What Does Robin Pingeton Mean to Mizzou Women's Basketball?

What? Two all-sports posts in a week? Who do we think we are?

Christine Flores pic via The Missourian

So the Robin Pingeton Era is about to start for Mizzou Women's Basketball.  We have heard that she is a pretty defense-heavy coach that might bring a rather familiar high-pressure style to Mizzou Arena.  Since we have the stats at our fingertips, let's take a look at what the stats might tell us about Pingeton's Tigers ... give Pingeton the nerd treatment, so to speak.

Mizzou Stats vs Illinois State Stats (2009-10)

MU
Opp
ISU Opp
Pace 67.3 66.8
Points Per Minute
1.53 1.51 1.72 1.50
Points Per Possession (PPP)
0.92 0.91 1.03 0.90
Points Per Shot (PPS)
1.04 1.12 1.23 1.03
2-PT FG% 41.2% 44.1% 47.5% 37.9%
3-PT FG% 28.2% 32.6% 36.4% 32.6%
FT% 67.3% 69.7% 80.5% 72.3%
True Shooting % 45.7% 49.3% 54.5% 45.6%
MU Opp ISU Opp
Assists/Gm 12.3 9.8 14.0 11.3
Steals/Gm 8.5 5.7 6.5 7.1
Turnovers/Gm 14.2 18.8 15.3 13.6
Ball Control Index
(Assists + Steals) / TO
1.46 0.82 1.34 1.35
MU Opp ISU Opp
Expected Offensive Rebounds/Gm 14.3 12.3 11.6 14.1
Offensive Rebounds/Gm 14.5 12.5 11.0 12.0
Difference +0.2 +0.2 -0.6 -2.1


The first thing that jumps out here is that Mizzou and Illinois State played an extremely similar pace in 2009-10 -- ISU just played it better.  This isn't a Mike Anderson-style high-pressure defense that Pingeton brings -- it's a high-leverage, low-FG% defense.  It's pretty hard to shoot worse than Mizzou did last year, but as a collective, ISU opponents did just that, making well less than 40% of their 2-pointers, which is pretty brutal.  ISU actually didn't force a ton of turnovers -- they just forced bad shots and grabbed the defensive rebound.

On offense, the Lady Redbirds seemed rather high-risk, high-reward.  They were decent from long-range and solid on 2-pointers, but they turned the ball over quite a bit, which led to them actually losing the BCI battle on a game-by-game basis.

Offense %Pass %Shoot %Fouled %Turnover
Mizzou (09-10) 44.4% 36.5% 10.4% 8.7%
Illinois State (09-10) 48.5% 33.0% 9.5% 9.0%


As a whole, the main differences between Mizzou's and Illinois State's offense are that a) ISU passed a little more, and b) ISU shot much, much, MUCH better.  Honestly, Mizzou was relatively solid in most aspects last year ... they just couldn't shoot.  I mean, REALLY couldn't shoot.  Like, "six players under 40%, including three of their top five players."  That was Mizzou's downfall for most of the last few years of the Cindy Stein Era.  If Pingeton can bring in players that play defense like Stein's did, but can actually shoot the ball, then this team could pretty quickly become a middling NCAA Tournament contender.

 

When Pingeton took the Illinois State job after years as an assistant in Ames, she inherited a program in poor shape, having finished with losing records six straight years.  She clearly built a strong program, but it took a while.  Illinois State finished 16-13, 13-18 and 12-16 in her first three seasons before turning the corner.  In the last four years, they went 22-11, 26-7, 27-8 and 28-8.  It took her a bit to get players to fit her system -- she might be in luck here, at least on the defensive end -- but when she did, things looked pretty good.

What is Pingeton inheriting?  Let's take a look at Mizzou's player stats from this past season.

Mizzou Player Stats (2009-10)

Player
AdjGS/Gm GmSc/Min Line
RaeShara Brown (5'8, G, Jr.) 12.6 0.39 32.3 MPG, 9.7 PPG (39.7% FG), 4.7 RPG, 3.2 APG, 2.9 SPG, 2.4 TOPG
Christine Flores (6'3, F, So.) 10.9 0.64 17.1 MPG, 9.3 PPG (46.1% FG), 4.5 RPG, 1.3 BPG
Jessra Johnson (6'1, F, Sr.) 10.9 0.41 26.3 MPG, 12.6 PPG (34.8% FG), 6.0 RPG, 1.4 APG, 1.2 SPG, 1.1 BPG, 2.4 TOPG
Shakara Jones (6'2, F, Jr.) 9.0 0.33 27.4 MPG, 9.1 PPG (43.0% FG), 5.5 RPG, 1.8 APG, 1.9 TOPG
Amanda Hanneman (5'11, F, Sr.) 6.1 0.22 27.4 MPG, 9.2 PPG (33.8% FG), 2.7 RPG, 1.1 SPG, 1.8 TOPG
Bailey Gee (5'11, G, So.) 4.0 0.47 8.6 MPG, 4.5 PPG (62.5% FG), 1.8 RPG (8 Gm)
Toy Richbow (5'6, G, Sr.) 3.8 0.12 32.9 MPG, 4.1 PPG (29.4% FG), 3.3 RPG, 1.8 APG, 1.5 TOPG
Marissa Scott (6'2, F, Sr.) 2.3 0.15 15.0 MPG, 2.2 PPG (42.2% FG), 1.8 RPG, 1.1 APG
Kendra Frazier (6'5, C, So.) 1.9 0.31 6.3 MPG, 1.8 PPG (34.4% FG), 1.6 RPG
Sydney Crafton (5'10, G, Fr.) 1.8 0.47 23 minutes
BreAnna Brock (6'2, F, So.) 1.7 0.21 8.1 MPG, 2.7 PPG (40.0% FG), 1.7 RPG
Jasmyn Otote (5'9, G, Jr.) 1.3 0.10 14.1 MPG, 2.8 PPG (22.4% FG), 1.5 RPG
Trenee Thornton (5'7, G, Fr.) -0.1 -0.05 15 minutes


Barring any announced transfers, Mizzou will have to replace 33.9% of its minutes and 35.5% of its production, which seems pretty daunting ... but look at the per-minute stats.  Jessra Johnson was clearly a strong player (despite the low FG%), but the other three departing players averaged just 0.22, 0.12, and 0.15 AdjGS per minute.  Clearly these high-minute players, especially Amanda Hanneman and Toy Richbow contributed to Mizzou's strong defensive play in 2009-10, but they were lacking on the offensive end, and at least on that end, they can hopefully be replaced sufficiently and quickly.

(It should also be noted that two Tiger regulars -- sophomore guards Bekah Mills (23.0 MPG in 2008-09) and Bailey Gee -- were lost to ACL injury either before the season or quickly into the season.  If they recover fully, and there's no reason to think they won't, then replacing Hanneman and Richbow gets easier.)

Comparatively speaking, RaeShara Brown was a rather strong shooter for Mizzou in 2009-10, shooting 34.4% from long-range and displaying a solid mid-range game (41.5% on 2-pointers ... not great, but not bad for this team).  She is the only proven scorer in the backcourt for the Tigers next season.

Meanwhile, Mizzou might have a strength in the frontcourt.  On a per-minute basis, Christine Flores was Mizzou's best player this past season.  She was at least a decent shooter, got to the line a ton, and was by far Mizzou's best rebounder.  If she can stay on the court (her foul rate was a bit high), then we could potentially see something like 12 PPG and 7 RPG from her next year.  She teams with Shak Jones, who hasn't yet lived up to her lofty high school hype, and huge Kendra Frazier, to give Mizzou some really nice frontcourt depth.  The defense should still be strong in 2010-11, though it remains to be seen whether Mizzou will improve at all in terms of putting the ball in the basket.

Summary

In all, this appears to be a decent hire for Mizzou, albeit not a guaranteed homerun.  Mizzou could have tried to go after a hot-shot assistant of some sort (Shea Ralph, maybe?), but that seems to go against Mike Alden's general style.  He looks for the long-term fix, and even though Mizzou might not show significant improvement for a couple of years, Pingeton certainly seems like the program-builder type who could bring Mizzou back to the NCAAs in a few years.  As with all mid-major coaches, it remains to be seen how well she can recruit at a major-program level, but that would have been the case had Mizzou gone with Jeff Mittie too.  We won't know for a while if Pingeton is a better hire than Mittie might have been, but at this point Alden has a pretty good track record, and with the generally low budget Mizzou is working with when it comes to Women's BB, it certainly appears that Mizzou could have done worse.

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