Missouri 75, Arkansas 71: Study Hall

Beth Hall-USA TODAY Sports

Your Trifecta: Ross-Brown-Rosburg. ROSBURG.

In the first half, Ryan Rosburg was on pace for a 16 & 14, and Arkansas was on pace for 16 3-pointers. In the second half, the teams reverted to normal form. And despite the atmosphere, Missouri's normal form was better.

Missouri 75, Arkansas 71

Mizzou Arkansas
Pace (No. of Possessions) 67.2
Points Per Possession (PPP) 1.12 1.06
Points Per Shot (PPS) 1.44 1.20
2-PT FG% 43.2% 36.7%
3-PT FG% 46.7% 41.4%
FT% 81.5% 68.4%
True Shooting % 58.7% 52.7%
Mizzou Arkansas
Assists 9 15
Steals 5 11
Turnovers 18 12
Ball Control Index (BCI)
(Assists + Steals) / TO
0.78 2.17
Mizzou Arkansas
Expected Offensive Rebounds 11.2 13.5
Offensive Rebounds 16 9
Difference +4.8 -4.5
  • I assumed Missouri would win the rebounding battle. I did not assume Missouri would be +9.3 in terms of expected rebounds. Mizzou dominated the glass, to the point where dreadful ball-handling didn't catch up to the Tigers. Mizzou turned the ball over on more than one-fourth of its possessions, but the Tigers shot better than Arkansas (especially from the free throw line), and while Arkansas grabbed about one-quarter of its misses, Mizzou grabbed nearly half. Arkansas had 17 defensive rebounds, and Missouri had 16 offensive rebounds. That's a pretty good recipe for success.

  • This was a crazy fight.

    Round 1: 10-9 MU (near-knockdown)
    Round 2: 10-9 UA (near-knockdown)
    Round 3: 10-9 MU
    Round 4: 10-10
    Round 5: 10-9 UA
    Round 6: 10-9 UA
    Round 7: 10-9 MU (near-knockdown)
    Round 8: 10-8 MU (knockdown)
    Round 9: 10-8 UA (knockdown)
    Round 10: Mizzou TKO

Mizzou Player Stats

(Definitions at the bottom of the post.)

Player
AdjGS GmSc/Min Line
Earnest Ross 26.7 0.95 28 Min, 24 Pts (7-12 FG, 2-6 3PT, 8-8 FT), 6 Reb (2 Off), 2 Stl, 2 TO, 4 PF
Jabari Brown 20.8 0.63 33 Min, 24 Pts (6-11 FG, 4-5 3PT, 8-8 FT), 5 Reb (1 Off), 1 Ast, 5 TO, 3 PF
Ryan Rosburg 12.8 0.41 31 Min, 8 Pts (3-3 FG, 2-4 FT), 9 Reb (4 Off), 1 Blk, 2 TO
Jordan Clarkson 9.5 0.26 36 Min, 11 Pts (4-11 FG, 1-3 3PT, 2-2 FT), 2 Reb, 6 Ast, 1 Stl, 3 TO, 2 PF
Johnathan Williams III 8.8 0.29 30 Min, 4 Pts (1-8 FG, 2-3 FT), 12 Reb (6 Off), 1 Ast, 1 Stl, 3 Blk, 1 TO, 2 PF
Wes Clark 3.3 0.17 19 Min, 4 Pts (2-3 FG, 0-1 3PT, 0-1 FT), 4 Reb (1 Off), 1 Ast, 1 Stl, 2 TO, 3 PF
Shane Rector -0.6 -0.09 6 Min, 0 Pts (0-1 FT)
Torren Jones -2.8 -0.92 3 Min, 0 Pts, 2 TO
Tony Criswell -5.0 -0.35 14 Min, 0 Pts (0-4 FG), 2 Reb (1 Off), 1 TO, 2 PF
Danny Feldmann 0.0 N/A 0+ Min
Player Usage% Floor% Touches/
Poss.
%Pass %Shoot %Fouled %T/O
Ross 31% 49% 2.2 0% 59% 31% 10%
Brown 29% 42% 2.6 21% 39% 22% 18%
Rosburg 11% 50% 0.8 0% 37% 38% 25%
Clarkson 20% 39% 4.3 69% 22% 3% 6%
Williams 17% 20% 1.7 34% 46% 14% 6%
Clark 14% 38% 1.9 50% 26% 7% 17%
Rector 4% 0% 0.4 0% 0% 100% 0%
Jones 33% 0% 2.0 0% 0% 0% 100%
Criswell 17% 0% 1.1 0% 80% 0% 20%
  • Players outside of Missouri's Big 3 contributed 18.0 Adj. GS points. Players outside of the Big 4 (when we're counting Williams) contributed 9.2. Granted, that's 12.8 from Rosburg and -3.6 from everybody else, but this game once again proved the value of getting something, anything from the role players. With nothing outside of the Big 3, Missouri almost won on the road against a quickly improving LSU team (76th in Pomeroy's rankings on January 18, 55th today). With decent play (not even great play, just decent) from the role players, Missouri did win in one of the SEC's toughest venues.

  • I almost said that Jabari Brown is downright Kareem Rushian of late ... but he's not. He's better. I'm almost positive that Kareem Rush never had a shooting stretch like this. Granted, Kareem was also a much better rebounder than he got credit for, but ... the last 11 games for Brown: 34-for-64 (53%). That's ... that's Brian Grawerian. Only, with five extra inches of height.

  • Johnathan Williams III soaring in to land a huge rebound, then making two free throws to almost ice the game. Wow.

  • The fact that Brown didn't even finish atop the Trifecta tells you about the night Earnest Ross had. If Clutchitude were a category, he'd have maxed it out by now. He made all of the late free throws to save Missouri against Auburn, and he made a dagger 3-pointer with a minute left and went 6-for-6 from the line over the last eight minutes. My goodness. Oh yeah, and he landed the offensive rebound that set up his dagger 3.

  • Granted, he was almost non-existent in the second half, but Ryan Rosburg's immaculate first half (eight points (including two off of the greatest junk-sequence dunk of all-time), seven rebounds (four offensive) allowed Missouri to take a lead into halftime despite Ross and Brown both sitting with two fouls and Johnathan Williams III going 1-for-6 from the field. He's had two straight lovely starts, and if nothing else, it's bought Missouri some time for the stars to get going.

Three Keys Revisited

From Tuesday's preview.

BCI! BCI!

Of course. This is a Mike Anderson game. Missouri doesn't have to win the ball control battle -- which is good because Missouri won't win the ball control battle -- but we'll say the Tigers need to stay within half of Arkansas' BCI score. When Arkansas rode home cooking to a win in Fayetteville last year, Missouri's BCI was 1.12 to Arkansas' 2.09. When Missouri won by 30 at Mizzou Arena, it was 1.33 to 1.91. So yeah, half sounds good.

BCI: Arkansas 2.17, Missouri 0.78

As is customary against the Fastest 40 Minutes, Missouri had some painfully awful spurts of ball-handling, and it allowed Arkansas to rather quickly make up two different double-digit deficits. But in the end, the rebounding was enough to account for this loss.

The whistles

Of course. This is a Mike Anderson game. Anderson is proof that home cooking exists, whether officials want to admit it or not. Anderson teams get all the calls at home and none on the road, as evidenced by (don't click if you don't want to get really pissed off again) last year's game at Walton Arena. Mizzou needs some breaks tonight and isn't going to get a single one of them. (At Mizzou Arena, on the other hand...) Prepare yourself now. We have years of evidence that the Fastest 40 Minutes puts as much pressure on the refs as it does on opponents, and we have years of evidence that refs don't handle it well.

Fouls: Arkansas 21, Missouri 16 (first 39 minutes: 17-16)
Free Throws: Missouri 27, Arkansas 19 (first 39 minutes: 19-19)

Color me shocked. Not only did the whistles not go Arkansas' way down the stretch -- the only truly awful "Getting caught up in the Fastest 40 Minutes" moment I can remember was early in the second half, when Clarkson got tackled from behind, leading to an alley-oop and this tweet -- but it felt like Missouri actually got some pretty iffy calls in its favor. Granted, they were mostly no-call travels of the "Take two steps, stop, then take one more before shooting" variety (and Arkansas got away with that at least once, too), but it was more than I expected. And even though the fouls and free throws got skewed by Arkansas' final-minute desperation, it was still even in the first 39 minutes. This wasn't brilliant officiating, but it was even officiating. More, please.

The 3-ball

Jabari Brown is 19-for-32 (59%) from 3-point range in the last five games and is 30-for-59 (51%) in the last 10. He's likely due a bit of regression at some point, but if he could fend off the regression for a few more games, that'd be great. If Missouri can get another strong performance from him and at least, say, 35% 3-point shooting from the others (far from a certainty), it will give the Tigers a chance to stick around for a while. Mizzou will probably need to win this category by quite a bit to steal a win.

3-pointers (1st Half): Arkansas 8-for-17 (47%), Missouri 2-for-3 (67%)
3-pointers (2nd Half): Missouri 5-for-12 (42%), Arkansas 4-for-12 (33%)
3-pointers (full game): Missouri 7-for-15 (47%), Arkansas 12-for-29 (41%)

This was an odd game for any number of reasons. You had Arkansas attempting 14 more 3-pointers in the first half than Missouri. You had Arkansas making 47% of those 3s while going just 2-for-10 on 2-pointers. And you had Jabari Brown and Earnest Ross breaking Arkansas' back by going 5-for-10 on 3s in the second half.

Summary

What a way to steal one back, huh? Missouri had the smarter, craftier team down the stretch and stole a wonderful road win because of it.

In losing to Georgia, Vanderbilt, and LSU and starting SEC play 2-3, Mizzou went from "potential 5-seed" to "tourney hopes on life support" in a very short amount of time. The Tigers aren't exactly safe now, but honestly, knowing how the committee tends to value big wins, it's probably almost better to have beaten Arkansas and lost to Vandy than the other way around.

The best possible way to start off a brutal stretch is a with a win. I said Missouri needed to go 4-2 over its next six games to feel solid about its tourney hopes, and now the Tigers need to go just 3-2. Beat Kentucky on Saturday, and that falls to 2-2. So yeah, let's try that.

Great win.

---

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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