I love you, Fran Fraschilla ... you're one of the biggest fans Mizzou's got on press row. But you're becoming a drinking game. We'll get to that later, however. First: the other game.
Mizzou 95, Oklahoma State 80
|Points Per Minute
|Points Per Possession (PPP)
|Points Per Shot (PPS)
|True Shooting %||64.4%||57.6%|
Ball Control Index (BCI)
(Assists + Steals) / TO
|Expected Offensive Rebounds||13||12|
"That's the Fastest 40 Minutes in Basketball..."
Both teams showed quite a bit of resilience today. Despite the turnovers, Ray Penn in street clothes, and the fact that Mizzou spent a good portion of the first half unconscious from behind the arc, OSU found themselves within one possession early in the second half. Mizzou very well could have been up 15+ at that point, but they weren't. But for all the resilience OSU showed, Mizzou doubled them up, continuing to plug away and pressure, getting a ton of big shots and defensive plays and ... well, winning games the way they normally do at Mizzou Arena. They played much closer to a full 40 minutes than OSU did, and they got the easy win to show for it. When Mizzou is shooting well, they play an absolutely gorgeous brand of basketball. They just need to shoot well more often.
"Shooting is Contagious."
Normally I would call this Fraschilla-ism a major cliche. However ... I can't really prove him wrong. In theory, you've got five individuals on the court at any given time, and just because one person's shooting touch is on or off shouldn't affect anybody else's. But ...
vs Oklahoma State: 54.8%
at Kansas: 33.3%
vs Nebraska: 28.6%
at Oklahoma: 23.8%
vs Savannah State: 25.0%
vs Georgia: 41.2%
vs UMKC: 25.0%
vs Austin Peay: 52.6%
vs Illinois: 40.0%
vs Oregon: 48.3%
at Vanderbilt: 45.0%
vs Richmond: 18.2%
They've shot well against good defenses, poorly against bad defenses, and everything in between. If shooting's not contagious, then I've got no other answer.
Mizzou moved the ball pretty well throughout, and it resulted in quite a few open 3's, but a) they'd been missing open 3's as well lately, and b) they were making some "you probably shot that too quickly" 3's as well. When they start to fall, they fall from all angles.
"Pressure is Cumulative."
"Steals are Turnovers That Stay in Play."
(That last Fraschilla-ism there makes me want to slap somebody the twelfth time I hear it.)
Entering the game, OSU had one of the best (i.e. lowest) offensive turnover percentages in the country. No more. The absence of Penn, combined with the fact that OSU clearly just hadn't been exposed much to Mizzou's style of play, led to more turnovers than I expected, especially in the first half. I expected OSU to eventually wear down, but midway through the first half, they were on pace for about 45 turnovers. I'm going to go out on a limb and say that when Mizzou is making 50% of its 3's and forcing 24 turnovers or more (reaching double digits in steals), they're going to lose about 1% of the time, if that.
Alright, it's time...
The "Fran Fraschilla Does a Mizzou Game" Drinking Game
Since Fran Fraschilla ends up calling about 17 Missouri games a season, it's time to set some ground rules for the Fran Fraschilla Does a Mizzou Game Drinking Game. I welcome your suggestions/additions in the comments.
- When Fran says "Fastest 40 Minutes in Basketball," drink once. (When Fran only says "Fastest 40 Minutes" without the "in Basketball," finish your drink. But don't worry. He never stops short of saying the entire phrase.)
- When Fran references his own coaching career, drink once, then yell something about his coaching tenure (examples: "YOU WERE AWESOME AT MANHATTAN," or "YOU WERE NO LOU CARNASECCA").
- When Fran says "Pressure is cumulative," drink twice.
- When Fran mentions a player's home town, drink twice. Seriously, only Brent Musberger does that more than Fran.
- When either Fran or Ron says "Shooting is contagious," drink twice.
- When Fran says, "Steals are turnovers that stay in play," it's time to determine who "stays in play." The first person in comments to say "(insert name here) STAYS IN PLAY," dictates this. The person named has to finish their drink. They also must double the drinks they take (according to the other rules) until Fran says it again, at which time he/she can name somebody else to "stay in play." This will continue all game, though once you have stayed in play, you are not allowed to be named again.
- When Fran talks about how much he loves Phil Pressey, drink three times.
That alone should kill you, but I want to hear other suggestions. And you're damn straight we'll be playing this next time Fran and Mizzou come together. Consider this the first comments thread-specific drinking game.
Mizzou Player Stats
|Laurence Bowers||18.8||0.94||20 Min, 16 Pts (5-for-7 FG, 2-for-3 3PT), 4 Reb (2 Off), 3 Ast, 3 Stl, 2 TO|
|Kim English||17.0||0.61||28 Min, 20 Pts (7-for-17 FG, 4-for-10 3PT), 5 Reb (2 Off)|
|Marcus Denmon||15.2||0.76||20 Min, 12 Pts (4-for-8 FG & 3PT), 5 Ast|
|Mike Dixon||14.9||0.99||15 Min, 12 Pts (4-for-6 FG, 4-for-4 3PT), 2 Ast, 2 Stl|
|Zaire Taylor||14.3||0.51||28 Min, 14 Pts (5-for-6 FG, 3-for-4 3PT), 3 Reb, 3 Ast, 2 TO|
|Keith Ramsey||6.4||0.25||26 Min, 7 Pts (3-for-3 FG), 2 Reb, 2 Stl, 3 TO|
|Justin Safford||4.9||0.22||22 Min, 7 Pts (3-for-8 FG), 4 Reb (2 Off)|
|J.T. Tiller||4.1||0.17||24 Min, 5 Pts (2-for-8 FG), 6 Ast, 3 Reb, 2 TO|
|Steve Moore||2.2||0.28||8 Min, 2 Pts (1-for-1 FG), 3 Reb|
|Miguel Paul||-4.3||-0.48||9 Min, 0 Pts (0-for-1 FG), 2 TO|
* AdjGS = a take-off of the Game Score metric (definition here) accepted by a lot of basketball stat nerds. It takes points, assists, rebounds (offensive & defensive), steals, blocks, turnovers and fouls into account to determine an individual's "score" for a given game. The "adjustment" in Adjusted Game Score is simply matching the total game scores to the total points scored in the game, thereby redistributing the game's points scored to those who had the biggest impact on the game itself, instead of just how many balls a player put through a basket.
- Laurence Bowers, you are slowly becoming more aggressive on the offensive end, and even though that has led to a few more mistakes, I love it. (And I'll brush aside your 4-for-9 performance from the line as a "law of averages catching up to you" aberration. Just don't do it again.)
- Kimmeh ... you went straight up!!!
- Marcus Denmon needs to shoot more.
- Welcome to Big 12 play, Mike Dixon. Just a perfect off-the-bench performance. Your ceiling is REALLY high.
- Justin Safford needs to shoot less.
- J.T. Tiller played lovely on-ball defense, but he is just a disaster on the offensive end right now. Obviously the six assists were nice, and I don't think he'll ever get the credit he deserves for being a strong distributor. But he's thinking far too much, and his shot is as horrific as it's ever been.
- Don't think I didn't notice your pretty post move and bucket, Steve Moore. I'm still not as high about your ceiling as others, but I still have hope.
- Miguel Paul has scored in just one conference game ... and he was Mizzou's leading scorer in that game. Just strange. Oh, and he was also a disaster today.
Mizzou Player Stats - Conference Play
How much of a difference can one good-shooting game do to the overall conference stats? Let's see.
|Laurence Bowers||14.9||0.67||22.3 MPG, 11.0 PPG (52.3% FG, 50.0% 3PT), 6.5 RPG, 1.8 BPG, 1.3 SPG, 1.2 APG, 1.3 TOPG|
|Zaire Taylor||13.5||0.45||29.8 MPG, 11.0 PPG (38.9% FG, 31.8% 3PT), 3.2 APG, 2.8 RPG, 1.2 SPG|
|Marcus Denmon||11.2||0.48||23.2 MPG, 10.2 PPG (45.5% FG, 46.7% 3PT), 2.3 RPG, 1.5 APG, 1.2 SPG|
|Justin Safford||9.2||0.39||23.5 MPG, 10.3 PPG (36.2% FG, 33.3% 3PT), 5.3 RPG|
|Keith Ramsey||7.4||0.27||27.3 MPG, 6.2 PPG (61.9% FG), 4.5 RPG, 1.2 APG, 1.2 SPG, 2.5 TOPG|
|Kim English||7.0||0.30||23.2 MPG, 12.0 PPG (31.2% FG, 25.7% 3PT), 4.5 RPG, 2.0 TOPG|
|Mike Dixon||5.3||0.36||15.0 MPG, 6.3 PPG (34.5% FG, 46.2% 3PT)|
|J.T. Tiller||2.7||0.11||23.7 MPG, 6.2 PPG (25.6% FG, 12.5% 3PT), 3.2 RPG, 2.3 APG, 2.5 TOPG|
|Steve Moore||1.3||0.18||7.2 MPG, 0.8 PPG (20.0% FG), 1.8 RPG|
|Miguel Paul||1.0||0.11||9.0 MPG, 2.5 PPG (45.5% FG, 50.0% 3PT)|
- Not counting Steve Moore (who is averaging less than a shot per game), Mizzou is now down to just one shooter under 30%. They were at three before today. Meanwhile, Zaire is back up near 40%, Kimmeh is back over 30% (hey, it's a start), and both Denmon and Dixon have now made 45%(ish) of their conference 3's.
- Seriously, Marcus Denmon needs to shoot more. And Justin Safford needs to shoot less.
- Just some atrocious shooting numbers for J.T. And, strangely, only 1.0 steal per game. It still seems like he's playing rock solid defense, but the steals are going to others. That and with his too-high turnover numbers have resulted in a BCI of just 1.32, which is startling since BCI was basically created to give further value to the job Tiller does.
Three Keys Revisited
From Friday's preview.
Yeah, uhh, they made shots.
Attack the Bigs
Mizzou was able to get Marshall Moses in a bit of foul trouble in the first half, though they were never really able to deal with Matt Pilgrim, who is just a monster (21 points, 8-for-9 FG, 5-for-9 FT, 5 offensive rebounds, 2 steals, 1 block). As a result, they were rather significantly out-rebounded (though not to the level that Kansas out-rebounded them). But as I mentioned above, they were playing the 3-point and turnovers games so well that it didn't matter.
Unleash the Tyrannosaurus
I mentioned that Mizzou needed to shut down either James Anderson or Obi Muonelo, as OSU had not proven they could win a big game without big production from both of them. Well, they did combine for 38 points ... but Anderson had 31 of those, 15 of which came in about a 6-minute span at the end of the first half and beginning of the second. Muonelo made some noise early but went just 2-for-6 for 7 points, and for about three-quarters of this game, neither player was too dominant.
(But man oh man, was Anderson dominant in that short span. It was frightening.)
Congrats to nemotiger for nailing the Bowers-English-Denmon trifecta.
In all, a nice bounce-back game for Mizzou. I picked an 85-68 win for Mizzou, so I can't say it was too surprising that Mizzou caught fire and pulled away, but it was still good to see it. At 4-2 in conference, Mizzou is now one of SEVEN Big 12 teams with either two or three losses, with only Kansas a step ahead. Considering the shooting troubles -- as I mentioned earlier in the week, Kimmeh's recent struggles were like replacing Kareem Rush in the lineup with Randy Pulley -- that's a very good thing. And if they can run the table against ATM, @CU, and ISU before the trip to Waco, they will have all but locked down an NCAA bid, which is certainly one of the major goals to this rebuilding season. This team is so young and has such potential, and all of the major season goals are still on the table. Now it's time to take it to ATM.
(Send me your Fraschilla Game rules, and I'll compile and official list.)