I've been trying to really find a purpose for these post game wrap ups. I enjoy reading Bill's Study Hall as a nice summation of the game. And I often feel like we both want to say the same things after each game. So, I'm going to kind of stick with a similar theme to what I've been doing, but shift the focus of these post game pieces to be more along the lines of "where are we at this point of the season?" I've been accumulating the stats to break down in segments, so we'll stick with it, and see where we end up, while still touching on how things seemed to go in the single game from the night before.
So... Elon! Man, Mizzou started great! They were making shots, playing tough D, forcing a lot of misses... and then halftime happened. Missouri seemed to solve the problem of the slow starts, but seemingly forgot that the game is played in two halves and just got dominated in the second half. Elon was +14 in points, +6 in points, +1 in assists... basically they won the half convincingly. The good news for Mizzou is that they played so well in the first half, it didn't matter. In the first half, the offense was crisp, in the second half, the Elon combination of soft man to man and 1-3-1 zone just seemed to confound the Missouri guards. Coupled with a much lower sense of urgency and you can see how Elon was able to make a game of it late.
For a deeper look at the game itself, read the Study Hall. Now I move on to talkin' bout the:
Overall, Missouri has improved their shooting quite a bit since the start of the season. The bigger part of it is that they're taking a lot better shots from outside in the last few games, than they had the first few. Missouri has been making a really high percentage of their good three point shots taken, and missing most of the bad ones(case in point the Wes Clark airball in the second half where he was forced to take a 25 footer at the very end of the shot clock: not a good shot). There are several cool shot chart diagrams out there, maybe someday SBN will get me a login for them
Also taking 30 free throws, and most of them by your guards, will help balance the continued misses by Ryan Rosburg and D'Angelo Allen. At this points it's easy to see that we have two schools of FT shooters on this team, those you want shooting, and those you don't. Williams has had his moments in both camps, but everyone on this team seems to fall in great or terrible at Free Throws. Teki: 79%, Shamburger: 89%, Clark: 86%, Isabell: 80%, Wright: 75%. Hell, even Keanau Post is at 72%. Then you get Rosburg: 17%, Bello: 25%, Allen: 37%... then Williams at 68%.
We had as good of a performance from Keith Shamburger than we've had in a while. 16 points in 36 minutes, 5 assists and 4 rebounds (3 turnovers, which still could be a touch better). He was calm down the stretch when he needed to be, he ended up 9-9 from the free thrown line, and each one was important as Missouri watched a 19 point lead dwindle to a one point lead, even giving Elon a chance to tie the game on a free throw, or take the lead with a missed jump shot. But it was that missed jump shot that Shamburger might have made his biggest play. He secured, on a switch, a block out on a much larger player, Tony Sabato, getting fouled, then proceeded to hit two free throws to give Missouri the necessary breathing room to secure the win. Exhale.
Isabell had a good effort last night. I think we'll see him play pretty good at home and be shaky on the road. He's a freshman and will have that kind of play. Wes Clark had a very up and down game. He had some very good plays early on, then got into foul trouble. He seemed to find himself in the second half, making the sort of plays we needed him to make, including a nice drive and dish to JW3 for an easy dunk. But then he made several bone-headed plays down the stretch and eventually fouled out. I like that Kim Anderson is making him come of the bench right now. And he's going to need to play well against Xavier. He also needs to find a way to start finishing around the rim.
There was fantastic energy in the first half. Missouri really struggled to find the fire in the second half, there were flashes, and enough flashes to hold off the late charge by Elon, and basically just Luke Eddy. They seemed to have enough answers for most of the second half, until about the 4 minute mark when Elon made their big charge, and Mizzou had too many empty possessions. Ultimately this team got staggered with a couple big punches, and found their feet enough to stay up long enough to steady themselves.
The rotation is looking like it's solidifying quite a bit. Is Jakeenan Gant coming back? Y/N/M
- Keith Shamburger: 36 minutes
- Johnathan Williams III: 34 minutes
- Montaque Gill-Caesar: 28 minutes
- D'Angelo Allen: 21 minutes
- Ryan Rosburg: 19 minutes
- Wes Clark: 18 minutes
- Namon Wright: 14 minutes
- Deuce Bello: 14 minutes
- Tramaine Isabell: 13 minutes
- Keanau Post: 3 minutes