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UMKC 69, Missouri 61: Study Hall

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Dak Dillon-USA TODAY Sports

Your Trifecta: Clark-Teki-Shamburger.

As this game played out, I kept thinking back to the ifs I posted a couple of weeks ago.

Still, it doesn't take an overt number of "ifs" to turn this team into something pretty good. If Johnathan Williams III, who averaged six points and seven boards last year, can turn into more of a 13 & 8 guy (and when he was asked to step up and become a scorer last year, he acquitted himself alright), Mizzou will have a go-to guy. If one of the freshmen, perhaps Montaque Gill-Caesar, can pitch in about 12 points per game, with the others playing generally competent ball, Mizzou might have enough offense to get by. If Ryan Rosburg and Keanau Post can combine for about 12 points and 10 rebounds, Mizzou will have a legitimate post-presence and lots of fouls to give. And if the backcourt is able to make its share of open shots and play the type of defense Kim Anderson expects, this will be a pretty salty team from top to bottom.

"J3 becomes a 13 & 8 guy." When he posts 6 and 5 and fouls out in 26 minutes, Mizzou is not going to be good.

"A freshman can average 12+ PPG." Check! MGC proved willing to carry the scoring load and scored 21 ... albeit on 23 FG attempts.

"Rosburg & Post combine for 12 & 10." When they combine for 3 & 10, Mizzou is not going to be good.

"Backcourt makes open shots and plays good defense." When they only sort of do those things (Clark has 6 steals, but Clark/Shamburger/Isabell/Wright go 4-for-17 from 3-point range while the opponent goes 6-for-14) ... that's probably not going to be enough.

We learned last night how steep the slope is. If Missouri gets all four of these things, the Tigers can beat almost anybody on the schedule. When they get about 1.25 of these things, they'll lose to UMKC.

UMKC 69, Missouri 61

Mizzou
UMKC
Pace (No. of Possessions) 68.0
Points Per Possession (PPP) 0.90 1.01
Points Per Shot (PPS) 0.97 1.28
2-PT FG% 47.5% 35.0%
3-PT FG% 21.7% 42.9%
FT% 50.0% 79.3%
True Shooting % 43.5% 51.7%
Mizzou UMKC
Assists 10 9
Steals 10 6
Turnovers 17 15
Ball Control Index (BCI)
(Assists + Steals) / TO
1.18 1.00
Mizzou UMKC
Expected Offensive Rebounds 15.0 13.2
Offensive Rebounds 17 15
Difference +2.0 +1.8
  • Rebounding wasn't awful but wasn't good enough.
  • Ball control wasn't awful but wasn't good enough.
  • 2-point shooting wasn't awful. 3-point shooting was awful. Free throw shooting was awwwwful. Throw in some UMKC 3-point accuracy, and ... voila.

Mizzou Player Stats

(Definitions at the bottom of the post.)

Player
AdjGS GmSc/Min Line
Wes Clark 19.1 0.56 34 Min, 13 Pts (4-14 FG, 1-6 3PT, 4-6 FT), 3 Reb, 5 Ast, 6 Stl, 2 TO, 3 PF
Montaque Gill-Caesar 17.8 0.49 36 Min, 21 Pts (9-23 FG, 1-6 3PT, 2-3 FT), 7 Reb (4 Off), 1 TO, 1 PF
Keith Shamburger 8.9 0.29 31 Min, 8 Pts (3-6 FG, 2-4 3PT), 6 Reb (3 Off), 3 Ast, 1 Blk, 4 TO, 4 PF
Ryan Rosburg 6.8 0.25 27 Min, 3 Pts (1-1 FG, 1-5 FT), 6 Reb (3 Off), 1 Stl, 1 Blk, 1 TO, 2 PF
Johnathan Williams III 5.8 0.22 26 Min, 6 Pts (3-7 FG), 5 Reb (2 Off), 4 Blk, 2 TO, 5 PF
Tramaine Isabell 1.7 0.14 12 Min, 8 Pts (3-7 FG, 1-5 3PT, 1-2 FT), 1 Ast, 1 Stl, 3 TO, 4 PF
Namon Wright 1.0 0.15 7 Min, 2 Pts (1-3 FG, 0-2 3PT), 1 Reb
D'Angelo Allen 0.7 0.05 15 Min, 0 Pts, 1 Reb, 1 Ast, 1 Stl, 4 PF
Keanau Post -0.9 -0.17 5 Min, 0 Pts (0-1 FG), 4 Reb (2 Off), 1 Stl, 2 TO, 2 PF
Deuce Bello -2.9 -0.41 7 Min, 0 Pts (0-1 FG), 2 Reb (1 Off), 2 TO
Player Usage% Floor% Touches/
Poss.
%Pass %Shoot %Fouled %T/O
Wes Clark 25% 34% 4.3 56% 27% 13% 4%
Montaque Gill-Caesar 32% 35% 2.2 0% 84% 12% 4%
Keith Shamburger 15% 35% 2.5 64% 22% 0% 14%
Ryan Rosburg 7% 31% 0.8 0% 13% 74% 13%
Johnathan Williams III 16% 30% 1.0 0% 78% 0% 22%
Tramaine Isabell 42% 31% 4.3 32% 39% 12% 17%
Namon Wright 20% 30% 1.2 0% 100% 0% 0%
D'Angelo Allen 0% N/A 1.1 100% 0% 0% 0%
Keanau Post 28% 0% 1.7 0% 33% 0% 67%
Deuce Bello 20% 0% 1.2 0% 33% 0% 67%
  • If 0.4 AdjGS/Min is the cutoff for good and 0.3 is the cutoff for decent, Mizzou had two good players last night (Clark, MGC) and almost had a decent one (Shamburger).
  • The sad part is, aside from the shooting (3-8 2PT, 1-6 3PT), I don't know how Wes Clark plays better than he did last night. Five assists and six steals to two turnovers?
  • The sadder part is, I'm not exactly sure the loss of Jakeenan Gant had any effect. He would have probably helped from a rebounding standpoint, but there's probably not much he was going to do to improve Mizzou's shooting from the field.
  • One concern I had this year was that Gill-Caesar would be asked to carry too much of the scoring load. That was certainly the case last night.

On enthusiasm

When Sam (I presume) posted that at halftime last night, it got me thinking about the circular relationship between wins and fan enthusiasm. Fans indeed come back into the fold when you play well and win games. But when you come out for your home opener, and your school is welcoming back an old hard-court hero ... and you're welcomed by a crowd of "7,014" (in quotes because you could have said "4,014" and nobody would have questioned it) ... well, you try playing hard and well in that atmosphere.

And here's where this circular relationship gets dangerous. Mizzou is going up against big-name schools for players like Thomas Bryant (who is desperately needed), Antonio Blakeney, Jayson Tatum, etc. They watch a Syracuse game, or a Kansas game, on TV, then they catch highlights of MU-UMKC, and ... well, the play of the team isn't the first thing they're going to notice. They're probably going to notice the empty seats in the background first. That probably isn't going to be the deciding factor for these recruits, but it's going to be an item on the pros and cons list, and it really, really isn't going to be a pro for Mizzou.

Mizzou needs to win to bring back the fans, but they need the fans to help them win. I don't know how you fix that in a positive way.

Summary

¯\_(ツ)_/¯

The Tigers will try again on Sunday.

---

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.