Your Trifecta: Brown-Ross-Criswell. When Bad Tony Criswell makes your Trifecta ... you lost.
When the calendar flipped to 2014, Missouri more or less stopped doing all of the things it was doing well. Jordan Clarkson stopped passing. Johnathan Williams III fell asleep on the glass. Jabari Brown stopped adding anything to the box score other than points. Earnest Ross started making more bad physical contact. Tony Criswell started breaking the "only one damn 3-point attempt per game, Tony" rule.
More than that, though, Mizzou has simply proven in the last two games that if it doesn't get strong contributions from all of its four best players -- Clarkson, Brown, Ross, and JW3 -- it's going to struggle. Clarkson was awful, Williams was frustrated, passive, and foul-prone, and Brown and Ross couldn't make up the difference, even with at least a little help from Criswell and Ryan Rosburg.
Like I said in Links this morning, it's up to Missouri now to prove that the message has been received. Even with all of the struggles from Clarkson, etc., last night, the Tigers still would have won if they hadn't gotten straight-up outworked on the glass. Georgia had a boatload of motivation, and Missouri did not. The former simply cannot happen again. And if this team didn't get that message last night, it's not going to.
Georgia 70, Missouri 64
|Pace (No. of Possessions)||68.3|
|Points Per Possession (PPP)||0.94||1.03|
|Points Per Shot (PPS)||1.14||1.17|
|True Shooting %||49.0%||49.0%|
Ball Control Index (BCI)
(Assists + Steals) / TO
|Expected Offensive Rebounds||13.3||14.3|
- Minus-7 on the glass. Wow.
- I don't even know what else to say. In the end, the teams shot basically the same -- Mizzou better on 3-pointers and free throws, Georgia better on 2-pointers -- and handled the ball about the same. But rebounding, a Mizzou strength, was an absolute disaster. And as Frank Haith says quite often, rebounding is effort. It's also positioning, luck, etc. But the effort was visibly lacking early on. It allowed Georgia to stay in the game and generate serious confidence while shooting poorly.
Mizzou Player Stats
(Definitions at the bottom of the post.)
|Jabari Brown||21.1||0.53||40 Min, 19 Pts (6-13 FG, 2-6 3PT, 5-7 FT), 3 Reb, 1 Ast, 1 Stl, 1 Blk, 1 TO, 1 PF|
|Earnest Ross||18.1||0.49||37 Min, 15 Pts (6-9 FG, 2-4 3PT, 1-1 FT), 4 Reb (1 Off), 1 Ast, 1 Stl, 1 Blk, 2 TO, 4 PF|
|Tony Criswell||7.7||0.27||29 Min, 8 Pts (2-9 FG, 1-3 3PT, 3-4 FT), 7 Reb (2 Off), 1 Ast, 2 PF|
|Ryan Rosburg||6.5||0.23||28 Min, 3 Pts (1-3 FG, 1-1 FT), 6 Reb (1 Off), 1 Ast, 2 Stl, 1 Blk, 2 TO, 2 PF|
|Jordan Clarkson||4.3||0.10||44 Min, 12 Pts (4-14 FG, 1-3 3PT, 3-6 FT), 6 Reb (1 Off), 2 Ast, 1 Blk, 3 TO, 3 PF|
|Wes Clark||3.8||0.34||11 Min, 0 Pts (0-1 FG), 2 Reb, 3 Ast, 2 Stl, 4 PF|
|Johnathan Williams III||2.7||0.13||20 Min, 5 Pts (2-4 FG, 1-2 FT), 2 Reb (1 Off), 1 Ast, 1 TO, 4 PF|
|Torren Jones||-1.1||-0.12||9 Min, 2 Pts (1-2 FG), 1 Reb, 2 TO|
|Shane Rector||-1.1||-0.16||7 Min, 0 Pts (0-1 FG)|
|Johnathan Williams III||17%||40%||2.0||47%||32%||12%||8%|
- I'm not going anywhere near last night's thread, but I assume people were a little put off by the play drawn up for Jabari Brown after Charles Mann's travel, er, bucket with 35 seconds left in OT. Taking a 3-pointer immediately after a timeout isn't exactly conventional, but wow, was it open. And considering the humongous 3s Brown has made in recent games, I just can't make myself complain. Obviously in retrospect Mizzou should have followed the normal plan and held onto the ball, but it was a great look for Missouri's best shooter. Even if it shouldn't have happened, I can't complain.
- Earnest Ross, doing Earnest Ross things ... making huge shots and committing six combined turnovers and fouls.
- Brown and Ross were easily the best things Mizzou had going yesterday, but after playing significant roles on the glass in November and December, they grabbed just six defensive boards in 77 combined minutes. This team obviously needs more than that, especially if JW3 still has some "being a freshman" issues to work through.
- Johnathan Williams III: five rebounds in his last 47 minutes.
- One per game, Tony. You get one dumb, long shot per game. You took ... more than one. (And yes, Criswell was also easily the best hustle guy on the team toward the end of the game. Need to mention that, too.)
- In nine minutes, Torren Jones showed us all of his potential -- wow, does he run the floor well -- and all of the reasons he's not getting any minutes right now. He missed a chip shot he should have dunked and turned the ball over twice. He's just a freaking horse of an athlete, but he's obviously still a work in progress.
- As for Georgia ... a) of course Nemanja Djurisic would kill the Tigers after I mentioned how good he could be at times in yesterday's preview, and b) wow, did Charles Mann travel with 35 seconds left in overtime.
Three keys revisited
1. The whistles.
As if you hadn't already caught on, both of these teams draw a lot of fouls. The difference is that Georgia also commits them at a high frequency, and Mizzou does not. Still, officiating is a crapshoot, and if Mann is drawing fouls that both a) get him some free points and b) get either Ross, Brown or Clarkson into foul trouble, that's not a good thing. We know how important Mizzou's Big 3 or 4 (depending on whether we're counting Johnathan Williams III) are to this team.
JW3 committed his second foul 9:29 into the game, sat for the rest of the half, committed his third fewer than three minutes into the second half, committed his fourth two minutes after subbing back in, and played just 20 minutes with foul trouble. Ross and Wes Clark also ended up with four fouls, and Mizzou committed 20 in all. Georgia attempted more free throws than Missouri (26 to 21), and if the Dawgs hadn't stunk at them for most of the game, the contest would not have gone to overtime.
2. The 3-ball.
Georgia opponents are making 34.5 percent of their 3-pointers this year, and Mizzou is making 36.2 percent. We know from Pomeroy's writing that this is more random than we intuitively like to think it is, but if Mizzou is making its open looks from downtown, the Tigers are just about impossible to stop. Meanwhile, Georgia stinks at the long ball, so if the Dawgs get a little lucky and make a few, that could also give them a lifeline.
Georgia was predictably bad from 3-point range -- 5-for-16 (31%) overall -- but the one guy who could hurt Missouri, did. Djurisic made four of five, including a game-changer with 1:40 left in OT. Meanwhile, Missouri did shoot better (6-for-16), but barely.
3. The Glass.
Mizzou holds the edge in both rebounding categories, but the edge is not significant. Georgia isn't as good a rebounding team as it probably should be with its overall size, but the Dawgs certainly aren't bad at it, and if the Tigers aren't as focused as usual (as was the case for much of the game against LBSU on Saturday), Georgia could take advantage. Mizzou needs to keep its energy up and keep Djurisic and Marcus Thornton (336th in Off. Rebound Rate) off of the offensive glass, and JW3 and Ryan Rosburg need to win some battles against Donte' Williams, Juwan Parker, Cameron Forte, Djurisic, Thornton, etc., on the other end of the court. This should be a Tiger advantage, but it's not guaranteed.
Expected Rebounds: Georgia +7.0
Yeah, I would say this was a key to the game, huh?
Basketball's a crazy game sometimes. There are strange, what-the-hell outcomes all the time, and apparently Mizzou was due to be involved in one. The Tigers, after all, had the nation's longest home win streak until last night. And if this really was a stuff-happens loss, then so be it. It was annoying to watch, but if the Tigers respond well, then it just goes down as a random glitch.
It's troubling, though, that the issues we saw in this game were almost exactly the issues we saw against Long Beach State. The rebounding intensity has vanished, Jordan Clarkson is getting incredibly frustrated (opponents have adjusted, and he hasn't adjusted to the adjustments yet), and while the bench produced something last night -- Criswell and Rosburg did combine for +14.2 in the Adj. GS department, and Clark was in the positive as well -- it wasn't enough to counter two of Mizzou's big four laying eggs.
Even if this team does bounce back, and I think it will, last night further proved how little margin for error the squad has. Torren Jones isn't ready to spell JW3. Shane Rector isn't ready to spell Wes Clark. Tony Criswell is going to bring something bad to the table for every something good. This team is what it is, but it can still be a good team as long as the effort is there. For too much of the game last night, it wasn't, and by the time it was, Georgia was too confident and too dialed in.
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 Basketball-Reference.com: 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.