Study Hall: Mizzou 81, Villanova 71 (And A Small Navy Preview)

NEW YORK, NY - DECEMBER 06: Marcus Denmon #12 of the Missouri Tigers steals the ball from JayVaughn Pinkston #22 of the Villanova Wildcats during the Jimmy V Men's Basketball Classic at Madison Square Garden on December 6, 2011 in New York City. (Photo by Nick Laham/Getty Images)

Your Trifecta: Denmon-Ratliffe-PPressey. Your winner: EVERYBODY! Okay, three people -- Gaknar, Ausgiano and ttt. Seriously, if the top is going to be this predictable, I'm going to go with a damn superfecta. Anyway, give your TRIfecta guesses for tomorrow's Navy game in comments.

So this game happened three days ago, and I almost saw none of it. The analysis on this site and others has been quite strong, so I'm not going to be able to add much to it, but let's peruse the stats nonetheless, then knock out a quick look at Navy.

Mizzou 81, Villanova 71


Mizzou
Nova
Pace (No. of Possessions)
67.0
Points Per Minute
2.03
1.78
Points Per Possession (PPP)
1.21
1.06
Points Per Shot (PPS)
1.23
1.18
2-PT FG% 43.9%
45.2%
3-PT FG% 40.0%
37.9%
FT% 83.3%
66.7%
True Shooting % 54.8%
53.3%




Mizzou Nova
Assists 23
16
Steals 8
4
Turnovers 8
15
Ball Control Index (BCI)
(Assists + Steals) / TO
3.88
1.33




Mizzou Nova
Expected Offensive Rebounds 14
13
Offensive Rebounds 14
13
Difference +0
+0

Pass, Pass, Pass

Twenty-three assists in 27 made baskets. Phil Pressey's AdjGS points below were only good, not great, but wow is he completely dominating the Missouri offense right now. And with their current proficiency -- 1.27 points per possession for the year, no worse than 1.21 in any one game (they averaged better than 1.21 per possession just once in the first eight games last year) -- it's hard to complain too much about that. Both Presseys and Mike Dixon are figuring out fantastic ways to contribute even if the shots aren't falling (and this season, the shots indeed haven't fallen; none of these three are shooting even 37% so far).

Breaking Even

Missouri isn't going to be an amazing rebounding team, but anytime they can break even, they are probably going to win. Villanova is a bigger team, and even though the Wildcats's bigs are a bit banged up, coming up with a +0 in the expected rebounds department was good enough.

Mizzou Player Stats

(Definitions at the bottom of the post.)

Player
AdjGS GmSc/Min Line
Marcus Denmon
28.1
0.72
39 Min, 28 Pts (10-16 FG, 6-10 3PT, 2-2 FT), 5 Reb (2 Off), 3 Ast
Ricardo Ratliffe
17.7
0.54
33 Min, 17 Pts (8-8 FG, 1-2 FT), 11 Reb (5 Off), 2 TO
Phil Pressey
12.6
0.52
24 Min, 8 Pts (1-8 FG, 0-4 3PT, 6-6 FT), 12 Ast, 3 Reb, 3 Stl, 3 TO
Kim English
7.8
0.24
32 Min, 15 Pts (5-12 FG, 3-7 3PT, 2-2 FT), 2 Reb, 2 TO
Matt Pressey
5.0
0.16
32 Min, 6 Pts (2-8 FG, 0-2 3PT, 2-2 FT), 6 Reb (2 Off)
Mike Dixon
4.6
0.18
25 Min, 6 Pts (2-13 FG, 1-2 3PT, 1-2 FT), 7 Ast, 3 Reb, 2 Stl
Steve Moore
3.5
0.23
15 Min, 1 Pt (0-1 FG, 1-2 FT), 3 Reb, 2 Stl
  • Mizzou got major contributions from only three players, and only played seven players ... and they won by ten regardless.
  • Lordy, Marcus.
  • Phil Pressey has 29 assists in the last three games.
Player Usage% Floor% Touches/
Poss.
%Pass %Shoot %Fouled %T/O
Denmon
21%
57%
2.8
49%
45%
6%
0%
Ratliffe
16%
68%
1.1
0%
66%
17%
17%
P. Pressey
28%
40%
11.0
80%
9%
7%
3%
English
23%
31%
1.5
0%
74%
13%
12%
M. Pressey
14%
29%
1.5
37%
50%
13%
0%
Dixon
29%
26%
6.9
72%
23%
4%
2%
Moore
6%
22%
0.6
0%
32%
68%
0%

To the checklist!

Marcus Denmon's Usage% needs to be 23% or higher. (Nope.)
Kim English's %T/O needs to be at 10% or lower. (Nope.)
Kim English's Floor% should be at 35% or higher. (Nope.)
Ricardo Ratliffe's %Fouled should be at least 10%. (Yes!)
Phil Pressey's Touches/Possession need to be 3.5 or better. (To say the least.)
Mike Dixon's %Pass should be 55% or higher. (Yes!)
Steve Moore's Touches/Possession should be at least 1.0. (Nope.)

Only three-for-seven. And again, a double-digit win. As was debated in this week's Roundtable, this wasn't the same type of statement win as the California game, but the fact that they were to win relatively comfortably despite clearly not being on their game was a different kind of statement. We know this team's ceiling -- and now we know that its floor really isn't all that low. They can play worse, obviously (and they surely will at some point), but they'll have to play relatively poorly to lose a game to even a decent team.

A Quick Navy Overview

So does Navy have anything to offer? Not really.

Navy Offense vs MU Defense Ranks

Navy Off. MU Defense Advantage
Efficiency 308
27
MU big
Effective FG% 225
74
MU big
Turnover % 303
30
MU big
Off. Reb. % 244
68
MU big
FTA/FGA 205
13
MU big
MU Offense vs Navy Defense Ranks

MU Offense Navy Def.
Advantage
Efficiency 4
239
MU big
Effective FG% 2
240
MU big
Turnover % 2
121
MU big
Off. Reb. % 184
148
Navy
FTA/FGA 138
99
Navy

Where the Middies are weakest

A lot of places. They are 3-7 despite having played only one team ranked higher than 197th in Ken Pomeroy's rankings. They lost by two (57-55) to No. 110 Tulane at home, and … that's their most impressive result. They have beaten No. 289 Mount St. Mary's (64-56), No. 317 Longwood (78-70) and Penn State-Altoona (88-54). They have kept things mostly close against other bad teams, but they've still lost to No. 197 Quinnipiac (78-54), No. 201 Albany (69-62), No. 202 Elon (51-48), No. 223 Siena (65-56), No. 329 Monmouth (69-67) and No. 341 MD-Eastern Shore (59-46). They are … not a good team. The offense offers little other than the ability to make free throws (though they don't actually draw many fouls), and they turn the ball over like their hands are greased. Not a particularly good sign. Meanwhile, they don't prevent you from taking good shots (which is a problem considering Missouri shoots incredibly well).

Where they are best

They block out well, and they don't foul. That's about it, but it does offer them a couple of slight advantages when Missouri has the ball. They also force turnovers at a decent rate, but probably not well enough against a Missouri team that has committed turnovers at the second-lowest rate in the country thus far.

Summary And Prediction

I guess I've already summarized the 'Nova game above, so regarding Navy, I'll just say Ken Pomeroy's projection is 87-56. Navy will probably try to slow the pace down as much as possible -- which would keep the score down a bit -- but I doubt they'll succeed. And if they can't slow things down, it becomes a "Name your score" game. If they play an average game, they should be able to win by however much they want.

---

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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