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Missouri 86, Arkansas 85: Study Hall

For a Mike Anderson game, the runs in this game were almost subdued.

Dak Dillon-USA TODAY Sports

Your Trifecta: Clarkson-Brown-Ross. Surprise!

Round 1: 10-10
Round 2: 10-9 UA
Round 3: 10-9 MU
Round 4: 10-9 MU
Round 5: 10-9 MU
Round 6: 10-10
Round 7: 10-8 UA
Round 8: 10-10
Round 9: 10-9 MU
Round 10: 10-9 UA

Mizzou controlled a larger amount of time in this game and almost pulled away in the middle, and Arkansas was still a little bit dependent on runs -- 9-2 early in the first half, 9-2 early in the second half, 8-0 late in the second half -- but compared to what can happen in a Fastest 40 Minutes battle, this was almost subdued. This was just a slugfest, literally (50 fouls, 75 free throws) and figuratively. (You could probably say that both teams scored knockdowns in Round 6, when Mizzou quickly got the lead up to 11 and Arkansas quickly brought it back down to four.)

Missouri 86, Arkansas 85

Pace (No. of Possessions) 72.0
Points Per Possession (PPP) 1.19 1.18
Points Per Shot (PPS) 1.56 1.39
2-PT FG% 52.6% 48.9%
3-PT FG% 23.5% 25.0%
FT% 89.5% 78.4%
True Shooting % 60.0% 55.0%
Mizzou Arkansas
Assists 9 14
Steals 4 5
Turnovers 13 8
Ball Control Index (BCI)
(Assists + Steals) / TO
1.00 2.38
Mizzou Arkansas
Expected Offensive Rebounds 11.5 13.8
Offensive Rebounds 12 12
Difference +0.5 -1.8
  • In my head, I'd have guessed that the BCI battle was closer than that. Mizzou only committed 13 turnovers (pretty damn good against Arkansas) and had almost as many steals as the Hogs, but Arkansas did pass to set up more shots and derived the advantage from that.
  • This is more a post for the offseason, but ... damn, is Missouri's defense awful. It was solid early in the year (against sketchy offenses) and decent in December, but it has sunk to 127th in Pomeroy's rankings as of this morning and is dead last in SEC play. Yes, the sensitive nature of the whistles gave both teams tons of free throws and easy scoring opportunities, but the fact that Arkansas average 1.18 points per possession while shooting 4-for-16 from 3-point range is ... tough to swallow.

Mizzou Player Stats

(Definitions at the bottom of the post.)

AdjGS GmSc/Min Line
Jordan Clarkson 29.5 0.87 34 Min, 27 Pts (8-15 FG, 0-1 3PT, 11-13 FT), 5 Reb (2 Off), 4 Ast, 2 TO, 2 PF
Jabari Brown 27.9 0.73 38 Min, 25 Pts (5-15 FG, 1-6 3PT, 14-15 FT), 4 Reb, 3 Ast, 1 Stl, 1 PF
Earnest Ross 12.5 0.36 35 Min, 15 Pts (4-13 FG, 2-7 3PT, 5-6 FT), 11 Reb (3 Off), 1 Stl, 2 TO, 4 PF
Ryan Rosburg 10.6 0.46 23 Min, 8 Pts (3-3 FG, 2-2 FT), 3 Reb (2 Off), 1 Stl, 2 Blk, 2 TO, 4 PF
Tony Criswell 8.6 0.45 19 Min, 6 Pts (3-4 FG), 6 Reb (2 Off), 2 PF
Johnathan Williams III 0.4 0.02 19 Min, 0 Pts, 6 Reb (1 Off), 1 Stl, 1 Blk, 2 TO, 4 PF
Keanau Post 0.0 0.00 1 Min, 0 Pts (0-1 FG), 1 Reb (1 Off)
Wes Clark -1.0 -0.04 24 Min, 5 Pts (1-4 FG, 1-3 3PT, 2-2 FT), 1 Reb, 2 Ast, 3 TO, 5 PF
Torren Jones -4.0 -0.67 6 Min, 0 Pts, 1 Reb, 2 TO, 3 PF
Shane Rector 0.0 0.00 1 Min
Player Usage% Floor% Touches/
%Pass %Shoot %Fouled %T/O
Clarkson 32% 50% 4.0 48% 31% 17% 4%
Brown 27% 44% 3.1 42% 35% 23% 0%
Ross 24% 31% 1.5 0% 69% 21% 11%
Rosburg 12% 56% 0.8 0% 48% 21% 32%
Criswell 10% 72% 0.6 0% 100% 0% 0%
J3 5% 0% 0.3 0% 0% 0% 100%
Post 47% 0% 2.8 0% 100% 0% 0%
Clark 16% 28% 2.3 59% 20% 7% 15%
Jones 16% 0% 0.9 0% 0% 0% 100%
  • Jabari Brown shot 1-for-6 from 3-point range ... and scored 25 points. His conversion into the ultimate "take what the game gives you" scorer is complete. Jumper's not falling? Go to the rim. Get easier shots. Get free points from the line. (Oh yeah, and grab four defensive rebounds and pass for three assists.)

  • Meanwhile, we've seen limitations in Jordan Clarkson's game as SEC play has gone on. If you can stop him from going to his right, or if you can properly smother him on the way to the basket and take away his Plan A, Plan B isn't always that great. But if you don't stop Plan A, he's going to Plan A you to death. I would call "27 points on 15 FG attempts, four assists, two turnovers, and two offensive rebounds" a pretty damn strong Plan A performance. He attempted one 3-pointer and 13 free throws, and while the officiating style of this game (a whistle for every dribble) was maddening and caused this game to reach nearly two and a half hours in length (gag), there's no question that it also benefited Missouri's offensive style. If the whistles weren't going the Tigers' way, then their inability to make 3s in this game would have doomed them.

    (And yes, you can say exactly the same thing about Arkansas.)

  • Ryan Rosburg (last 5 games): 9.0 Adj. PPG. He had eight points and a couple of blocks and was a very useful engine once again. Now ... about that 4% defensive rebounding rate...

  • In my head, J3 played about nine minutes in this game. But apparently it was 19, and while he was out of control early with the fouling, he did end up nabbing a solid five defensive rebounds in those 19 minutes. A 26% defensive rebound rate atones for some sins.

  • Did Earnest Ross really just have a quiet 15 & 11 performance? Is such a thing actually possible?

  • HELLO, TONY CRISWELL. Planning on staying long this time?

  • Good: Wes Clark made a key 3-pointer in the late stages of the game (Round 9, I guess?), dished a couple of assists (a rarity on this team), and was able to play 24 neutral (at worst) minutes.
  • Bad: Wes Clark had eight combined turnovers and fouls in 24 minutes.

Three Keys Revisited

From Thursday's preview.

The Whistles

We know this is important because we watched Mike Anderson teams play for many years. If Kikko Haydar is able to harass Mizzou guards without getting called for fouls (a problem of late, since he's averaging more than one foul for every five minutes), his ability to make jumpers and flop draw fouls can pay off wonderfully for the Hogs. And if Coty Clarke (one foul every six minutes or so lately) is able to stay on the floor, rebound, and make open shots, Arkansas is an infinitely better team. And quite simply, if the whistles aren't ringing, Arkansas is probably generating turnovers instead of sending you to the line. The game was called surprisingly even in Fayetteville; we'll see what happens in Columbia.

Fouls: Arkansas 25, Missouri 25
Free Throws: Missouri 38, Arkansas 37

I'd *whistle* say the *whistle* game was called *whistle* evenly, at least *whistle*

The 3-Pointer

Mizzou got outshot dramatically from 3-point range against Kentucky and Ole Miss and barely lost. The Tigers also outshot Florida and were able to stick around for a while. The Tigers have a really good 3-point offense (mostly thanks to Jabari Brown) and an absolutely woeful 3-point defense, and when both teams are shooting a ton from behind the arc, the game is thrown into randomness a bit. Mizzou did a nice job of attacking the rim in Fayetteville, but even if the Tigers are successful in that regard, they still have to keep Arkansas from yanking up 3-balls. That, or they just have to hope Arkansas misses.

3-pointers: Arkansas 4-for-16 (25%), Missouri 4-for-17 (24%)

Again, it was even. It wasn't good, but it was even.

The Glass

When the Tigers win the rebounding battle in conference play, they're 2-1. When they lose, they're 2-5. Mizzou obliterated Arkansas on the glass a couple of weeks ago and won despite Arkansas' 3-point shooting and the predictable ball-handling issues. But beyond that, when Mizzou is winning the rebounding battle, that means the team is showing a level of intensity that it has quite often lacked, and I think that tends to rub off in other ways too -- attacking the rim, etc. We know that some Mizzou players (Clarkson) are getting fed up with the inconsistent effort of other Tigers, and we'll see if Clarkson speaking out to the media about it after the Ole Miss game has a positive or negative impact.

Expected Rebounds: Mizzou +2.3

For every 20 missed shots, Mizzou basically grabbed one more offensive rebound. It wasn't a huge difference, but it was just enough.


Mizzou's offense has surged to 19th in Pomeroy's ratings, and the defense has plummeted to 127th. Ryan Rosburg is surging and J3 is fading. This wasn't an amazingly encouraging performance to my eyes (though that might simply be due to Missouri beating Arkansas by 30 the last time the teams played at Mizzou Arena), but it was a win. Through lulls and whistles and a late blown lead, Mizzou scored three more points than Arkansas in the last minute and took the win in what really is becoming a healthy young rivalry.

A better team comes to Mizzou Arena tomorrow, and Missouri's probably going to have to figure out how to win that game, too.

(We'll talk about the attendance some other time. Woof.)


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 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.