Know your rubber match: Ole Miss vs. Missouri

USA TODAY Sports

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Ole Miss is intense, fun to dislike, and incredibly unpredictable. Should be fun.

Ole Miss Rebels (23-8)
Since Last Time


UM
Opp.
Pace (No. of Possessions)
69.1
Points Per Possession (PPP)
1.12 1.05
Points Per Shot (PPS)
1.30 1.22
2-PT FG% 49.3% 46.5%
3-PT FG% 35.7% 40.7%
FT% 74.0% 69.1%
True Shooting % 55.5% 54.3%




UM Opp.
Assists/Gm 12.9 14.9
Steals/Gm 8.0 6.2
Turnovers/Gm 11.3 14.2
Ball Control Index (BCI)
(Assists + Steals) / TO
1.84 1.48




UM Opp.
Expected Off. Rebounds/Gm 11.7 11.8
Offensive Rebounds/Gm 11.0 12.1
Difference -0.7 +0.3

Ken Pomeroy Stats

UM Offense vs MU Defense Ranks

UM Offense MU Defense Advantage
Efficiency 25 49 UM
Effective FG% 128 66 MU
Turnover % 8 290 UM big
Off. Reb. % 82 51 MU
FTA/FGA 83 29 MU
MU Offense vs UM Defense Ranks

MU Offense UM Defense Advantage
Efficiency 12 88 MU
Effective FG% 65 99 MU
Turnover % 126 74 UM
Off. Reb. % 8 181 MU big
FTA/FGA 186 78 UM big

Where the Rebels are weakest

Well, for starters, only Marshall Henderson can shoot a free throw. The Rebels rank 171st in FT% and make just 65% of their FTs (which would rank 306th) if you take out Henderson's. That's not good. And generally speaking, they aren't that good from the field -- 110th in 2PT% and 172nd in 3PT% -- and while they're decent on the offensive glass, they suffer lapses on defense, probably from going for blocks.

Beyond that, they've got a relatively thin bench (185th in Bench Minutes), made thinner by Aaron Jones' absence. They're not just awful at anything ... their biggest problem seems to be their dramatic inconsistency. This team whipped Missouri at home and whipped Tennessee and LSU on the road ... and lost on the road to both South Carolina and Mississippi State. (Average score of Missouri's trips to S.C. and MSU: Mizzou 84, Opponent 52.) That should basically eliminate them from at-large NCAA consideration all by itself, but a second win over Missouri might get them in.

Where they are best

They dominate in ball control, for starters. Mizzou had nine assists and 19 turnovers in Ole Miss' win in Oxford and only had nine assists to 11 turnovers in the easy win at Mizzou Arena. They also block a lot of shots (17th in Def. Block%). Generally speaking, this is a super-active team that needs to be super-active to thrive. They play best with a chip on their shoulder, and they should have a pretty big one on there tonight, at least if Marshall Henderson's Twitter account is any indication.

Ole Miss' Season Since Last Time

  • Wins (Team Rank is from KenPom.com)
    No. 68 Alabama (87-83)
    at No. 92 LSU (81-67)
    No. 96 Georgia (84-74, OT)
    No. 101 Texas A&M (82-73)
    No. 193 Auburn (88-55)
    No. 256 Mississippi State (93-75)
  • Losses
    at No. 17 Missouri (79-98)
    at No. 101 Texas A&M (67-69)
    at No. 214 South Carolina (62-63)
    at No. 256 Mississippi State (67-73)

Seriously, they lost at South Carolina and Mississippi State. I just can't get over that. They have looked good since the MSU loss -- they beat a hot Alabama team at home, then handled LSU easily in Baton Rouge -- but that's still just astounding.

Ole Miss Player Stats Since Last Time

Player AdjGS*/Gm GmSc/Min Line
Marshall Henderson (6'2, 175, Jr.) 15.2 0.50 30.8 MPG, 18.9 PPG (38% 2PT, 34% 3PT, 92% FT), 2.4 RPG, 2.0 APG, 1.6 SPG, 1.3 TOPG
Murphy Holloway (6'7, 240, Sr.) 15.2 0.47 32.1 MPG, 13.7 PPG (60% 2PT, 61% FT), 8.4 RPG, 1.6 SPG, 2.3 TOPG
Reginald Buckner (6'9, 235, Sr.) 10.7 0.38 28.6 MPG, 8.6 PPG (54% 2PT, 55% FT), 7.0 RPG, 2.6 BPG, 1.7 TOPG, 3.7 PFPG
LaDarius White (6'6, 210, So.) 9.6 0.46 20.7 MPG, 9.7 PPG (47% 2PT, 44% 3PT, 88% FT), 3.3 RPG, 1.7 APG, 1.3 TOPG
Jarvis Summers (6'3, 184, So.) 8.3 0.30 28.0 MPG, 10.0 PPG (42% 2PT, 40% 3PT, 74% FT), 3.7 APG, 1.6 RPG
Derrick Millinghaus (5'10, 170, Fr.) 6.5 0.48 13.4 MPG, 6.4 PPG (35% 2PT, 47% 3PT, 93% FT), 1.9 APG, 1.4 RPG
Nick Williams (6'4, 212, Sr.) 5.1 0.20 26.1 MPG, 6.6 PPG (50% 2PT, 21% 3PT, 80% FT), 1.9 RPG, 1.3 APG
Terry Brutus (6'6, 240, Fr.) 2.9 0.19 15.3 MPG, 1.9 PPG, 3.1 RPG
Anthony Perez (6'9, 205, Fr.) 1.8 0.23 7.8 MPG, 2.0 PPG, 2.0 RPG

* AdjGS = a take-off of the Game Score metric (definition here) accepted by a lot of basketball stat nerds. It redistributes a team's points based not only on points scored, but also by giving credit for assists, rebounds (offensive & defensive), steals, blocks, turnovers and fouls. It is a stat intended to determine who had the biggest overall impact on the game itself, instead of just how many balls a player put through a basket.

  • Highest Usage%: Henderson (30%), Millinghaus (24%), White (23%)
  • Highest Floor%: Holloway (45%), White (42%), Millinghaus (42%)
  • Highest %Pass: Summers (62%), Millinghaus (61%), Williams (50%)
  • Highest %Shoot: Holloway (48%), Henderson (45%), Williams (45%)
  • Highest %Fouled: Buckner (26%), Brutus (16%), Henderson (14%)
  • Highest %T/O: Brutus (15%), Holloway (11%), Buckner (11%)

Keys to the Game

  1. Fight fire with fire. Check out the Four Factors charts from the first two Mizzou-Ole Miss games:

    Now, generally speaking, the Tigers won the second game because they played much better. But "play well" doesn't sound like keys-to-the-game material. (Then again, I think I've seen things sillier than that during game broadcasts before.) But one thing in particular turned the tables for Missouri at Mizzou Arena -- they matched Ole Miss' aggressiveness when it came to playing physically and drawing fouls. In the first game, Ole Miss' FT Rate was 36%, Mizzou's was 11%. In the second game, it was Mizzou 27%, Ole Miss 26%. The Rebels feed off of flying bodies and intensity. Match it.

  2. The glass. Another major difference between the first and second games: in terms of Expected Rebounds, Mizzou was minus-4 in the first game, plus-9 in the second. Stay at about plus-2 or better, and Missouri is really, really tough to beat.

  3. Flipadelphia. Now and for the rest of the year. There are other keys, of course -- 3-point shooting, for one (Mizzou was 2-for-18 in the first game, 12-for-23 in the second) -- but as has already been said, this team will go as far as Phil Pressey takes it. He didn't have to do much yesterday. He'll have to do more tonight.

Prediction

Ole Miss is a hard team to predict. For as inconsistent as we feel Missouri has been, the Rebels have been about 10x more. If Marshall Henderson makes the crazy, often stupid shots he takes, Ole Miss becomes nearly unstoppable on offense. And if they are playing physical interior defense without fouling too much, they are tough to handle on that end, too. They are fighting for their NCAA Tourney lives tonight, and I think that makes the difference. Pomeroy predicts an 80-76 Mizzou win, but I'll flip that around a bit and say Ole Miss 82, Mizzou 78. If Mizzou brings its own A-game, however, it could make this prediction look very silly.

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