Study Hall: Mizzou 70, Texas A&M 51

Your Trifecta: Ratliffe-Denmon-Dixon. Your winner: MizzouRah04! You win bragging rights over all of your Internet friends!

In the eight years since Missouri had beaten Texas A&M in basketball...

* I got engaged, got married, procreated, stormed off of Tigerboard, started a Google group, adopted a dog, bought a house, and started two jobs and five blogs.

* Four full Mizzou basketball recruiting classes came and went.

* Mizzou hired A&M's recently fired head coach, fired their own head coach, hired a new guy and replaced the new guy when he left.

* Gary Pinkel almost got fired, then led his team to three seasons with double-digit wins.

* "Conference realignment" went from "The ACC picks off a few good Big East programs" to "OH MY GOD, ARMAGEDDON" to a 14-team SEC (and a 14-team ACC after they picked off a couple more Big East programs).

* Texas A&M hired a good coach, then lost him to Kentucky. Then they hired a different new coach and lost him to Maryland.

* TCU changed conferences 12 times. (Give or take.)

A bunch of other, actually important stuff actually happened, too, but the general point here is that ... yeah, it had been a while. And now the streak is over.

Mizzou 70, Texas A&M 51

Pace (No. of Possessions) 59.8
Points Per Minute 1.75
Points Per Possession (PPP) 1.17
Points Per Shot (PPS) 1.49
2-PT FG% 46.7%
3-PT FG% 29.4%
FT% 87.1%
True Shooting % 57.7%

Mizzou A&M
Assists 12
Steals 9
Turnovers 11
Ball Control Index (BCI)
(Assists + Steals) / TO

Mizzou A&M
Expected Offensive Rebounds 10
Offensive Rebounds 12
Difference +2

Your Ho-Hum, Run Of The Mill 28-2 Run

With 7:30 left in the first half, Mizzou trailed, 17-14.

With 1:25 left in the first half, Mizzou led, 42-19.

When Mizzou goes on a run, they go on a run. It wasn't quite the 30-0 run against Colorado about a decade ago, but I'll take it. Mizzou scored 28 points (and went 5-for-5 on 3-pointers) in 6:05 and scored 42 points (and went 0-for-12) in the game's other 33:55. Odd game. I cannot necessarily say that Mizzou began hoisting poor shots or playing particularly awful basketball ... it's just that the shots wouldn't fall, and then they did. And then they didn't again. Credit goes to Mizzou for playing aggressively enough to keep (occasionally) scoring enough to win.

Bipolar On The Boards

Mizzou has now whipped Oklahoma, Iowa State and Texas A&M on the boards and been whipped by Kansas State and Texas. But aside from a few lapses early in the second half, Mizzou's work on the glass yesterday helped them to fend off a gradual comeback attempt.

Mizzou Player Stats

(Definitions at the bottom of the post.)

AdjGS GmSc/Min Line
Ricardo Ratliffe
31 Min, 17 Pts (5-7 FG, 7-8 FT), 6 Reb (4 Off), 2 Stl
Marcus Denmon
38 Min, 16 Pts (4-11 FG, 1-7 3PT, 7-8 FT), 9 Reb (2 Off), 3 Ast, 2 Stl, 2 TO
Mike Dixon
26 Min, 18 Pts (6-10 FG, 4-7 3PT, 2-2 FT), 5 Reb, 2 Ast, 5 PF
Phil Pressey
32 Min, 10 Pts (2-5 FG, 0-1 3PT, 6-6 FT), 7 Reb, 4 Ast, 3 Stl, 3 TO
Kim English
34 Min, 8 Pts (2-9 FG, 0-2 3PT, 4-4 FT), 5 Reb
Steve Moore
13 Min, 1 Pt (0-2 FG, 1-3 FT), 2 Reb
Matt Pressey
23 Min, 0 Pts (0-3 FG), 3 Reb (2 Off), 2 Ast, 2 TO
Andrew Jones
1 Min
Jarrett Sutton
1 Min
Andy Rosburg
1 Min
  • For all intents and purposes, Mizzou has three players capable of scoring 30 points in a game: Marcus Denmon, Kim English and Mike Dixon. But when they absolutely need a bucket in crunch time, they go to Ricardo Ratliffe. He was automatic late in yesterday's game, and he was as instrumental as anybody in stretching the lead back out to nearly 20 points.
  • Mike Dixon scored 15 of his 18 points in the 28-2 first-half run. He doesn't deliver in a major way in every game, but when he does...
  • You've got to love Marcus Denmon's recent work on the glass. He was one board shy of his second consecutive double-double, and despite going 1-for-7 from long-range (the one make, naturally, came during the 28-2 run), he nudged his way into the Trifecta regardless.
  • Like Denmon, Kim English figured out ways to contribute without making shots. That Missouri can win a game by 19 despite Denmon and English combining to shoot 6-for-20 from the field says something. (Now don't do it again, guys.)
  • I was going to say that Phil Pressey was a bit sloppier yesterday afternoon, but after his "12 assists, two steals, no turnovers, and a bunch of key baskets" performance against Texas, anything was going to seen sloppier.
  • Nothing of note from Steve Moore and Matt Pressey in this one. We'll just say they were saving their contributions for Saturday.
Player Usage% Floor% Touches/
%Pass %Shoot %Fouled %T/O
P. Pressey
M. Pressey

To the checklist!

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

Five-for-seven. Despite a couple of scoring droughts, Mizzou kept track of who they were, and it paid off ... especially in terms of Ricardo Ratliffe's drawing contact and getting to the line.

Three Keys Revisited

From yesterday's preview.

Rebound. Of Course.

Mizzou has been rather hit-or-miss on the glass this year, dominating Oklahoma, getting dominated versus Kansas State, dominating Iowa State, and getting dominated versus Texas. A&M's offense isn't very good, and if you limit them to one-and-done, then their poor shooting will eventually do them in.

Mizzou: +6 Expected Rebounds


Star Versus Star.

Khris Middleton is still a very scary player, even if he's been only decent this season. He could go off in a Missouri victory, not unlike what J'Covan Brown pulled off on Saturday, but if Mizzou's own scoring star, Marcus Denmon (or perhaps Kim English) can match Middleton's production, it is difficult to see how A&M scores enough to win.

Khris Middleton: 32 minutes, 13 points (5-12 FG, 2-4 3PT, 1-3 FT), 7 rebounds, 1 assist, 4 turnovers
Marcus Denmon: 38 minutes, 16 points (4-11 FG, 1-7 3PT, 7-8 FT), 9 rebounds, 3 assists, 2 turnovers


No Knockdowns

Call this post-traumatic stress. Last time A&M played in Columbia, Mizzou led 55-46 with ten minutes left ... and then trailed 63-56 with three minutes left. It was truly the worst 13 minutes ever. [...]

All 2011-12 stats suggest that Missouri is, far and away, the superior team in today's game. And they are at home, too boot. But last time A&M was in town, Mizzou was superior as well (at least with A&M's injuries), and it didn't matter. It didn't even matter that they owned the first 25 minutes of the game. They lost anyway. If they avoid a disastrous round or two, they should win, but if A&M starts to get momentum, all of Mizzou Arena will clam up in a hurry.

If we're scoring this like a 10-round fight, here's what I got...

Round 1: 10-10
Round 2: 10-9 ATM
Round 3: 10-9 MU
Round 4: 10-7 MU (two knockdowns)
Round 5: 10-9 MU
Round 6: 10-9 ATM
Round 7: 10-9 ATM
Round 8: 10-9 MU
Round 9: 10-8 MU (one knockdown)
Round 10: 10-10

Success! The only knockdowns were Mizzou's, and A&M wasn't able to make any sort of major run, even when they were controlling a couple of the middle rounds.


17-1. 17-1! At the start of this season, I honestly would have been satisfied with an NCAA Tourney bid of any kind. Even as they head to Waco this weekend for a really difficult matchup, it is just amazing how much my expectations have changed from two months ago.


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 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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