Know Your Semifinal Rival: Texas Longhorns

LEAVE YOUR TRIFECTA PICKS IN COMMENTS.

And now, we move on to the Longhorns. Mizzou swept the state of Texas in the regular season, but now they have a bit more work to do in that regard.

Missouri Vs. Texas (2-0)


MU
UT
Pace (No. of Possessions)
63.2
Points Per Minute
1.89
1.74
Points Per Possession (PPP)
1.19
1.10
Points Per Shot (PPS)
1.37
1.20
2-PT FG% 54.7%
45.5%
3-PT FG% 42.9%
39.3%
FT% 75.0%
68.4%
True Shooting % 60.8%
52.4%




MU UT
Assists/Gm 15.5
10.5
Steals/Gm 6.5
4.5
Turnovers/Gm 9.5
13.0
Ball Control Index (BCI)
(Assists + Steals) / TO
2.32
1.15




MU UT
Expected Off. Rebounds/Gm 10.0
12.5
Offensive Rebounds/Gm 7.0
16.0
Difference -3.0
+4.5

Where Mizzou Has Enjoyed The Biggest Matchup Advantages

3-Point Offense. Thanks mostly to the game in Columbia, Mizzou shot very well from the outside against the 'Horns. Marcus Denmon made four of nine, Phil Pressey three of seven in Columbia, while Mike Dixon made two of two in Austin. Mizzou made 15 of 35 overall, allowing them to withstand some interior troubles.

Ball Control. Mizzou had 20 assists and six steals in Columbia, though the going got a bit rougher in Austin -- 11 assists, seven steals, 10 turnovers. Still, they dominated in terms of ball control in both contests -- in terms of BCI, it was 2.89 to 1.50 in Columbia, 1.80 to 0.69 in Austin.

Where Texas Has Enjoyed The Biggest Matchup Advantages

Rebounding. Oh lord, rebounding. We saw all season how Mizzou's rebounding could be strong in one game, weak in another. But while they basically broke even with Kansas and did the same with Kansas State at home, they got waxed on the boards in both games versus Texas. In Columbia, the Longhorns grabbed 16 offensive rebounds and managed a plus-6 margin in terms of expected rebounds. In Austin, it was 16 more offensive rebounds and a plus-9 margin.

3-Point Defense. J'Covan Brown made seven of 14 3-pointers against Mizzou, although the two games were quite disparate -- he made six of seven in Columbia, one of seven in Austin. Myck Kabongo, meanwhile, made three of four bombs. Three others (Sheldon McClellan, Jonathan Holmes, Julien Lewis) combined to make just one of 10, but there's no question that Brown can take over a game once he gets rolling.

Common Opponents

Game Missouri UT
Baylor W (+15) L (-5)
at Baylor W (+1) L (-5)
Iowa State W (+6) W (+7)
at Iowa State W (+7) L (-6)
Kansas W (+3) L (-3)
at Kansas L (-1) L (-10)
Kansas State L (-10) W (+11)
at Kansas State L (-16) L (-4)
Oklahoma W (+38) W (+8)
at Oklahoma W (+3) W (+11)
Oklahoma State W (+18) W (+9)
at Oklahoma State L (-7) L (-12)
Texas A&M W (+19) W (+10)
at Texas A&M W (+9) W (+2)
Texas Tech W (+13) W (+27)
at Texas Tech W (+22) W (+4)

Transitive property says ... Mizzou by 5.9!

Mizzou Player Stats Vs. UT

Player AdjGS*/Gm GmSc/Min Line
Phil Pressey 18.6 0.52 35.5 MPG, 15.5 PPG (55% 2PT, 33% 3PT, 83% FT), 7.5 APG, 2.5 RPG, 2.0 SPG, 2.0 TOPG
Ricardo Ratliffe 17.3 0.62 28.0 MPG, 17.0 PPG (80% 2PT, 67% FT), 3.5 RPG, 1.5 BPG, 1.0 APG, 1.5 TOPG, 3.5 PFPG
Mike Dixon 12.7 0.53 24.0 MPG, 12.5 PPG (88% 2PT, 100% 3PT, 67% FT), 3.5 APG, 1.0 RPG, 2.5 TOPG
Marcus Denmon 11.0 0.31 35.5 MPG, 12.0 PPG (36% 2PT, 33% 3PT, 80% FT), 8.0 RPG, 1.5 APG, 1.0 SPG, 1.0 TOPG
Kim English 10.8 0.28 39.0 MPG, 11.0 PPG (50% 2PT, 38% 3PT, 71% FT), 5.0 RPG, 2.0 SPG, 1.0 APG, 2.0 TOPG
Matt Pressey 2.1 0.09 24.0 MPG, 5.0 PPG (20% 2PT, 67% 3PT, 0% FT), 2.0 RPG, 1.0 APG
Steve Moore 1.3 0.10 14.0 MPG, 2.5 PPG (29% 2PT, 50% FT), 2.0 BPG, 1.5 RPG

* AdjGS = a take-off of the Game Score metric (definition here) accepted by a lot of basketball stat nerds. It redistributes a team's points based not only on points scored, but also by giving credit for assists, rebounds (offensive & defensive), steals, blocks, turnovers and fouls. It is a stat intended to determine who had the biggest overall impact on the game itself, instead of just how many balls a player put through a basket.

  • Highest Usage%: Ratliffe (24%), P. Pressey (23%), Denmon (21%)
  • Highest Floor%: Ratliffe (64%), Dixon (62%), P. Pressey (48%)
  • Highest %Pass: P. Pressey (71%), Dixon (68%), M. Pressey (46%)
  • Highest %Shoot: Moore (77%), Ratliffe (53%), M. Pressey (50%)
  • Highest %Fouled: Moore (23%), English (19%), Denmon (11%)
  • Highest %T/O: English (10%), Ratliffe (8%), Dixon (8%)

Mizzou focused running the offense through Ricardo Ratliffe each game against Texas. With the absence of Alexis Wangmene (explained below), I would assume that may still be the case. Of course, that might depend on how hot Marcus Denmon gets. He was limited severely in Austin (six points, 3-for-12 shooting).

UT Player Stats Vs. Mizzou

One player you will not see below: Wangmene. The offensive rebounding specialist broke his wrist last week against Kansas, finishing his season. In all, Wangmene wasn't amazing versus Mizzou -- 1.3 Adj. GS per game, 0.08 per minute -- but he grabbed five offensive rebounds, and without him Texas is at least slightly less effective in the category that represented their biggest strength against the Tigers. Plus, he was a strong interior defender, and his absence puts a bit more pressure on, among other players, freshman Jaylen Bond.

Player AdjGS*/Gm GmSc/Min Line
J'Covan Brown (6'1, 197, Jr.) 26.5 0.70 38.0 MPG, 27.0 PPG (50% 2PT, 50% 3PT, 81% FT), 3.5 RPG, 2.0 APG, 1.5 TOPG
Jonathan Holmes (6'7, 239, Fr.) 10.1 0.44 23.0 MPG, 8.5 PPG (67% 2PT, 0% 3PT, 100% FT), 8.0 RPG, 1.5 BPG, 2.5 TOPG
Myck Kabongo (6'1, 169, Fr.) 8.6 0.25 34.5 MPG, 11.0 PPG (33% 2PT, 75% 3PT, 75% FT), 5.5 APG, 1.0 RPG, 1.0 SPG, 3.5 PFPG, 3.5 TOPG
Clint Chapman (6'10, 245, Sr.) 7.6 0.39 19.5 MPG, 6.0 PPG (67% 2PT, 0% FT), 5.5 RPG, 1.0 BPG, 3.5 PFPG, 1.0 TOPG
Jaylen Bond (6'7, 224, Fr.) 5.9 0.51 11.5 MPG, 2.5 PPG (50% 2PT, 50% FT), 4.0 RPG
Julien Lewis (6'3, 190, Fr.) 4.2 0.12 34.0 MPG, 7.0 PPG (31% 2PT, 0% 3PT, 100% FT), 4.0 RPG, 1.5 APG, 1.5 TOPG
Sheldon McClellan (6'4, 200, Fr.) 2.6 0.11 22.5 MPG, 4.0 PPG (33% 2PT, 17% 3PT, 50% FT), 3.0 RPG, 1.5 SPG, 1.0 APG, 1.5 TOPG

* AdjGS = a take-off of the Game Score metric (definition here) accepted by a lot of basketball stat nerds. It redistributes a team's points based not only on points scored, but also by giving credit for assists, rebounds (offensive & defensive), steals, blocks, turnovers and fouls. It is a stat intended to determine who had the biggest overall impact on the game itself, instead of just how many balls a player put through a basket.

  • Highest Usage%: Brown (29%), Kabongo (20%), Holmes (20%)
  • Highest Floor%: Chapman (49%), Bond (48%), Brown (46%)
  • Highest %Pass: Kabongo (69%), Bond (51%), McClellan (41%)
  • Highest %Shoot: Chapman (76%), Holmes (69%), Brown (46%)
  • Highest %Fouled: Brown (18%), Bond (14%), Lewis (8%)
  • Highest %T/O: Holmes (27%), Chapman (17%), McClellan (11%)

Keys to the Game

  1. The Glass. This one needs no explanation. Mizzou beat Texas twice, but they did so by only 12 points, in part because they couldn't grab a rebound. Limit Texas to one-and-done, and you put a lot of pressure on either J'Covan Brown, or somebody quite a bit less likely, to get smoking hot.

  2. Denmon Vs. Brown. Technically, it's Denmon, Kim English, Mike Dixon ... somebody, anybody. Brown is easily one of the most high-volume scorers Mizzou has faced this year, and while they did a much better job of limiting his opportunities in the rematch, he can be allowed to go off a bit as long as someone can match him, or at least come relatively close. Mizzou's supporting cast (which changes from game to game) is infinitely more explosive than Texas', but as we saw in Columbia, Brown can single-handedly keep Texas in the game.

  3. Good Flip. We got Great Flip in Columbia and Decent Flip in Austin; in all, he was easily Mizzou's best player over the full 80 minutes, and if he is as good as he was, either against Texas or against Oklahoma State last night, Missouri will be very, very tough to beat.

Prediction

Ken Pomeroy's projections say Mizzou wins, 76-71. Transitive property says Mizzou by six. I'll ride the Sprint Center Magic as long as it lasts and bump it up a few more points. How does Mizzou 79, Texas 69 sound? Good?

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