Study Hall: Mizzou 91, Auburn 77

USA TODAY Sports

Your Trifecta: Bell-Ross-Oriakhi. Your winner: nobody!

Though it may have been a bit more high-scoring than we'd have guessed, this game basically played out as expected. But it's still nice to get a reminder of upside, isn't it? Better than not getting that reminder, anyway.

Mizzou 91, Auburn 77

Mizzou
Auburn
Pace (No. of Possessions) 70.9
Points Per Possession (PPP) 1.28 1.09
Points Per Shot (PPS) 1.65 1.45
2-PT FG% 61.5% 38.7%
3-PT FG% 37.5% 31.8%
FT% 75.8% 88.9%
True Shooting % 65.4% 55.9%
Mizzou Auburn
Assists 17 9
Steals 8 5
Turnovers 11 12
Ball Control Index (BCI)
(Assists + Steals) / TO
2.27 1.17
Mizzou Auburn
Expected Offensive Rebounds 10 13
Offensive Rebounds 8 9
Difference -2 -4

When was this game played?

Dominating in ball control, shooting brilliantly from the field, and barely breaking even on the glass ... was this game played a year ago or something?

But seriously, folks...

...1.09 points per possession is too damn much to be allowing to Auburn, even if many of those points came from the free throw line (which saw a terrible free throw shooting team shoot nearly perfectly). Mizzou's own offense (and foul-drawing capability) was outstanding, so it didn't matter, but the Missouri defense is still a hell of a lot better in theory than it is in practice.

Mizzou Player Stats

(Definitions at the bottom of the post.)

Player
AdjGS GmSc/Min Line
Keion Bell 25.7 0.76 34 Min, 24 Pts (9-13 FG, 0-1 3PT, 6-8 FT), 5 Reb, 3 Stl, 2 Ast, 2 TO
Earnest Ross 23.5 0.78 30 Min, 23 Pts (8-12 FG, 5-6 3PT, 2-2 FT), 3 Stl, 2 Reb, 2 TO
Alex Oriakhi 10.7 0.45 24 Min, 11 Pts (3-6 FG, 5-7 FT), 6 Reb (2 Off)
Jabari Brown 10.0 0.35 29 Min, 11 Pts (2-8 FG, 0-5 3PT, 7-7 FT), 4 Reb, 2 Ast
Phil Pressey 8.7 0.31 28 Min, 4 Pts (1-2 3PT, 1-2 FT), 10 Ast, 3 Reb, 3 TO
Laurence Bowers 8.5 0.42 20 Min, 12 Pts (5-9 FG, 0-1 3PT, 2-3 FT), 3 Reb
Ryan Rosburg 3.1 0.31 10 Min, 2 Pts (0-1 FG, 2-2 FT), 2 Reb, 2 Ast, 3 PF
Tony Criswell 2.9 0.20 14 Min, 4 Pts (2-3 FG), 4 Reb, 2 Ast
Stefan Jankovic -0.8 -0.28 3 Min, 0 Pts (0-1 3PT)
Negus Webster-Chan -1.0 -0.16 6 Min
Corey Haith -1.0 -0.96 1 Min, 0 Pts (0-2 FT)
Danny Feldmann -1.2 -1.19 1 Min
Player Usage% Floor% Touches/
Poss.
%Pass %Shoot %Fouled %T/O
Bell 27% 54% 2.7 36% 39% 19% 6%
Ross 25% 53% 2.0 27% 56% 7% 9%
Oriakhi 19% 46% 1.3 0% 52% 48% 0%
Brown 21% 37% 2.5 45% 30% 21% 4%
Pressey 10% 52% 6.5 90% 3% 2% 5%
Bowers 28% 44% 1.7 0% 73% 19% 8%
Rosburg 14% 38% 4.3 77% 7% 10% 7%
Criswell 11% 61% 0.6 0% 100% 0% 0%
  • Ugh, why couldn't Keion Bell have played against LSU ... I'm sick of the "If only ____ hadn't been hurt, this game would have turned out completely differently" stories this year.
  • I didn't even realize this until the announcers mentioned it, but ... wow, has Earnest Ross been a different shooter at home and on the road.

    Earnest Ross 3-point shooting at home: 23-for-52 (44.2%)
    Earnest Ross 3-point shooting on the road: 4-for-12 (33.3%, 12.5% without the UCLA game)
    Earnest Ross 3-point shooting on neutral court: 5-for-17 (29.4%)

    We might expect a difference between shooting in your friendly confines and elsewhere, but ... the difference between 44% and 31% is stark.
  • Alex Oriakhi in the first half: 5 minutes, 1 point (0-1 FG), 2 rebounds, 2 fouls
  • Alex Oriakhi in the second half: 19 minutes, 10 points (3-5 FG), 4 rebounds, 0 fouls
  • Phil Pressey has now attempted 15 or more field goals in seven games this season ... and has attempted six or fewer in five. Mizzou is 4-3 in the 15+ games and 5-0 in the <7 games, and while there's some context there (three of the <7 games were blowouts versus cupcakes, and a fourth was against Georgia), it still probably means something, especially considering one of the 15+ games was against SEMO, a cupcake that hung around for quite a while. It's hard to trust your teammates when they're shooting as poorly as they've shot at times this year, but ... Flip doesn't have a choice.
  • Nice minutes from Ryan Rosburg, who, I swear, doesn't look like me.
  • So I guess Tony Criswell's okay? He came off the court early in the second half, holding the same fingers he broke a few weeks ago, but he re-entered the game, and nobody has said anything about it since then. No news = good news?
  • Frank Haith sent an interesting message on Saturday. Negus Webster-Chan and Stefan Jankovic each didn't get their first action until the game had reached blowout status late; while some were calling for him to bench players like Oriakhi, Brown, Ross, etc., to send a message, he instead sent the opposite one: This team is only going to go so far as its experienced leaders will take it. He evidently challenged them to get their s*** together, and this time around, they did. Thursday's game at College Station will tell us much, much more than this one, however.

Three Keys Revisited

From Friday's preview.

Flip vs. Frankie

As The Trib's Steve Walentik noted yesterday, when Missouri loses, it's in part because the opponent's point guard was able to do as much damage in the box score as Phil Pressey was. We all focus on Flip's 3-point shooting, but his biggest issue right now is that he is a defensive liability. Technically Josh Wallace is the point guard, but one figures that Flip will face off versus Frankie Sullivan at times. If Sullivan has a good game, Auburn will hang around a lot longer than anybody wants.

Phil Pressey: 28 minutes, 4 points (1-2 FG), 10 assists, 1 steal, 3 turnovers
Frankie Sullivan: 16 minutes, 12 points (4-9 FG), 1 assist, 2 steals, 3 turnovers

Actually, the first half is probably the more telling comparison:

Phil Pressey: 17 minutes, 1 point (0-0 FG), 5 assists, 1 steal, 1 turnover, 0 fouls
Frankie Sullivan: 7 minutes, 3 points (1-3 FG), 0 assists, 1 steal, 1 turnover, 2 fouls

Mizzou built a 10-point lead by halftime, mostly with Sullivan on the bench. He played pretty well in the second half, but it didn't really matter.

The Coat and Tie Effect

Mizzou plays better after Frank Haith has gotten so mad that he starts stripping off layers of clothing. Granted, this can be funny, but come on, guys. Make your run early. Don't piss off your coach. Don't make the Rock M live thread a miserable place to commiserate. Take care of business. Learn how to start fast. This isn't as much of a problem at home as on the road, but ... South Carolina and SEMO showed that it can still be a problem. Frank Haith should start whoever he needs to start to send this message. But whoever's on the court ... man oh man, just get your act together early. That's all I ask.

Auburn hung around for a while -- it was 15-13 Mizzou after 8.5 minutes, 24-23 after 12.5 -- but it was mostly because of the whistles and the simple fact that Auburn was playing pretty well. Mizzou was under control and pulled away the moment Auburn regressed. No coat came off, no tie came off.

Ross & Brown

Always. If Jabari Brown and Earnest Ross can make at least 40% of their shots from the floor, Missouri is almost impossible to beat. But they rarely do so. Do so.

Brown & Ross: 34 points on 10-for-20 shooting (50%). Brown actually didn't shoot well at all from the field (2-for-8, 0-for-5 from 3-point range), but to say the least, Ross picked up the slack.

Summary

Really, this was a nice win in front of a decent crowd. The fouls (49 in all) were terribly annoying and killed a lot of game flow, but Mizzou was energized throughout (at least until it didn't matter anymore -- Auburn outscored Mizzou, 15-7, in the final five minutes), nobody got hurt, and the game wasn't as close as the final score would suggest.

All of that's great. Really. But none of that will really matter if Mizzou plays poorly in College Station on Thursday, now will it? The good news is that (KNOCK ON WOOD IMMEDIATELY), barring news about Criswell, for the first time all season, it appears that Missouri is going to play a road game with its full squad. It's funny how you play better like that, huh? Fingers crossed.

---

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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