2014 National Invitation Tournament: Missouri-Davidson Study Hall

The only second in this game in which Jabari Brown wasn't drawing contact. - Dak Dillon-USA TODAY Sports

Your Trifecta: Brown-Ross-Clarkson.

Round 1: 10-9 DC
Round 2: 10-9 MU
Round 3: 10-9 DC
Round 4: 10-10
Round 5: 10-10
Round 6: 10-8 DC
Round 7: 10-9 MU
Round 8: 10-9 MU
Round 9: 10-9 MU
Round 10: 10-8 MU

In this land of boxing analogies, Mizzou absolutely, positively got off the canvas and fought back. The defense still stunk, the rebounding was worse than it should have been, and the ball-handling (predictably) left something to be desired. But the Tigers could have quietly folded up shop and let the season end when they were down 13 early in the second half. They did not.

Missouri 85, Davidson 77

Mizzou
Davidson
Pace (No. of Possessions) 69.2
Points Per Possession (PPP) 1.23 1.11
Points Per Shot (PPS) 1.70 1.15
2-PT FG% 64.3% 50.0%
3-PT FG% 25.0% 31.0%
FT% 73.5% 92.3%
True Shooting % 65.4% 52.9%
Mizzou Davidson
Assists 7 14
Steals 5 5
Turnovers 12 10
Ball Control Index (BCI) (Assists + Steals) / TO 1.00 1.90
Mizzou Davidson
Expected Offensive Rebounds 9.1 13.6
Offensive Rebounds 7 13
Difference -2.1 -0.6
  • Get out-rebounded but shoot your way to victory. Just like I thought. (Okay, in no way what I thought.)

  • Mizzou 3-point shooting, last five games: 13-for-71 (18%). Woof. If Mizzou goes 15-for-15 against Toledo/Southern Miss on Sunday, that will raise the 3PT% in this span to just 32%.

Mizzou Player Stats

(Definitions at the bottom of the post.)

Player
AdjGS GmSc/Min Line
Jabari Brown 25.5 0.64 40 Min, 30 Pts (9-16 FG, 1-3 3PT, 11-15 FT), 2 Reb, 2 Ast, 3 TO, 1 PF
Earnest Ross 19.2 0.55 35 Min, 16 Pts (5-10 FG, 0-1 3PT, 6-10 FT), 6 Reb, 3 Ast, 3 Stl, 1 Blk, 2 TO, 1 PF
Jordan Clarkson 9.1 0.25 36 Min, 15 Pts (6-12 FG, 1-2 3PT, 2-2 FT), 1 Reb, 2 Ast, 3 TO, 2 PF
Ryan Rosburg 8.4 0.37 23 Min, 9 Pts (3-3 FG, 3-3 FT), 4 Reb, 1 Blk, 2 TO, 4 PF
Torren Jones 8.3 0.83 10 Min, 5 Pts (2-2 FG, 1-1 FT), 5 Reb (2 Off), 1 PF
Johnathan Williams III 4.7 0.21 23 Min, 4 Pts (1-3 FG, 0-1 3PT, 2-3 FT), 5 Reb (2 Off), 2 Stl, 1 TO, 4 PF
Danny Feldmann 3.8 0.17 22 Min, 4 Pts (2-3 FG, 0-1 3PT), 4 Reb (1 Off), 1 TO, 1 PF
Keanau Post 2.6 0.24 11 Min, 2 Pts (1-1 FG), 1 Reb
Player Usage% Floor% Touches/
Poss.
%Pass %Shoot %Fouled %T/O
Brown 33% 48% 3.0 28% 39% 26% 7%
Ross 24% 45% 3.0 48% 27% 19% 5%
Clarkson 23% 43% 2.2 42% 43% 5% 11%
Rosburg 14% 57% 0.9 0% 42% 30% 28%
Jones 13% 85% 0.8 0% 74% 26% 0%
J3 12% 31% 0.8 0% 49% 35% 16%
Feldmann 9% 48% 0.5 0% 75% 0% 25%
Post 5% 100% 0.3 0% 100% 0% 0%
  • In his last 12 games, Jabari Brown is just 13-for-55 from 3-point range (24%), but power to him for adjusting his game. No points behind the arc? Lower your head and get to the rim. In that same 12 games, he's 51-for-98 on 2-pointers (52%) and 101-for-124 from the free throw line (81%). His ability to lean into defenders running next to him without a) lowering his shoulder and committing charges and b) running himself into awkward positions and turnovers is something Jordan Clarkson still needs to master. Jabari certainly commits turnovers, but he doesn't get nearly as out-of-control as Clarkson at times.

  • Ryan Rosburg, Torren Jones, Danny Feldmann, and Keanau Post: 66 minutes, 20 points (8-9 FG, 4-4 FT), 14 rebounds (three offensive). Can we go ahead and sign up for that output for every game the rest of the year?

  • Earnest Ross, quietly filling every line in the box score.

Three Keys Revisited

From Tuesday's preview.

Who wants it?

The NIT is simply about who wants to be there. Sometimes a team is disappointed about missing the NCAA Tournament and just kind of wants the season to end. Sometimes it wants redemption or a chance to prove the tourney committee wrong. If Mizzou is in the former camp, then especially considering this hilariously thin roster, the Tigers will bow out quietly, and the season will end at Davidson's hands. But Mizzou shows up and plays well, then even with just a seven man rotation, the Tigers should be too much to handle unless Davidson is shooting a ridiculously high percentage from the field.

Last 16 minutes: Mizzou 42, Davidson 21

Mizzou wanted it. You have to give the Tigers that much.

The 3-pointer

Did I mention Davidson shoots a ton of 3-pointers and sometimes makes them? Because Davidson shoots a ton of 3-pointers and sometimes makes them.

3-pointers: Davidson 31% (9-for-29), Mizzou 25% (2-for-8)

Davidson got all the looks it wanted from 3-point range, and then some. But most of them rimmed out. The Wildcats were 3-for-4 in a four-minute stretch in the first half, then went 3-for-4 in a span of just over three minutes at the end of the first half and beginning of the second. The rest of the game: 3-for-21.

The glass

This ties a bit to Key No. 1, but if Mizzou is playing with high effort on the glass, Davidson should have no answer. If the Tigers get to +4 or +5 in terms of expected rebounds, then, again, Davidson will have to shoot extraordinarily well. And maybe the Wildcats will do just that. But if Mizzou is dialed in appropriately, the Tigers have enough advantages to offset even a hot streak or two.

Expected Rebounds: Davidson +1.5

I did not expect that, especially with the relatively decent production (23.1 Adj. GS points) from Post-Rosburg-Jones-Feldmann.

Summary

Like I said yesterday, we're here ... might as well stay awhile. This team isn't suddenly going to learn how to play perimeter defense after 34 games, and its flaws aren't going to suddenly disappear. But the NIT is built for flawed teams, and Mizzou showed some serious guts in rallying, then dominating down the stretch. The Tigers will get another home game (in front of literally dozens of people!) on Sunday; win, and you're one game from New York. And if nothing else, let's keep winning so we can keep the Danny Feldmann Experiment rolling.

---

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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