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Mizzou-Memphis: Statistical Hello World

Hello, world.  We're the Missouri Tigers, the most likable, enjoyable team remaining in the NCAA Tournament.  You want to get behind us.  You want to root for these guys.  You do.  Trust me.

This team never ceases to surprise me.  JT Tiller might have a broken hand?  He puts up a career high.  DeMarre Carroll turns his ankle Wednesday?  He puts together one of his most impressive performances ever in the press and the zone.  Marcus Denmon's foot was on the line?  He backs up 45 feet and tries again.  i have no idea how we're going to try to match up with UConn, and while I'm not tremendously optimistic about the prospects...well...why do I have any reason not to believe in this team?

To the stats!

Mizzou Memphis
Points Per Minute
2.55 2.28
Points Per Possession (PPP)
1.24 1.11
Points Per Shot (PPS)
1.65 1.32
2-PT FG% 58.7% 59.3%
3-PT FG% 37.5% 20.0%
FT% 66.7% 58.3%
True Shooting % 62.3% 54.8%
Mizzou Memphis
Assists 17 16
Steals 9 8
Turnovers 12 14
Ball Control Index
(Assists + Steals) / TO
2.17 1.71
Mizzou Memphis
Expected Offensive Rebounds 13 14
Offensive Rebounds 12 15
Difference -1 +1


  • How we ended up that close on the boards, I have no idea.  It felt like Memphis was getting three shots every possession, but really it was Mizzou's work on the glass that allowed them to win the game.
  • New rule: when Mizzou has a True Shooting % of 62.3%, they will win 100% of the time.  And they'll probably NEED to shoot that well against UConn.
  • I was actually a bit surprised by Memphis' assist total.  It seemed like most of their success came on one-on-one drives to the hole and putbacks, but whaddo I know...
  • This game was played at an 83-possession pace.  For all we heard about how Memphis loved to run, their average pace was only about 66 possessions.  We sucked them into playing our game, and it worked.  We get UConn to play that fast, it'll work then too.  Control the pace, control the game.  Purdue sped UConn up a smidge (70 possessions, season avg: 67.9), but Mizzou will probably need to get it up to at least 73-75 to have a chance.

Player Stats

Player AdjGS* GmSc/Min Line
J.T. Tiller 25.65 0.73 23 Pts (on 16 shots), 4 Reb, 3 Ast, 3 Stl
DeMarre Carroll 20.62 0.71 17 Pts, 6 Reb, 6 Ast, 2 Stl, 4 PF
Zaire Taylor 16.69 0.76 14 Pts (on 7 shots), 4 Reb, 2 Stl
Leo Lyons 12.64 0.44 15 Pts, 12 Reb, 2 Ast, 2 Blk, 5 PF
Matt Lawrence 10.43 0.39 13 Pts, 3 Reb, 3 TO
Justin Safford 7.00 0.54 7 Pts
Kim English 4.42 0.37 6 Pts, 2 Ast
Marcus Denmon 3.19 0.29 5 Pts, 1 soul-crushing half-courter
Laurence Bowers 1.47 0.25 2 Pts, 3 PF
Miguel Paul -0.98 -0.08 0 Pts
Keith Ramsey -1.47 -0.49 0 Pts, 3 PF

* 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.

  • Jesus Tyrannosaurus Tiller was simply ridiculous last night.  Solid perimeter defense, typical mix of steals, rebounds and assists...oh yeah, and 23 points on 10-for-16 shooting (and the most beautifully pure-looking 3-pointer of his life).  He played the game of his life, and he did it when national eyes were on Missouri*.

    * Yes, I realize Duke was playing at the same time, so probably only about 4% of the country was watching Memphis-Missouri.  Regardless.
  • The performances of DeMarre and Leo were very important (neither played their A+ game, but they repeatedly figured out ways to contribute), but the game really was made by Tiller and Zaire Taylor's drives to the basket. 

    Clearly a new offensive strategy will be in the works against UConn's fearsome interior defense, but that's the thing about this team--so many guys step up every game that Mike Anderson is able to tweak the offensive approach from game to game.  JT Tiller was this game's main offensive cog, but if I'm writing another happy game wrap-up on Sunday, I guarantee Tiller will have ended up scoring like 9 points and someone else will have gone for 16, 18, or 20.  Almost everybody on this team has caught fire offensively at some point this season, and you never know who will from game to game...but the odds are good that somebody will.
  • DeMarre's stat line in this game might be the prettiest thing I've ever seen from JYD.  Clearly he was his typical JYD self with 17 points on 11 shots and 3 offensive rebounds, but his passing has just been transcendent, both last night and in the tourney as a whole.  His 6 assists really weren't even that far over his average--for the tourney now, he has 14 assists to 2 turnovers.  Two turnovers!  From DeMarre!  Oh yeah, and he has 5 steals.  That's a 9.50 BCI for our starting power forward.
  • Leo just could not find his range last night and had to fight and scrap for every point he scored.  You won't see many "2-for-10 FGs, 13 points" lines in your lifetime.  Even free throws were a struggle last night, but he persevered and got better from the line as the game wore on.

    Oh, and his no-look bullet pass to Goose in the corner, for the 3-pointer that put us up 24, was unbelievable.  It looked good in real-time, but the more I see it, the more I realize how high the degree of difficulty was on that.
  • Goose brought his jumper to Arizona.  Awesome.  We're going to need it Saturday afternoon in a major way.
  • While I still think Laurence Bowers has the highest upside and is the most likely Leo replacement in 2009-10, I just can't say enough about how Justin Safford has played in the last three weeks.  Memphis had a decent amount of momentum when Safford stepped onto the court in the first half last night, and his 3-pointer and layup were huge keys to Mizzou establishing momentum of their own.  He didn't contribute anything else to the box score (besides 1 foul), but his 3-for-3 shooting was a major catalyst for Mizzou.
  • Congrats to Marcus Denmon, for earning a nickname last night.  Pending any objections, it's Soulcrusher Denmon from this point on.
  • Miguel Paul didn't really contribute anything to the box score beyond two missed shots, but along with Denmon and English, he contributed some key minutes on the floor when Zaire Taylor was immediately hit with first-half foul trouble.  Even if he still takes a dumb shot or two, there's no doubt that he's figuring out more and more ways to contribute to the team's success, as exemplified by the fact that Mizzou's lead increased with Paul on the floor.
  • Mizzou's big men (JYD, Lyons, Safford, Bowers, Ramsey) combined for 16 fouls last night.  Foul trouble could be something to watch tomorrow.  Sending Thabeet (63% FT) and Adrien (60%) to the line might be a decent strategy, especially since they only went a combined 5-for-10 yesterday from the line, but it's a balancing act making sure JYD and Lyons stay out of trouble.

Mizzou vs NCAA Tournament


Mizzou Opp
Points Per Minute
2.19 1.91
Points Per Possession (PPP)
1.23 1.07
Points Per Shot (PPS)
1.42 1.19
2-PT FG% 58.3% 46.9%
3-PT FG% 31.0% 28.0%
FT% 72.6% 68.8%
True Shooting % 59.2% 50.5%
Mizzou Opp
Assists/Gm 16.7 11.7
Steals/Gm 6.3 4.3
Turnovers/Gm 7.7 11.7
Ball Control Index
(Assists + Steals) / TO
3.00 1.37
Mizzou Opp
Expected Offensive Rebounds/Gm 12.3 14.7
Offensive Rebounds/Gm 10.3 16.0
Difference -2.0 +1.3
  • Mostly because of rebounding, Mizzou opponents are actually doing pretty well offensively on a per-possession basis thus far.  The only problem for them: Mizzou is scoring at a ridiculously efficient clip.  1.23 points per possession?  After games against Marquette and Memphis?  Really?
Player AdjGS* GmSc/Min Line
DeMarre Carroll 19.62 0.63 15.0 PPG, 7.0 RPG, 4.7 APG, 1.7 SPG, 1.0 BPG
Leo Lyons 16.40 0.54 18.7 PPG, 8.7 RPG, 1.3 APG, 1.0 BPG
J.T. Tiller 16.16 0.50 14.7 PPG, 4.3 RPG, 4.0 APG, 2.0 SPG
Kim English 10.61 0.91 12.0 PPG, 1.3 RPG, 1.0 APG
Zaire Taylor 8.80 0.32 8.7 PPG, 3.0 RPG, 1.3 APG, 1.0 SPG
Matt Lawrence 7.84 0.30 10.3 PPG, 2.3 RPG, 1.0 APG, 1.0 SPG
Justin Safford 2.65 0.35 2.3 PPG, 1.0 RPG
Steve Moore 1.57 1.57 1 minute
Keith Ramsey 1.53 0.17 1.3 PPG, 1.0 RPG
Laurence Bowers 1.45 0.24 6 minutes
Marcus Denmon 1.33 0.09 3.3 PPG, 1.7 RPG, 1.0 APG
Michael Anderson Jr. 0.36 0.36 1 minute
Jarrett Sutton 0.00 0.00 1 minute
Miguel Paul -0.08 -0.01 0.0 PPG, 1.3 APG
  • DeMarre Carroll is just fantastic.  That is all.

Alright, I already threw together a UConn primer earlier in the week, but stay tuned later on this afternoon/evening for a UConn-Mizzou specific preview...M-I-Z!