Study Hall: Mizzou vs Georgia

As I put off writing the Texas Bowl BTBS post for a little while longer, let's take a look at what was a mighty impressive win by your hardcourt Tigers on Saturday.  Beating Georgia at home is not, in and of itself, amazingly impressive.  But doing what they did to the Dawgs was still rather staggering.

Mizzou 89, Georgia 61

Mizzou
UGa
Points Per Minute
2.23 1.53
Points Per Possession (PPP)
1.35 0.93
Points Per Shot (PPS)
1.37 1.45
2-PT FG% 58.3% 58.8%
3-PT FG% 41.2% 25.0%
FT% 75.0% 71.4%
True Shooting % 61.8% 59.5%
Mizzou UGa
Assists 25 6
Steals 16 2
Turnovers 9 23
Ball Control Index (BCI)
(Assists + Steals) / TO
4.56 0.35
Mizzou UGa
Expected Offensive Rebounds 11 8
Offensive Rebounds 14 9
Difference +3 +1


So It's Official ...

...when Mizzou outrebounds their opponent AND has a BCI that is 13x better, they will win every single time.  I feel comfortable saying that.

This really was the blueprint of what Mizzou numbers look like when they're playing just about the best they can play.  A total of 41 assists/steals to just nine turnovers, 40+% from 3-point land, breaking even on the defensive glass, and tracking down an above average number of offensive boards.  Really, the only thing that wasn't perfect was the game's pace, which, at 66 possessions, was actually closer to Georgia's season average than Mizzou's.  Somehow I think we can get over that crushing disappointment.

Player stats after the jump.

Player Stats

Player AdjGS* GmSc/Min Line
Laurence Bowers 20.5 1.02 20 Min, 23 Pts (11-for-14 FG), 3 Reb (3 Off)
J.T. Tiller 14.8 0.78 19 Min, 11 Pts (4-for-7 FG), 7 Ast, 3 Stl
Keith Ramsey 11.7 0.51 23 Min, 7 Pts (3-for-5 FG), 5 Reb (4 Off), 3 Blk, 2 Stl
Marcus Denmon 10.9 0.64 17 Min, 13 Pts (4-for-9 FG, 3-for-6 3PT), 2 Reb, 2 Stl
Miguel Paul 8.0 0.40 20 Min, 4 Pts (1-for-3 FG), 5 Ast, 2 Stl
Zaire Taylor 7.5 0.36 21 Min, 4 Pts (2-for-3 FG), 5 Ast, 3 Stl, 2 Reb
Mike Dixon 5.2 0.31 17 Min, 8 Pts (3-for-4 FG, 2-for-3 3PT), 2 Ast, 2 TO
Tyler Stone 3.7 0.73 5 Min, 4 Pts (2-for-2 FG)
Kim English 3.2 0.16 20 Min, 7 Pts (2-for-8 FG, 1-for-3 3PT), 3 Reb, 2 Stl
Steve Moore 2.1 0.13 16 Min, 2 Pts, 2 Ast, FOUR FOULS
John Underwood 0.6 0.30 2 Min, 0 Pts, 2 Reb
Justin Safford 0.3 0.02 18 Min, 6 Pts (3-for-8 FG), 3 Reb, 2 TO
Jarrett Sutton -1.4 -0.69 2 Min, 0 Pts (0-for-2 FG)


* 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.

  • It wasn't that Bowers scored 23 that impressed me so much.  It was that he didn't do it all on fast-break dunks or putbacks.  He made jumpers from all around the court, further proving that he's easily the smoothest jump shooter we have at the forward/center positions.  Safford seems more confident in his shot, but Bowers' is probably better.  And when he's making the 18-footer (or longer), he's almost impossible to defend considering how fast he can get to the rim.  He still isn't much of a dribble-drive kind of guy, but that's not really his role.  As long as he's looking for his shot when he's on the perimeter and being aggressive on the glass (he was on offense, anyway), I'm a happy camper.
  • Now THAT's the Jesus Tyrannosaurus we've been waiting to see this year.  11 points (on 7 shots), 7 assists and 3 steals, with just one turnover?  Holy moly.  Actually, it's worth pointing out that of Mizzou's guards, only Mike Dixon had more than one turnover.  For the day, Tiller, Taylor, Denmon, Paul, and Dixon combined for this line: 50 points, 14-for-26 FG (53.8%), 5-for-11 3PT (45.5%), 20 assists, 5 turnovers, 10 steals, 6.0 BCI.  Good heavens.
  • Steve Moore now has nine fouls in his last 24 minutes of game action.  NINE.  He's kicked the intensity up in that time, and it's resulted in the rest of his box score looking more impressive, but ... dude.  Nine fouls.  I know, I know ... I'm hard to please ... he finally plays like I want him to (and further proves that he's got REALLY soft hands), and I still complain, but ... NINE.  One foul every 2:40.
  • Something interesting to note: Tyler Stone played 5 minutes, John Underwood 2.  It appears Stone has replaced Underwood in the main "We need a fourth big man, and Moore just fouled out in 42 seconds ... bring him in!" role.  Am still not sure if Stone's been lucky or good on some of his longer jumpers, but he's got outstanding touch around the basket.

Three Keys Revisited

From Saturday's preview.

Start Strong

After six minutes, the score was 11-9 in Mizzou's favor.  Six and a half minutes later, Mizzou was up 32-13.  I'd call that a strong enough start for my tastes.  "Strong start" doesn't literally have to mean "You're up ten at the first TV timeout."  Being up 19 at the third timeout is perfectly acceptable, no?

Adapt

The idea here was, if what Mizzou's trying on offense isn't working, don't be afraid to adapt.  If the 3's aren't falling, bring it inside and get to the line.  Things like that.  Well ... pretty much everything Mizzou did, worked.  So adapting wasn't really an issue.

Hustle & Flow vs McPhee & Ware

Zaire Taylor & J.T. Tiller: 15 Pts (6-for-10 FG, 0-for-2 3PT), 3 Rebounds, 12 Assists, 6 Steals, 2 TO
Ricky McPhee & Dustin Ware: 12 Pts (5-for-11 FG, 2-for-6 3PT), 1 Rebound, 1 Assist, 1 Steal, 11 TO

Um ... advantage, Mizzou.

Summary

As I mentioned in the preview, Georgia's not a great team, especially away from home.  But Mizzou would have beaten just about anybody in the country with the way they played on Saturday, and that's all one can hope for heading into conference play.  Their last two games against "real" opponents, Mizzou has risen to the occasion, with a 13-point neutral court win over Illinois and a 28-point massacre of a team that should probably end up in the 4-12 to 7-9 neighborhood in the SEC.  It's been nice to see a high level of play after some late-November and early-December doldrums, but it's going to take a similar level to get to the 9-10 Big 12 wins they're going to need.  Hopefully we continue to see improvement, just like we did last year.

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