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Missouri 78, Oral Roberts 64: Study Hall

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There are losses forthcoming, but a lot of guys have looked good at least once in the first three games. That's exciting.

Dak Dillon-USA TODAY Sports

Your Trifecta: Clark-Shamburger-Teki. I figure it might (or might not) be fun to track Trifecta standings throughout the year. I'll assign three points for the top spot, two for the second, and one for the third. So...

Your Trifecta Standings for 2014-15: Clark 9, Teki 3, Shamburger 3, Rosburg 2, Allen 1. Still no J3, though he played a lovely game on Wednesday night. Meanwhile, Wes Clark is making a pretty strong all-conference case out of the gates.

Missouri 78, Oral Roberts 64

Mizzou
Oral Roberts
Pace (No. of Possessions) 61.2
Points Per Possession (PPP) 1.27 1.05
Points Per Shot (PPS) 1.59 1.45
2-PT FG% 46.4% 50.0%
3-PT FG% 57.1% 25.0%
FT% 55.2% 68.6%
True Shooting % 63.1% 53.9%
Mizzou Oral Roberts
Assists 16 7
Steals 7 5
Turnovers 9 11
Ball Control Index (BCI)
(Assists + Steals) / TO
2.56 1.09
Mizzou Oral Roberts
Expected Offensive Rebounds 10.7 11.0
Offensive Rebounds 9 10
Difference -1.7 -1
  • Anybody who read these Study Hall pieces last year knows that I kind of turned on 3-pointers at some point. I've loved it as an equalizer, but it almost became too much of an equalizer last year, and its randomness began to drive me crazy. In three regular season games, Missouri has now shot 5-for-23 (22%), 4-for-17 (24%), and 12-for-21 (57%) from 3-point range. Opponents have shot 6-for-14 (43%), 4-for-18 (22%), and 4-for-16 (25%). Missouri lost the game in which its opponents shot way better, and Missouri easily won the game in which it shot way better. And the differences in those two games have been such that almost nothing else in the game mattered. But I guess that's alright when it works out in your favor.

  • In this case, it was good that nothing else mattered. I'm going to assume there's a pretty specific correlation between Missouri shooting more from 3-point range and suddenly stinking on the offensive glass. Kind of a give-and-take there, especially when Johnathan Williams III is the one taking the 3-ball. (And hey, as long as he's making them, that's fine.)

  • Free throw shooting bombed again, with Rosburg and Post combining to go 2-for-8. They used their size advantage to score some easy points near the basket, which was good -- their combined 12 & 9 was certainly what we need to see from them -- but it could have been more like 15 & 9 had they made an acceptable number of FTs. Meanwhile, these two were 5-for-8 on 2-pointers (63%), but the rest of the team was just 8-for-20. 2-pointers aren't a weakness, but they're still not a strength.

  • Speaking of that early hot streak ... ORU started 8-for-8 from the field and finished 10-for-36. Sometimes you've just got to ride out those streaks and get ready to pounce on the regression.

  • 49 fouls and 64 free throws. Exactly what you enjoy on a Wednesday night game in mid-November. Guh.

  • Ball handling does appear to be turning into a strength. Even despite ORU's early hot streak, the Golden Eagles only managed seven assists, and seven of their 11 turnovers were steals. Plus, while some of Missouri's better 3-point fortunes were random, there were also quite a few really good looks, thanks in part to improving ball movement.

Mizzou Player Stats

(Definitions at the bottom of the post.)

Player
AdjGS GmSc/Min Line
Wes Clark 18.5 0.56 33 Min, 14 Pts (5-10 FG, 3-4 3PT, 1-1 FT), 3 Reb (1 Off), 9 Ast, 2 Stl, 2 TO, 4 PF
Keith Shamburger 16.1 0.46 35 Min, 9 Pts (2-4 FG, 1-3 3PT, 4-6 FT), 4 Reb (1 Off), 3 Ast, 4 Stl, 2 PF
Montaque Gill-Caesar 15.1 0.50 30 Min, 19 Pts (5-11 FG, 4-7 3PT, 5-6 FT), 4 Reb (1 Off), 1 TO, 3 PF
Johnathan Williams III 9.5 0.39 24 Min, 10 Pts (2-3 FG, 2-2 3PT, 4-6 FT), 3 Reb, 2 Ast, 1 Blk, 2 TO, 3 PF
Deuce Bello 6.4 0.43 15 Min, 7 Pts (3-5 FG, 1-2 3PT), 1 Reb, 1 Stl, 2 Blk, 1 TO, 3 PF
Ryan Rosburg 6.2 0.31 20 Min, 6 Pts (3-4 FG, 0-3 FT), 6 Reb (4 Off), 4 PF
Keanau Post 4.4 0.40 11 Min, 6 Pts (2-3 FG, 2-5 FT), 3 Reb, 2 PF
Namon Wright 2.3 0.23 10 Min, 2 Pts (1-3 FG, 0-1 3PT), 2 Reb, 2 Ast, 1 PF
Tramaine Isabell 0.7 0.09 8 Min, 3 Pts (1-4 FG, 1-2 3PT)
D'Angelo Allen 0.5 0.04 14 Min, 2 Pts (1-2 FG, 0-2 FT), 4 Reb (2 Off), 1 TO, 2 PF
Player Usage% Floor% Touches/
Poss.
%Pass %Shoot %Fouled %T/O
Wes Clark 21% 52% 6.4 80% 15% 1% 3%
Keith Shamburger 11% 52% 2.5 66% 15% 19% 0%
Montaque Gill-Caesar 28% 40% 1.8 0% 64% 30% 6%
Johnathan Williams III 18% 44% 3.0 54% 14% 24% 9%
Deuce Bello 23% 43% 1.3 0% 83% 0% 17%
Ryan Rosburg 15% 51% 1.1 0% 61% 39% 0%
Keanau Post 27% 46% 2.1 0% 41% 59% 0%
Namon Wright 17% 44% 4.8 80% 20% 0% 0%
Tramaine Isabell 28% 20% 1.6 0% 100% 0% 0%
D'Angelo Allen 16% 21% 1.1 0% 42% 36% 21%
  • Kim Anderson has long talked about being fine with playing multiple point guards, and that's kind of what has happened so far with Clark and Shamburger sharing serious minutes. But for the first two games, Clark was a point guard acting as shooting guard. In this one, with MGC, Bello (!) combining for 16 shots and Rosburg and Post commanding another seven, Clark and Shamburger actually both fit the profile of point guards, shooting 14 times with 12 assists. A look at J3, acting like a point forward...

  • That's certainly a way to earn more minutes, Deuce Bello...

  • The Shamburgler had five steals in two exhibition games, then none in the first two real games. He caught up to pace last night.

Summary

The 3-pointers fell, which made it a lovely evening in and of itself. But the emerging ball-handling strength is exciting. Missouri's still going to need to figure out how it generates offense when the 3s aren't going down, but the major positive takeaway from these first three games is that a lot of guys have looked good at one point or another -- Clark, MGC, Shamburger, J3, Bellow, Rosburg, Isabell, Allen, even Post and Wright a bit. And Missouri might have an actual budding star in Clark. These are very good things.

Mind you, there is almost certainly a swath of losses coming down the pike -- Mizzou will play Arizona, Kansas State/Purdue, and Pitt/SDSU/BYU/Chaminade next week in Maui, then face Oklahoma, Xavier, Illinois, and OSU back on the mainland. The Tigers aren't yet in a place where they can be expected to win a majority of those games, but if the main goal for this season was spotting month-to-month growth, I think we're already progressing in that regard.

---

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.