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Know Your (Temporary) Rival: Fairleigh Dickinson

I'm not going to lie: I cannot possibly think of a better team for Missouri to be playing right now than FDU.

Fairleigh Dickinson: 1-9

Points Per Minute
1.42 1.84
Points Per Possession (PPP)
0.85 1.10
Points Per Shot (PPS)
1.13 1.23
2-PT FG% 40.7% 47.0%
3-PT FG% 29.1% 37.5%
FT% 65.2% 71.2%
True Shooting % 46.9% 54.0%
Assists/Gm 7.8 16.1
Steals/Gm 4.7 7.0
Turnovers/Gm 16.2 11.5
Ball Control Index
(Assists + Steals) / TO
0.77 2.01
Expected Offensive Rebounds 126 127
Offensive Rebounds 93 127
Difference -33 +0

FDU's season thus far:

  • @Villanova 84, FDU 61 (L)
  • @Wichita State 80, FDU 64 (L)
  • @FDU 62, Central Michigan 53 (W)
  • O'Reilly Auto Parts CBE Classic
    @Eastern Kentucky 68, FDU 39 (L)
    UTSA 75, FDU 61 (L)
    UC-Irvine 75, FDU 54 (L)
  • @Houston Baptist 92, FDU 77 (L)
  • @Quinnipiac 73, FDU 52 (L)
  • Army 61, @FDU 40 (L)
  • @Lafayette 73, FDU 57 (L)

What Does Ken Pomeroy Have to Say?

FDU Offense vs MU Defense
FDU Offense MU Defense Advantage
Efficiency 323 20 Um, MU
Effective FG% 328 50 Yeah
Turnover % 289 3 Ridiculous
Off. Reb. % 314 271 MU!
FTA/FGA 57 183 FDU
MU Offense vs FDU Defense
MU Offense FDU Defense Advantage
Efficiency 32 260 Ouch
Effective FG% 44 215 Oof
Turnover % 90 324 Wow
Off. Reb. % 120 197 MU!
FTA/FGA 302 85 FDU

Where the Knights are solid

Well, they do get to the line fairly well.  That's something, right?  Especially against Mizzou?  They're also a fairly (sorry, fairleigh) decent defensive rebounding team, which is also a good thing against Mizzou.

Where the Knights are less than solid

Everywhere else.  God, this could be the worst BCI team Mizzou will ever play.  Their 260th-ranked defense is actually impressive compared to their 323rd-ranked offense (FYI: there are 347 teams in D1 this year).  They appear to be somewhat big and relatively physical...and horribly devoid in overall talent.

Player Stats

Player AdjGS*/Gm GmSc/Min Line
Sean Baptiste (6'3, 185, Sr.) 13.2 0.40 32.7 MPG, 15.0 PPG, 5.2 RPG, 2.4 TOPG
Alvin Mofunanya (6'8, 245, Sr.) 11.8 0.47 25.3 MPG, 10.7 PPG, 6.3 RPG, 2.9 BPG, 3.1 TOPG
Mike Scott (6'0, 180, Jr.) 9.3 0.26 35.8 MPG, 10.3 PPG, 3.8 RPG, 3.6 APG, 3.9 TOPG
Terence Grier (6'8, 180, Jr.) 7.5 0.24 31.5 MPG, 9.3 PPG, 3.2 RPG, 1.5 APG, 2.0 TOPG
Anaclet Mulumba (6'7, 220, So.) 6.7 0.29 22.8 MPG, 2.9 PPG, 3.8 RPG
Kamil Svrdlik (6'8, 235, Jr.) 3.4 0.16 21.2 MPG, 5.1 PPG, 3.6 RPG, 2.6 TOPG
Sam Fernley (6'0, 170, So.) 2.3 0.26 8.8 MPG, 1.7 PPG
Louis Larizza (5'7, 160, Fr.) 2.1 0.25 8.3 MPG, 2.6 PPG
John Galvin (6'8, 250, Jr.) 1.3 0.11 12.4 MPG, 2.6 PPG, 2.1 RPG, 1.4 TOPG
DeJuan Pursley (6'9, 215, Jr.) 0.5 0.03 14.7 MPG, 1.3 PPG, 2.9 RPG
Lawrence Brown (7'2, 205, Sr.) 0.3 0.09 3.2 MPG, 0.0 PPG

* AdjGS = a take-off of the Game Score metric (definition here) accepted by a lot of basketball stat nerds.  It redistributes a team's points based not only on points scored, but also by giving credit for assists, rebounds (offensive & defensive), steals, blocks, turnovers and fouls.  It is a stat intended to determine who had the biggest overall impact on the game itself, instead of just how many balls a player put through a basket.

Sadly, this is a rather experienced team.  Not really what you want to see when you're 1-9 and coming off of thumpings by the hands of Lafayette, Army, Quinnipiac, Houston Baptist, UC-Irvine, UTSA, and Eastern Kentucky.

Potentially the most interesting thing about FDU this year is their head coach, Gregory "Shoes" Vetrone.  Andy Katz wrote about him when FDU hired him this summer.

Greg Vetrone was unofficially banished, sent away through a mutual understanding so UNLV could move on after violations emerged in the late 1990s.

Vetrone wasn't given any show-cause penalty. His violations were deemed secondary (mostly dealing with the recruitment of Lamar Odom in 1996-97) and focused on improper recruiting inducements and contact with Odom, including inadvertent phone calls and a manager that he said used his FedEx account to mail him gear.

So, Vetrone, known as "Shoes," was sent away to work with basketball grassroots guru Sonny Vaccaro and begin a 10-year climb back to relevance.

He finally got his shot to be a headline coaching performer again on Tuesday.

Fairleigh Dickinson athletic director David Langford gave Vetrone the team's interim coaching tag after he abruptly fired coach Tom Green, the coach who gave Vetrone his second chance at Division I when he hired him as an assistant last year. Green had been with the Knights for 26 years.

I guess I should also mention that FDU's got one player in particular who could have a good game against Mizzou: Alvin Mofunanya.  He's averaging 11 points, 6 rebounds and 3 blocks per game, and he's got the size that has given Mizzou problems this season.  Unfortunately for FDU, he and FIVE other Knights are averaging at least 1.4 turnovers per game, and of their eight players averaging double-digit minutes, only one (ONE!) has more assists than turnovers.  They can't hold onto the ball, and it goes without saying that that is probably a bad thing for opponents in Mizzou Arena.

Keys to the Game

  1. Show Up.  Seriously, this is looking like the worst team that will play against Mizzou this year, sans Truman State.  This will present a good bounce-back opportunity and give Mizzou a chance to feel good about itself again, which is probably a pretty good idea after their first upset loss to a mediocre mid-major in Mike Anderson's tenure.

  2. Meet the Challenges.  I mentioned yesterday that I would be monitoring players' progress in specific statistical categories.  That starts tomorrow.

  3. Block out.  Mizzou has been outrebounded in terms of expected rebounds for three straight games now.  They will win tomorrow regardless, but improvement on the boards starts immediately, and if they can't beat FDU in the expected rebounds category, the season starts to look a lot more iffy.


Again, this is just what the doctor ordered.  Anything less than a complete blowout is a giant red flag, but I assume a blowout is exactly what we will see.  Expect another 30-1 type of run at some point.  Mizzou 90, Mostly Somewhat Fairleigh Dickinson 48.