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Study Hall: Northern Illinois

Your Trifecta: Denmon-Bowers-MPressey.  Your winner: nobody. Plenty of entries had the Denmon-Bowers part correct, but nobody threw in the dude who ended up scoring 18 points.

Missouri 97, Northern Illinois 61

Pace (No. of Possessions)
Points Per Minute
2.43 1.53
Points Per Possession (PPP)
1.23 0.77
Points Per Shot (PPS)
1.49 0.92
2-PT FG% 70.5% 41.9%
3-PT FG% 28.6% 13.0%
FT% 63.0% 69.6%
True Shooting % 63.1% 40.1%
Mizzou Opp.
Assists 26 11
Steals 13 6
Turnovers 14 19
Ball Control Index (BCI)
(Assists + Steals) / TO
2.79 0.89
Mizzou Opp.
Expected Offensive Rebounds 11 17
Offensive Rebounds 10 17
Difference -1 +0

I Mean, The Lead Was 100% Safe Before Halftime ... I Didn't Know That Was Even Possible

First Half Numbers:

  • 2-Point Shooting: Missouri 20-25 (80%), NIU 4-13 (31%)
  • 3-Point Shooting: Missouri 3-10 (30%), NIU 2-13 (15%)
  • Free Throw Shooting: Missouri 8-11 (73%), NIU 3-8 (38%)
  • Points Per Shot: Missouri 1.63, NIU 0.65
  • Assists: Missouri 16, NIU 6
  • Steals: Missouri 8, NIU 3
  • Turnovers: Missouri 6, NIU 13
  • BCI: Missouri 4.00, NIU 0.69
  • Offensive Rebounds: Missouri 8, NIU 6 (on eight fewer missed shots)

Just imagine what would have happened had Missouri been hot from long range, huh?

(None of this prevented the refs from calling 22 second half fouls, of course, but I digress.)

Mizzou Player Stats

(Definitions at the bottom of the post.)

AdjGS GmSc/Min Line
Marcus Denmon 24.7 1.03 24 Min, 24 Pts (9-11 FG, 5-7 3PT), 3 Reb, 3 Stl, 2 Ast
Laurence Bowers 20.6 0.93 22 Min, 16 Pts (5-7 FG, 6-7 FT), 5 Ast, 3 Reb, 2 Stl, 2 Blk
Matt Pressey 18.9 0.82 23 Min, 18 Pts (6-9 FG, 6-7 FT), 5 Reb, 3 Ast
Ricardo Ratliffe 13.7 0.65 21 Min, 14 Pts (5-8 FG, 4-8 FT), 7 Reb (3 Off), 3 Blk, 2 Ast, 2 TO
Mike Dixon 12.8 0.51 25 Min, 8 Pts (4-7 FG), 8 Ast, 4 Stl, 2 TO
Justin Safford 8.6 0.41 21 Min, 10 Pts (5-9 FG), 8 Reb (2 Off), 3 Ast, 2 TO
Ricky Kreklow 1.6 0.08 20 Min, 2 Pts (1-2 FG), 4 Reb, 3 Ast, 3 TO
Steve Moore -0.5 -0.03 16 Min, 2 Pts (1-1 FG), 3 Reb, 5 PF
Kim English -1.4 -0.05 25 Min, 3 Pts (1-8 FG, 1-6 3PT), 3 Reb
Jarrett Sutton -2.2 -0.74 3 Min, 0 Pts (0-3 FG)
  • It's gotten to the point where Marcus Denmon is scoring a "quiet" 24 points.  I was watching Pressey and Dixon, and then suddenly *poof* Denmon was over 20. Damnedest thing. Denmon really has turned into what we thought Kim English would become this season. More, actually.  (This is good, as English has become less than what we expected of Denmon.)
  • Speaking of quiet ... Laurence Bowers has officially crept back into "quiet assassin" mode.  He was an AdjGS dynamo last year, creating more value behind the scenes than just about anybody.  We'll look at full season numbers again soon, but Bowers has crept back over the 0.50 AdjGS/min mark for the season.  He was at 0.54 last year, and despite the slow start he's up to 0.52 this year.  (Denmon, meanwhile, has improved from 0.45 to 0.60.)
  • Well hello there, Matt Pressey.  I'll admit it: I was slow to come around on him.  I thought he was forcing the issue horribly at the beginning of the year, and he was disrupting the offensive flow.  Well ... he disrupted nothing yesterday.  He still has yet to have a truly good game against a good team (he was solid against Georgetown, I guess), but he's coming around.  And actually, all of the newcomers have begun to really fit in on the court, and it's great to see.
  • Perhaps the biggest difference Ricardo Ratliffe made on the game did not come in the box score (though he contributed plenty there), but in the fact that NIU's big scorer, Xavier Silas, did next to nothing last night.  He needed to have a huge game for NIU to have a chance, and instead he had an absolutely awful game.
  • Mike Dixon has 14 assists in the last two games.  We'll miss Phil Pressey if he's gone for too much of conference play, but Dixon has done some serious work since returning from suspension last week.
  • Justin Safford has his niche.  He is not efficient, and he is not typically a big-time rebounder (though he was good yesterday) ... but he is going to go on a mini-scoring streak at some point, and he's going to make a big play.  He and Ricky Kreklow have become perfect second-teamers.  They are booster shot guys -- they're not going to win a game for you, but they're quite possibly going to win a minute or two, or a possession or two, at a time, and the starters will have a little more in the tank at the end of the game because of it.
  • I think Steve Moore just got called for another foul.
  • There's no question that Kim English has had a disappointing season thus far ... but I can only be so disappointed, I guess.  His 0.31 AdjGS/min for the season leaves something to be desired, but despite last night's disastrous shooting, he's still making 38% of his 3-pointers for the year, his assist rate has improved dramatically, and his defense has never been better.  He is making the Tigers run smoothly even though he is in no way offering what we expected him to offer.  That said ... he's getting fouled approximately half as much this year, and he's making just 42% of his 2-pointers.  Considering all we heard this offseason about him working with Derrick Chievous and learning how to generate easy points and play more physical ... yeah, that hasn't translated on the court at all.
Player Usage% Floor% Touches/
%Pass %Shoot %Fouled %T/O
Marcus Denmon 24% 68% 2.6 47% 44% 5% 4%
Laurence Bowers 22% 60% 4.8 70% 16% 12% 2%
Matt Pressey 23% 60% 3.4 56% 28% 15% 0%
Ricardo Ratliffe 28% 44% 3.2 43% 29% 21% 7%
Mike Dixon 17% 53% 5.6 83% 12% 1% 4%
Justin Safford 23% 45% 3.4 62% 31% 0% 7%
Ricky Kreklow 11% 32% 2.8 78% 9% 0% 13%
Steve Moore 8% 29% 0.5 0% 30% 41% 29%
Kim English 16% 8% 0.9 0% 89% 0% 11%
Jarrett Sutton 44% 0% 2.5 0% 100% 0% 0%
  • Your second-most point guard-ish player on the court last night: Laurence Bowers.  70% pass, 2% turnover ... Bowers.  Odd.
  • Mizzou spread the wealth beautifully last night -- Ratliffe, Denmon, Safford, Pressey and Bowers (and Sutton) were all over 20% Usage, but only Ratliffe was over 24%.
  • Anything over 50% Floor% is very, very good ... and Mizzou had four players over 50%.  Two more were at 44% or higher.

Three Keys Revisited

From Sunday's preview.

Don't Let Silas Score Over 30

Xavier Silas: 22 minutes, 8 points (2-12 FG, 4-4 FT), 6 rebounds, 5 fouls.

Yeah, Mizzou did not let Silas score over 30.

Show Up

Score with 15:55 left in the first half: Mizzou 17, Northern Illinois 0.
Score with 10:03 left in the first half: Mizzou 35, Northern Illinois 9
Score with 3:34 left in the first half: Mizzou 52, Northern Illinois 13.

Yeah, Mizzou showed up.

Ricardo Ratliffe

Ricardo Ratliffe: 21 minutes, 14 points (5-8 FG, 4-8 FT), 7 rebounds (3 offensive), 3 blocks, 2 assists.

I picked the wrong JUCO player for a breakthrough (I'd have blown your minds had I picked Matt Pressey here, huh?), but Ratliffe really did have a hugely positive impact on the game.  Spoiler alert: against an Old Dominion team that is absolutely ridiculous on the offensive glass, Ratliffe and Bowers will likely be a "key" in the upcoming ODU preview.


I know it was a bit boring, but ... I'll take a 17-0 lead to start every game the rest of the season.  Just saying.



AdjGS: a take-off of the Game Score metric (definition here) accepted by a lot of basketball stat nerds.  It takes points, assists, rebounds (offensive & defensive), steals, blocks, turnovers and fouls into account to determine an individual's "score" for a given game.  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.

Usage%: This "estimates the % of team possessions a player consumes while on the floor" (via).  The usage of those possessions is determined via a formula using field goal and free throw attempts, offensive rebounds, assists and turnovers.  The higher the number, the more prevalent a player is (good or bad) in a team's offensive outcome.  As you would expect, someone like Kim English has a high Usage%, while Steve Moore has an extremely low one.

Floor%: Via Floor % answers the question, "when Player X uses a possession, what is the probability that his team scores at least 1 point?".  The higher the Floor%, the more frequently the team probably scores when the given player is involved.

Touches/Possession: Using field goal attempts, free throw attempts, assists and turnovers, Touches attempt to estimate "the number of times a player touched the ball in an attacking position on the floor."  Take the estimated touches and divide it by the estimated number of possessions for which a player was on the court, and you get a rough idea of how many times a player touched the ball in a given possession.  For point guards, you'll see the number in the 3-4 range.  For shooting guards and wings, 2-3.  For Steve Moore, 1.30.  You get the idea.

Anyway, using the Touches figure, we can estimate the percentage of time a player "in an attacking position" passes, shoots, turns the ball over, or gets fouled.