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PODCAST: Previewing the upcoming season with The Athletic’s CJ Moore

Dive Cuts returns with Sam Snelling and Matthew Harris, and they are talking with CJ Moore from The Athletic about the upcoming hoops season.

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NCAA Basketball: Missouri at Arkansas Nelson Chenault-USA TODAY Sports

Welcome back, Hoops fans, to another episode of Dive Cuts, where Sam Snelling and Matt Harris talk about everything Mizzou basketball. Their guest today is CJ Moore, regional hoops writer for The Athletic, and certified “friend of the pod” (he’s been on twice; the friendship is real).

In this episode: That ill-informed CBS media poll blurb about Mizzou, talking with CJ about some things surrounding the Mizzou Basketball program, what Mizzou will potentially look like on the court this year, and what CJ thinks about the team going into this season. His spot goes til about 30 minutes in.

Let’s “dive” in!

Episode Breakdown:

:01 – 0:59: Welcome to another episode of Dive Cuts! No need for much intro, let’s get into talking to our guest!

1:00 – 4:24: Chatting with CJ Moore, who, like Sam & Matt, is more bullish on our Mizzou Tigers than “other” media types - mainly the SEC media - and (cough-cough) CBS Sports. They touch on Dru Smith’s potential, noting that just because he came from the MVC and Evansville, that shouldn’t take away from his potential impact.

4:25 – 6:46: Discussing CJ’s semi-recent pieces about the state of the program and looking at questions for each of the players. There are definitely some pressing issues. Torrence or X-Man are really going to have to become more downhill play-makers.

6:47 – 9:23 Cuonzo has mentioned running a Florida State—Leonard Hamilton—10 guys scenario. Realistically, they could do that. Should they? Likely will settle on 8-9 man rotation when it’s all said and done. It is nice to have the depth this season should injuries occur.

9:24 – 13:29: Discussing how Cuonzo has tried to adapt stylistically. The roster has come together very well and is put together the way he wants. This is the first year you’ll see no Porters on the roster, and we should learn quite a bit.

13:30 – 16:40: Also discussing the Black Hole-ness of the 4-spot of last year. Offensively, they were fantastic, but defensively they got murdered. So who’s going to be in that role this year? They could play small a lot, but that all depends upon the progression of Kobe and Tray.

16:41 – 21:11: Cuonzo has always had good defenses. It wasn’t great last season, but how do we see this playing out? A Top 25 defense should be the goal. How does having Dru Smith on the roster help the defense and foul-proneness of JT?

21:12 – 30:45: Fast forward to the end of the season. If Missouri finishes in the bottom part of the league, what does that mean happened? What about if they finish in the top? Finishing up with CJ with a few more questions- There’s some weird recruiting going on at kansas and their “situation”. How does that impact Missouri (or other schools) getting to the KC-area recruits? What can Mizzou do to get back fan support? Perhaps not schedule quad 4 games as much?!? NCAA/NIT Tourney hopes? Thanks, CJ!

31:04 – 38:52: Looking at the media picks, it’s interesting to see how only a few outcomes could swing big portions of the standings. Sam will take your bets- they WILL finish higher than 13th! People who are discounting Missouri at this point are discounting Cuonzo’s coaching ability (editor’s note: that’s just sad), and the injury impact of say, Mark Smith, who would have been worth several wins last year. Picking a team 13-14th says this roster is a gut job and a multi-year rebuild, and that’s just not accurate based on any respectable level of research.

38:53 – 48:30: Sam The Man approaches his rankings a bit differently— he picks game by game, which alters the outlook of where teams will land, especially with the unbalanced conference scheduling. Zeroing in on Auburn, who is picked very high in the polls, but has lost an astounding percentage of their production, and has tough road games.

48:31 – END: Final notes. A bit of recruiting news! It seemed like Mizzou was done recruiting for 2020, but ha! Fooled you! Looking at Jalen Terry... He’s got that Mario McKinney bounce and is ranked in the top 60. Why should Mizzou care? Pretty much all of his finalists have filled their PG spots. We’re watching to see if they’ve put their hat back into the ring, as the connections are pretty strong. In closing, CUONZO AIN’T GOING NOWHERE!!! Thank you for tuning in for another episode of Dive Cuts, part of Rock M Nation Podcasts!

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You can follow the members of Today’s show on Twitter @SamTSnelling, @MattJHarris85, and @CJMooreHoops!

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