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Mizzou-Nebraska: Statistical Tears

I did not see a single second of this game--(you guessed it) house shopping.  I did, however, listen to most of the second half on the radio, and in the end it basically sounded like a) our Achilles heel (explained below) killed us in the end, and b) we dug ourselves juuust too big a hole to get out.  A hair less struggle in the first half, and the game would have been ours.

Mizzou Huskers
Points Per Minute
1.28 1.40
Points Per Possession (PPP)
0.85 0.93
Points Per Shot (PPS)
1.09 1.27
2-PT FG% 50.0% 41.9%
3-PT FG% 23.8% 30.8%
FT% 55.6% 72.0%
Mizzou Huskers
Assists 10 8
Steals 6 5
Turnovers 16 11
(Assists + Steals) / TO 1.00 1.18
Mizzou Huskers
Expected Offensive Rebounds 11 11
Offensive Rebounds 11 6
Eq. Rebound Margin +0 -5
  • This team's Achilles heel: the complete lack of natural scorers.  Leo Lyons almost fits into the "natural scorer" mold, but his mindset is not that of a natural scorer's.  Carroll and Tiller are effort guys with flaws--Carroll doesn't know how to go up strong, and Tiller does not have a real jumpshot.  The best shooter (Grey Goose) is streaky and can't create his own shot.  Two guys with potential to be bigtime scorers--Denmon and English--are just too young.  I'm optimistic about where they'll be in another year or two, but they're freshmen.  All but the 99th percentile of freshmen struggle a lot--just look at KU's newbies today.

    Bottom line: without natural scorers--guys who can score in a lot of different ways--there will be games where teams like Nebraska play tough, gritty defense against them, and the shots will just continue to rim out.  And while I got a couple texts about how sluggish the offense looked today...well, any offense without a go-to shot is going to look sluggish when the shots aren't falling.  And who knows...maybe there was more to it than that (I DVR'd the game...but at this point I doubt I watch it), but that's what I've seen from this team in the past, and Nebraska fits the mold of a defense that could give this team trouble.  The difference between making the NCAA Tournament and tumbling to the NIT (or worse) will be how many easy bucket Mizzou is able to generate.  This team just doesn't have the natural offensive talent (or development) to score at will against organized defensive teams.  I'm still optimistic--they have indeed beaten at least a couple of solid teams this year, right?  They just have to win about 10 of 18 to make the NCAAs--but it's going to be a battle.

  • Yeah, just about any time Mizzou loses the (Assists + Steals) / Turnovers Ratio (I really need to come up with a name for this ratio...thoughts?), they're probably going to lose the game.  Obviously poor shooting hurt the assist total, but the other part of the ratio that suffered was that Nebraska didn't turn the ball over, either via error or steal.  Shooting killed this team, but Nebraska's ball control kept them dead in the end.
  • Nebraska had only six offensive rebounds all day, while Mizzou grabbed exactly the number of OR's that was expected.  That's great.  Only, Nebraska grabbed the single most important rebound of the day, the offensive board Ryan Anderson nabbed with 10 seconds left.

So in a game where a teams scores about 30 points below its season average, you don't expect to unearth many good performances.  And guess what--you won't here either.

Player EqPts* EqPts/Min Line
J.T. Tiller 16.13 0.44 11 Pts, 4 Reb, 3 Ast, 2 Stl
Marcus Denmon 9.37 0.52 6 Pts, 5 Reb
Kim English 8.33 0.83 3 Pts, 2 Ast
Leo Lyons 6.51 0.33 12 Pts, 4 Reb, 3 TO
Matt Lawrence 5.98 0.19 6 Pts, 2 Reb
Justin Safford 2.60 0.24 4 Pts, 6 Reb, 0-for-3 FTs
DeMarre Carroll 1.56 0.06 7 Pts, 8 Reb, 5 TO
Keith Ramsey 1.04 0.05 2 Pts, 3 Reb
Zaire Taylor 1.04 0.05 0 Pts on ZERO SHOTS, 2 Ast, 2 Stl
Miguel Paul -3.64 -0.52 0 Pts, 2 TO

EqPts = a take-off of the Net Equivalent Points idea discussed last week.  Taking points, assists, rebounds (offensive & defensive), steals, blocks, turnovers and fouls into account, the team's points are re-distributed to figure out who had the biggest impact on the game itself, instead of just how many balls a player put through a basket.  I can go into detail on the formula if anybody asks, but for now just know that that was the intent.

  • Every player's fatal flaws were on display today: hello, Justin Safford's free throw shooting...hello, Zaire Taylor's non-shooting (ZT: we know you can take over occasionally on the offensive end--you did it at Georgia--so when your team is dying on offense, take some shots)...hello, Bad Leo's lack of rebounding...hello, DeMarre's inability to go up strong (even Kelly and Linker were getting cranky about that on the radio...and they don't get cranky!)...hello, Miguel Paul's freshman lack of consistency...
  • Marcus Denmon still hasn't been able to consistently find his shot since the season began, but I love that he continues to find other ways to contribute.  In this case, it was grabbing more rebounds than Leo Lyons.  Now he just needs to figure out how to get that Points Per Shot figure up.
  • JT Tiller played a JT Tiller-like game today, filling up every line of the stat sheet...but he just doesn't have a consistent jumper.  From what I heard, I know he missed at least one of the potential go-ahead shots Missouri had and never made.
  • Sounds like Good Leo made an appearance in the second half, but Bad Leo dominated for too long.
  • Man oh man, has Miguel Paul hit the freshman wall...

Season To Date

Mizzou Opp.
Points Per Minute
2.08 1.59
Points Per Possession (PPP)
1.15 0.88
Points Per Shot (PPS)
1.30 1.17
2-PT FG% 54.4% 44.0%
3-PT FG% 35.3% 30.3%
FT% 64.1% 65.1%
Mizzou Opp.
Assists 305 175
Steals 173 106
Turnovers 205 311
(Assists + Steals) / TO 2.33 0.90
Mizzou Opp.
Expected Offensive Rebounds 208 207
Offensive Rebounds 232 196
Eq. Rebound Margin +24 -11


Player EqPts* EqPts/Min Line
DeMarre Carroll 16.10 0.64 16.1 PPG, 6.6 RPG, 1.6 APG, 1.9 SPG
Leo Lyons 12.53 0.56 14.6 PPG, 6.2 RPG, 2.1 APG
J.T. Tiller 8.55 0.37 7.3 PPG, 3.3 APG, 3.1 RPG, 1.9 SPG
Matt Lawrence 7.58 0.37 9.6 PPG, 2.3 RPG
Marcus Denmon 6.91 0.42 6.6 PPG, 2.4 RPG, 1.6 APG, 1.1 SPG
Zaire Taylor 6.76 0.29 4.8 PPG, 3.1 APG, 2.8 RPG, 1.3 SPG
Keith Ramsey 5.37 0.41 3.9 PPG, 3.5 RPG, 0.9 BPG
Kim English 4.71 0.35 6.6 PPG, 1.7 RPG, 1.3 APG
Miguel Paul 4.19 0.28 4.8 PPG, 2.1 APG
Laurence Bowers 4.14 0.46 3.5 PPG, 3.2 RPG
Justin Safford 3.27 0.28 3.6 PPG, 2.8 RPG, 1.1 APG
Jarrett Sutton 1.69 0.62 Lots of Walk-On 3's
Steve Moore 1.26 0.18 1.7 PPG, 2.2 RPG
Michael Anderson 0.97 0.12 1.4 PPG, 1.0 Coach's Sons
  • Laurence Bowers...your time is coming...
  • Miguel Paul's per-minute stats are falling in a hurry, but he's still put up almost the same EqPt rates as Zaire Taylor.

Some time in the coming week, we're going to discuss lineups.  Who should be starting?  Who should be playing in crunch time?  What's the hustle lineup?  What's the "instant offense" (or as close as this team comes) lineup?  What's the "lockdown defense" lineup?'ve got that to look forward to.