Missouri 78, Northwestern 67: Study Hall

Ethan Miller

Your Trifecta: JW3-Clarkson-Rosburg. I wouldn't have guessed that.

First, some links:

MUtigers.com: Missouri Overcomes Northwestern, 78-67
Sippin' on Purple: Las Vegas Invitational: Northwestern loses to Mizzou
The Trib: Tigers rally past Northwestern in Haith's return
Post-Dispatch: Tigers pull away late to win in Haith’s return to bench
KC Star: Mizzou mounts Vegas comeback
KC Star: Missouri notes: Rosburg strong inside
KC Star: For Missouri’s Tim Fuller, filling in for Frank Haith will pay dividends down the road
Post-Dispatch: Mizzou vs. Nevada preview capsule

We saw Decent Mizzou in the first half, Great Mizzou in the first six or so minutes of the second half, and Good Mizzou the rest of the way. Obviously an injury to Northwestern's Drew Crawford helped quite a bit, but there Crawford wasn't going to help Northwestern on the glass, and he probably wouldn't have helped enough overall. This was a solid performance. We'll call it a solid B+. B- in the first half, A in the second.

Mizzou 78, Northwestern 67

Mizzou
NU
Pace (No. of Possessions) 63.0
Points Per Possession (PPP) 1.24 1.06
Points Per Shot (PPS) 1.70 1.52
2-PT FG% 65.6% 50.0%
3-PT FG% 28.6% 37.5%
FT% 68.6% 80.0%
True Shooting % 63.5% 60.9%
Mizzou Opp.
Assists 8 11
Steals 6 5
Turnovers 12 14
Ball Control Index (BCI)
(Assists + Steals) / TO
1.17 1.14
Mizzou Opp.
Expected Offensive Rebounds 9.2 9.4
Offensive Rebounds 12 4
Difference +2.8 -5.4
  • This team is downright good on the glass. Northwestern shot well (too well) overall, but the Wildcats had almost no shot at second-chance points. Now just imagine if Ryan Rosburg is able to start playing to his size on the defensive glass.
  • This team does seem pretty well-equipped to playing with the new foul enforcement rules. They can attack the basket and draw shooting fouls, as evidenced by their 35 free throws. And yeah, I'll take 12-for-16 from the line from Johnathan Williams III and Ryan Rosburg any day of the week.

Mizzou Player Stats

(Definitions at the bottom of the post.)

Player
AdjGS GmSc/Min Line
Johnathan Williams III 22.2 0.74 30 Min, 14 Pts (3-3 FG, 8-10 FT), 8 Reb (4 Off)
Jordan Clarkson 19.2 0.62 31 Min, 21 Pts (9-14 FG, 1-4 3PT, 2-2 FT), 4 Reb, 2 Ast, 4 TO, 3 PF
Ryan Rosburg 18.0 0.78 23 Min, 14 Pts (5-5 FG, 4-6 FT), 3 Reb (3 Off)
Jabari Brown 12.2 0.34 36 Min, 15 Pts (4-11 FG, 3-8 3PT, 4-5 FT), 8 Reb, 2 Ast, 3 TO, 3 PF
Earnest Ross 2.5 0.13 19 Min, 5 Pts (2-5 FG, 0-2 3PT, 1-2 FT), 2 Reb, 2 Stl, 4 PF
Shane Rector 1.5 0.10 15 Min, 2 Pts (0-1 FG, 2-2 FT), 3 PF
Tony Criswell 0.9 0.06 15 Min, 4 Pts (2-6 FG), 5 Reb
Wes Clark 0.7 0.03 23 Min, 3 Pts (0-1 FG, 3-8 FT), 3 Ast, 3 PF
Danny Feldman 0.0 N/A 0+ Min
Corey Haith 0.0 N/A 0+ Min
Torren Jones -0.5 N/A 0+ Min
Keanau Post -1.5 -0.18 8 Min
Player Usage% Floor% Touches/
Poss.
%Pass %Shoot %Fouled %T/O
JW3 15% 59% 1.7 36% 19% 39% 6%
Clarkson 33% 50% 3.2 38% 45% 4% 13%
Rosburg 18% 73% 1.2 0% 57% 43% 0%
Brown 25% 35% 2.6 41% 38% 11% 10%
Ross 20% 32% 1.2 0% 69% 17% 14%
Rector 7% 36% 0.5 0% 44% 56% 0%
Criswell 25% 26% 1.5 0% 86% 0% 14%
Clark 13% 33% 3.5 72% 4% 20% 4%
Post 7% 0% 0.4 0% 0% 0% 100%
  • Watching this game, I assumed the Trifecta would be Clarkson-Rosburg-Brown. I had no concept for how well JW3 was doing. We've been saying all year that he's turning into a lovely role player while figuring out his role on offense; this is the best example yet of that. Leading the team in Adj. GS with a 15% Usage Rate means either a) your team was awful or b) you hit the glass hard and got some free points. I would say 14 points on three field goal attempts is the precise definition of "free points." Great game from him.
  • And a great job from Rosburg of finishing around the rim. He really, really needs to do a better job in terms of defensive rebounds; of course, Mizzou doesn't exactly need a ton of help from him yet, not with Jabari Brown hanging back and doing well in that regard.
  • I'm still not a huge fan of seeing small numbers of players producing all the box score value, but I'm fine with it as long as somebody else outside of the team's Big 3 (Ross, Brown, Clarkson) is pitching in. With Ross experiencing his second straight poor performance, both Williams and Rosburg stepped up in a major way. And in the end, Ross will have enough good games that if Missouri is getting consistency from both Williams and Rosburg, it can survive having a thin bench.
  • As up-and-down as Ross has been so far this year, he's got nothing on his fellow senior, Tony Criswell.
  • I was a little nervous about Bruce Pearl calling this game because of the comments his son made about Frank Haith's suspension (and the length of it compared to the length of Pearl's). That was silly, however, as Pearl is one hell of an announcer. He did a great job and provided a lot of strong insight.
  • One tidbit that I found really interesting (and exciting) was in regard to Jordan Clarkson saying this was the most tightly-knit team he's ever played on. Considering the potential "Transfer U" chemistry issues, Stefan Jankovic's transfer, Frank Haith's suspension, the silly Antlers distraction, and the half-full Mizzou Arena, it would be easy for this team to take on a bit of a listless, bland personality. If they're tight and having fun with each other, that could mean very good things when Mizzou Arena fills up, and everybody's moved on from the Haith and Antlers issues.

Summary

Consider this a test passed. Northwestern isn't awful, and after a couple of cold stretches in the first half, Missouri laid the hammer down when it needed to. Obviously we'd all prefer building an immediate lead and cruising, but that's not always what you get. Missouri was projected to win this game by, what, two or three points according to Pomeroy? Yeah, I'm totally cool with 11. Now thump Nevada tonight, guys.

---

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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