Tempering expectations

Matt ThielSenior Analyst IJuly 18, 2008

To be honest I can only remember one other time where a Mizzou signee gained this much hype literally overnight. That was back when our buddy Quin signed a kid from VMI named Jason Conley who led the nation in scoring as a freshman. I guess that one didn't turn out too bad. Conley was decent enough but was by no means good enough to be the centerpiece of a title contender, which is what a lot of people were expecting.

That's what's great about the Coulter signing though. I'm not going to expect him to be Justin Smith and that's okay because we don't need a Justin Smith. Lets say he's only as good as Stryker Sulak or Xavie Jackson, that's still a pretty big addition for this team. There were some question marks about our defensive line although I thought we were in decent shape to begin with. I thought we might be a little bit thin depth wise but I like the guys we got coming back. I see Ziggy making a big leap this season and Stryker's always had the potential to be one of the better pass rushers in the Big 12. Chavis and Baston are solid if unspectacular. Now you add Coulter into the mix and I'd say we went from having a d-line to having a D-line.

I have no idea how much of the hype to believe but if you put any stock in what PowerMizzou says then it sounds like he's going to at least be a solid contributer and I'll take that. (By the way, can someone send me that Gabe DeArmond story on Coulter that is supposed to be so interesting? I don't subscribe to PowerMizzou and usually just accept missing out on stuff like this but I'd like to read this one)

All that said I have to admit when I first read about this guy I kept looking for a catch. Then I realized that six years after the Ricky Clemons fiasco I still haven't recovered. That in turn got me to thinking about other JUCO players Mizzou has signed and I realized it wasn't just Clemmons that has made me skeptical toward JUCOs. Here's the list of JUCO guys from the past several years and how they treated Ol' Mizzou (I'm sure I'm missing some but these are the ones that came to mind):
  1. Damien Nash: RIP. Got kicked off the team after running his mouth.
  2. Tricky Ricky: Need I explain
  3. Randy Pulley: I think we were better with Spencer Laurie running the point.
  4. James Douglas: I remember he scored once against Iowa State. That's all I remember.
  5. Hannah, Butterfield, Volkus: Either sucked or destroyed team chemistry.
  6. Andy Maples: Hasn't exactly produced
  7. Pig Brown: Obviously fantastic.
  8. Darnell Terrell: Got torched in the Big 12 title game but other than that a pretty solid player while at Mizzou.
I guess it's probably unfair to compare football JUCOS to basketball ones but nonetheless, that list is more than enough to at least cause me to raise an eyebrow.