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Know Your Rival: Truman State

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That's right, it's that time of year again. Time to get your basketball nerd on!!!!! We will use exhibition season to dust off the basketball stats and re-visit the greatness that is StatSheet.com (not that Stat Sheet has any info on Truman State, of course).

Last Year
Truman State: 6-21

TSU Opp
Points Per Minute
1.54 1.74
Points Per Possession (PPP)
0.94 1.06
Points Per Shot (PPS)
1.17 1.26
2-PT FG% 45.6% 47.7%
3-PT FG% 32.2% 38.0%
FT% 67.5% 70.0%
True Shooting % 50.4% 54.4%
TSU Opp
Assists/Gm 11.6 11.6
Steals/Gm 6.4 7.4
Turnovers/Gm 14.9 11.5
Ball Control Index
(Assists + Steals) / TO
1.21 1.65
TSU Opp
Expected Offensive Rebounds 321 318
Offensive Rebounds 264 256
Difference -57 -62


As a refresher...
Mizzou: 31-7

MU Opp
Points Per Minute
2.04 1.69
Points Per Possession (PPP)
1.14 0.95
Points Per Shot (PPS)
1.30 1.20
2-PT FG% 52.7% 46.8%
3-PT FG% 35.3% 30.3%
FT% 67.2% 67.4%
True Shooting % 56.1% 50.9%
MU Opp
Assists/Gm 18.4 11.9
Steals/Gm 10.2 6.2
Turnovers/Gm 11.8 18.3
Ball Control Index
(Assists + Steals) / TO
2.42 0.99
MU Opp
Expected Offensive Rebounds 491 490
Offensive Rebounds 486 484
Difference -5 -6
Player AdjGS/Gm* GmSc/Min 2008-09 Line
Ethan Freeman (6'6, 225, Jr.) 10.8 0.39 27.8 MPG, 9.7 PPG, 5.5 RPG, 2.0 APG, 2.3 TOPG
Alex Henderson (6'0, 180, Jr.) 8.3 0.31 26.6 MPG, 8.1 PPG, 2.1 RPG, 1.7 APG, 1.0 SPG, 1.4 TOPG
Vesko Filchev (6'10, 280, So.) 5.4 0.43 12.6 MPG, 5.6 PPG, 3.4 RPG, 1.2 TOPG
Brian Nwelue (6'4, 195, Jr.) 3.9 0.24 16.4 MPG, 5.1 PPG, 1.8 RPG, 1.2 TOPG
Stefan Garrison (6'4, 195, Jr.) 0.6 0.04 14.6 MPG, 3.3 PPG
Mart Misiewicz (6'7, 215, Jr.) 2.0 0.31 6.5 MPG, 2.1 PPG
Matt Taylor (6'1, 185, Sr.) 1.1 0.12 9.5 MPG, 1.4 PPG
Andrew James (6'8, 235, Jr.) -1.1 -0.16 7.0 MPG, 0.8 PPG, 1.2 RPG
David Scott (7'0, 275, Jr.) -0.0 -0.01 4.2 MPG, 0.6 PPG
Matt Patterson (5'11, 165, Fr.)
Tom Norton (5'9, 170, Fr.)
Jesse Schrader (6'4, 190, Fr.)

* AdjGS = a take-off of the Game Score metric (definition here) accepted by a lot of basketball stat nerds. It does the same thing my previous measure of choice did (it takes points, assists, rebounds (offensive & defensive), steals, blocks, turnovers and fouls into account to determine an individual's "score" for a given game), only the formula is more used and accepted. 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.

  • Truman's (relative) strengths: Um...experience? Size? They've got plenty of both. Seven of their 12 players are juniors, and one is a senior. They seem to have plenty of backcourt options, and needless to say, few D2 teams have two guys at least 6'10 and 275 pounds. That said...um...shouldn't two guys that big have done just a wee bit more than combine for 16 minutes and six points per game for a bad D2 team? Methinks they're stiffs.
  • Truman's weaknesses: You mean, other than going 6-21 against D2 teams last year? Probably don't need to go into this one too much. They return three starters and plenty of upperclassmen from a bad team, but unless they have someone who can bring the ball up the court without turning it over, then make about 16 of 20 3-pointers, they don't have a chance.

Keys to the Game

  1. Show Up. Sorry, but it's true. You always want to respect your opponent, especially in light of what happened to Syracuse against LeMoyne, but...no. While we don't know yet whether Mike Anderson's style can take us to a Final Four (we know it almost can) or win a national title, but we know that when Mizzou has the athleticism advantage that they will have tonight, there is almost no chance of a slip-up.

  2. Rebound. This will be an interesting stat to watch. We have very good reason to assume rebounding will once again be Missouri's biggest weakness, and compared to everything else, Truman State was at least a decent rebounding team, not necessarily on the offensive glass, but at least on the defensive glass. If TSU is able to win the rebounding battle today, even in a huge Missouri win, it could be at least a little bit of a red flag.

  3. Marcus Denmon. Why? No particular reason. I just have it in my head that he could be a huge scoring threat this year and, in the best-case scenario, eventually turn into something resembling Kim English on offense and J.T. Tiller on defense. Or, perhaps more accurately, Clarence Gilbert with more of a conscience. He's already proven that he's a tough S.O.B. like Clarence was. Let's see what he's got.

Prediction

Pain.