Mizzou 81, SEMO 65: Study Hall

USA TODAY Sports

Your Trifecta: Bowers-Bell-Criswell. First place was predictable, second place was semi-predictable, third place was out of the blue.

Mizzou 81, SEMO 65

Mizzou
SEMO
Pace (No. of Possessions) 65.2
Points Per Possession (PPP) 1.24 1.00
Points Per Shot (PPS) 1.21 1.10
2-PT FG% 48.1% 45.5%
3-PT FG% 30.8% 34.6%
FT% 81.0% 72.7%
True Shooting % 53.1% 50.9%
Mizzou SEMO
Assists 13 12
Steals 7 5
Turnovers 6 9
Ball Control Index (BCI)
(Assists + Steals) / TO
3.33 1.89
Mizzou SEMO
Expected Offensive Rebounds 14 13
Offensive Rebounds 17 6
Difference +3 -7

Tactical Flexibility: I Like It

Last night's game basically proved three things:

1. In its current state, this Missouri team is not as good as last year's. "In its current state" is important there because this team is built to continue growing for a while. Last year, Mizzou was at its best right now, which makes sense because almost everybody in the small rotation was a veteran and was familiar with the pieces around him.

2. This team really, really needs a player with Mike Dixon's skill set. Please be that guy, Jabari Brown. Please be that guy, Jabari Brown. Please be that guy, Jabari Brown. Please be that guy, Jabari Brown. Please be that guy, Jabari Brown. Please be that guy, Jabari Brown. Please be that guy, Jabari Brown. Please be that guy, Jabari Brown. (This is unfair to Brown, who has gone from luxury to necessity because of Dixon's boneheadedness.)

3. This team has infinitely more tactical flexibility than last year's team did. The lineup Frank Haith started in the first half didn't work, and he needed an energy boost ... and he actually had the pieces to make a lineup change. Last year, he had Mike Dixon available if Phil Pressey, Marcus Denmon or (more likely) Matt Pressey weren't fulfilling their roles, and he had Steve Moore to spell Ricardo Ratliffe if need be ... and that was it. Last night, against a smoking hot SEMO squad, he had Tony Criswell play quite a few of Alex Oriakhi's minutes in the second half, and he started Keion Bell in Negus Webster-Chan's spot, and the level of play improved almost immediately. Bell and Criswell provided some incredible energy, and it changed the game. We saw this team's flaws pretty clearly yesterday, but we also saw one of its biggest strengths bailing it out.

Avert Your Eyes

Taken from the official box score, here's last night's first-half box score.

At some point this season (probably multiple points), Mizzou will lose a game exactly as these stats played out in the first half. An opponent will get hot from 3-point range (as has happened many, many times in the last couple of seasons), Mizzou will be ice cold, and Mizzou won't be able to produce the level of ball control or ball theft to make up the difference. Every team loses games, and this will be how Mizzou loses a few. (Lord help us if MIzzou is cold against Illinois. The Illini can shoot.)

That said, this year's added tactical flexibility bailed Mizzou out. Criswell was available to give an offensive boost, and he did. Bell was asked to raise hell defensively, and he did. It won't always work, but it did last night.

Mizzou Player Stats

(Definitions at the bottom of the post.)

Player
AdjGS GmSc/Min Line
Laurence Bowers 25.5 0.73 35 Min, 26 Pts (10-18 FG, 2-2 3PT, 4-4 FT), 9 Reb (3 Off), 2 Blk
Keion Bell 14.9 0.47 32 Min, 12 Pts (5-9 FG, 0-1 3PT, 2-2 FT), 11 Reb (4 Off), 3 Ast, 2 TO
Tony Criswell 12.4 0.59 21 Min, 13 Pts (6-8 FG, 1-1 3PT), 3 Reb
Phil Pressey 10.2 0.26 40 Min, 17 Pts (4-18 FG, 1-7 3PT, 8-12 FT), 6 Reb, 5 Ast, 3 Stl, 3 TO
Alex Oriakhi 5.8 0.39 15 Min, 6 Pts (3-9 FG), 7 Reb (4 Off)
Ryan Rosburg 4.1 0.45 9 Min, 2 Pts (1-1 FG), 2 Reb, 2 Ast
Negus Webster-Chan 3.3 0.14 24 Min, 3 Pts (1-3 FG, 0-1 3PT, 1-1 FT), 2 Reb
Earnest Ross 2.6 0.11 24 Min, 2 Pts (0-1 FG, 0-1 3PT, 2-2 FT), 4 Reb
Player Usage% Floor% Touches/
Poss.
%Pass %Shoot %Fouled %T/O
Bowers 27% 53% 2.4 22% 67% 11% 0%
Bell 18% 49% 2.9 58% 30% 5% 7%
Criswell 19% 72% 1.2 0% 100% 0% 0%
Pressey 32% 30% 4.6 49% 30% 15% 5%
Oriakhi 29% 30% 1.9 0% 100% 0% 0%
Rosburg 5% 100% 4.4 92% 8% 0% 0%
NWC 7% 42% 1.3 61% 31% 8% 0%
Ross 6% 33% 1.2 63% 11% 16% 11%
  • I have been in the front car of the Laurence Bowers bandwagon for four full years now ... and I had no idea he had this level of scoring in him. You know how we always say that injuries hurt in the present tense and help in the future tense? It's not always true, but it's never been more true than with Bowers this year, both in the way that he improved his own game and the way he brings things to the table that this team wouldn't have without him.
  • Man oh man, did I love Keion Bell's game last night. Bottle that up and bring it every night. I don't need you to score more than you did, but the rebounding, the passing, the defense, the energy ... that was rather Julian Winfield-esque. That was what I always hoped to get from Jimmy McKinney. Color me impressed.
  • Zero minutes for Stefan Jankovic. I guess that's the other side of tactical flexibility. You don't have to play certain guys if you don't want to.
  • Negus Webster-Chan's last two games: three points on 1-for-7 shooting. I'm pretty sure I said this to Marcus Denmon on many, many occasions early in his career, but ... you probably don't want to disappear that much, NWC.

Summary

Deal with plenty of adversity and a hot opponent admittedly playing its "Super Bowl," and still win by 16. You'd rather win by 30, but this isn't bad. 7-1.

---

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.

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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