency. And the biggest part of that is they have to catch the ball. They're dropping way too many passes. They've dropped quite a few the last couple of years and Saturday's game actually set a high for dropped passes in a game (PFF College had them with five). It's just submarining way too many drives right now. I've been (fairly, in my mind) hard on the defensive line. But if you can tell me one group is going to be far better than it's been for the rest of the season, give me the passing game and I'll take my chances.
As far as addressing the deficiencies in recruiting, you can't do that in a year. You're largely not recruiting guys to come in and start. If you are, you're not going to be very good. And if I'm being honest, I don't expect Missouri to be very good even next year. I think you're looking at year three to find out if the recruiting is good enough and to start (notice, I said start, not decide) making a judgment on what Eli Drinkwitz can do. It's a highly ranked class focused on the defensive side of the ball and that's good, but not every highly ranked class pans out and even if it does, I don't expect that to really show up on the field in 2021.
Lastly, yes, I think Tyler Macon has a chance to compete for the job next year. The reason is simple: He's the guy the head coach targeted and signed. The quarterbacks on the roster now were not signed by the current coach. That doesn't mean they can't be good or that he doesn't like them. But you always have to give a slight edge to guys that the current staff signed versus guys they didn't.
MIZ25! asks: Can you give me a little breakdown on Tyler Macon's game. I've seen few highlights but is he very fast, elusive? Arm strength? Who would you compare him to the most from MU qbs in the last 20 years?
GD: I've not seen him play. That's really a question better asked of Sean Williams or Josh Helmholdt who spend a lot more time looking at the specific games of recruits. He was an Elite11 quarterback and fared well there. That usually doesn't happen unless you do everything pretty well.
MIZDPT15 asks: How many new players, including mid-year enrollees, transfers, etc. can Mizzou take before next season? I know there are limits how many programs can sign each year, but it's based on a calendar year, correct? I would assume Drink will be welcoming as many new faces as possible.
GD: I can't give you an exact number because that would require knowing how many early enrollees have been counted back to a different class for the last three or four years and I don't know that for sure. But I can give you a ballpark.
I think Mizzou had two early enrollees last year if my memory is accurate. So assuming both of those guys could be counted backward a year, that would raise Missouri's available number of "initial counters" (a player on scholarship for the first time) to 27. The SEC limits the number of LOIs signed in a year to 28. But some players don't sign LOIs. You can only sign one, so if you get a transfer, that guy doesn't actually sign an LOI. He just signs a scholarship agreement. So, I think (and these rules are very confusing and I can't promise it) that transfers may not necessarily count against that number of 28...but they do still count as initial counters, and you can't go over 25 of those in any given class). You could also sign a couple of kids with the intent to grayshirt them, which would mean that they would not enroll and start counting until January and be counted forward to the 2022 year. So my ballpark for the 2021 class would be about 28 players. It might be off by one or two, but probably not by more than that.
TigerCruise asks: What should my expectations be for basketball this year? Going to be a weird season if it happens.
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