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Study Hall: Oklahoma State

Your Trifecta: MPressey-Denmon-Ratliffe. Your winner: somebody! Sort of! Okay, probably not. Our very own tigers and chiefs fan had "Pressey-Denmon-Ratliffe, and while I assume she probably meant PHIL Pressey ... we like t&c fan, so we're giving her the win.

Since this basically constitutes a Sunday for me (I have to go to work tomorrow after a series of days off), how about we throw some links in here?

There are individual circumstances with each road loss, of course.  Against Colorado, Missouri actually played quite well in the second half, well enough to come back and win if Alec Burks didn't catch fire and make a series of "stuff happens on the road" shots.  Against Texas A&M, Missouri actually played quite well.  Against Texas, Laurence Bowers got knocked out, and ... Texas is the hottest team in the country right now.  Against Oklahoma State, weird travel led to dead legs and a slow start, and an absolutely ridiculous free throw disparity kept Mizzou at bay.  Again, for each individual loss you can justifiably tut-tut any sort of "Mizzou sucks on the road!" meme.  But ... it's officially a "thing" now.  Four losses in a row is a streak by any definition of the word (especially considering it will probably be five after Monday's trip to Lawrence), and until Mizzou knocks off a conference opponent away from Mizzou Arena, they will officially be the team that ... can't win away from Mizzou Arena.

Context aside, there are plenty of areas in which Missouri really has been half the team away from home.  It boils down to two main factors: 1) Their go-to offensive players have been piss poor (Marcus Denmon and Mike Dixon are worse, and Kim English is downright terrible), and 2) after five years, Big 12 officials still have no idea how to officiate Missouri basketball games.  But we'll get to those later today.  First, the stats.

Oklahoma State 76, Mizzou 70

Pace (No. of Possessions)
Points Per Minute
1.75 1.90
Points Per Possession (PPP)
1.04 1.13
Points Per Shot (PPS)
1.09 1.55
2-PT FG% 41.3% 46.3%
3-PT FG% 38.9% 37.5%
FT% 68.8% 67.4%
True Shooting % 49.3% 55.9%
Mizzou OSU
Assists 13 9
Steals 8 7
Turnovers 11 11
Ball Control Index (BCI)
(Assists + Steals) / TO
1.91 1.45
Mizzou OSU
Expected Offensive Rebounds 14 12
Offensive Rebounds 14 12
Difference +0 +0
  • Bet you didn't think you'd see those rebounding totals, eh?
  • OSU has a good 2PT% defense and a bad 3PT% defense.  For the game, Mizzou shot horribly on 2-pointers and reasonably well on 3-pointers.  Again, there's context -- Mizzou ended up taking a lot of long 2-pointers after getting mauled near the basket with no foul calls -- but it's always important to realize when the opponent might actually be having an impact on your team's game.  Like Texas, against whom Mizzou missed a ton of open shots but still ended up shooting at basically the exact same level that everybody else does against Texas, OSU played rather well.  It wasn't all Mizzou or all officiating.

I don't typically worry about posting the Four Factors chart from StatSheet, but ... one category obviously tells quite a story in this one.

Mizzou Player Stats

(Definitions at the bottom of the post.)

AdjGS GmSc/Min Line
Matt Pressey 18.7 0.72 26 Min, 15 Pts (4-8 FG, 2-2 3PT, 5-6 FT), 3 Reb, 2 Ast
Marcus Denmon 18.0 0.53 34 Min, 15 Pts (6-13 FG, 2-6 3PT, 1-2 FT), 4 Stl, 3 Reb (2 Off)
Ricardo Ratliffe 15.8 0.69 23 Min, 13 Pts (6-9 FG, 1-1 FT), 4 Reb (3 Off), 2 Ast, 5 PF
Steve Moore 7.3 0.56 13 Min, 2 Pts (1-1 FG), 5 Reb, 2 Stl, 2 Blk, 4 PF
Justin Safford 5.5 0.32 17 Min, 7 Pts (2-4 FG, 1-1 3PT, 2-2 FT), 3 Reb, 2 TO
Laurence Bowers 4.1 0.27 15 Min, 7 Pts (3-7 FG, 1-2 FT), 5 Reb (3 Off), 2 Blk, 3 TO
Phil Pressey 3.6 0.13 28 Min, 5 Pts (2-7 FG, 1-3 3PT), 6 Ast, 2 TO, 4 PF
Kim English -0.4 -0.02 22 Min, 4 Pts (1-8 FG, 1-3 3PT, 1-2 FT), 5 Reb (2 Off)
Ricky Kreklow -1.6 -0.27 6 Min, 0 Pts (0-2 FG, 0-3 3PT)
Mike Dixon -3.9 -0.26 15 Min, 2 Pts (1-5 FG, 0-1 FT), 3 Reb (2 Off), 3 TO, 4 PF
  • Sorry, Matt Pressey.  You put together that kind of game, and it should be good enough to lead Mizzou to a win.  But when Kim English and Mike Dixon combine for minus-4.3 points in a game Mizzou lost by six ...
  • As against Colorado, Marcus Denmon was invisible or just plain off for a good portion of the game, but one nice string of good play was enough to make the end-of-game stats look pretty good.  Denmon was 3-for-9 until he managed two steal-and-layups and a 3-point bomb in a two-minute span midway through the second half.  He missed a 3 with 5:14 remaining ... and didn't take another shot after that.  I know Marcus lets the game come to him, and I know he's not the "demand the ball and attack" kind of player ... but good god, that's ridiculous.  After Denmon's last shot, English (1-for-8) took two shots (including a contested 3-ball as color commentator Bryndon Manzer was saying "You don't need a 3-pointer yet" with 0:30 left), Phil Pressey (2-for-7) took two, Mike Dixon (1-for-5) took one, and Matt Pressey took four free throws.  I'm not even sure Marcus actually touched the ball.  Inexcusable.
  • After Ricardo Ratliffe fouled out with six minutes left, I called it a pretty forgettable game for 'Cardo.  And to be sure, he was abused on the glass by Darrell Williams (15 points, 13 rebounds, six offensive).  But he still had a lovely stat line considering a) he did indeed foul out and b) he was victimized the most by the fact that the officials went 11 minutes without calling a foul on Oklahoma State in the first half.  He was potentially fouled twice in about 30 seconds (one while going for a defensive rebound, then while posting up) with no call, and he got frustrated and tuned out for a few possessions after that.  He got dialed back in and played reasonably well in the second half, but ... when you're getting whistled five times in 23 minutes while Marshall Moses and Williams are getting whistled five times in 57 minutes, you're going to be limited in your effectiveness.  Well done by 'Cardo in getting what he could.
  • Clearly Mizzou needed Laurence Bowers to play the minutes he did -- otherwise Justin Safford was going to have to play 30+ minutes -- but he clearly was not altogether with it.  I really hope he was 100% after getting knocked out on Saturday.  I assumed he would sit, and part of me still wishes he had.
  • Phil Pressey wasn't dialed in from the field last night, but you have to love that he still contributed six assists and a 3.50 BCI.  He made a couple of freshman mistakes but still brought a little bit to the table.
  • GREAT minutes from Steve Moore.  He made a jumper, grabbed five defensive rebounds in 13 minutes (Ratliffe, Safford and Bowers combined for six defensive rebounds in 55 minutes), grabbed two steals and blocked two shots.  He got called for a couple of ridiculous "why aren't you calling this on the other end??" fouls in the post, but this was perhaps STEEEEEVE's best all-around game since the trip to Manhattan last year ... which, unfortunately, was also a loss.
Player Usage% Floor% Touches/
%Pass %Shoot %Fouled %T/O
Mike Pressey 20% 51% 3.1 43% 29% 28% 0%
Marcus Denmon 20% 41% 1.4 0% 84% 16% 0%
Ricardo Ratliffe 20% 65% 2.8 53% 41% 6% 0%
Steve Moore 4% 100% 0.2 0% 100% 0% 0%
Justin Safford 20% 39% 2.5 41% 28% 17% 14%
Laurence Bowers 35% 27% 2.5 0% 56% 20% 24%
Phil Pressey 16% 37% 4.7 80% 16% 0% 4%
Kim English 21% 13% 1.5 0% 69% 22% 9%
Ricky Kreklow 16% 16% 3.9 75% 25% 0% 0%
Mike Dixon 27% 14% 3.0 39% 33% 8% 20%
  • Uncharacteristically careless night with the ball for both Laurence Bowers and Mike Dixon.  Bowers' season %TO average is 7.4%, Dixon's 5.3%; Bowers tripled his average, Dixon nearly quadrupled his.  All in all, just a terrible 15 minutes from Dixon.

Three Keys Revisited

From yesterday's preview.

Mizzou Versus Circumstance

[P]erhaps my biggest concerns in this game do not come from matchups of any kind.  Mizzou has experienced unique travel circumstances, to say the least, in getting to Stillwater.  Plus ... well, their shot comes and goes on the road.  If their jumpers are a little flat in the early going, like they were in Boulder and Texas, then OSU could build an early lead and a potentially thin-but-raucous crowd could make a huge difference.

Yeah ... Circumstance 1, Mizzou 0.  The crowd didn't appear to be a factor, but Missouri was a step slow on defense all game, and they shot terribly, especially inside the 3-point line.  Bad combination.

Mizzou Versus the Free Throw Line

If Moses and Olukemi aren't getting free points from the line, it will be difficult for OSU to win this game.  Plus, if Dixon and others (Kim English, maybe?) are getting free points from the line, it's even more favorable for Mizzou.  This game could be decided by both how the officials blow their whistles and how Mizzou attacks.

Free Throw Attempts: OSU 43, Missouri 16.  Yes, Mizzou took a lot of long jumpers, and yes, Oklahoma State attacked the basket more.  But not THAT much more.  Kim English's and Mike Dixon's performances were absolutely inexcusable, but so were the performances from the officials.  Our friend Samuel at Cowboys Ride For Free even said as much:

OK, I'll say it. We are getting almost every call. i think we earned one of these games after so many going the other way, but geez… Mizzou fans have to be getting frustrated.

Par for the course for Mizzou away from Mizzou Arena ... but again, we'll come back to this.

Play. Your. Game.

In Mizzou wins, opponents average a 50.6% True Shooting %; in losses, 61.0%.  In Mizzou wins, opponents shoot 31.1% from 3-point range; in losses, 39.4%.  In Mizzou wins, opponents average a 31% offensive rebounding rate; in losses, 42%.  In Mizzou wins, opponent BCI is 0.96; in losses, 1.83.

OSU's True Shooting %: 55.9%
OSU's 3-Point %: 37.5%
OSU's Offensive Rebounding rate: 34%
OSU's BCI: 1.45

Really, none of those figures are as bad for Mizzou as I expected.  OSU certainly shot pretty well from 3-point range, but they only attempted eight of them.  Meanwhile, Mizzou's rebounding improved significantly in the second half.  But these numbers were still well above the "In Mizzou wins" figures when all was said and done.

In other words ... I kinda nailed these three keys, didn't I?  I have to pound my chest when that happens, as it doesn't always happen.


As I mentioned above, we'll talk about Mizzou's road troubles in a separate post later today.  There is enough detail that I wanted it to be its own post.  But I'll finish this post with one thought: last night was Missouri's worst loss of the season.  The other four losses could all be contextualized into being excusable -- even, to me, the Colorado game -- but Mizzou simply had to figure out a way to get a win last night, and they didn't.  Despite the horrid officiating, and despite the poor shooting, Mizzou still had the game within as few as three points in a game where Laurence Bowers wasn't 100% and Kim English and Mike Dixon were almost complete detriments on the court.  Ratliffe did what he could, and Denmon had a Denmon-esque streak, but Mizzou needed one of their go-to players to come up big on the road, and as as has been the case all season, they did not.  I'm still pretty convinced that a very good version of Missouri will show up in March, and they'll still have a very good chance to make noise in the NCAA Tournament.  But the road woes are setting them up for a six-seed instead of a three- or four-seed, and obviously that will mean for a tougher draw and worse odds of a deep tourney run. Mizzou has four remaining road games -- Kansas, Iowa State, Kansas State and Nebraska -- and if they want a decent seed in the NCAAs, they need to win at LEAST two of them.  Can they?  Of course!  Will they?  After last night, I'm not sure.



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.