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Louisville 84, Mizzou 61: Study Hall


Your Trifecta: Oriakhi-Criswell-Bell. Watching the game, I assumed Oriakhi would be No. 1 ... and had no idea after that.

Louisville is the clear, justifiable favorite tonight, but we get to see how Mizzou stacks up against one of the nation's best teams, knowing that, as we've been saying in the preseason, this Tiger team is built to be better in February and March than it is right now.

That's what I said yesterday morning, and we obviously got a pretty good idea for what Mizzou has or lacks when matched up against an elite team. Here are some lessons we learned:

  • This is a really good rebounding team. If nothing else, as you'll see below, Mizzou won the battle on the glass against a solid, long, athletic team, and even when the Tigers were getting outhustled in other aspects, they held their own here.
  • Mizzou has one ball-handler*. You would be smart to press Mizzou at all times. Louisville does that anyway. That was, uh, not a good matchup. Speaking of the one ball-handler...
  • ...Phil Pressey needed to get roughed up a bit. Flip is so damn good with the ball in his hands, and he is so damn quick, that a lot of teams will just back off of him, knowing that they will get torched if they pressure him to closely. As a result, it's almost as if he can forget what it's like to be challenged. Louisville challenged him last night, and while he won plenty of battles (seven assists, 3-for-6 3-point shooting), he lost a lot, too. He committed eight turnovers, and they included getting pick-pocketed bringing the ball up the court and allowing two "five seconds closely guarded" violations. The first five-second violation actually made me laugh. It had been so long since he was guarded like that, that it almost looked like he forgot it was a rule. (He didn't have the same excuse the second time.)
  • Team chemistry and familiarity might matter more on defense than it does on offense. Mizzou committed 14 of its 23 turnovers in the first half, so it is fair to say that ball-handling was the primary reason the Tigers trailed by eight at half. But while they cut that number to (a still too high) nine in the second half, Louisville extended the lead from eight to 23, anyway, due to superior ball movement. In most cases, Mizzou handled one-on-one defensive situations alright, but Louisville's passing was superior.
  • For years, Missouri was the team that created 10-15 junk points per night off of quick turnover-and-score situations. Last night confirmed what we had probably already been figuring out: Missouri is no longer that team. And for the most part, Mizzou was victimized by that team. This game was primarily decided by three runs: a 15-6 run from the 14:00 mark to the 10:00 mark in the first half, an 11-0 run from 18:30 to 17:19 in the second half, and a 12-2 stretch from 5:20 to 1:46. That's a 30-point edge for Louisville in about nine minutes. Mizzou had a seven-point edge in the other 31 minutes, and it couldn't have mattered less.

    Louisville executed these runs like Mike Anderson's teams used to at Mizzou Arena (it was actually very similar to that, right down to the refs getting caught up in the momentum a bit). Now ... there are a lot of ways to win a basketball game, and Mizzou can still clearly be a very good team without playing like that. But that doesn't mean it wasn't a jarring sight.
  • Louisville is really, really good.

* Yes, Missouri has another great ball-handler, and yes, he has been benched so far this season. Here's the only thing I'm going to say about Mike Dixon at this point: Judging by Twitter last night (just start reading here and scroll down), it appears that things are coming to a head regarding Dixon, and I assume we'll be hearing from Chancellor Brady Deaton on the matter sooner than later. And no, you're never going to see me jumping on the #FreeMikeDixon bandwagon. In the almost complete absence of facts, I'm just going to let decision-makers make decisions.

Louisville 84, Mizzou 61

Pace (No. of Possessions) 71.2
Points Per Possession (PPP) 0.86 1.18
Points Per Shot (PPS) 1.22 1.33
2-PT FG% 51.4% 52.4%
3-PT FG% 33.3% 42.9%
FT% 52.6% 65.0%
True Shooting % 52.3% 58.5%
Mizzou UL
Assists 13 16
Steals 3 12
Turnovers 23 10
Ball Control Index (BCI)
(Assists + Steals) / TO
0.70 2.80
Mizzou UL
Expected Offensive Rebounds 11 13
Offensive Rebounds 11 10
Difference +0 -3

Win The Battle On The Boards, Get Crushed In BCI

It really is an unfamiliar feeling, isn't it?

Also... do you shoot so freaking well one night from the line, and shoot so miserably the next?

Mizzou Player Stats

(Definitions at the bottom of the post.)

AdjGS GmSc/Min Line
Alex Oriakhi 22.6 0.78 29 Min, 15 Pts (7-11 FG, 1-5 FT), 8 Reb (4 Off), 2 TO
Tony Criswell 16.4 0.71 23 Min, 9 Pts (4-5 FG, 1-2 FT), 7 Reb (2 Off), 2 Ast, 3 TO
Keion Bell 10.3 0.54 19 Min, 4 Pts (0-0 FG, 4-4 FT), 3 Reb
Phil Pressey 8.5 0.24 35 Min, 15 Pts (6-15 FG, 3-6 3PT), 7 Ast, 3 Reb, 8 TO
Earnest Ross 6.1 0.29 21 Min, 5 Pts (1-4 FG, 1-3 3PT, 2-2 FT), 2 Reb
Stefan Jankovic 1.6 0.13 12 Min, 1 Pt (0-3 FG, 0-2 3PT, 1-2 FT), 4 Reb (2 Off)
Negus Webster-Chan 1.2 0.04 33 Min, 6 Pts (2-6 FG, 1-4 3PT, 1-2 FT), 6 Reb, 3 TO
Laurence Bowers -0.8 -0.04 22 Min, 6 Pts (3-6 FG, 0-2 FT), 2 TO, 4 PF
Ryan Rosburg -2.2 -0.36 6 Min, 0 Pts
Player Usage% Floor% Touches/
%Pass %Shoot %Fouled %T/O
Oriakhi 32% 32% 5.2 64% 23% 0% 12%
Criswell 19% 48% 2.6 55% 23% 8% 14%
Bell 7% 48% 1.6 56% 0% 34% 10%
Pressey 32% 32% 5.2 64% 23% 0% 12%
Ross 14% 31% 1.7 46% 32% 14% 8%
Jankovic 16% 19% 2.5 55% 28% 17% 0%
Webster-Chan 15% 21% 0.9 0% 56% 17% 28%
Bowers 20% 32% 2.0 38% 38% 11% 13%
Rosburg 8% 0% 0.5 0% 0% 0% 100%
  • One silver lining: Mizzou isn't always going to shoot this poorly. The Tigers missed a lot of open, makeable shots last night, especially from long range, but Ross, NWC and Jankovic went a combined 2-for-9 from long range. They all have pretty shots, and they will all get hot at times this year. None were last night.
  • Another silver lining: Alex Oriakhi looked damn good.
  • The point of AdjGS is to redistribute a team's points based on who made the best overall contributions to the box score. That Keion Bell finished third with, basically, four free throws and three rebounds (along with an assist, a turnover, a steal and a foul), probably tells you all you need to know about last night. Pressey was good and bad, Bowers was invisible, Ross was out of control, Mizzou couldn't hit open 3-pointers when they got the chance ... and Mizzou lost by 23.


Needless to say, having to play VCU, a team that thrives on chaos and turnovers, tonight is not very exciting. Needless to say, Mizzou is probably going to commit a lot more turnovers tonight. They can still win if they make shots and dominate on the glass, but ... Louisville pointed out Missouri's biggest weakness last night, and VCU's system is predicated on milking that exact weakness for all it is worth. Even if Missouri wins, you aren't going to enjoy yourself very much tonight. But hey at least Mizzou-A&M is on at the same time, right? That's ... better ... right?


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.