Study Hall: North Florida

Your Trifecta: Denmon-Dixon-Ratliffe.  Your winner: Nobody.  Because nobody ever wins.

First 25:43 of the game: Missouri 47, North Florida 43.
Last 14:17 of the game: Missouri 49, North Florida 15
.

Wow.  I'm not sure if that tidbit makes this the most underwhelming 38-point win of all time or the least overwhelming.  Regardless, the box score looked nice and pretty when all was said and done.

Mizzou 96, North Florida 58

Mizzou
Opp.
Pace (No. of Possessions)
84.7
Points Per Minute
2.40 1.45
Points Per Possession (PPP)
1.13 0.68
Points Per Shot (PPS)
1.37 1.23
2-PT FG% 56.6% 41.4%
3-PT FG% 35.3% 33.3%
FT% 66.7% 64.0%
True Shooting % 58.6% 50.0%
Mizzou Opp.
Assists 20 14
Steals 18 12
Turnovers 18 34
Ball Control Index (BCI)
(Assists + Steals) / TO
2.11 0.76
Mizzou Opp.
Expected Offensive Rebounds 14 12
Offensive Rebounds 16 7
Difference +2 -5


How often do you figure Mizzou loses when the pace is at 85 possessions?

Not often, I figure.

This offense still has problems.

We saw some interesting components yesterday.  We saw what Ricardo Ratliffe can do when he looks at the basket while shooting (he tried a couple of no-look hook shots in the first half that didn't go so well), and Marcus Denmon was very effective.  But despite the transition opportunities that 18 steals presented, Mizzou still averaged only 1.13 points per possession -- UNF was allowing 1.11 per possession heading into the game.  Mizzou committed 18 turnovers and, despite UNF's own problems, scored just 47 points in the first 26 minutes of the game.  In a halfcourt set, Mizzou still didn't quite know where they wanted to go with the ball.  And in four games (including exhibitions), Kim English has yet to look comfortable on offense for more than a possession or two at a time.  Obviously you'll win games at 1.13 per possession, it's pretty clear that improvement is still necessary. 

Not that there isn't plenty of time for improvement.  As Ratliffe gets more comfortable and Phil Pressey learns what he can and can't do, the upside here is still tremendous.

But on the bright side...

...we're seeing signs that this might be Mike Anderson's best defense.  They are quicker on the perimeter and have more size options on the inside.  No matter who your opponent is, allowing 0.68 points per possession is rather ridiculously good, even if it was turnover-based and UNF got a few open shots.

As the team prepares to go to Cancun and play in what I assume isn't much of an offense-friendly ballroom environment (in other words, as we prepare to play two games in which the Mizzou offense will likely struggle quite a bit), Mizzou should be able to rely on their defense to take home the crown.

Mizzou Player Stats

Player
AdjGS* GmSc/Min Line
Marcus Denmon 17.1 0.74 23 Min, 18 Pts (7-12 FG, 2-4 3PT), 3 Stl, 2 Reb
Mike Dixon 15.7 0.98 16 Min, 11 Pts (2-2 FG, 6-8 FT), 5 Stl, 4 Ast, 2 Reb, 2 TO
Ricardo Ratliffe 15.5 0.77 20 Min, 16 Pts (8-12 FG, 0-1 FT), 10 Reb (4 Off)
Laurence Bowers 12.5 0.52 24 Min, 12 Pts (4-10 FG, 4-4 FT), 10 Reb (4 Off), 4 Blk, 2 TO
Phil Pressey 11.5 0.46 25 Min, 8 Pts (3-4 FG), 8 Ast, 5 Stl, 2 Reb, 7 TO
Kim English 8.1 0.32 25 Min, 13 Pts (5-7 FG, 2-4 3PT), 2 Ast, 2 Stl, 4 TO
John Underwood 4.0 1.01 4 Min, 3 Pts (1-1 FG, 1-2 FT), 2 Blk
Justin Safford 3.9 0.17 23 Min, 6 Pts (2-8 FG, 2-4 FT), 6 Reb (2 Off)
Jarrett Sutton 2.5 2.50 1 Min, 3 Pts (1-2 Walk-On 3-Pointers)
Matt Pressey 1.6 0.10 17 Min, 4 Pts (2-8 FG), 3 Ast, 2 Stl
Steve Moore 0.9 0.09 10 Min, 0 Pts (0-1 FG), 3 Reb, 2 Blk
Ricky Kreklow -0.2 -0.02 12 Min, 2 Pts (1-3 FG), 2 Reb

 

  • Very impressive game from Marcus Denmon.  He was in control and very efficient.
  • Meanwhile, Ricardo Ratliffe forced his first two shots of the game, then went 8-for-10 the rest of the way.
  • It's hard to dominate a box score, for better or worse, the way Phil Pressey did.  Mizzou had approximately 85 possessions, and Pressey had either an assist or turnover in 15 of them.  (Granted, that's easier to do at an 85-possession pace than, say, 60.  But still.)  Plus, he scored eight points on just four shots and yoinked five steals.  And while Pressey was all over the place, Mike Dixon provided perfect balance, scoring 11 points on just two field goal attempts and putting together a ridiculous BCI of 4.5.
  • I don't know exactly whose minutes I want him to steal (which makes it a bit unrealistic, of course), but I think I'm ready to see more of John Underwood.  He looked excellent in his four minutes.
Player Usage% Floor% Touches/
Poss.
%Pass %Shoot %Fouled %T/O
Marcus Denmon 24% 51% 2.1 29% 59% 8% 5%
Mike Dixon 19% 54% 5.0 70% 6% 18% 6%
Ricardo Ratliffe 25% 59% 1.5 0% 94% 6% 0%
Laurence Bowers 23% 37% 2.1 28% 48% 15% 10%
Phil Pressey 19% 43% 5.6 79% 7% 3% 12%
Kim English 20% 42% 2.4 47% 28% 9% 16%
John Underwood 19% 62% 1.5 0% 39% 61% 0%
Justin Safford 17% 25% 1.1 0% 72% 28% 0%
Jarrett Sutton 80% 44% 4.7 0% 100% 0% 0%
Matt Pressey 22% 27% 3.8 64% 29% 3% 4%
Steve Moore 4% 0% 0.2 0% 100% 0% 0%
Ricky Kreklow 13% 28% 1.9 60% 30% 0% 10%

 

  • Even though it took a while for the offense to get its footing, it was very nice to see more clearly-defined roles yesterday.  At 70%+ in the %Pass department, P. Pressey and Dixon were clearly the point guards.  Meanwhile, the offense clearly flowed from Pressey/Dixon to Ratliffe (25% usage), Denmon (24%) and Bowers (23%) while never getting to stagnant on just one of those players.  Ratliffe's %Shoot was a little too high for my comfort level even if he shot efficiently -- he needs to up those %Pass and %Fouled numbers at least a bit.
  • I'm curious how Matt Pressey's role will develop as the season progresses.  He's not a very efficient scorer, but he's still a solid distributor and defender.  I assume he'll end up being one of the primary offensive weapons on Mizzou's "second team," as it were, the energy squad that Mizzou used so effectively two years ago.
  • These numbers do show us where Kim English's biggest problems came yesterday: control.  His Floor% wasn't too bad, and he had a decent pass-shoot ratio, but he just couldn't stop turning the ball over yesterday.

Three Keys Revisited

From Friday's preview.

Control Diaz

Andres Diaz: 25 minutes, 2 points (1-7 FG), 3 rebounds, 2 assists, 7 turnovers.  Yeah ... I think they controlled Diaz.

Make Your Open Shots

The 3-pointers still aren't falling with regularity, but it's also still early.  Denmon and English making 4-of-8 is always pretty welcome.  Combine that with 56% shooting on two-pointers, and I would say that Mizzou did alright.  It just took them a while, is all.

Show Up

Again, it took a while.  But they did indeed show up.  And it's probably not too smart for me to nitpick a 38-point win too closely, eh?

Summary

In the grand scheme of things, we saw a bit of MIzzou's Achilles Heel again yesterday ... and we saw a whole lot of Mizzou's strengths as well.  Their quickness continuously forced North Florida into silly mistakes, Ricardo Ratliffe's offensive potential came to the forefront, and we did get to see a few glimpses of Good Denmon and Good English.  It's off to Cancun for two more wins now.

---

 

* 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.

Usage%: This "estimates the % of team possessions a player consumes while on the floor" (via).  The usage of those possessions is determined via a formula using field goal and free throw attempts, offensive rebounds, assists and turnovers.  The higher the number, the more prevalent a player is (good or bad) in a team's offensive outcome.  As you would expect, someone like Kim English has a high Usage%, while Steve Moore has an extremely low one.

Floor%: Via Basketball-Reference.com: Floor % answers the question, "when Player X uses a possession, what is the probability that his team scores at least 1 point?".  The higher the Floor%, the more frequently the team probably scores when the given player is involved.

Touches/Possession: Using field goal attempts, free throw attempts, assists and turnovers, Touches attempt to estimate "the number of times a player touched the ball in an attacking position on the floor."  Take the estimated touches and divide it by the estimated number of possessions for which a player was on the court, and you get a rough idea of how many times a player touched the ball in a given possession.  For point guards, you'll see the number in the 3-4 range.  For shooting guards and wings, 2-3.  For Steve Moore, 1.30.  You get the idea.

Anyway, using the Touches figure, we can estimate the percentage of time a player "in an attacking position" passes, shoots, turns the ball over, or gets fouled.

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