Missouri 57, Texas A&M 56: Study Hall

Dak Dillon-USA TODAY Sports

Your Trifecta: Brown-Williams-Jones.

This was the "Adding '...In Bed' to the End of Every Fortune Cookie" game of the season. Everything I can think to say should be followed by "...and won." Mizzou shot nine percent from 3-point range ... and won. Mizzou had five assists to 17 turnovers ... and won. Mizzou got nine turnovers and 6-for-19 shooting from Jordan Clarkson and Jabari Brown and didn't get a single point from Earnest Ross in the first 38:54 ... and won. Mizzou averaged 0.97 points per possession ... and won.

This was a silly, silly game. But rebounding, second-half steals, and Ross' final 66 seconds in Mizzou Arena (well ... barring an NIT game ... but we're not going there yet) saved the Tigers.

Missouri 57, Texas A&M 56

Mizzou
A&M
Pace (No. of Possessions) 58.6
Points Per Possession (PPP) 0.97 0.96
Points Per Shot (PPS) 1.21 1.12
2-PT FG% 41.7% 53.1%
3-PT FG% 9.1% 27.8%
FT% 80.0% 70.0%
True Shooting % 47.3% 51.5%
Mizzou A&M
Assists 5 12
Steals 4 11
Turnovers 17 11
Ball Control Index (BCI)
(Assists + Steals) / TO
0.53 2.09
Mizzou A&M
Expected Offensive Rebounds 12.0 10.2
Offensive Rebounds 17 7
Difference +5.0 -3.2
  • First-Half BCI: A&M 8.50, MU 0.20
    Second-Half BCI: MU 1.00, A&M 0.67

    In the first half, Mizzou had two assists, zero steals, and 10 turnovers, and A&M had 10 assists, seven steals, and two turnovers. That might be the worst ball-handling half in the history of Missouri basketball. Power to the Tigers for turning it around -- basically all of the second-half highlights were based on steals or A&M turnovers -- but wow. And for the game as a whole, Jabari Brown and Jordan Clarkson combined for one assist, one steal, and nine turnovers. Guh. If they do choose to return to MU next year, I think we've pretty clearly figured out where they will be focusing their improvement attempts.

  • Just a ferocious rebounding performance. The shooting never really came around, but Johnathan Williams III pulled down four offensive rebounds, and Tony Criswell and Torren Jones added four more in 23 minutes. Mizzou needed every one of them.

Mizzou Player Stats

(Definitions at the bottom of the post.)

Player
AdjGS GmSc/Min Line
Jabari Brown 15.5 0.41 38 Min, 20 Pts (5-12 FG, 1-4 3PT, 9-11 FT), 4 Reb, 1 Stl, 5 TO, 1 PF
Johnathan Williams III 14.8 0.53 28 Min, 7 Pts (3-7 FG, 1-2 FT), 8 Reb (4 Off), 5 Blk, 3 PF
Torren Jones 10.6 0.82 13 Min, 5 Pts (1-1 FG, 3-3 FT), 4 Reb (2 Off), 1 Ast, 1 Stl, 1 TO, 2 PF
Earnest Ross 8.4 0.28 30 Min, 7 Pts (1-7 FG, 0-4 3PT, 5-8 FT), 5 Reb (1 Off), 2 Stl
Jordan Clarkson 7.9 0.21 38 Min, 14 Pts (5-13 FG, 0-2 3PT, 4-4 FT), 3 Reb (2 Off), 1 Ast, 4 TO, 1 PF
Tony Criswell -0.2 -0.02 10 Min, 2 Pts (1-3 FG), 2 Reb (2 Off), 1 TO, 2 PF
Keanau Post -0.2 -0.02 9 Min, 0 Pts (0-1 FG), 2 Reb (1 Off), 1 PF
Ryan Rosburg -1.3 -0.08 16 Min, 2 Pts (2-2 FT), 2 Reb (1 Off), 3 TO, 2 PF
Wes Clark -2.9 -0.16 18 Min, 0 Pts (0-3 FG, 0-1 3PT), 4 Reb (1 Off), 3 Ast, 3 TO, 1 PF
Player Usage% Floor% Touches/
Poss.
%Pass %Shoot %Fouled %T/O
Brown 30% 35% 2.2 0% 49% 31% 20%
J3 15% 40% 1.0 0% 83% 17% 0%
Jones 13% 56% 2.6 59% 10% 21% 10%
Ross 18% 27% 1.4 0% 56% 44% 0%
Clarkson 26% 34% 2.3 23% 51% 11% 16%
Criswell 21% 23% 1.3 0% 75% 0% 25%
Post 6% 0% 0.4 0% 100% 0% 0%
Rosburg 13% 21% 0.9 0% 0% 32% 68%
Clark 17% 16% 4.4 75% 13% 0% 13%
  • Brown, Williams, and Jones: 8-for-16 on 2-pointers.
    The rest of the team: 7-for-20 on 2-pointers. That's not a great 3-point percentage.

  • I really wish Wes Clark had gotten credit for a steal on that late A&M turnover. I realize why he didn't, and it wouldn't have exactly helped his overall numbers much, but he forced that T/O. Hell of a play.

  • Torrenado, man. You're setting the bar awfully high for your Energy Man potential in the coming years. Mizzou was +9 with him in the game and -8 without him.

    Jones' last two games: 30 minutes, 13 points (5-5 FG, 3-3 FT), three offensive rebounds, two blocks, two steals. He's never going to be a big-time scorer, and he probably shouldn't be late for another team meeting, but if he can lend this team 20 minutes of dunks, blocks, steals, and offensive rebounds next year, my optimism level is quite a bit higher than it was a month ago, even if his overall defending ability still needs a while to come around. (Not that I'm already focusing on next year by any means, but...)

Three Keys Revisited

From Wednesday's preview.

The Glass

Kourtney Roberson is a great rebounder on a terrible rebounding team. The ability of Ryan Rosburg, Johnathan Williams III, Tony Criswell, Torren Jones, etc., to keep him off the glass will be paramount. If he's not pulling down second-chance opportunities, this becomes one of the worst offenses Mizzou has faced all year.

Expected Rebounds: Mizzou +8.2.

The difference in the game.

The 3-Ball

Of course. A&M takes nearly 18 3-pointers per game even though the Aggies rarely make them. Teams have tended to make them against Missouri in SEC play. Basketball is really dumb sometimes. You get my drift here. And on the flipside, A&M allows you to shoot a lot of 3s, and considering his recent slump (9-for-35 in his last seven games), this might be a good game for Jabari Brown to find his stroke from outside again.

3-pointers: A&M 28% (5-for-18), MU 9% (1-for-11)

The dread set in when Antwan Space made two triples for A&M in the first half, but the Aggies were 0-for-5 in the second half; law of averages takes over sometimes, even as it pertains to awful Mizzou's 3-point defense.

Caruso vs. Clarkson

Alex Caruso is a strong defender and a decent passer. The Aggies have won three of four games, and in this stretch, he has averaged 10.5 PPG (he's shot 63% on 3-pointers), 6.0 APG, 4.3 RPG, and 2.0 SPG. If he is allowed to replicate or surpass Jordan Clarkson's stat line, A&M could stick around.

FIRST HALF
Caruso: 19 minutes, 2 points (1-2 FG), 4 assists, 4 steals, 0 turnovers
Clarkson: 18 minutes, 2 points (1-5 FG), 1 assist, 0 steals, 3 turnovers

SECOND HALF
Clarkson: 20 minutes, 12 points (4-9 FG), 0 assists, 0 steals, 1 turnover
Caruso: 19 minutes, 11 points (4-6 FG), 0 assists, 1 steal, 2 turnovers

Caruso drastically surpassed Clarkson's stat line in the first half and replicated it in the second. And Mizzou needed some serious late heroics to win.

Summary

The time for style points is over, and surviving is all that matters; Mizzou stunk ... and won. Somehow.

---

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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