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Study Hall: Mizzou 93, Arkansas 63


Your Trifecta: Bowers-Brown-Ross. Your winner: nobody!

I've never bought in, 100 percent, to the "Defense is all about effort" narrative. Sure, effort matters, but so do execution and general basketball smarts, right? Well ... last night showed that effort is a good percentage of the equation. A team that hadn't played defense since the Florida game, allowed 22 points on 31% shooting with four turnovers, almost no second-chance opportunities and multiple desperation 3-pointers in a frenzied first half. Arkansas got the game it wanted -- up-and-down chaos for spells, lots of turnovers for Missouri -- and couldn't put the ball in the basket to save its life. That was tremendous. Of course, it also showed what this team is capable of. If Tennessee averages 1.15 points per possession this coming weekend, it will now be doubly annoying. But wow, what an effort. Sure, things loosened up in the second half. That tends to happen when you're up 26 after 20 minutes.

Mizzou 93, Arkansas 63

Pace (No. of Possessions) 71.3
Points Per Possession (PPP) 1.31 0.88
Points Per Shot (PPS) 1.86 1.05
2-PT FG% 61.1% 57.1%
3-PT FG% 50.0% 24.0%
FT% 70.0% 38.5%
True Shooting % 68.8% 47.9%
Mizzou UA
Assists 13 12
Steals 7 9
Turnovers 15 11
Ball Control Index (BCI)
(Assists + Steals) / TO
1.33 1.91
Mizzou UA
Expected Offensive Rebounds 10 13
Offensive Rebounds 11 5
Difference +1 -8


During his mid-timeout ESPN interview in the first half, Mike Anderson said his team was settling for 3-pointers and not getting the ball inside. And he was right. But his team also had almost nowhere to go with the ball inside. Last night we really did see in practice the defense we could see in theory: long arms impacting every pass and grabbing every rebound, muscle on the perimeter, et cetera.

We also saw this. And it was fantastic.

(Jamie Squire/Getty Images)

Apparently Frank Haith and Mike Anderson made nice after the game, but ... you get the impression that Haith was looking for a fight heading into this one. I don't think many Mizzou fans minded.

Mizzou Player Stats

(Definitions at the bottom of the post.)

AdjGS GmSc/Min Line
Laurence Bowers 27.8 1.07 26 Min, 24 Pts (10-13 FG, 1-1 3PT, 3-5 FT), 11 Reb (4 Off), 2 Blk
Jabari Brown 19.0 0.61 31 Min, 23 Pts (6-12 FG, 3-6 3PT, 8-9 FT), 2 TO
Earnest Ross 13.4 0.52 26 Min, 11 Pts (3-7 FG, 2-4 3PT, 3-4 FT), 2 Reb (2 Off), 2 Ast, 3 Stl
Alex Oriakhi 10.1 0.40 25 Min, 10 Pts (3-3 FG, 4-4 FT), 8 Reb, 3 TO
Tony Criswell 9.6 0.44 22 Min, 7 Pts (3-3 FG, 1-2 FT), 7 Reb
Phil Pressey 5.4 0.18 30 Min, 8 Pts (2-3 FG, 1-1 3PT, 3-7 FT), 6 Ast, 4 Reb, 5 TO
Keion Bell 4.6 0.19 24 Min, 8 Pts (2-7 FG, 4-5 FT), 4 Reb
Negus Webster-Chan 1.0 0.15 7 Min, 1 Pt (0-1 FG, 1-2 FT), 2 Ast
Dominique Bull 1.0 1.03 1 Min, 1 Pt (1-2 FT)
Ryan Rosburg 0.3 0.11 3 Min
Danny Feldmann 0.3 0.34 1 Min
Corey Haith -0.5 -0.46 1 Min
Stefan Jankovic -0.8 -0.27 3 Min
Player Usage% Floor% Touches/
%Pass %Shoot %Fouled %T/O
Bowers 30% 63% 2.5 25% 55% 15% 4%
Brown 28% 45% 2.4 22% 45% 25% 8%
Ross 18% 42% 2.5 52% 31% 13% 4%
Oriakhi 15% 49% 1.0 0% 34% 33% 34%
Criswell 9% 79% 0.6 0% 67% 33% 0%
Pressey 18% 39% 4.5 73% 6% 10% 10%
Bell 21% 34% 2.1 34% 40% 21% 6%
NWC 20% 31% 6.1 77% 7% 10% 7%
  • A perfect Laurence Bowers stat line. Just perfect.
  • I'll say this, Jabari Brown: if you score 23 points on 12 shots, you are allowed to contribute nothing else to the box score.
  • Earnest Ross with his sneakiest box score of the year. I had no idea he was going to be in the trifecta as I was punching in the numbers.
  • Last 6 Games
    Oriakhi 15.0 Adj. PPG
    Bell 13.9
    Bowers 13.3
    Pressey 12.4
    Brown 10.4
    Ross 9.1

    I mean, that's pretty much exactly what you want to see, right? Mizzou is averaging 1.18 points per possession in its last six contests, which is just silly. Not quite "Mizzou in 2011-12" silly, but close. Of course, the 1.04 points per possession allowed still leaves something to be desired, but again, we saw what this D is capable of last night. Now do it again.

Three Keys Revisited

From yesterday's preview.

The Whistles

Always. This is a game involving a Mike Anderson team.

Fouls: Arkansas 29, Missouri 11
Free Throws: Missouri 40, Arkansas 13

Yeah, I'd say that worked out in Missouri's favor. Mizzou had a pretty clear mission: When you beat the pressure, go to the rim. And while the Tigers were committing turnovers like crazy there for a while (seven in the first seven minutes), they were also inducing all sorts of reach-in fouls while attacking the rim. And when they didn't get fouled, they probably got an offensive rebound. Oh yeah, and they were making five of nine 3-pointers to boot. It's hard to commit 10 first-half turnovers and lead by 26 at halftime, but that's the blueprint.

Mizzou Arena

Mizzou Arena is funny. When it is 100% into a game, which only happens once or twice a year, it has the power to cow both the visiting team and the home team. It seemed frequent in those old Kansas games that, when the stakes were high (primarily 2009 and 2012), both teams played a bit freaked out at first; and it happened again to an extent against Florida a couple of weeks ago. But that building can also carry the home team down the stretch. It is an amazing arena to behold in the final minutes of a rivalry game. And with the Anderson Effect, combined with Senior Night, I expect it at its best tonight. If Arkansas can overcome potential runs, keep the game close at the end, and then win in that environment, power to the Hogs.

Yeah, I don't think Mizzou was cowed too much by the home crowd. Arkansas had a couple of decent spells in the first half -- a 7-0 run from 18:07 to 15:53, a quick little 4-0 spurt from 11:08 to 10:15 -- but Mizzou was relentless.

5-0 from 20:00 to 18:50.
9-2 from 14:37 to 13:45.
7-0 from 12:46 to 11:08.
9-0 from 9:56 to 7:47.
13-0 from 3:55 to halftime.

Arkansas went on a quick 10-2 run to start the second half, but this was a fifth-round knockout. And the arena played its part

Tag Team

I could have gone with Phil Pressey here, and I could have gone with BCI! BCI! (this is a Mike Anderson game after all). Instead, though, I'm going with this. Over his last three games, Alex Oriakhi has averaged 17.3 points per game (on 72% shooting from the field) and 9.3 rebounds (4.3 on offense). And on Saturday, Laurence Bowers officially looked like Laurence Bowers again, scoring 23 points and grabbing 10 boards. The battle between Bowers-Oriakhi and Clarke-Powell will likely decide the game. Lord knows Flipadelphia will play a role, as will plenty of other factors (ball-handling, rebounding, etc.). But this battle is absolutely enormous.

Bowers & Oriakhi: 51 minutes, 34 points (13-16 FG, 7-9 FT), 19 rebounds (5 offensive), 3 blocks, 1 steal
Clarke & Powell: 54 minutes, 18 points (8-16 FG, 1-6 FT), 4 rebounds (1 offensive), 3 blocks, 5 steals

Coty Clarke and Marshawn Powell made up a little bit of ground with blocks and steals, but this battle was no contest.

(Clarke, by the way, could play on my team any day. I really like watching that guy. Tremendous role player, perfect for Anderson's system. But I digress.)


What a night, huh?


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.