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Mizzou 91, Alcorn State 54: Study Hall

A weird trifecta for a weird game.

Jamie Squire

Your Trifecta: Ross-Pressey-Jankovic. Not the trifecta I expected while watching the game.

Mizzou 91, Alcorn State 54

Pace (No. of Possessions) 72.0
Points Per Possession (PPP) 1.26 0.75
Points Per Shot (PPS) 1.34 0.87
2-PT FG% 39.1% 30.0%
3-PT FG% 36.4% 33.3%
FT% 70.5% 60.)%
True Shooting % 52.1% 38.1%
Mizzou ASU
Assists 11 7
Steals 11 5
Turnovers 9 16
Ball Control Index (BCI)
(Assists + Steals) / TO
2.44 0.75
Mizzou ASU
Expected Offensive Rebounds 17 17
Offensive Rebounds 24 15
Difference +7 -2

This was quite possibly the weirdest, most annoying 37-point win I've ever watched. Let's count the ways...

  1. There were 47 fouls. There might not be anything in the world more frustrating in sports than enduring more than a foul per minute in a blowout. My goodness. A 37-point basketball game should never last over two hours.
  2. Three Mizzou players grabbed double-digit rebounds.
  3. Ryan Rosburg posted the rare "one point, six offensive rebounds" combination.
  4. Dominique Bull played.
  5. Earnest Ross and Laurence Bowers shot 12-for-18. The rest of the team: 14-for-50.
  6. Mizzou shot 23 percent on 2-pointers in the first half. In fact, for the half as a whole, Mizzou continuously missed good shots while making junk.
  7. While we're at it, for the game Mizzou almost shot better from behind the arc (36%) than from inside it (39%).
  8. Phil Pressey shot 6-for-15, had more turnovers than assists ... and made the Trifecta.


Alcorn State's entire strategy seemed to boil down to one word: scrap. The Braves threw their bodies around on offense (they were in the bonus very quickly), attacked the rim relentlessly (with minimal success), and just tried to hustle like crazy (eight first-half offensive rebounds). And while Mizzou missed a lot of open shots in the first half, ASU deserves credit for staying close with this strategy.

The problem, eventually, is that Mizzou is big, physical and deep enough to counter that style. For one, it plays to the best parts of Alex Oriakhi's game. For another, Mizzou has ridiculous depth of size, and if one player gets into foul trouble, then for the most part it's "oh well." (Flip Pressey is the clear exception here.)


At the 16:26 mark of the first half, Stefan Jankovic, Tony Criswell and Negus Webster-Chan subbed in.

At the 12:43 mark, Alex Oriakhi came in for Laurence Bowers.

At the 12:40 mark, Keion Bell and Earnest Ross came in for Jankovic and Criswell.

At the 10:51 mark, Phil Pressey came back in for NWC.

At the 9:07 mark, Bowers came back in.

At the 8:27 mark, Ryan Rosburg debuted.

At the 8:01 mark, NWC came back in.

At the 4:34 mark, Oriakhi, Bell and Criswell came back in.

At the 3:54 mark, Jankovic came in for Criswell.

At the 1:54 mark, Ross and Bowers came in for Oriakhi and Bell.

Juggling a 9-player lineup, with seven newcomers, is going to take a lot of experimentation. I realized last night that we might be seeing a lot of first-half funks in non-conference play, especially against lesser teams, when Frank Haith is experimenting. Last year, the rotation was pretty easily defined by circumstance. This year, it might take Haith a little while. This isn't a Mike Anderson system, where you basically get an entire line change for four minutes in the first half, and where certain reserves come in at specific parts of the half. Haith's style, for better or worse, is going to be rather fungible from year to year, and in trying to figure out what this team is going to be this year, it's going to take him a little while to figure out the balance in the rotation, especially when Mike Dixon and Jabari Brown enter the fray.

Mizzou Player Stats

(Definitions at the bottom of the post.)

AdjGS GmSc/Min Line
Earnest Ross 21.1 0.75 28 Min, 17 Pts (7-8 FG, 1-2 3PT, 2-4 FT), 10 Reb (4 Off), 3 Ast
Phil Pressey 14.4 0.48 30 Min, 21 Pts (6-15 FG, 2-8 3PT, 7-9 FT), 3 Stl, 2 Ast, 2 TO
Stefan Jankovic 13.6 0.62 22 Min, 8 Pts (2-6 FG, 0-2 3PT, 4-4 FT), 5 Reb (3 Off), 4 Ast, 3 Blk, 2 Stl, 4 PF
Alex Oriakhi 13.4 0.64 21 Min, 12 Pts (1-5 FG, 10-13 FT), 10 Reb (5 Off), 2 TO
Laurence Bowers 12.4 0.48 26 Min, 14 Pts (5-10 FG, 3-4 3PT, 1-2 FT), 4 Reb, 3 Blk
Ryan Rosburg 6.2 0.69 9 Min, 1 Pt (0-1 FG, 1-2 FT), 7 Reb (6 Off)
Keion Bell 3.6 0.22 16 Min, 7 Pts (2-7 FG, 1-1 3PT, 2-2 FT), 2 Reb
Negus Webster-Chan 3.3 0.11 31 Min, 5 Pts (1-8 FG, 1-4 3PT, 2-4 FT), 11 Reb, 3 Stl, 4 PF
Tony Criswell 2.3 0.16 14 Min, 6 Pts (2-7 FG, 2-4 FT), 4 Reb (3 Off), 2 TO
Danny Feldmann 0.0 0.00 1 Min
Dominique Bull 0.0 0.00 1 Min
Corey Haith -0.8 -0.75 1 Min, 0 Pts (0-1 3PT)
Player Usage% Floor% Touches/
%Pass %Shoot %Fouled %T/O
Ross 16% 70% 2.9 60% 27% 9% 3%
Pressey 30% 38% 3.3 33% 42% 17% 8%
Jankovic 15% 49% 4.0 73% 19% 8% 0%
Oriakhi 25% 34% 2.0 0% 32% 55% 13%
Bowers 17% 45% 1.2 0% 88% 12% 0%
Rosburg 9% 33% 2.5 72% 12% 16% 0%
Bell 20% 32% 1.4 0% 84% 16% 0%
NWC 14% 16% 1.0 0% 69% 23% 9%
Criswell 32% 27% 3.4 34% 40% 15% 11%
  • I really, really enjoy Stefan Jankovic.
  • I was a bit surprised by Ross' Usage rate. Or, I wasn't surprised by the rate itself so much as I was surprised by Ross. I got the impression in the opening games (exhibition and otherwise) that he was going to be an "I'm hot, so give me the ball" guy. And I was totally okay with that -- he only seems to shoot in high volumes when he has found his range, so that's a good thing. But against ASU, he very much let the flow of the game come to him.
  • When the game was over, I had no idea whether I had just watched a Good Flip Pressey game or a Bad Flip game. The stats say he was better than I thought he was.
  • If Tony Criswell had found the range on that 10-footer from the baseline, he'd have had six or eight more points, I think.
  • The Denmon Watch™ for NWC continues. Again, I'm not saying he'll ever be as good as Marcus Denmon, but from a styles standpoint, he is almost dead on right now. Last night, we saw what Negus Webster-Chan's tendencies might be when his shot is off, and he still managed to play decent minutes and find ways to contribute (11 rebounds, three steals). Very, very good sign.
  • Only three players had a Usage Rate above 20% (the typical average), and one was Criswell, who barely played. The only one over 25%: the point guard. Don't tell Doug Gottlieb, I guess.
  • On the flipside, this was easily Mizzou's best ball-handling game of the young season. So there's that.


One more tune-up, and then we get our first glimpse of what Frank Haith thinks his rotation might be (with or without Mike Dixon).


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.

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.