Missouri 78, IUPUI 64: Study Hall

Dak Dillon-USA TODAY Sports

Your Trifecta: Clarkson-Brown-JW3.

First, some links.

MUtigers.com: Missouri Overpowers IUPUI, 78-64
MUtigers.com: Post Game Quotes

Associate Head Coach, Tim Fuller

Opening Statement...

"Obviously, it was a hard fought game. We are excited, the mission was to go 5-0 during this period, and we did that. So, we accomplished that mission. One of our goals was to start to form our team identity and that's in progress to being made. I am excited about Jordan and Jabari. As I see them out there on the floor, it gives any coach confidence to finish games when you have two high-powered wings that can play the way they play. Again, Johnathan Williams III playing hard for us as a post presence. We are excited about going 5-0, but the thing we are excited about the most is that Coach Haith is on his way back."

On the new rules equalizing teams across the board...

"I think there's always an emphasis on guarding the free throw line and that is something that you are not able to do. I think as coaches we are still getting used to it. What is a foul and what is not a foul? I know our players have to be adjusting to it. I know we tell our players to drive the ball to the basket. We made some key defensive changes down the stretch that kind of kept them out of the lane. I think that is what helped us settle the game down the stretch."

On what Coach Fuller learned about himself and team during his tenure as head coach...

"I am still in a period of self-discovery and that is something that is going to be unveiled to me as I get time to reflect. As I started this, it was always about the 16 heartbeats in that room, now there are 15 heartbeats in that room that I was most focused on. I think what I saw was just how challenging Coach Haith's job is. What I can do as an assistant to really help him was shown to me over this period of time. What I have learned about the team is that we have some pretty talented guards. We also have to continue to develop our post players. That is an area that I am going to focus in on as we head to the rest of the season."

MUtigers.com: Mizzou Basketball Post Game Notes
The Trib: Tigers still unbeaten with Haith set to return
The Missourian: Missouri basketball's interim coach Tim Fuller leads team to 5-0 start
KC Star: Missouri men’s basketball notes: Williams achieves another milestone
Post-Dispatch: Tigers win in interim coaching finale for Fuller, who was 5-0
PowerMizzou: Fuller finishes 5-and-0
PowerMizzou: PMTV-HD: IUPUI Post Game
Mizzou Network: HIGHLIGHTS: Mizzou beats IUPUI 78-64 at Mizzou Arena
Mizzou Network: POST-GAME INTERVIEW: Tim Fuller IUPUI

I had some Antlers links here, too. I deleted them. Let's move on.

Mizzou 78, IUPUI 64

Mizzou
IUPUI
Pace (No. of Possessions) 66.2
Points Per Possession (PPP) 1.18 0.97
Points Per Shot (PPS) 1.42 1.05
2-PT FG% 55.6% 52.4%
3-PT FG% 42.1% 26.3%
FT% 77.8% 50.0%
True Shooting % 62.0% 48.9%
Mizzou IUPUI
Assists 12 10
Steals 4 5
Turnovers 10 12
Ball Control Index (BCI)
(Assists + Steals) / TO
1.60 1.25
Mizzou IUPUI
Expected Offensive Rebounds 10.2 12.8
Offensive Rebounds 7 10
Difference -3.2 -2.8
  • This was the first game, I believe, where Mizzou didn't hold a pretty significant advantage on the glass. In terms of expected rebounds, Mizzou is now about +1.5 per game on the offensive glass and +3.1 on the defensive glass. Mizzou was still fine on defense against IUPUI, but while JW3 had three offensive rebounds, Mizzou only grabbed four others (one on a dead ball). Of course, that doesn't matter as much when you're shooting as well as Missouri did. The Tigers' per-possession scoring was just fine.

  • There were two things, I think, that kept IUPUI in the game:

    1. Easy buckets. Ian Chiles, Ja'Rob McCallum and Justus Stanback were 14-for-21 on 2-pointers, and IUPUI overall shot over 50% on 2-pointers. Not what you want to see.

    2. Lineup tinkering. Though Mizzou's big four still ate up a combined 132 of 200 minutes, it seemed there was quite a bit of shuffling going on. I think Mizzou has been really trying to give Shane Rector and Wes Clark a look so Frank Haith, Fuller, etc., know what they've got before the real games begin. (I did a double-take at the box score when I saw Rector only played five minutes. I'd have guessed more like 11 or 12.) The go-to lineup is strong, but we still don't know much about the bench.

  • And I guess if you wanted to add a third thing that kept IUPUI in the game...

    3. Bad Earnest. Mizzou has three guys who can score regularly. It's unfair to ask all three of them to be hot every night, but when one is ice cold (and I figure that accurately describes Earnest Ross and his 2-for-13 shooting), it's going to be quite difficult for Mizzou to pull away against anybody. They can be pretty good with two of three on; they can't be very good, though.

Mizzou Player Stats

(Definitions at the bottom of the post.)

Player
AdjGS GmSc/Min Line
Jordan Clarkson 26.6 0.81 33 Min, 22 Pts (10-13 FG, 2-3 3PT), 4 Ast, 3 Reb
Jabari Brown 22.1 0.57 39 Min, 24 Pts (7-12 FG, 5-8 3PT, 5-6 FT), 2 Reb, 2 TO
Johnathan Williams III 13.3 0.49 27 Min, 10 Pts (5-7 FG, 0-2 FT), 10 Reb (3 Off)
Wes Clark 6.1 0.29 21 Min, 5 Pts (2-4 FG, 1-2 3PT), 5 Ast, 2 TO, 3 PF
Tony Criswell 3.8 0.48 8 Min, 4 Pts (0-2 3PT, 4-4 FT)
Earnest Ross 3.0 0.09 33 Min, 9 Pts (2-13 FG, 0-4 3PT, 5-6 FT), 9 Reb, 2 TO
Keanau Post 2.1 0.19 11 Min, 0 Pts (0-0 FG), 4 Reb
Ryan Rosburg 0.8 0.03 23 Min, 4 Pts (2-3 FG), 2 TO
Shane Rector -0.7 -0.13 5 Min, 0 Pts (0-1 FG)
Player Usage% Floor% Touches/
Poss.
%Pass %Shoot %Fouled %T/O
Clarkson 23% 72% 3.5 63% 35% 0% 3%
Brown 23% 47% 1.5 0% 61% 29% 10%
JW3 18% 55% 1.8 37% 44% 12% 6%
Clark 16% 48% 5.2 83% 11% 0% 6%
Criswell 26% 36% 2.2 0% 35% 65% 0%
Ross 29% 23% 2.5 22% 49% 21% 8%
Post 0% N/A 0.0 N/A N/A N/A N/A
Rosburg 12% 36% 0.7 0% 60% 0% 40%
Rector 11% 27% 4.2 85% 15% 0% 0%
  • Even with Ross shooting horribly from the field, Mizzou's going to be fine against most teams when Clarkson and Brown go for 46 points on 25 field goal attempts.
  • Solid game from Wes Clark. I'll take two turnovers in 21 minutes from a point guard, though he's still fouling a little too much.
  • Actually, both of Mizzou's seniors were far from sharp yesterday. Ross couldn't hit the broad side of the barn, and we'll just say that Tony Criswell's judgment was a bit off. You're allowed one 3-point attempt every couple of games, Tony. Not two in one.
  • I said this last time, too, but I really like Shane Rector's calm demeanor and control. That's not translating at all to stats or success, of course. But he seems to have a decent baseline there.
  • Fuller and company seem to have decided that they're just not comfortable with Keanau Post playing more than 11-12 minutes yet.
  • I think Jon Sundvold made a good point on the broadcast last night: It almost seems like Mizzou is deferring to JW3 on the glass. That's been working out just fine on defense, but Mizzou still needs to make sure it's sucking up the available offensive boards, too. That hasn't been a problem for the season as a whole (Mizzou's still a solid 87th in offensive rebounding rate), but it was an issue last night.
  • Adj. GS PPG so far:
    Clarkson 18.0 (0.59 per minute)
    Brown 16.9 (0.46)
    Ross 11.4 (0.36)
    JW3 10.0 (0.38)
    Criswell 8.6 (0.66)
    Clark 6.5 (0.35)
    Rosburg 5.7 (0.27)
    Post 2.2 (0.24)
    Rector -0.8 (-0.13)

    No complaints about the Big Four there. I know people get frustrated with Ross, but he is what he is. He's going to carry the team's scoring on some nights, and he's going to go ice cold on others. Where Mizzou needs improvement, I think, is elsewhere -- I'd feel a lot better if Rosburg and Post bumped their combined contributions up closer to 10 PPG instead of 7.9 (especially since Criswell's probably not going to maintain 8.6), and if Clark and Rector were able to get up to 7-8 instead of a combined 5.7. It won't take much to take this from a decent team to a good one, but I don't think we're going to see much more out of the Big Four than what we're seeing. (Then again, JW3 is still in first gear on offense. He could raise his game as the season goes on.) Mizzou's success will be determined by how much it gets from everybody else. And I have no idea what everybody else is capable of yet.

Summary

Another game in the "neither impressive nor depressing" category. Mizzou sank a bit more in Ken Pomeroy's rankings -- the Tigers are now 58th -- but we'll see what Missouri's real rotation looks like, to some extent, against Northwestern on Thursday. Even while playing only okay ball so far, the Tigers are still favored by Pomeroy to beat Northwestern by four points (win probability: 65%) and Nevada by nine (82%). Win those, and all is fine. Or some approximation of fine, anyway.

---

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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