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Study Hall: Ole Miss 64, Missouri 49

Laurence Bowers is the calming force on this team, and without him Mizzou simply couldn't relax and run its offense. Everybody seemed tight and nervous, and when the initial scoreless streak occurred, everything just got worse.


Your Trifecta: Bell-Brown-Pressey and/or Bell-Brown-Criswell. Regardless, a) nobody won this one, and b) I'm confident in asserting that unless it's a cupcake non-conference game, Mizzou is never, ever going to win a game with a Trifecta of Bell-Brown-Criswell.

Well ... at least I totally nailed the keys to the game...

Ole Miss 64, Mizzou 49

Ole Miss
Pace (No. of Possessions) 65.9
Points Per Possession (PPP) 0.74 0.97
Points Per Shot (PPS) 0.86 1.14
2-PT FG% 48.7% 44.7%
3-PT FG% 11.1% 27.8%
FT% 83.3% 75.0%
True Shooting % 41.1% 49.4%
Mizzou Ole Miss
Assists 9 7
Steals 6 13
Turnovers 19 12
Ball Control Index (BCI)
(Assists + Steals) / TO
0.79 1.67
Mizzou Ole Miss
Expected Offensive Rebounds 13 13
Offensive Rebounds 11 11
Difference -2 -2

So ... let's just say...

...that it is typically going to be difficult to win on the road against anybody when you a) go scoreless for the first 6:36 of the game, then b) go scoreless for another 4:30 in the second half (from 9:24 to 4:54). Mizzou was outscored by a combined 15-0 in those 11 minutes and lost by 15. So ... yeah. Don't try that again. Not a good look.

Defense certainly wasn't the problem.

Murphy Holloway had a lovely game against Missouri (22 points on 8-for-12 shooting, three offensive rebounds), but Ole Miss as a whole did not. The Rebels made just five of 18 3-pointers, and let's just say that if your opponent averages under 1.00 points per possession, you should win. And Mizzou lost by 15.


Also not a good look. Mizzou has 1.5 ball handlers: Phil Pressey and sometimes Keion Bell. That's it. I think the third most trustworthy dribbler might be Tony Criswell.

Mizzou Player Stats

(Definitions at the bottom of the post.)

AdjGS GmSc/Min Line
Keion Bell 14.8 0.49 30 Min, 11 Pts (5-11 FG, 0-1 3PT, 1-1 FT), 7 Reb, 2 TO
Jabari Brown 10.6 0.28 38 Min, 13 Pts (4-13 FG, 2-7 3PT, 3-3 FT), 7 Reb, 3 TO
Tony Criswell 9.7 0.69 14 Min, 6 Pts (3-4 FG), 2 Reb, 5 PF
Phil Pressey 9.7 0.27 36 Min, 10 Pts (5-11 FG, 0-4 3PT), 5 Ast, 3 Reb, 5 TO
Alex Oriakhi 9.2 0.40 23 Min, 4 Pts (2-4 FG), 6 Reb (2 Off), 3 Blk, 2 TO
Earnest Ross 0.7 0.03 24 Min, 3 Pts (1-7 FG, 0-4 3PT, 1-2 FT), 4 Stl, 3 Reb, 3 TO
Danny Feldmann 0.0 0.00 4 Min
Stefan Jankovic -0.2 -0.06 4 Min
Ryan Rosburg -1.4 -0.08 17 Min, 2 Pts (1-3 FG), 4 PF
Dominique Bull -1.6 -1.65 1 Min
Negus Webster-Chan -9.7 -1.07 9 Min, 0 Pts (0-2 3PT), 3 TO
Player Usage% Floor% Touches/
%Pass %Shoot %Fouled %T/O
Bell 23% 38% 2.1 28% 52% 11% 9%
Brown 23% 29% 2.3 20% 45% 24% 10%
Criswell 15% 75% 2.1 60% 40% 0% 0%
Pressey 23% 37% 3.8 65% 24% 0% 11%
Oriakhi 13% 30% 0.8 0% 67% 0% 33%
Ross 23% 15% 2.6 29% 34% 23% 15%
Rosburg 12% 22% 0.7 0% 75% 0% 25%
NWC 28% 0% 1.7 0% 40% 0% 60%
  • Poor NWC is just lost in the wilderness right now.
  • One single Missouri player averaged better than one point per FG attempt (Criswell), and he a) attempted only four shots and b) fouled out in 14 minutes.
  • Ggh.

Three Keys Revisited

From Friday's preview:

Dear Jabari Brown and Earnest Ross: Score, please. Thx.

Against Bucknell, Brown and Ross scored eight points on 2-for-18 shooting, and Mizzou almost lost. Against Alabama, they scored 41 points on 14-for-23 shooting, and Mizzou won comfortably. Above everything else, Laurence Bowers brings some offensive stability to the table; without him, Mizzou is dependent on some seriously streaky scorers like these two and, of course, Phil Pressey (37 points on 14-for-32 shooting in the last two games, 31 points on 11-for-41 shooting in the two before that). Who steps and becomes not only a scoring option, but a semi-reliable one?

Without Laurence Bowers as a steadying influence on the offense, it is clear that Missouri is hostage to the combined FG% of Brown and Ross. And they shot a combined 5-for-20 in Oxford. So yeah, Mizzou did not win in Oxford. That's an oversimplification, obviously, but not much of one.


Ole Miss has forced opponents into some shoddy ball-handling in 2012-13. Mizzou has been baited into some shoddy ball-handling at time, especially by pressing teams like Louisville. This is probably the scariest part of the matchup for Mizzou; Ole Miss will play fast and often press, and Mizzou has not handled that well this year. Either Phil Pressey needs to play out of his mind or (god forbid) somebody else will need to emerge as a steady, reliable ball-handler.

The only thing worse than the shots Missouri did take were the ones they weren't able to take because they had given up the ball first. After a game in which Mizzou was actually the superior ball-handling team for once, Mizzou was far, far inferior again in this one.

Back to your supposed strengths.

Ole Miss hits the offensive glass awfully hard, and Mizzou has been kept off of the offensive glass for two straight games. It will be difficult for Mizzou to win this game if the Tigers are not generating second-chance points. Doing so without Bowers and, perhaps, Criswell is a dicey proposition, but Mizzou might not have a choice. Consider that a calling-out, Stefan Jankovic, Ryan Rosburg and Earnest Ross.

Mizzou: +0 in terms of expected rebounds. Not a loss, but not exactly a win either. Criswell was somehow credited with just one offensive rebound (in my head, he had, like, all of them), but Ross, Jankovic and Rosburg, the three I "called out" above, combined for one as well. Oriakhi can't do it all, guys.


Basketball games like this happen. I'd say they're usually not this bad, but ... it could have been much, much worse. The effort was actually there, I think, and it showed on the defensive side of the ball (and in the fact that the Tigers didn't get outrebounded without Bowers). But Laurence Bowers is the calming force on this team, and without him Mizzou simply couldn't relax and run its offense. Everybody seemed tight and nervous, and when the initial scoreless streak occurred, everything just got worse.

The good news, as it were, is that there isn't another "first game without Bowers." Mizzou hosts a pretty poor Georgia team on Wednesday and will have a chance to work out some kinks in front of a home crowd. More good news: if Bowers returns and Mizzou's game gets raised a bit, the NCAA Committee will to a certain extent write this one off as taking place without Bowers. Granted, I'm pretty sure Mizzou still loses by 8-10 with Bowers, but that won't really matter. So, you know, hooray! Get well soon, Party Starter.


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 an offensively limited center, 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.