Study Hall: Missouri 94, William & Mary 56

Your Trifecta: Dixon-English-MPressey. Your winner: nobody. The guys have certainly taken some departures from the "Denmon-Ratliffe-?" Trifecta habit they were developing.

Missouri began the season projected in Ken Pomeroy's Top 15, but I'm not sure many Mizzou fans actually believed that to be likely, not with an injured Laurence Bowers, a new coach, and a distinct lack of size. Instead, it turns out that over the first month of the season, Top 15 was pessimistic. After a lackluster first two games that saw them beat SE Missouri State and Mercer by an average of just 17 points, the Tigers have ripped off nine consecutive wins, with only one coming by less than 25 points.

The schedule was perceived to be relatively difficult, with neutral site games versus Notre Dame, California and Villanova; but with Notre Dame and Villanova disappointing thus far, Mizzou has ended up with a rather dreadful strength of schedule. That's where the margin of victory comes in handy. Mizzou could have started 11-0 while only performing at a semi-impressive level. But Mizzou has consistently dominated.

Of course, none of this matters now. The season begins in earnest on Thursday, with Illinois, Old Dominion (on the road) and 18 Big 12 conference games awaiting. With 11 wins banked, Mizzou would have to completely fall apart to miss the NCAA Tournament, but there are other goals (Big 12 title, high NCAA Tourney seed) on the table now.

We're going to start by looking just at the first-half stats of this one, as it was one of Mizzou's most impressive halves of an already impressive season.

First Half: Mizzou 44, William & Mary 18


Mizzou
W&M
Pace (No. of Possessions) 33.5
Points Per Minute 2.20
0.90
Points Per Possession (PPP) 1.31
0.54
Points Per Shot (PPS) 1.47
0.82
2-PT FG% 70.0%
27.3%
3-PT FG% 20.0%
18.2%
FT% 90.9%
66.7%
True Shooting % 63.1%
34.7%




Mizzou W&M
Assists 5
2
Steals 8
2
Turnovers 4
11
Ball Control Index (BCI)
(Assists + Steals) / TO
3.25
0.36




Mizzou W&M
Expected Offensive Rebounds 5
6
Offensive Rebounds 5
3
Difference +0
-3

(First Half Trifecta: Dixon-English-Ratliffe. There would have been no winner with that either.)

William & Mary shot 5-for-22 in the first half, and their turnovers more than doubled their made field goals. Mizzou won on the glass, dominated in the ball-handling department, and still almost scored 50 points despite a relatively slow pace. After an iffy first few possessions, Mizzou completely dominated on both sides of the ball. They also scored the first 19 points of the game. That was fun; they should definitely do that more often.

Mizzou 94, William & Mary 56


Mizzou
W&M
Pace (No. of Possessions) 65.6
Points Per Minute 2.35
1.40
Points Per Possession (PPP) 1.43
0.85
Points Per Shot (PPS) 1.62
1.06
2-PT FG% 75.7%
45.2%
3-PT FG% 33.3%
22.7%
FT% 85.0%
65.0%
True Shooting % 70.4%
45.3%




Mizzou W&M
Assists 18
8
Steals 11
4
Turnovers 6
14
Ball Control Index (BCI)
(Assists + Steals) / TO
4.83
0.86




Mizzou W&M
Expected Offensive Rebounds 8
13
Offensive Rebounds 6
10
Difference -2
-3

The ball-handling and offense got quite a bit better in the second half, though the defense and rebounding slacked a bit. Still, it is difficult to get too worried about that lapse, considering a) Mizzou had coasted to a 25+ point lead before it happened, and b) Mizzou still won by 38.

Mizzou Player Stats

(Definitions at the bottom of the post.)

Player
AdjGS GmSc/Min Line
Mike Dixon
25.9
0.93
28 Min, 30 Pts (13-19 FG, 3-7 3PT, 1-1 FT), 3 Stl, 2 Ast
Kim English
16.6
0.69
24 Min, 17 Pts (3-6 FG, 2-3 3PT, 9-9 FT), 4 Reb, 3 Stl, 2 TO
Matt Pressey
13.3
0.46
29 Min, 11 Pts (5-6 FG, 1-1 3PT), 5 Reb (2 Off), 3 Ast
Ricardo Ratliffe
11.3
0.47
24 Min, 11 Pts (5-6 FG, 1-2 FT), 7 Reb (2 Off), 2 Ast, 2 Blk, 2 TO
Phil Pressey
8.3
0.33
25 Min, 6 Pts (2-6 FG, 0-3 3PT, 2-2 FT), 5 Ast, 3 Reb
Kadeem Green
5.4
0.34
16 Min, 4 Pts (2-2 FG, 0-2 FT), 5 Reb
Marcus Denmon
4.8
0.17
28 Min, 7 Pts (3-11 FG, 1-7 3PT), 4 Reb, 3 Ast
Steve Moore
4.5
0.30
15 Min, 4 Pts (2-2 FG), 3 Reb, 2 Ast
Andy Rosburg
2.3
1.15
2 Min, 2 Pts (2-2 FT), 1 Reb
Andrew Jones
1.6
0.80
2 Min, 2 Pts (2-2 FT), 1 PF
Jarrett Sutton
-0.1
-0.01
7 Min, 1 Reb, 1 PF
  • At this point, Mizzou has three players reasonably capable of scoring 30 points in any given game (Dixon, English, Denmon) and three others capable of scoring 20 (Pressey, Pressey, Ratliffe). If you are going to lack any semblance of serious depth and scholarship players, that's one way to overcome it.
  • It's also nice to know that Mizzou can win a game by almost 40 with Marcus Denmon contributing almost nothing. Actually, Denmon and Dixon have almost completely reversed roles in the last two games:

    Denmon: 58 minutes, 24 points (11-for-22 FG, 2-for-9 3PT), 10 rebounds, 3 assists, 5 steals
    Dixon: 53 minutes, 48 points (18-for-26 FG, 5-for-11 3PT), 3 rebounds, 6 assists, 6 steals
  • In the last two games, Dixon and English have combined to shoot 8-for-18 (44%) from 3-point range. Everybody else on the team: 5-for-21 (24%). Odd.
  • In the last six games, Phil Pressey is averaging 8.2 assists and 5.7 points per game. I won't get worried about the 27% shooting in that span ... yet.
  • In the last six games, Ricardo Ratliffe is shooting 86% from the field.
  • In the last two games, Kadeem Green has scored 12 points and grabbed 11 rebounds.
  • Once again, I loved Jones' fist pumps after his free throws. He is a really, really easy guy to root for. (Both his and Rosburg's free throws looked pure and pretty, by the way.)
  • It's a little thing, but I really like Frank Haith's substitution patterns in blowouts. I love that he brings in the walk-ons in in the first half, and I love that Jarrett Sutton has seen four or more minutes in games six times. I realize part of that is due to the fact that there is almost literally no bench (and the alternative to playing walk-ons is keeping the starters in even more), but still.
Player Usage% Floor% Touches/
Poss.
%Pass %Shoot %Fouled %T/O
Dixon
38%
65%
3.4
37%
60%
3%
0%
English
27%
46%
2.7
28%
28%
34%
9%
M. Pressey
13%
73%
2.6
72%
24%
0%
4%
Ratliffe
20%
59%
2.7
55%
28%
7%
9%
P. Pressey
15%
49%
4.5
79%
16%
4%
0%
Green
10%
67%
0.7
0%
56%
44%
0%
Denmon
22%
31%
3.1
62%
38%
0%
0%
Moore
11%
71%
3.0
80%
14%
0%
7%

To the checklist!

Marcus Denmon's Usage% needs to be 23% or higher. (No.)
Kim English's %T/O needs to be at 10% or lower. (Yes!)
Kim English's Floor% should be at 35% or higher. (Yes!)
Ricardo Ratliffe's %Fouled should be at least 10%. (No.)
Phil Pressey's Touches/Possession need to be 3.5 or better. (Yes!)
Mike Dixon's %Pass should be 55% or higher. (No.)
Steve Moore's Touches/Possession should be at least 1.0. (Yes!)

Basically, if you reversed the roles of Denmon and Dixon, this was a nearly perfect game. Dixon was the shooting guard, Denmon was the 1.5.

Summary

11-0. Bring on Braggin' Rights.

---

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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