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Hey, guess what: Mizzou has a basketball game tomorrow! I know, news to me too! Here's your hastily thrown together preview of the sure-to-be-epic battle between Mizzou and Arkansas-Pine Bluff.
Arkansas-Pine Bluff: 0-5
|Pace (No. of Possessions)
|Points Per Minute
|Points Per Possession (PPP)
|Points Per Shot (PPS)
|True Shooting %||42.4%
Ball Control Index (BCI)
(Assists + Steals) / TO
|Expected Off. Rebounds/Gm||13.2
Remember last year, when I tried to sell you on the fact that winless UA-Pine Bluff was a pretty damn good basketball team? Not this year. They can do some interesting things on defense -- they are 58th in Steals% and block out reasonably well (160th in Def. Reb%) -- but they have possibly the worst offense Mizzou will see this year. Scoring 0.71 points per possession is absolutely terrible (which is what happens when you can neither shoot nor grab offensive rebounds), especially considering the best team they have played this season is Northwestern. The Golden Lions had to replace quite a few cogs from last season's SWAC tournament champions, and ... yeah, they're still breaking them in.
Ken Pomeroy Stats
|UAPB Offense vs MU Defense Ranks
|UAPB Offense||MU Defense||Advantage|
|Off. Reb. %||345
|MU Offense vs Opp. Defense Ranks
|MU Offense||UAPB Defense||Advantage|
|Off. Reb. %||46
Where the Golden Lions are weakest
I'm not sure how to narrow it down. Let's just say that they can't shoot, can't crash the offensive glass, and allow incredible amounts of easy shots. And they foul too much. And never get to the line. And turn the ball over too much.
Where they are best
As I hinted above, they take chances on defense and grab quite a few steals because of it. Plus, you're reasonably likely to be one-and-done if you miss the easy shot they give you in a given possession.
UAPB's Season to Date
Wins (Team Rank is from KenPom.com)
at No. 66 Northwestern, 45-71
at No. 69 Stanford, 49-92
at No. 73 Nebraska, 40-83
at No. 90 Colorado State, 52-81
at No. 276 Hawaii, 63-70
UAPB has played four teams ranked in Ken Pomeroy's Top 100, and the average score was Opponent 82, UAPB 47. They almost knocked off Hawaii ... but Hawaii is awful. Ken Pomeroy officially gives them a 0.2% chance of beating Missouri.
UAPB Player Stats
|Savalance Townsend (6'2, 160, Jr.)||15.0||0.45||33.5 MPG, 12.3 PPG (37.9% 3PT), 1.8 APG, 1.5 RPG, 1.3 SPG, 3.0 TOPG|
|Daniel Broughton (6'8, 220, Fr.)||13.6||0.63||21.5 MPG, 10.8 PPG (54.5% FG), 5.3 RPG, 3.3 TOPG|
|Gavin Montgomery (6'6, 200, Jr.)||13.4||0.45||30.0 MPG, 9.6 PPG (40.8% FG), 3.8 RPG, 3.2 SPG|
|Dominic Moore (6'10, 205, Sr.)||8.5||0.27||31.6 MPG, 5.6 PPG (39.1% FG), 3.6 RPG, 2.0 TOPG|
|Allen Smith (5'10, 170, Sr.)||8.2||0.22||37.0 MPG, 10.2 PPG (30.4% FG), 2.4 APG, 1.8 RPG, 2.4 TOPG|
|Terrell Kennedy (6'6, 250, Jr.)||0.7||0.03||21.0 MPG, 5.5 PPG (26.7% FG), 5.0 RPG, 2.5 TOPG|
|Keith Ross (6'3, 175, Fr.)||-1.9||-0.14||13.3 MPG, 2.0 PPG, 2.0 RPG|
|Marcel Mosley (5'11, 160, Fr.)||-2.1||-0.09||23.8 MPG, 2.0 PPG (13.0% FG), 3.8 RPG, 2.0 APG, 2.8 TOPG|
|Antonio Ootesey (6'1, 180, Sr.)||-2.5||-0.19||13.0 MPG, 0.4 PPG (0.0% FG), 1.4 RPG|
|Anthony Jones (6'6, 240, Fr.)||-2.6||-0.48||5.3 MPG, 0.0 PPG|
* 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.
- Of the top seven players from last season (in terms of minutes played), only two returned this year. As I said, they had to figure they were going to take a step backwards while figuring everything out.
- Savalance Townsend was a solid all-around player for last season's team, but he is their go-to guy this year. He really doesn't do much wrong -- I guess he turns the ball over too much -- but he's not particularly amazing at anything either. If or when Mizzou beat UAPB tomorrow, Townsend won't be the reason why.
- Daniel Broughton, a Pine Bluff-Watson Chapel product, has done pretty well for a freshman against superior opposition. He easily has the highest per-minute contribution, and I assume his minutes will increase as the season progresses.
- Gavin Mongtomery is the third solid player on the roster. Like Townsend, he really doesn't take anything off the table, and his three steals per game are very impressive. Given his height and weight, I assume he will be covering Kim English quite a bit ... so expect a couple/few turnovers from Kimmeh.
- The rest of the roster is ... okay. Dominic Moore and Allen Smith, both seniors, are decent but can't shoot, and nobody else in the rotation really makes a positive impact. Do yourself a favor and look at some of those shooting percentages. Yikes.
Keys to the Game
Show Up. Students probably won't, nor will KC or StL alums, but if the team shows up and plays like they did down the stretch against La Salle ... then let's just say that my wish of seeing John Underwood logging a lot of minutes might begin to come true.
Protect the Ball. UAPB is truly good at one thing: theft. If Mike Dixon, Phil Pressey and company aren't careful with the ball, then the Lions could hang around a while. It appears the only way they can generate easy points is with turnovers, so ... um, don't turn the ball over.
Kim English. Like I said in the La Salle Study Hall piece, Kimmeh will maintain a permanent spot in the Keys list until he breaks through with a series of good games. If Mizzou can add "Good Kimmeh" to its list of assets -- with Marcus Denmon's scoring, Ricardo Ratliffe's rebounding, etc. -- then this team could be as good as we hoped it would be. But until then, we're not.
Prediction: pain. Or, using real numbers, we'll say Mizzou 94, UA-Pine Bluff 59.