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Study Hall: Oklahoma State 74, Missouri 72

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John Rieger-USA TODAY Sports

Your Trifecta: J3, Teki, Gant. Sophomore, freshman, freshman.

Your Season Trifecta totals: J3 19, Teki 13 points, Shamburger 11, Clark nine, Gant five, Wright six, Allen five, Rosburg two, Isabell one, Post one. By class: freshmen 30, sophomores 28, seniors 12, juniors two.

In a six-possession span in the first half, Oklahoma State committed three turnovers and missed five 3-pointers. The Cowboys completely lost the plot, and Mizzou took advantage, turning a 15-14 deficit into a 28-17 lead. It was a knockdown round for the Tigers, perhaps their first against a power-conference team all year. It was beautiful.

And as it happened, all I could think was, "You better be up 10 at halftime." OSU was either going to stop taking so many 3s or stop missing them.

Sure enough, after shooting 3-for-13 from beyond the 3-point line in the first half, the 'Pokes went 4-for-6 in the second. And despite three turnovers in this five-minute stretch and five more from Le'Bryan Nash, OSU had only 13 after 45 minutes of play. And while Mizzou held a seven-point lead at the break ... the Tigers needed a 10-point lead.

Oklahoma State 74, Missouri 72

Mizzou
OSU
Pace (No. of Possessions) 67.5
Points Per Possession (PPP) 1.07 1.10
Points Per Shot (PPS) 1.36 1.48
2-PT FG% 51.5% 50.0%
3-PT FG% 35.0% 35.0%
FT% 65.4% 63.9%
True Shooting % 55.9% 56.2%
Mizzou OSU
Assists 9 9
Steals 7 7
Turnovers 14 13
Ball Control Index (BCI)
(Assists + Steals) / TO
1.14 1.23
Mizzou OSU
Expected Offensive Rebounds 11.7 12.0
Offensive Rebounds 11 11
Difference -0.7 -1.0
  • Oklahoma State is a damn strong team -- 27th in the Pomeroy rankings, 42nd on offense, 35th on defense. The Cowboys force a lot more turnovers than they commit, they shoot better than you, and they get to the line more than you do. And if not for the latter of those three, Mizzou probably would have won. Rarely will you see stats as even as the ones above; Mizzou and OSU were almost the same teams in terms of shooting percentages, BCI, and rebounding. But because of freebies -- namely, Le'Bryan Nash attempting 18 free throws to Mizzou's 26 -- OSU barely eked the game out.

Mizzou Player Stats

(Definitions at the bottom of the post.)

Player
AdjGS GmSc/Min Line
Johnathan Williams III 25.0 0.64 39 Min, 22 Pts (8-13 FG, 2-3 3PT, 4-7 FT), 9 Reb (4 Off), 1 Ast, 1 Stl, 3 TO, 4 PF
Montaque Gill-Caesar 16.4 0.55 30 Min, 15 Pts (3-8 FG, 2-5 3PT, 7-8 FT), 5 Reb (1 Off), 1 Ast, 1 Blk, 2 TO, 2 PF
Jakeenan Gant 7.4 0.33 22 Min, 6 Pts (3-6 FG, 0-1 3PT, 0-1 FT), 4 Reb (2 Off), 1 Stl, 2 PF
Wes Clark 6.9 0.19 36 Min, 12 Pts (3-8 FG, 0-3 3PT, 6-8 FT), 1 Ast, 2 Stl, 3 TO, 5 PF
Namon Wright 5.7 0.35 16 Min, 6 Pts (2-3 FG, 2-3 3PT, 0-2 FT), 3 Reb, 1 Blk, 1 TO, 2 PF
D'Angelo Allen 4.3 0.27 16 Min, 4 Pts (2-3 FG), 5 Reb (2 Off), 1 TO, 3 PF
Ryan Rosburg 4.3 0.36 12 Min, 2 Pts (1-2 FG), 2 Reb (1 Off), 2 Stl, 3 PF
Keith Shamburger 4.0 0.10 40 Min, 0 Pts (0-5 FG, 0-3 3PT), 4 Reb (1 Off), 5 Ast, 1 Stl
Tramaine Isabell -1.2 -0.09 14 Min, 5 Pts (2-5 FG, 1-2 3PT), 1 Ast, 3 TO, 2 PF
Player Usage% Floor% Touches/
Poss.
%Pass %Shoot %Fouled %T/O
Johnathan Williams III 28% 46% 2.4 21% 47% 21% 11%
Montaque Gill-Caesar 26% 39% 2.5 26% 35% 30% 9%
Jakeenan Gant 17% 43% 1.0 0% 88% 12% 0%
Wes Clark 23% 35% 2.2 25% 34% 29% 13%
Namon Wright 17% 38% 1.2 0% 53% 30% 18%
Tramaine Isabell 33% 27% 3.3 42% 36% 0% 22%
Keith Shamburger 7% 27% 2.9 85% 15% 0% 0%
D'Angelo Allen 14% 46% 0.8 0% 75% 0% 25%
Ryan Rosburg 10% 46% 0.6 0% 100% 0% 0%
  • According to Mizzou historian Tom Orf, J3 is now only the third Mizzou player in the last 10 years to score 15+ points in six consecutive games. DeMarre Carroll did it in 2008-09, and Jabari Brown did it twice last season. His progression over the last six games has been spectacular: 17.3 points, 5.5 defensive rebounds, and 3.3 offensive rebounds per game, plus six assists, five steals, and three blocks in that span. He's still turning the ball over too much (3.3 per game), but after a rusty start, he is playing at or near the level we hoped he would play.

  • Nice to see Teki getting things going offensively again. Against Xavier and Illinois, he was just 5-for-18 from the field (0-for-5 on 3-pointers) and got to the line just twice. He was drifting. But he earned eight free throws to eight field goal attempts last night and made his first two 3s since December 11. He's also still turning the ball over a bit much (eight in three games), but that's kind of to be expected for a freshman taking on a scoring load. Now to get him and Namon Wright contributing more elsewhere in the box score...

  • This time next year, I want both J3 and Jakeenan Gant to be carrying 10-15 more pounds on their respective frames. They will be a nasty duo if they can pull that off. You can still muscle them around a bit, but they're figuring out how to do damage regardless.

  • Oh, D'Angelo. You're going to be thinking about that overtime miss for a while. That was the patented "Holy crap, I can't believe I got this open" miss. He'd have probably made it with a hand in his face.

  • Up and down game for Wes Clark. Sometimes he treats the lane as a little bit of a throughway, just looking for a path to the other side of the court. But he was more aggressive and productive in his drives, he got to the line quite a bit, and he ended up with 12 points despite going 0-for-3 from 3-point range. And of course, he also had three turnovers and fouled out. But still!

  • You've got a lot of Clarence Gilbert in you, Tramaine Isabell. I'm going to say that's two-thirds good, one-third bad. It was plenty of both last night, but unfortunately, there's no "turnaround 3s at the buzzer" bump in the AdjGS formulas.

  • Every player I just mentioned is either a freshman or a sophomore. It gets old saying the same things over and over again, but wow, could this team be good soon if it keeps learning and progressing.

Summary

Waiting is hard. We view every game as an opportunity to turn the proverbial corner, but it doesn't really work like that.  As I find myself saying a lot, improvement isn't linear. There will be continued ups and downs moving forward, but it's hard not to notice that Mizzou went from playing about 20 strong minutes against Elon and Xavier to closer to 30 or so against Illinois and Oklahoma State. And each time those two solid teams looked like they were going to pull away, Mizzou came back with some play-making moments of its own.

Again, every loss brings with it a chance to veer off-course or regress into negativity. But if the upward trajectory continues, it will bring with it some wins very soon.

In a way, Saturday's Lipscomb game is the biggest game of the year for Mizzou. The Bisons aren't very good (5-8, 259th in the Pomeroy rankings), and Mizzou should certainly win, but if you're looking for continued improvement, winning isn't enough. If Mizzou again plays 30 good minutes -- this time back at the mausoleum that has been Mizzou Arena this year -- and wins going away, that's a very good sign for SEC play. But if the Tigers regress and play like they did against Elon or SEMO, it's a sign that there are plenty more fits and starts along the way.

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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.