Missouri 91, Texas A&M 83: Study Hall

Paul Abell-USA TODAY Sports

Your Trifecta: Ross-Brown-J3.

Your round-by-round scoring:

Round 1: 10-10
Round 2: 10-10
Round 3: 10-9 MU
Round 4: 10-10
Round 5: 10-9 MU
Round 6: 10-10
Round 7: 10-10
Round 8: 10-10
Round 9: 10-9 ATM
Round 10: 10-9 ATM
Round 11: 10-10
Round 12: Mizzou TKO

This was a strange game with almost no real movement for the first 33 minutes, followed by all sorts of crazy shifts.

First 33:24: Mizzou 59, A&M 51
Next 4:37: A&M 17, Mizzou 5
Next 5:54: Mizzou 12, A&M 3
Next 1:05: A&M 6, Mizzou 1
Last 5:00: Mizzou 14, A&M 6

It looked like the Tigers simply ran out of gas with around 6-7 minutes remaining in regulation. The offensive flow vanished, the legs looked slow, and thanks mostly to Alex Caruso, the Aggies were able to close the gap. And then as soon as A&M went up four in the final two minutes, the Aggies tightened up and Mizzou calmly tied things up and took control of the first overtime. And then everything fell apart, and Jabari Brown and Jordan Clarkson fouled out ... and Mizzou calmly delivered the knockout blow. Basketball!

Missouri 91, Texas A&M 83

Mizzou
A&M
Pace (No. of Possessions) 76.5
Points Per Possession (PPP) 1.19 1.09
Points Per Shot (PPS) 1.75 1.30
2-PT FG% 50.0% 46.2%
3-PT FG% 31.8% 36.0%
FT% 75.5% 71.4%
True Shooting % 60.4% 54.4%
Mizzou A&M
Assists 11 13
Steals 12 9
Turnovers 18 14
Ball Control Index (BCI)
(Assists + Steals) / TO
1.28 1.57
Mizzou A&M
Expected Offensive Rebounds 12.7 14.3
Offensive Rebounds 15 12
Difference +2.3 -2.3

A&M missed seven more field goals than Missouri did, which skewed the rebounds in the Tigers' favor (actual rebounding margin: Mizzou 48, A&M 28), but even taking expected rebounds into account, Mizzou was still in control by a healthy margin, thanks mostly to Johnathan Williams III and Torren Jones, who combined for 24 boards (11 on offense!) in a combined 55 minutes. Ryan Rosburg, who Frank Haith clearly trusts more than Jones, Keanau Post, etc., in key situations, grabbed one in 37 minutes, but I can't remember A&M having an overt amount of rebounding success when he was in there either.

Meanwhile...

Basketball!

A sample of five isn't really enough to draw conclusions, but I do think there's probably something to be said for Mizzou's aggression level on offense leading to both success (fouls, points in the paint) and a decent amount of turnovers. Mizzou doesn't turn the ball over much when it's just winging the ball around the perimeter. The Tigers committed 18 turnovers but also drew 33 fouls and shot 53 free throws and got its post players some occasionally good looks amid the turnovers (Rosburg and Jones: 4-for-4 from the field).

(By the way, notice the points-per-possession averages? Despite all the struggles at the end of regulation, Mizzou still averaged 1.19 PPP against a very good defense. This team is confusing to watch.)

Mizzou Player Stats

(Definitions at the bottom of the post.)

Player
AdjGS GmSc/Min Line
Earnest Ross 23.5 0.49 48 Min, 24 Pts (6-17 FG, 3-11 3PT, 9-10 FT), 7 Reb (1 Off), 2 Ast, 1 Stl, 2 PF
Jabari Brown 23.2 0.59 39 Min, 26 Pts (5-12 FG, 2-4 3PT, 14-18 FT), 5 Reb (1 Off), 3 Ast, 1 Stl, 3 TO, 5 PF
Johnathan Williams III 20.6 0.48 43 Min, 11 Pts (4-9 FG, 1-2 3PT, 2-2 FT), 15 Reb (8 Off), 4 Ast, 1 Stl, 2 Blk, 2 TO, 3 PF
Torren Jones 9.7 0.81 12 Min, 4 Pts (2-2 FG), 9 Reb (3 Off), 1 Stl, 2 PF
Shane Rector 5.4 1.35 4 Min, 3 Pts (3-4 FT), 2 Reb, 2 Stl, 1 TO
Ryan Rosburg 5.3 0.14 37 Min, 6 Pts (2-2 FG, 2-4 FT), 1 Reb (1 Off), 2 Stl, 2 TO, 3 PF
Jordan Clarkson 3.2 0.08 40 Min, 12 Pts (3-8 FG, 1-4 3PT, 5-7 FT), 1 Reb, 2 Ast, 2 Stl, 6 TO, 5 PF
Keanau Post 0.4 0.06 6 Min, 0 Pts, 1 Reb (1 Off), 1 Stl, 1 TO, 1 PF
Wes Clark -0.3 -0.01 21 Min, 5 Pts (0-2 FG, 0-1 3PT, 5-8 FT), 2 Reb, 1 Stl, 3 TO, 3 PF
Player Usage% Floor% Touches/
Poss.
%Pass %Shoot %Fouled %T/O
Ross 24% 41% 2.4 34% 49% 18% 0%
Brown 31% 42% 3.7 40% 27% 26% 7%
J3 15% 43% 2.7 66% 25% 3% 6%
Jones 9% 100% 0.6 0% 100% 0% 0%
Rector 37% 37% 2.9 0% 0% 71% 29%
Rosburg 8% 42% 0.6 0% 31% 38% 31%
Clarkson 23% 29% 2.5 39% 27% 14% 20%
Post 9% 0% 0.6 0% 0% 0% 100%
Clark 22% 23% 1.6 0% 20% 50% 30%
  • My favorite moment of this game might have been when Shane Rector first checked in. A&M was pressing, and the pass came to Rector, and he just froze there for a moment, like he was just a checkpoint for the ball instead of an actual player who can do things. After a couple of seconds, he realized ... oh yeah! I'm a guard who can dribble! He charged up the court ... a wolf caught him from behind and stripped the ball ... he went down the court and took the ball back, and then played about three minutes of strong basketball. I have no idea whether Rector is a huge part of this team's future -- his freshman stats are pretty awful even for a reserve freshman who doesn't see the court much, and I'm not incredibly optimistic -- but if he develops into something particularly useful, we saw the beginning of that development yesterday.

  • One player had a %Pass over 40%. That player was Johnathan Williams III, the guy who also pulled down 15 rebounds. Man, J3 ... add 10-15 pounds in the offseason, and you could be something really, really uniquely special.

  • Honestly, I think Jordan Clarkson needs to return to school for his senior year, simply to make his memory shorter. When things go poorly, his head goes down. That was never more evident than after A&M's steal-and-layup to tie the game late in the first overtime. Clarkson should have just held the ball so he could get fouled -- perhaps the fact that he had just missed a free throw was weighing on him, as he seemed to be annoyed with himself while he was dropping back on defense -- but he attempted a pass to Wes Clark, and it was stolen. Clark should have come to the ball more, but that was still mostly on Clarkson, I think, and he seemed to know it. He moped back to the bench for a timeout, got a desperation shot poked away to end the period, then moped back to the bench again. He's a good player, and he's had plenty of great moments this year, but I'm not sure Missouri wins that game if he doesn't foul out in the first minute of the second overtime. His composure had left him.

Summary

I'll just reiterate what I said yesterday. This was a silly, strange game that perfectly encapsulated all the reasons why Missouri isn't a great basketball team this year. But winning is still more fun than losing, and now Mizzou gets a chance to cure a lot of ills with one spectacular performance. The Tigers almost certainly won't win -- I'm not particularly worried about dead legs (that doesn't tend to happen until Day 3 or 4, though it happened after 33 minutes yesterday, so maybe I don't know what I'm saying), but Florida's just a much better team, as evidenced by Pomeroy giving the Gators an 86% chance of winning -- but they gave themselves a chance to roll a 6 on the dice and advance. At this point, that's all we could ask for.

Quick keys to the Florida game (since there will be no separate preview)

1. 3-pointers. Duh. Florida only made six of 20 the last time Mizzou played the Gators, and it allowed the Tigers to hang around a while. If UF makes up for that by shooting, like, 13-for-20, or if Jabari Brown's and Earnest Ross' legs are indeed jelly and they shot 2-for-15 or something, this game will be a slaughter. But if Mizzou shoots a higher percentage than Florida, that's one hurdle cleared.

2. The glass. Duh. Mizzou and Florida basically fought to a draw in the rebounding battle last time, and while Florida's certainly not a bad rebounding team, the Gators aren't just amazing at it (sixth in the conference in offensive rebounding, third on defense).

3. The slash. Mizzou's going to need some easy points, but Florida doesn't foul very much. The Tigers' penetration attempts are going to need to result in either fouls or buckets early on, and if they don't, Mizzou will likely resort to long 3s or aimless Clarkson drives. The drive is kind of Missouri's best and worst trait on offense. It needs to be super best today.

So yeah, a win probably isn't going to happen. But if these very predictable things go in Mizzou's favor, the odds of a win increase by quite a bit.

---

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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