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Missouri 67, Vanderbilt 64: Study Hall

This game was as strange as Jordan Clarkson's body control.
This game was as strange as Jordan Clarkson's body control.
Dak Dillon-USA TODAY Sports

Your Trifecta: Clarkson-Ross-Clark.

Still can't quite wrap my head around this game. Mizzou got twice as much from Wes Clark as Jabari Brown and won. Mizzou got as many 3-pointers from Johnathan Williams III as Brown and won. Vanderbilt shot 32% on 3-pointers and almost won. Vandy won the rebounding battle handily. Mizzou, the league's best free-throw shooting team, missed five of six at one point in the final minute or so. The teams combined for 41 points in the first 20 minutes and 43 in the next nine.

One of the fun things about sports is that you can still be surprised and confused by a game you've watched for decades. I'm not sure "fun" applies to last night, but ... it was an episode I'd never seen before.

Missouri 67, Vanderbilt 64

Pace (No. of Possessions) 61.6
Points Per Possession (PPP) 1.09 1.04
Points Per Shot (PPS) 1.52 1.07
2-PT FG% 50.0% 43.9%
3-PT FG% 44.4% 31.6%
FT% 63.0% 71.4%
True Shooting % 59.9% 48.4%
Mizzou Vanderbilt
Assists 11 16
Steals 5 4
Turnovers 9 9
Ball Control Index (BCI)
(Assists + Steals) / TO
1.78 2.22
Mizzou Vanderbilt
Expected Offensive Rebounds 9.8 13.4
Offensive Rebounds 4 11
Difference -5.8 -2.4
  • Yep. 62 possessions. That is quite low, and the first-half pace was something like 54.

  • Round-by-round scoring:

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

    Round 9, in which Mizzou outscored VU 14-5, did the deed. Barely.

  • I really didn't expect Missouri to lose the rebounding battle. Mizzou's rebounding numbers in conference are incredibly mediocre (seventh in offensive rebounding rate, ninth in defensive rebounding rate), and honestly those averages are a little bit misleading. Mizzou has had about three incredible rebounding games and been average at best for the other 10 games.

  • Just weird. Weird, weird, weird.

Mizzou Player Stats

(Definitions at the bottom of the post.)

AdjGS GmSc/Min Line
Jordan Clarkson 26.8 0.72 37 Min, 21 Pts (5-9 FG, 0-2 3PT, 11-11 FT), 5 Reb, 5 Ast, 1 Stl, 2 TO
Earnest Ross 10.7 0.36 30 Min, 16 Pts (5-11 FG, 4-8 3PT, 2-6 FT), 3 Reb (1 Off), 1 Ast, 2 TO, 1 PF
Wes Clark 10.0 0.40 25 Min, 9 Pts (3-3 FG, 2-2 3PT, 1-4 FT), 3 Reb, 1 Ast, 2 PF
Torren Jones 8.9 0.50 18 Min, 4 Pts (2-4 FG), 4 Reb (1 Off), 1 Ast, 3 Stl, 1 PF
Johnathan Williams III 5.8 0.21 28 Min, 5 Pts (2-4 FG, 1-1 3PT), 4 Reb (1 Off), 3 Blk, 1 TO, 3 PF
Jabari Brown 5.0 0.14 35 Min, 10 Pts (3-11 FG, 1-4 3PT, 3-6 FT), 5 Reb (1 Off), 3 Ast, 1 Stl, 3 TO, 1 PF
Ryan Rosburg 0.5 0.03 19 Min, 2 Pts (1-1 FG), 2 Reb, 1 Blk, 1 TO, 4 PF
Keanau Post -0.5 -0.13 4 Min, 0 Pts, 1 PF
Tony Criswell -1.0 -0.26 4 Min, 0 Pts (0-1 FG, 0-1 3PT), 1 Reb, 1 PF
Player Usage% Floor% Touches/
%Pass %Shoot %Fouled %T/O
Clarkson 26% 53% 4.3 62% 19% 15% 4%
Ross 32% 34% 2.5 26% 48% 17% 9%
Clark 12% 68% 1.5 51% 26% 23% 0%
Jones 14% 50% 1.8 60% 40% 0% 0%
J3 11% 35% 0.6 0% 80% 0% 20%
Brown 29% 28% 3.4 50% 31% 11% 8%
Rosburg 6% 45% 0.3 0% 50% 0% 50%
Criswell 15% 0% 0.8 0% 100% 0% 0%
  • One of the ways I've learned to figure out if the ball is going to the right people on offense is to look at the team's Usage% and Floor%. More specifically, look to see if the rank order for Floor % (the percentage of your possessions that end up in points, basically) matches the rank order for Usage % (the percentage of your team's possessions in which you dictate the fate, basically). That tells you if the most productive players in a given game (or season) were dictating the most possessions.

    Usage: Ross 32%, Brown 29%, Clarkson 26%, Criswell 15%, Jones 14%, Clark 12%, J3 11%, Rosburg 6%
    Floor: Clark 68%, Clarkson 53%, Jones 50%, Rosburg 45%, J3 35%, Ross 34%, Brown 28%, Criswell 0%.

    Let's just say the correlations there aren't strong.

    Weird game.

  • Hmm. "Note to self: Usage-Floor Correlation could be an interesting stat to track. And it comes with a great built-in acronym."

  • "Thank goodness for regression to the mean." -- Wes Clark's jumper

  • Smiling and hopping around, adding more vital contributions, nearly making the Trifecta despite scoring four points and playing only 18 minutes ... this is how you become a fan favorite, Torren Jones.

Three Keys Revisited

From Wednesday's preview.

The 3-pointer

Vandy's going to take them no matter what you do. If this is one of the random games where the Commodores actually make them, this could be a serious test. If not, Mizzou wins. (And hey, if Mizzou wanted to make 40%+ of its own 3s again, that'd be just fine.)

3-pointers: Mizzou 44% (8-for-18), Vandy 32% (6-for-19)

I'd say six extra points in a three-point win are pretty important. Ross' two late bombs were huge.

Odom vs. Brown

Odom and Jabari Brown are two of the most efficient, explosive scorers in the SEC. They can score however you let them -- via 3-pointer, via drive, via free throw. If Brown can match Odom's output, that will force shakier scorers like Kyle Fuller to keep up with Jordan Clarkson and Earnest Ross. He basically did in Nashville, but he won't every time.

Rod Odom: 40 minutes, 10 points (3-13 FG), 1 assist, 0 turnovers, 0 steals
Jabari Brown: 35 minutes, 10 points (3-11 FG), 3 assists, 3 turnovers, 1 steal

This wasn't quite what I intended, with these two ace scorers combining to shoot 25%. But yes, Brown "matched" Odom's output, and Kyle Fuller (six points on 1-for-12 shooting) couldn't keep up with Clarkson and Ross.

The Whistles

It isn't pretty, but Mizzou's been once again doing a good job of creating nice angles and opportunities to drive the ball and get to the free throw line. Vanderbilt doesn't foul you much on the perimeter, but Siakam and Jones are more than happy to go for blocks and use the body a bit. They block shots, and they foul a ton. If the whistles are going Mizzou's way on these drives, then Vandy's in trouble.

Fouls (first 38 minutes): Vandy 13, Missouri 12
Free Throws (first 38 minutes): Missouri 15, Vandy 10
Blocks: Missouri 4, Vandy 2
2PT%: Missouri 50% (13-for-26), Vandy 44% (18-for-41)

Mizzou was the team going for blocks, and Vandy was the team doing a better job on the offensive glass. The officials were allowing incredibly physical play on the interior, at least in the first half, and somehow Mizzou was the team that benefited more from that. Pretty sure Torren Jones did a splash off the top rope at one point in a scramble for a loose ball.

Weird game.


Just a weird game. And a win. On to the next one.


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.