Missouri 85, Mississippi State 66: Study Hall

Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

Your Trifecta: Brown-Post-Jones. No, really. Whoever had this Trifecta before the game began, please step forward and claim your prize of EVERYTHING, YOU INGENIOUS BASTARD.

There was literally only one thing Mizzou fans could have hoped for during the course of this game, and that was a glimmer of hope. A small beam of light peaking through the massive wall that stands between the Tigers and an NCAA tournament berth. Just something, anything to show us that this team can be better than they were in the previous two games. While we have to recognize this happened against a very bad opponent who didn't even have their best offensive player, we saw improvement. This win won't go a long way in convincing anyone that Mizzou belongs in the Dance, but it gave the coaches a game to point to in the film room to prove to our big guys that they CAN play. Post didn't just show improvement, he was downright GOOD. Williams showed a bit more consistency, and Torren Jones let the world know that he wants a spot in the Tigers frontcourt in the very near future.

As a Mizzou fan, this game did just about everything I wanted it to. While I was sweating a bit at the beginning of the first half, my worries were put to rest when the Tigers put together a couple of impressive offensive runs to put the game completely out of reach and bury State's hopes of a Saturday night upset. That being said, I'm not quite ready to start beating the drum of positivity again as there are two big games looming for Missouri and its tournament chances. Keep getting contributions like this from Post and Jones and I'll be the first in line to pound that drum.

Missouri 85, Mississippi State 66

Mizzou
MSU
Pace (No. of Possessions) 62.1
Points Per Possession (PPP) 1.37 1.06
Points Per Shot (PPS) 1.60 1.12
2-PT FG% 73.5% 40.0%
3-PT FG% 42.1% 41.7%
FT% 73.3% 66.7%
True Shooting % 71.3% 51.3%
Mizzou MSU
Assists 19 14
Steals 5 2
Turnovers 9 12
Ball Control Index (BCI)
(Assists + Steals) / TO
2.67 1.33
Mizzou MSU
Expected Offensive Rebounds 7.6 13.0
Offensive Rebounds 7 13
Difference -0.6 +0.0
  • 71% shooting, 19 assists, only 9 turnovers. Hard to find too much to complain about here, so I won't. Mizzou did a fantastic job passing the ball around and creating good looks, and the FG% reflects that. Mississippi State wasn't exactly a Florida-like defense, but hey the Tigers did what you would hope they would do against inferior competition. (That said, State does NOT quit. Those guys will put up a fight until the very last second, and Coach Ray deserves at least a little credit for that.)

Mizzou Player Stats

(Definitions at the bottom of the post.)

Player
AdjGS GmSc/Min Line
Jabari Brown 19.8 0.58 34 Min, 21 Pts (7-13 FG, 2-5 3PT, 5-6 FT), 5 Reb, 5 Ast, 1 Stl, 2 TO
Keanau Post 14.9 0.68 22 Min, 14 Pts (6-6 FG, 2-4 FT), 7 Reb (3 Off), 1 Blk, 4 PF
Torren Jones 11.7 0.69 17 Min, 8 Pts (4-4 FG), 3 Reb (2 Off), 1 Ast, 1 Stl, 2 Blk, 2 PF
Jordan Clarkson 11.4 0.33 34 Min, 14 Pts (5-13 FG, 2-6 3PT, 2-3 FT), 5 Reb, 7 Ast, 1 Stl, 3 TO, 1 PF
Wes Clark 9.0 0.41 22 Min, 7 Pts (3-4 FG, 1-2 3PT), 1 Reb, 6 Ast, 2 Stl, 2 TO, 4 PF
Earnest Ross 7.0 0.23 31 Min, 11 Pts (3-7 FG, 3-6 3PT, 2-2 FT), 2 Reb, 1 TO, 1 PF
Ryan Rosburg 7.0 0.39 18 Min, 6 Pts (3-3 FG), 4 Reb, 2 Blk, 3 PF
Johnathan Williams III 3.0 0.18 17 Min, 4 Pts (2-3 FG), 1 Reb, 2 Blk, 4 PF
Shane Rector 0.0 0.00 3 Min
Tony Criswell 0.0 0.00 1 Min
Danny Feldmann 0.0 0.00 1 Min
Player Usage% Floor% Touches/
Poss.
%Pass %Shoot %Fouled %T/O
Brown 30% 49% 4.8 59% 26% 11% 4%
Post 21% 78% 1.4 0% 62% 38% 0%
Jones 14% 100% 1.9 60% 40% 0% 0%
Clarkson 30% 39% 5.8 69% 22% 5% 5%
Clark 16% 62% 6.1 85% 10% 0% 5%
Ross 17% 37% 1.0 0% 71% 19% 10%
Rosburg 10% 100% 0.5 0% 100% 0% 0%
J3 10% 61% 0.6 0% 100% 0% 0%
  • Jabari Brown with 21 points? Yawn. Jordan Clarkson tied for second in scoring alongside Earnest Ro-KEANU POST?! Post was an absolute FORCE in this game. Not only did he contribute 14 points, he had 7 rebounds and a nifty block as well. Also, 2 of those 4 PFs were... questionable, at best.
  • Man, did Torren Jones provide a spark or what? An extremely solid game from the freshman not only produced a stat line that would make anyone happy, he also had two electric dunks and a block that made me pee a little. Just a little, I quickly got that back under control.
  • Wes Clark did a great job distributing the ball, racking up 6 assists and not really forcing any shots. (He had one he had to take to the hoop the old fashioned way, backing down a State guard while the shot clock expired. He made the shot so yeah it was cool.)

Three Keys Revisited

From Friday's preview.

BCI! BCI!

MSU averages a healthy 8.0 steals per game, and Mizzou isn't exactly the best ball-handling team in the country. If the Bulldogs are getting steals and running opportunities, they're also getting some easy buckets and could stick around.

BCI: Mizzou 2.67, MSU 1.33

Mizzou only turned the ball over 9 times the entire game, keeping MSU from mounting any kind of comeback. Control the ball, take good shots, MAKE those shots, you're probably in pretty good shape. (Obvious statement is obvious.) Advantage: Mizzou

The whistles

MSU commits 18 fouls per game and draws 20. Mizzou commits 20 and draws 21. Foul trouble could play a role here, especially if it's Craig Sword getting into trouble.

Fouls: MU 19, MSU 14
FTs: MU 15, MSU 12

Well, Craig Sword didn't play because of personal reasons (a death in the family), but fouls weren't much of a deciding factor in this one anyway. There was one point in the game Post was called for three consecutive fouls on an inbound play which got the crowd riled up, but aside from that fouls weren't putting anyone on the edge of their seats. Advantage: meh.

The 3-pointer

MSU neither takes nor makes many 3-pointers. But everybody takes 3s against Missouri. And if they make 'em...

3-pointers: Mizzou 42%, MSU 42%

Early on in the game, it looked like MSU might hang around because of the three ball. They were throwing it up from just about everywhere and it somehow found its way in the hoop, but eventually their luck ran out and instead of a GREAT shooting night from beyond the arc they just had a decent one. Mizzou did a pretty decent job of it too, so no worries. Advantage: Push.

Summary

We saw some things we wanted to see, we just want them to continue. This isn't the first time this season we've seen flashes of potential from this team, so it's hard to get your hopes up too high. If we can get even a portion of the contributions we got from our frontcourt in this game throughout the rest of the season, we could be looking at getting back on the right side of the bubble when selection time rolls around. Not gonna let myself get too excited about this one, because Mississippi State, but hey winning is always better than losing.

---

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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