Know Your (Temporary) Rival: Chattanooga Mocs

Chattanooga's Mocs (that's Mocs, not Mox) visit Columbia for the second straight season, hoping for a better result than last year's 103-75 loss.  Probably not going to happen.  UTC actually put together a pretty solid season in 2008-09, earning a #1 seed in the Southern Conference tournament and knocking off College of Charleston in the finals to secure a bid in the West Regional, where their season ended at the hands of Mizzou's conqueror, Connecticut.  Unfortunately for the Mocs, they have to replace all five starters and take a pretty young team to Columbia.

Chattanooga: 2-1

Mocs Opp
Points Per Minute
2.01 1.78
Points Per Possession (PPP)
1.08 0.95
Points Per Shot (PPS)
1.28 1.14
2-PT FG% 51.8% 47.8%
3-PT FG% 33.3% 32.4%
FT% 75.4% 52.4%
True Shooting % 55.6% 49.6%
Mocs Opp
Assists/Gm 14.0 15.3
Steals/Gm 7.0 8.7
Turnovers/Gm 16.7 17.3
Ball Control Index
(Assists + Steals) / TO
1.26 1.38
Mocs Opp
Expected Offensive Rebounds 39 43
Offensive Rebounds 42 44
Difference +3 +1
  • Chattanooga's results so far:

    Virginia Intermont: W, 107-62
    East Tennessee State: W, 85-76
    at Richmond: L, 49-75
  • Where the Mocs are decent:  This is a solid shooting team (from inside the arc, anyway) that averages a solid 1.28 points per shot and rebounds fairly well.  They have also played pretty solid FG% defense.  They have forced over 17 turnovers a game, but a lot of that average comes from the 23 they forced against something called Virginia Intermont in the season opener.  They also play a relatively fast pace, which means they might not be overwhelmed quite as quickly against Mizzou's pace.
  • Where the Mocs are less than decent: Um, they've averaged 16.7 turnovers a game against that schedule.  Not a good sign.

Player Stats

Player AdjGS*/Gm GmSc/Min Line
Keegan Bell (6'1, 188, So.) 18.3 0.61 30.0 MPG, 12.3 PPG, 3.7 RPG, 5.7 APG, 1.7 SPG, 2.3 TOPG
Ridge McKeither (6'5, 240, Jr.) 16.3 0.69 23.7 MPG, 16.0 PPG, 8.7 RPG, 3.0 TOPG
Josh Odem (6'5, 170, Fr.) 13.1 0.49 26.7 MPG, 13.0 PPG, 2.7 RPG, 1.7 APG, 2.3 SPG, 1.7 TOPG
Jeremy Saffore (7'1, 225, Jr.) 10.8 0.59 18.3 MPG, 7.7 PPG, 6.3 RPG, 1.7 BPG, 1.7 TOPG
DeAntre Jefferson (6'8, 225, Jr.) 7.4 0.40 18.7 MPG, 8.7 PPG, 6.0 RPG, 1.3 BPG, 2.0 TOPG
Ricky Taylor (6'5, 170, So.) 4.8 0.22 21.3 MPG, 7.3 PPG, 3.3 RPG, 1.3 APG
Drew Baker (6'7, 184, Fr.) 4.4 0.29 15.0 MPG, 3.0 PPG, 5.0 RPG, 2.0 TOPG
Jasper Williams (6'2, 189, So.) 2.7 0.13 21.7 MPG, 4.3 PPG, 4.3 RPG, 1.7 APG, 1.7 SPG, 2.0 TOPG
Dontay Hampton (6'1, 160, Fr.) 1.8 0.21 8.7 MPG, 0.7 PPG, 1.3 APG
Sam Watson (6'7, 240, Fr.) 1.6 0.16 10.0 MPG, 2.0 PPG, 3.0 RPG
Jeff Smith (6'5, 195, Jr.) 1.1 0.07 16.0 MPG, 7.3 PPG, 2.0 TOPG

* AdjGS = a take-off of the Game Score metric (definition here) accepted by a lot of basketball stat nerds.  It redistributes a team's points based not only on points scored, but also by giving credit for assists, rebounds (offensive & defensive), steals, blocks, turnovers and fouls.  It is a stat intended to determine who had the biggest overall impact on the game itself, instead of just how many balls a player put through a basket.

  • UTC has seven players averaging at least 7 PPG thus far, though some are taking far more shots to get there than others.  The team's starting five are by far their five best contributors (always a good thing), and they actually have some pretty decent size.  7'1 Jeremy Safford presents a unique challenge; he and DeAntre Jefferson have combined for 3 blocks per game, and they clearly give the Mocs the best inside presence Mizzou has faced so far.  Meanwhile, 240-pound Ridge McKeither is, um, an interesting guy; he is apparently the bull-in-a-china-shop type, averaging 16 points, 9 boards, and 3 turnovers per outing.

Keys to the Game

  1. Offensive Rebounds.  I don't see Chattanooga shooting particularly well against Mizzou, but they are big enough to grab some offensive rebounds if Mizzou isn't focused.  If Mizzou holds the Mocs below the expected offensive boards mark, it's going to be really hard for the Mocs to stay in this game.

  2. Turnovers.  As is always the case with Mizzou, if the opponent cannot limit turnovers, they do not have a chance.  UTC has been careless with the ball, and it will likely spell doom in Columbia.

  3. Keith Ramsey.  I like when Mizzou's cupcakes have certain assets that can challenge the Tigers, and in this case, it's height.  The Mocs may not have a lot of bulk, but they've got length, and I want to see how Mizzou's bigs, Keith Ramsey in particular (since he spends a lot more time in and around the post than Justin Safford and Laurence Bowers), handle it.

Prediction

It's doubtful that this one will be another 56-point win like the UTPA game was, but this one's likely to be another blowout.  Whether it's 20-25 points or closer to 35-40 depends on if Mizzou's hot from 3-point range or not, but we'll go with a solid 90-64 win.  Mizzou plays a ton of backups in anticipation of the trip to San Padre.

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