1. Missouri's ranking in Steal%?
141st on offense, 289th on defense. So ... yeah.
Steals have considerable intrinsic value. Not only do they kill an opponent’s possession, but a team’s ensuing possession — the one that started with the steal — often leads to fast-break scoring opportunities. [...] I’ve heard a lot of different theories about how steals can be so much more predictively valuable than they seem: Steals "cost" less than other stats, or players who get more steals might also play better defense, or maybe steals are just a product of, as pundits like to call it, high basketball IQ. These are all worth considering and may be true to various degrees, but I think there’s a subtler — yet extremely important — explanation.
Think about all that occurs in a basketball game — no matter who is playing, there will be plenty of points, rebounds and assists to go around. But some things only happen because somebody makes them happen. If you replaced a player with someone less skilled at that particular thing, it wouldn’t just go to somebody else. It wouldn’t occur at all. Steals are disproportionately those kinds of things.
You know how the NCAA tournament – which, again, we’re all fans of over on the NBA side of things because we love good basketball and even bigger drama – ends on April 7? The NCAA apparently stipulates that players considering leaving school early to place their name in the NBA draft pool have until just April 15 to research their potential draft status, and either sustain their NCAA eligibility or dive into the draft.
That’s eight days after the NCAA season ends.
That’s nearly 2 1/2 months before the NBA draft.
That’s one month before the NBA’s draft lottery.
That’s well before most NBA teams have any clue as to a player’s draft viability.
That’s before players can work out with NBA teams.
That’s two months before the NBA’s own early entry deadline, now basically moot outside of international ball or D-League possibilities, hits.
Heck, that’s a day before the NBA season even ends.
3pm and 5pm for anyone interested.