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Mizzou-Kansas: Statistical Wound-Licking

As recapped in the boxing analogy made in the comments thread, this one was a 5th round TKO.  Whereas Mizzou treaded water down the stretch of the first half in Columbia, they lost control of this one at the end, and instead of a not-likely-but-at-least-possible comeback attempt from down 15 or so again, they faced an impossible deficit of 25.  The second half was simply about finding rhythm and righting the ship for what looks to be a Battle for Second Place on Wednesday.

In all, I guess Pomeroy's odds were about right.  As I mentioned in yesterday's preview, "If MU and KU play this game three times, you'll probably see two dogfights (and at this point, I like Mizzou's chances of winning a dogfight against anybody--I'm a convert) and one easy KU win."  Now, the ease of KU's victory might suggest that the odds of an easy KU win were about 50/50 instead of 33/67, but in the end, if Mizzou makes some makeable shots early on, the tone of the game may have changed pretty significantly. 

That said, the right team won.  They were better today, and there was really little Mizzou could do to win.  Play again tomorrow, and we'll see what happens (though I'm not tremendously optimistic).  Today, they were the much, much better team.

Mizzou KU
Points Per Minute
1.64 2.25
Points Per Possession (PPP)
0.90 1.25
Points Per Shot (PPS)
0.93 1.53
2-PT FG% 41.5% 55.6%
3-PT FG% 17.6% 57.1%
FT% 70.6% 72.7%
True Shooting % 41.9% 65.5%
Mizzou KU
Assists 19 22
Steals 11 6
Turnovers 8 16
Ball Control Index
(Assists + Steals) / TO
3.75 1.75
Mizzou KU
Expected Offensive Rebounds 17 10
Offensive Rebounds 13 12
Difference -4 +2
  • Just about every first half possession for Mizzou went in one of two ways: 1) Mizzou takes an open shot and misses, 2) Mizzou takes a well-defended, less-than-open shot and misses badly.

    Now, some of the open looks were at least somewhat by design on Kansas' part--particularly JT Tiller's.  They seemed to apply the Dogus Balbay blueprint to defending Tiller--let him wander the perimeter all day long and collapse on him as soon as he drives.  That was effective, as it's very clear by this point that shooting isn't Tiller's game--attacking the rim is.  But that was only part of the issue--he was only 0-for-3 from long-range in the first half.  EVERYBODY was missing open shots from EVERYWHERE on the court,'re not going to beat Colorado if that happens.  In terms of True Shooting %, Mizzou shot about 15% below their conference average and about 8% below KU's conference average allowed.  It was contagious, and it happened at a really bad time. 

    Yes, Mizzou took too many jumpers and didn't drive enough, but...KU made sure that was the case, and they're good enough on defense to dictate (somewhat) what kind of looks you get.  And if they give you open jumpers, you have to make at least some of them.

  • What stinks about the shooting is that...well...all other aspects were played alright.  Not great (they also allowed too many wide-open 3's of their own, only KU never missed), but alright.  KU outrebounded MU by 14 (46-32), but that's going to happen when MU misses 45 FGs to KU's 26.  Compared to what was actually expected, KU won the rebounding battle, but not by a ton.  Mizzou held its own there--they would just get an offensive board and then miss the putback.

  • Ahh, BCI.  For once, you don't tell the tale.  Somehow Mizzou ended up with 19 assists on their 25 made FGs (which makes you realize they could have had 25+ assists had they made more open shots in the first half), and they very much won the turnover battle, but...again, you have to make open looks.  You just have to.  Can't win a game without them.

    And this is a strange time to talk about this (after getting blown out by your biggest rival in your attempt to win the conference), but I've been VERY impressed with Mizzou's passing and offensive sets the last few games.  Sure, sometimes possessions against KU bogged down to passing around the 3-point line and not knowing where to go with the ball, but...well, that's what happens when nobody on the team thinks they can make a basket.  We've seen a lot of backdoor cuts the last few games, and our inside-out passing has been outstanding.  It just doesn't matter (stop me if you've heard this one before) if you don't make shots.

Player Stats

Player AdjGS* GmSc/Min Line
Leo Lyons 21.89 0.84 20 Pts, 6 Reb (3 Off), 3 Ast
DeMarre Carroll 21.75 0.66 16 Pts, 11 Reb (3 Off), 2 Ast, 3 Stl
Zaire Taylor 8.57 0.26 10 Pts, 3 Reb, 2 Ast
J.T. Tiller 7.78 0.24 6 Pts, 2 Reb, 6 Ast, 2 Stl
Kim English 5.93 0.35 7 Pts, 2 Reb, 1 embarrassing missed dunk
Laurence Bowers 3.03 0.38 2 Pts, 3 Reb
Keith Ramsey 1.19 0.13 2 Pts, at least 2 missed layups
Miguel Paul 1.05 0.11 2 Pts, 2 Stl
Marcus Denmon 0.26 0.03 0 Pts, 3 Ast
Steve Moore 0.00 0.00 2 minutes
Justin Safford -2.77 -0.46 0 Pts
Matt Lawrence -3.30 -0.24 0 Pts

* 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.

  • Mizzou's starting five: 65.92 AdjGS points
    Mizzou's bench: -0.92 AdjGS points
  • Mizzou's bench has been a strength all year, and granted it's never good when your starters account for over 100% of your points (pretty tough to do), but at the same time your starters have to come up big in a super-hostile environment.  Leo was Good Leo most of the time, but he got no offensive help from Tiller and Taylor when the game was still a game, and DeMarre was just sort of...there.  And Kimmie played about two minutes in the first half before sitting with foul trouble.  Kimmie's poor play of late has been alleviated by Goose playing well, but...well, Goose was awful tonight.  As was Marcus Denmon.  And Justin Safford.  And Keith Ramsey was really awful.
  • And speaking of Kimmie...sorry, man.  You're never going to live down that missed alley-oop.
  • Really, the only bench guy who showed up was (not surprisingly) Laurence Bowers.  You knew it wasn't our day when even Bowers missed a tip-in for basically the first time all season (slight exaggeration), but he was still smart with the ball and managed 2 offensive rebounds, an assist and a steal in just 8 minutes on the court.  Unfortunately LB isn't capable of carrying the offensive load the entire bench (at least not today), and that's what was needed with the egg everybody else laid.

    Oh yeah, and...why the hell did he only play 8 minutes?  Just curious...


Keys to the Game Revisited

(From Yesterday's Preview)

  1. Turnovers.  Swing and a miss by me on this one--KU doubled Mizzou's total in turnovers, and it couldn't have mattered less.

  2. Wear Cole Aldrich out again.  Yeah, hard to do when KU's up 20 before the end of the first half.  And all he had to do over the last 10-15 minutes he was in the game was catch alley-oop passes.

    Now seems as good a place as any to lodge a complaint you knew was coming.  Look.  I would take Cole Aldrich on my team in a heartbeat.  He's big, he's physical, he doesn't have good touch around the basket, but he positions himself well and is tremendously sound on defense.  He would be a great player even if he got whistled for half of the fouls he commits. 

    I understand the dynamic here--it's like with Shaq in the NBA for so many years.  He's bigger than everybody else, and the casual contact that takes place on every single possession is going to have guys bouncing off of him.  Plus, he's taller than just about anybody else, and so if he goes straight up behind the guy blocking him out, he might still grab the rebound.  Trust me, I get it--half the time when opposing fans want a foul called, he probably really didn't do anything wrong.

    But then there's the
    other half of the time.

    When he pushes somebody, or
    does go over the back in an illegal manner, or slaps somebody's arm while they're shooting, it's still a foul, and it still must be called.  And it's only going to hurt KU in the NCAA Tourney if he's used to getting away with certain things and then suddenly finds himself with two fouls 90 seconds into the game.  Awful officiating (or in this case, favorable officiating) might do a team a short-term favor, but long-term it's going to hurt KU if they're not even remotely used to playing without him and he has to sit for 18 minutes in the first half against a good team in the postseason.


  3. Hustle & Flow (a.k.a. JT Tiller and Zaire Taylor).  Awful in the first half.  Missed open shot after open shot, couldn't provide any help to Leo and DeMarre.  In yesterday's preview, I said "Technically it doesn't have to be Tiller and Taylor--basically Mizzou needs a backcourt threat on offense, be it Tiller, Mr. Coffee, Goose, Denmon, English, whoever."  Well...all of those guys were horrendous offensively in the first half, and after a while, the lack of offensive success led to defensive lapses.

vs Big 12
Mizzou: 11-3

Mizzou Opp.
Points Per Minute
1.96 1.72
Points Per Possession (PPP)
1.09 0.96
Points Per Shot (PPS)
1.30 1.21
2-PT FG% 50.4% 46.8%
3-PT FG% 36.7% 34.5%
FT% 69.6% 69.1%
True Shooting %
55.5% 52.0%
Mizzou Opp.
Assists 251 178
Steals 139 90
Turnovers 171 263
Ball Control Index
(Assists + Steals) / TO
2.28 1.02
Mizzou Opp.
Expected Offensive Rebounds 178 176
Offensive Rebounds 150 169
Difference -28 -7


Player AdjGS/Gm* GS/Min Line
DeMarre Carroll 18.17 0.62 17.5 PPG, 8.1 RPG, 2.4 APG, 1.1 SPG
Leo Lyons 13.83 0.62 14.3 PPG, 5.6 RPG, 1.8 APG
J.T. Tiller 9.72 0.39 8.5 PPG, 3.5 RPG, 3.8 APG, 1.9 SPG
Zaire Taylor 8.05 0.29 5.9 PPG, 3.0 RPG, 3.8 APG, 1.4 SPG
Matt Lawrence 6.33 0.32 7.1 PPG, 1.7 RPG
Marcus Denmon 6.23 0.34 7.3 PPG, 2.4 RPG, 1.4 APG
Laurence Bowers 4.99 0.69 4.2 PPG, 2.1 RPG
Kim English 5.03 0.30 6.6 PPG, 1.7 RPG, 1.3 APG
Keith Ramsey 4.70 0.29 4.1 PPG, 2.9 RPG, 1.0 BPG
Justin Safford 1.72 0.27 1.9 PPG, 1.4 RPG
Miguel Paul 1.16 0.13 1.8 PPG, 1.1 APG
Jarrett Sutton 0.20 0.10 1 walk-on
Michael Anderson Jr. -0.04 -0.01 1 coach's son
Steve Moore -0.37 -0.13 1 Truman Patriot
  • Laurence Bowers' numbers if he played 24 minutes a game: 14.0 PPG, 6.9 RPG, 1.5 APG, 1.8 SPG, 1.5 BPG.  Just throwing that out there for conversation.  Yes, the rates probably come down a bit with that much more PT, but...damn.