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Alabama 80, Missouri 73: Study Hall

Consider this your Sunday Live Thread.

Marvin Gentry-USA TODAY Sports

Your Trifecta: Ross-Brown-Clarkson. But only two of the three were actually good. Well, two out of nine were any good, I guess.

I've already said a lot of what I wanted to say about this game in a separate post, so we'll blaze through the rest pretty quickly. Well, quickly for me, anyway.

Alabama 80, Missouri 73

Pace (No. of Possessions) 63.3
Points Per Possession (PPP) 1.15 1.26
Points Per Shot (PPS) 1.52 1.70
2-PT FG% 56.3% 65.4%
3-PT FG% 31.3% 47.6%
FT% 75.9% 55.2%
True Shooting % 60.1% 66.9%
Mizzou Alabama
Assists 14 16
Steals 4 7
Turnovers 16 8
Ball Control Index (BCI)
(Assists + Steals) / TO
1.13 2.88
Mizzou Alabama
Expected Offensive Rebounds 9.9 9.2
Offensive Rebounds 13 6
Difference +3.1 -3.2
  • 1.26 points per possession. Missouri allowed almost no second-chance opportunities to a dreadful offensive team and allowed 1.26 points per possession.

  • We know what tends to matter to this team in some order -- 3-pointers, fouls, rebounds -- but yesterday was a pretty clear power play for the importance of 3-pointers. Mizzou was +6.3 in terms of expected rebounds and lost by seven to a bad team.

Mizzou Player Stats

(Definitions at the bottom of the post.)

AdjGS GmSc/Min Line
Earnest Ross 29.1 0.77 38 Min, 25 Pts (8-12 FG, 4-7 3PT, 5-6 FT), 8 Reb (3 Off), 3 Ast, 4 TO, 1 PF
Jabari Brown 26.7 0.70 38 Min, 23 Pts (6-11 FG, 1-5 3PT, 10-12 FT), 2 Reb (1 Off), 5 Ast, 2 TO, 1 PF
Jordan Clarkson 7.2 0.19 38 Min, 14 Pts (4-15 FG, 0-3 3PT, 6-8 FT), 6 Reb (1 Off), 2 Ast, 2 Stl, 4 TO, 2 PF
Torren Jones 5.3 0.49 11 Min, 3 Pts (1-2 FG, 1-1 FT), 5 Reb (2 Off), 1 Ast, 3 PF
Tony Criswell 3.1 0.34 9 Min, 4 Pts (2-2 FG), 2 Reb, 1 TO, 2 PF
Johnathan Williams III 1.8 0.07 25 Min, 2 Pts (1-2 FG, 0-2 FT), 2 Reb (1 Off), 2 Ast, 1 Stl, 1 Blk, 1 TO, 5 PF
Keanau Post 0.8 0.21 4 Min, 0 Pts, 2 Reb
Ryan Rosburg 0.1 0.01 20 Min, 2 Pts (1-2 FG), 1 Reb, 3 PF
Wes Clark -5.6 -0.33 17 Min, 0 Pts (0-2 FG, 0-1 3PT), 1 Reb, 1 Ast, 1 Stl, 3 TO, 4 PF
Player Usage% Floor% Touches/
%Pass %Shoot %Fouled %T/O
Ross 26% 49% 3.1 46% 32% 11% 11%
Brown 25% 50% 4.2 58% 22% 17% 4%
Clarkson 31% 27% 3.0 32% 41% 16% 11%
Jones 12% 54% 2.4 68% 23% 8% 0%
Criswell 17% 61% 1.0 0% 67% 0% 33%
J3 8% 35% 2.0 73% 12% 9% 6%
Rosburg 5% 44% 0.3 0% 100% 0% 0%
Clark 15% 7% 2.0 54% 18% 0% 28%
  • Big 3: 63.0
    Others: 10.0

    What do we always say? Improvement isn't linear. The Little 6 have improved their output a bit in recent games, but yesterday was a drastic, dramatic setback. The Big 3 had to carry almost the entire offensive load, and two of those three played bad enough defense that they got called out by their coach afterward.

    That Mizzou averaged 1.15 points per possession while only getting contributions from three players is rather incredible. That they lost to a bad team while scoring 1.15 points per possession is equally incredible.

  • Torren Jones is coming along, isn't he? He could barely stay on the floor because of fouls (and Missouri is obviously in no way a better defensive team when he's on the court), but a month ago, him finishing fourth in the Adj. GS list would have meant that either five players had gotten hurt or the game was a total blowout, one way or the other. Instead, it's feeling like a relatively natural thing. If nothing else, that gives hope for next year. But being that he's still a drastic work in progress, it doesn't do a ton for Missouri right now.

Three Keys Revisited

From Friday's preview.

The 3-pointer.

Always, right? Alabama takes a lot of them and rarely makes them, but the Tide beat LSU because the 3s fell. If Bama doesn't get bailed out by the long ball, or if Mizzou matches Alabama's output here, it's going to be very hard for the Tide to get the win. But ... sometimes they all go in...

3-pointers: Alabama 48% (10-for-21), Missouri 31% (5-for-16)

I've got nothing else to say about 3-pointers right now. I've said it all already.

The first two rounds.

Via 3-pointer or some other method, one figures Alabama absolutely has to get off to a fast start here. The Tide were just embarrassed by a bad team in College Station, and they're probably going to come out swinging; if the semi-desperate haymakers land, Missouri could be in trouble. Alabama is certainly a "whole is less than sum of parts" team this year, and it could be a pretty dangerous team when desperate. Give Bama an early lead, and this could be a miserable game to watch.

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

Swing and a miss on my part. Guess I should have said "first three rounds." But even then, Bama never went on some random 11-2 run; they were just allowed to be the better team over the course of 30 minutes or so.

The glass

If Nick Jacobs indeed doesn't play, Bama has no proven entities on the offensive glass. We know Missouri's rebounding game has come and gone, but there are just no excuses here. If the Tigers get beaten on the glass by a Jacobs-less squad, it's almost certainly a pure effort thing. But prevent Bama from getting second chances, and you force them to get hot from the field. (See Key #1.)

Expected Rebounds: Mizzou +6.3

And the Tigers lost. To Alabama.


One last thing, and then I'm moving on with my day. I once again saw all sorts of "whole is less than the sum of the parts" comments online last night, and I still just don't get it. People continue to crush Frank Haith for his team's lack of effort or whatever, and to be sure, Alabama won last night in part because the Tide wanted it more. (That, and they made the 3s they've been missing for the last month.) But this team has three good offensive players (2.5 when Earnest Ross' jumpers aren't falling), and ... how many good defensive players? One? Two? Zero? Jordan Clarkson was supposed to be a defensive stopper but isn't. Wes Clark has potential but is a foul-prone freshman. Johnathan Williams III can block some shots but needs about 20 more pounds of muscle. Torren Jones has the willingness and body but minimal defensive instincts. Ryan Rosburg is a foul machine. Earnest Ross tries hard but doesn't always communicate well on the perimeter. Jabari Brown is ... a great scorer. Tony Criswell has the meanness without the tenacity. Keanau Post needs about three more years of basketball to develop any instincts whatsoever.

From that standpoint, this team is almost overachieving. It fights and scratches and claws and hits the offensive glass and draws contact and never gets blown out; it also just isn't talented defensively, at least not talented enough to offset the awful lack of continuity and chemistry. The continuity and chemistry should improve next year, even without Clarkson, Ross, and Brown (if it comes to that), but pure defensive talent is holding this team back. That is obviously also on Haith, but if you're going to yell at him, at least yell at him about the right things instead of falling back on clichés. That makes you seem as lazy as you think Missouri is.


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.