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Mizzou 91, NW MO State 58: Study Hall

All the stats you can handle from Mizzou's easy exhibition win.

Jamie Squire

Your Trifecta: Bell-Ross-Oriakhi. The Transferfecta™.

I couldn't help myself. Simply because I wanted to take the Study Hall template for another spin, I elected to review last night's exhibition basketball game today and postpone the Kentucky BTBS post until tomorrow. Enjoy your bouncy, squeaky hoops for one more day, and then it's time to go back to football.

Mizzou 91, NW Missouri State 58

Pace (No. of Possessions) 81.0
Points Per Minute 2.28 1.45
Points Per Possession (PPP) 1.13 0.72
Points Per Shot (PPS) 1.65 0.92
2-PT FG% 78.8% 34.2%
3-PT FG% 36.4% 32.0%
FT% 68.2% 47.1%
True Shooting % 70.3% 41.1%
Mizzou NMSU
Assists 16 11
Steals 11 9
Turnovers 25 24
Ball Control Index (BCI)
(Assists + Steals) / TO
1.08 0.83
Mizzou NMSU
Expected Offensive Rebounds 8 16
Offensive Rebounds 8 14
Difference +0 -2

There Were Two Games.

The one in which Mizzou was almost perfect (first half), and the one in which Mizzou was careless and bored (second half). To distinguish between the two, let's first take a look at the insanely pretty first-half stats:

FIRST HALF: Missouri 53, NW Missouri State 21

Pace (No. of Possessions) 39.7
Points Per Minute 2.65 1.05
Points Per Possession (PPP) 1.33 0.53
Points Per Shot (PPS) 2.04 0.68
2-PT FG% 81.3% 25.0%
3-PT FG% 70.0% 26.7%
FT% 66.7% 25.0%
True Shooting % 88.5% 32.1%
Mizzou NMSU
Assists 11 5
Steals 5 2
Turnovers 10 14
Ball Control Index (BCI)
(Assists + Steals) / TO
1.60 0.50
Mizzou NMSU
Expected Offensive Rebounds 3 9
Offensive Rebounds 1 6
Difference -2 -3


That's pretty.

In the game's first 9:04, Mizzou outscored NW Missouri State, 27-3, with Phil Pressey reeling off far more assists than NMSU had points. Mizzou gave NMSU no good looks, repeatedly stepped into passing lanes, and ran the break really, really well. The Tigers made 81% of their 2-pointers and 70% of their 3-pointers, and NMSU made basically one-fourth of all the shots it took, no matter how close or far away. And that was without Mike Dixon, of course.

In the second half, Mizzou continued to shoot relatively well, but the ball-handling was incredibly careless. Flip had nine assists and two turnovers in the first half; in the second, he had two assists and four turnovers. The team as a whole went from an 1.60 BCI in the first half to a 0.73 in the second. That's what happens when you're blowing your opponent out, testing different rotations (with a lot of freshmen and newcomers), etc. Obviously it would be silly to worry about anything from a win so easy you were up by 24 points before the third TV timeout, but worry or no, that was a sloppy second half of basketball.

Red Flags.

Okay, fine, let's pretend to worry for a moment. Here are some potential red flags that we saw yesterday. Mind you, these issues could be alleviated by the second exhibition game, so one probably shouldn't draw any long-term conclusions from this, but here are things that could bite Missouri in the future:

  • Players not named Phil Pressey had a total of five assists and 19 turnovers. Mike Dixon's return will help with this immensely -- with proper substitution patterns, Mizzou could have one of the two on the court at all times -- but when Flip was on the bench, Mizzou's ball-handling fell apart. And as I said above, it even fell apart with Flip in the second half.
  • This team has a lot of guys who like to shoot. Tony Criswell took two 3-pointers, Earnest Ross took 10 (granted, they were going in, and he obviously might not take as many when he's off), and as we'll see below, four different Tigers had a %Shoot of 43% or higher. Those percentages are going to be higher when you've got a pure point guard like Pressey running the show, but again, we're fishing for red flags here. And we haven't even seen how Jabari Brown fits in yet; I'm already preparing myself for the fact that he is, at times, going to shoot a Gilbertian volume of shots.
  • Ryan Rosburg fouled out in eight minutes. Granted, a couple of the fouls were cheap, but ... eight minutes! Even taking two of the fouls out of the equation, he still had three in eight minutes, which means he'd have still probably fouled out in another four or five minutes. He offers fantastic size, and he showed in Europe that he can absolutely clean up the defensive glass, but he has to be able to stay on the court. Mizzou's big-man depth is infinitely better than what it was last year, and Rosburg might only be needed for 10-14 minutes per game, but ... 10-14 is still greater than eight.
  • Mizzou only broke even on the glass. When you only miss 21 field goals and your opponents miss 42, you are almost certainly going to win the overall rebounding battle, and Mizzou did, 39-32. But taking expected rebounds into account, Mizzou was only plus-2 in rebounding for the game. With the amount of size this team possesses, Mizzou should probably have been at least plus-4 or plus-5.
  • Alex Oriakhi's got some attitude. The sarcastic clapping thing he went through in the second half was the tiniest display of the more negative Oriakhi we heard a bit about last year. Nothing to worry about yet, but it was there.

There. That's the best I can do. I'm not fully worried about any of those bullets ... just trying to nitpick from a perfectly easy win.

Now the good:

  • Phil Pressey on the break is an automatic two points, maybe three. Goodness.
  • We got to watch Laurence Bowers playing basketball again.
  • Keion Bell is explosive.
  • Earnest Ross is not going to shoot 60% on 3-pointers this season, but with that stroke, he will catch fire and carry this team at times.
  • Alex Oriakhi is every bit the rebounder we hoped he would be. The rest of the team may have only been average on the glass, but Oriakhi had an Offensive Rebound rate of 37% (next highest: NWC at 20%) and a Defensive Rebound rate of 21% (Criswell was 30%). That'll do just fine. Mizzou will still need more from the small forward (Ross: 5% OR, 16% DR) and power forward (Bowers: 0% OR, 13% DR) positions, but Oriakhi looked really good. And he served as a lovely recipient of Flip's passes. Ricardo Ratliffe was Flip's drive-and-dish muse last year, and it looks like Flip might have quite a few of them this year in Oriakhi, Bowers and Tony Criswell.
  • Last year, Mike Dixon and Phil Pressey were surrounded by players who were built like receivers and tight ends. This year, it's defensive ends, linebackers and safeties. I like that.

Mizzou Player Stats

(Definitions at the bottom of the post.)

AdjGS GmSc/Min Line
Keion Bell 20.8 0.72 29 Min, 20 Pts (8-12 FG, 0-3 3PT, 4-5 FT), 4 Reb, 4 Stl, 3 TO
Earnest Ross 19.6 0.70 28 Min, 22 Pts (8-13 FG, 6-10 3PT), 6 Reb, 4 TO
Alex Oriakhi 14.1 0.67 21 Min, 8 Pts (3-4 FG, 2-3 FT), 10 Reb (5 Off), 2 Blk, 3 PF
Laurence Bowers 13.9 0.66 21 Min, 14 Pts (6-8 FG, 0-1 3PT, 2-3 FT), 3 Reb, 2 Stl, 2 TO, 3 PF
Phil Pressey 6.6 0.26 25 Min, 4 Pts (1-4 FG, 1-3 3PT, 1-1 FT), 11 Ast, 2 Reb, 2 Stl, 6 TO
Negus Webster-Chan 6.1 0.24 25 Min, 6 Pts (2-3 FG, 0-1 3PT, 2-3 FT), 2 TO
Tony Criswell 5.7 0.38 15 Min, 8 Pts (3-7 FG, 0-2 3PT, 2-2 FT), 5 Reb, 2 TO
Corey Haith 3.5 0.32 11 Min, 3 Pts (1-1 3PT)
Danny Feldmann 3.0 0.37 8 Min, 2 Pts (1-1 FG), 2 Reb
Ryan Rosburg -0.9 -0.11 8 Min, 4 Pts (1-1 FG, 2-3 FT), 3 TO, 5 PF
Stefan Jankovic -2.1 -0.23 9 Min, 0 Pts (0-1 3PT), 3 Reb, 2 TO
Player Usage% Floor% Touches/
%Pass %Shoot %Fouled %T/O
Keion Bell 26% 50% 2.1 23% 48% 17% 12%
Earnest Ross 27% 42% 1.5 0% 76% 0% 24%
Alex Oriakhi 13% 55% 1.6 44% 30% 19% 7%
Laurence Bowers 24% 55% 2.1 32% 43% 14% 11%
Phil Pressey 19% 36% 7.5 85% 5% 2% 8%
Negus Webster-Chan 11% 42% 1.3 44% 22% 19% 15%
Tony Criswell 29% 34% 1.7 0% 65% 16% 19%
Corey Haith 4% 100% 0.2 0% 100% 0% 0%
Danny Feldmann 6% 100% 0.3 0% 100% 0% 0%
Ryan Rosburg 30% 30% 2.0 0% 15% 39% 46%
Stefan Jankovic 17% 10% 2.6 60% 10% 9% 21%
  • Last year, we had an "If these things happen, Mizzou probably wins" checklist regarding the above tables. With so many new players, I'm not even going to try to come up with one of those yet. Hopefully we start to figure out this team's needs over time.
  • Not really a fan of the fact that seven of Mizzou's nine scholarship players had a %TO of 11% or higher.
  • Okay, fine, Ryan Rosburg appears to have my nose and hair. You happy now? My hairline's better, though.
  • Phil Pressey was 85% pass, 5% shoot. Insert Doug Gottlieb, "Only two-thirds point guard" joke here.


Mizzou was up 27-3, Laurence Bowers played, and nobody got hurt. Sounds like a great exhibition to me.


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 Earnest Ross has a high Usage%, while Ryan Rosburg 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.