Missouri 80, UCLA 71: Study Hall

Dak Dillon-USA TODAY Sports

I'm late getting to this one, primarily because I was late to actually watch the game. But I've watched it now!

Your Trifecta: Clarkson-Williams-Brown. The Big 3+1 was really, really big on Saturday.

Man oh man, the Missouri team that played the second half of this game can go a long, long way. It's just a question of how damaging the other 20 minutes of a given game are going to be. Or, how quickly this team can turn 20 great minutes into 25, 30, etc.

Missouri 80, UCLA 71

Mizzou
UCLA
Pace (No. of Possessions) 70.0
Points Per Possession (PPP) 1.14 1.01
Points Per Shot (PPS) 1.45 1.16
2-PT FG% 44.8% 43.9%
3-PT FG% 38.5% 25.0%
FT% 75.0% 76.9%
True Shooting % 57.9% 49.0%
Mizzou UCLA
Assists 12 9
Steals 4 13
Turnovers 18 11
Ball Control Index (BCI)
(Assists + Steals) / TO
0.89 2.00
Mizzou UCLA
Expected Offensive Rebounds 12.5 14.4
Offensive Rebounds 17 12
Difference +4.5 -2.4
  • UCLA announced that it wanted to turn Missouri over, run, and shoot 3-pointers. Missouri announced that it wanted to attack the rim, attack the glass, and attack the rim some more. Missouri's identity won. That's the simple way to put it. The more complicated way points out that this game had ALL SORTS of runs.

    The Old-School Boxing Score
    Round 1: 10-9 MU
    Round 2: 10-9 UCLA
    Round 3: 10-8 UCLA
    Round 4: 10-9 UCLA
    Round 5: 10-9 MU
    Round 6: 10-9 MU
    Round 7: 10-8 MU
    Round 8: 10-10
    Round 9: 10-8 MU
    Round 10: 10-10

    In the first half, UCLA went on a 14-0 run, then Mizzou went on an 11-0 run, then UCLA went on an 8-0 run. Early in the second half, Mizzou went on a 12-1 run, and after some back-and-forth, Mizzou went on a 10-2 run to basically create the final margin. UCLA punched hardest early, but Mizzou punched longest. This was a hell of a game.
  • Oh yeah, and wow, did Mizzou hit the glass. More than made up for some awful spells of ball-handling.

Mizzou Player Stats

(Definitions at the bottom of the post.)

Player
AdjGS GmSc/Min Line
Jordan Clarkson 21.9 0.59 37 Min, 21 Pts (6-15 FG, 3-5 3PT, 6-6 FT), 6 Ast, 4 Reb, 3 TO
Johnathan Williams III 20.0 0.74 27 Min, 10 Pts (3-5 FG, 4-6 FT), 15 Reb (7 Off), 2 Blk, 2 TO
Jabari Brown 17.6 0.46 38 Min, 22 Pts (5-12 FG, 2-8 3PT, 10-10 FT), 6 Reb, 3 Ast, 6 TO
Earnest Ross 17.2 0.54 32 Min, 20 Pts (7-14 FG, 5-11 3PT, 1-2 FT), 2 Reb, 2 Stl, 2 TO
Wes Clark 4.6 0.25 18 Min, 3 Pts (1-3 FG, 0-1 3PT, 1-2 FT), 4 Reb (2 Off), 2 Ast, 4 PF
Tony Criswell 0.5 0.02 25 Min, 4 Pts (1-4 FG, 0-1 3PT, 2-2 FT), 5 Reb (2 Off), 3 TO, 3 PF
Ryan Rosburg 0.3 0.02 16 Min, 0 Pts (0-2 FG, 0-2 FT), 7 Reb (3 Off), 4 PF
Keanau Post -1.2 -0.30 4 Min, 0 Pts (0-2 FT)
Shane Rector -2.7 -0.90 3 Min, 0 Pts (0-0 FG), 2 TO
Player Usage% Floor% Touches/
Poss.
%Pass %Shoot %Fouled %T/O
Clarkson 26% 42% 4.5 61% 26% 7% 5%
JW3 16% 43% 1.8 35% 29% 24% 12%
Brown 27% 38% 3.2 42% 18% 16% 14%
Ross 24% 39% 1.6 0% 81% 8% 12%
Clark 10% 43% 2.6 73% 19% 9% 0%
Criswell 14% 21% 1.0 0% 48% 16% 36%
Rosburg 8% 0% 0.6 0% 59% 41% 0%
Post 10% 0% 1.0 0% 0% 100% 0%
Rector 31% 0% 1.9 0% 0% 0% 100%
  • You're pretty damn good, Jordan Clarkson.
  • Johnathan Williams III clearly has good hops and good timing when it comes to rebounding. But he did some straight-up grown-man rebounding in the second half. Considering how much muscle he still has to build in his career, that's really, really exciting. He loves to hit the glass, and he can still get better at it.
  • This game showed us everything good and everything bad about Jabari Brown. He was out of control with the ball -- he alone had more than half as many turnovers as UCLA -- and he lost his rhythm from long-range. But he also did what he didn't do nearly enough of last year: He contributed to the box score even when his jumper wasn't falling. He attacked the rim, got to the line, and grabbed as many defensive rebounds as anybody in a UCLA uniform. He made the Trifecta while making 25% of his 3s. Pretty sure he didn't come close to doing that last year.
  • Pretty sure Shane Rector's +/- was about -14. I still love his demeanor and body language, but he's got a ways to go. and Missouri needs him to figure some things out ... otherwise the Tigers won't win a game when Jordan Clarkson plays under about 34 minutes. (Kind of like last year with Phil Pressey.)
  • Ryan Rosburg's last two games: 24 minutes, 2 points, 7 rebounds, 8 fouls, -0.9 Adj. GS points. He had some big rebounds on Saturday, but ... gotta contribute more than just that.
  • Full-Season Adj. GS PPG (through 9 games)
    Clarkson 19.8
    Brown 17.7
    Ross 14.3
    JW3 9.6
    Clark 5.6
    Rosburg 5.4
    Criswell 5.4
    Post 0.5
    Rector -0.9
  • I'm still shaky in relying on three guys to do most of your scoring, but with the way these three are getting to the line and creating free points, it's more sustainable than Rush-and-Gilbert style 3-point bombing.
  • Wes Clark's game obviously still has some maturing to do, but I loved his block of Bryce Alford in the first half, and I loved a couple of other random flashes of athleticism. I don't know if he has a Phil Pressey ceiling, but he's going to be a good one. Hopefully Rector can be, too.

Summary

While in Atlanta, I was keeping up with this game via Twitter and texts from The Beef. I pretty quickly got the impression that UCLA was just too athletic and deep, and this Missouri team was just too erratic in ball control to keep up. And then the Tigers won anyway. This team's identity is strong and getting stronger. Missouri will beat you on the glass and create enough easy points to offset the aforementioned iffy ball-handling. UCLA's obviously still young and glitchy, but that's a very good team. And Missouri beat that very good team. This team's ceiling has gotten a little bit higher in my eyes.

---

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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