Missouri 72, Southern Illinois 59: Study Hall

Dak Dillon-USA TODAY Sports

Your Trifecta: Clarkson-Brown-Ross. Or, if we're being fair, Clarkson-Clarkson-Clarkson.

One thing hit me last night that I hadn't thought about yet: We're going to see a lot of zone defense this year. By "we," I mean both Mizzou basketball and basketball fans. It's a reasonably smart play against Missouri since this isn't an amazing 3-point shooting team (then again, the Tigers are 19-for-41 so far this year...); but really, I just mean this as a general statement. Hope you like zones because the new whistle rules will probably prompt a lot of them.

Mizzou 72, SIU 59

Mizzou
SIU
Pace (No. of Possessions) 68.4
Points Per Possession (PPP) 1.05 0.86
Points Per Shot (PPS) 1.36 1.00
2-PT FG% 48.6% 48.7%
3-PT FG% 38.9% 30.0%
FT% 63.0% 33.3%
True Shooting % 55.5% 46.9%
Mizzou SIU
Assists 10 11
Steals 6 4
Turnovers 12 14
Ball Control Index (BCI)
(Assists + Steals) / TO
1.33 1.07
Mizzou SIU
Expected Offensive Rebounds 12.0 12.9
Offensive Rebounds 8 9
Difference -4.0 -3.9

Good: SIU didn't shoot well

The Salukis had a nice streak of shooting in the first half -- and by "the Salukis," I mean Desmar Jackson -- but were under 50% on 2-pointers and right at 30% on 3-pointers. I'll take that every night. A lot of post-game discussion has focused on Missouri over-rotating on defense, and how it can open up shots. It also hurries/harries a lot of shots and can disrupt an offense's flow, especially with the long bodies in Mizzou's backcourt. I'd like to see rotations a little more sound, obviously, but SIU wore down from the field, and I think that often over-aggressive style had a little something to do with it.

Bad: The glass

In terms of expected rebounds, Mizzou and SIU basically fought to a draw. With offense coming basically from three people, Mizzou is going to have to be very good on the glass, especially since none of those three people are big men. Mizzou was as good as ever on the defensive glass, but while Jordan Clarkson and Johnathan Williams III had five offensive rebounds, the rest of the team combined had just three. Keanau Post, Ryan Rosburg, Stefan Jankovic, and Torren Jones combined for two in 45 minutes, and only player on the team (Jankovic) had an offensive rebounding rate better than 10 percent. Gotta step that up.

Good: Mizzou won BCI!

This isn't nearly as important a measure as it was in the Mike Anderson years, but it's still important, and it's not something at which Missouri thrived in the two exhibitions and against SELA.

Bad: Jordan Clarkson and Jabari Brown each played 40 minutes

And Earnest Ross played 36. SIU could very well be a pretty solid team this year, but you still don't want your Big Three combining for 116 of 120 possible minutes in your second game of the season against a "pretty solid" mid-major. Wes Clark got into some foul trouble, and ... there was nobody else on the bench. Whatever bug has been ailing Shane Rector over the last week needs to leave so he can get into game shape and prove capable of providing at least a few minutes a game.

Good: Holy moly, look at Jordan Clarkson's stat line below

Mizzou Player Stats

(Definitions at the bottom of the post.)

Player
AdjGS GmSc/Min Line
Jordan Clarkson 43.2 1.08 40 Min, 31 Pts (12-18 FG, 1-2 3PT, 6-7 FT), 5 Ast, 3 Reb, 2 Stl
Jabari Brown 12.9 0.32 40 Min, 17 Pts (5-14 FG, 3-7 3PT, 4-6 FT), 7 Reb, 2 Ast, 3 TO, 3 PF
Earnest Ross 10.5 0.29 36 Min, 11 Pts (2-10 FG, 2-7 3PT, 5-8 FT), 6 Reb, 2 Ast, 2 Stl, 2 Blk, 2 TO
Johnathan Williams III 6.8 0.26 26 Min, 6 Pts (3-6 FG), 5 Reb (2 Off), 3 PF
Ryan Rosburg 0.9 0.04 24 Min, 2 Pts (1-2 FG), 9 Reb, 3 TO, 3 PF
Wes Clark 0.7 0.06 12 Min, 4 Pts (1-2 3PT, 1-4 FT), 4 PF
Danny Feldmann 0.0 0.00 1 Min
Torren Jones -0.1 -0.02 6 Min, 0 Pts (0-1 FG), 2 Reb
Stefan Jankovic -0.3 -0.04 8 Min, 1 Pt (1-2 FT), 2 Reb
Keanau Post -1.1 -0.16 7 Min, 0 Pts, 2 Reb
Player Usage% Floor% Touches/
Poss.
%Pass %Shoot %Fouled %T/O
Clarkson 27% 64% 3.8 56% 34% 10% 0%
Brown 26% 33% 2.4 35% 42% 14% 9%
Ross 22% 27% 2.4 39% 33% 21% 7%
JW3 12% 46% 0.7 0% 100% 0% 0%
Rosburg 11% 24% 1.3 54% 18% 0% 28%
Clark 21% 27% 1.5 0% 33% 51% 16%
Jones 9% 0% 0.5 0% 100% 0% 0%
Jankovic 12% 22% 0.9 0% 0% 61% 39%
Post 7% 0% 0.4 0% 0% 0% 100%
  • Good (REALLY REALLY GOOD):Clarkson had 31 points on 18 shots, five assists, two steals, and zero turnovers. That's one of the best stat lines you'll ever see from a guard. Goodness.
  • Bad: Clarkson was the only player with a per-minute rate better than 0.32. Between 0.30 and 0.40 is decent, but 0.40+ is much, much better. (And 1.08 is insanely good, like, Doug Smith good.)
  • Good: I'd like another bucket or two, but I do think this is about what I want from JW3 to start this season. Post up a couple of times, grab a couple of offensive rbounds, slash to the rim once or twice, don't foul too much. Asking for more than that of a freshman is always iffy, so hopefully Mizzou doesn't need more than that.
  • Bad: Big Three 66.6, JW3 6.8, Everybody Else 0.1. That's just not going to cut it. Mizzou is going to need more than 3.5 players. (And no, Wes Clark is not always going to commit four fouls in 12 minutes.)
  • Good: While zones make me queasy, I do think that, with Clarkson and Brown (and to a lesser extent, Ross), Mizzou has a couple of slashers that are built perfectly for the new rules. There is less of a penalty for lowering your head and throwing yourself at the rim, and both Clarkson and Brown seem to be pretty good at that.
  • Bad: Seriously ... Post/Rosburg/Jankovic/Jones/Feldmann: 46 minutes, 3 points (1-3 FG, 1-2 FT), 2 offensive rebounds, no blocks, six fouls. Again, the defensive rebounding is solid and could become a strength, but if that's all Mizzou is getting from its bigs (outside of JW3), Clarkson, Brown, and Ross are never allowed an off night. Or at least, no more than one of the three are allowed to have an off night at the same time.

Summary

I don't want this post to seem as negative as it maybe does. Mizzou took a pretty good shot from a well-coached team, wiped the blood off of its mouth, and put the game away relatively quickly in the second half. There are upsets all over the place, and this was not one of them. But there are flaws here, and while we wait to see how fatal they are or aren't, we just take notes.

(And we gaze in awe at Clarkson's performance. That was something else.)

---

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 an offensively limited center, 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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