Your Trifecta: Clark-J3-Shamburger.
Your Season Trifecta totals: J3 24 points, Shamburger 22, Clark 18, Teki 13, Wright eight, Isabell six, Gant six, Allen five, Rosburg two, Post four. By class: sophomores 42, freshmen 37, seniors 21, juniors two.
MUTIGERS.COM: Mizzou Drops to Texas A&M, 62-50
The Trib: Aggies dominate second half, down Tigers
Post-Dispatch: Mizzou drops fourth straight in SEC
KC Star: Missouri losing streak reaches four as it falls 62-50 at Texas A&M
The Missourian: Missouri's Johnathan Williams III continues scoring slump in loss at Texas A&M
We've come to enjoy the boxing analogies through the years, with round-by-round scoring and whatnot. But rarely does the one-punch knockout come into play. Mizzou took a 36-29 lead with 17:28 left in yesterday's game, then gave up a 22-3 run. Knockout.
The finishing blow came earlier against A&M than it had against Tennessee or Auburn, but it was a bit similar from an "everything falls apart at once" perspective.
Mizzou just doesn't have the legs right now. Name the reason: not enough offensive talent, not enough experience, not enough sheer girth in the paint. The SEC may lack for elite teams, but it does not lack for size and athleticism, and Mizzou doesn't have enough of either and doesn't have enough of anything else to make up the difference.
These last four games have been, almost to a letter, the worst-case scenario for this team. In the face of a challenging stretch of SEC games, Mizzou faltered and blew opportunities to beat both Auburn and Tennessee and didn't just get blown out at Kentucky but got erased from existence. Then the team went to College Station, fell apart earlier than normal, and, as is predictable in the face of a four-game losing streak, began to bicker.
Johnathan Williams III said MU players started pointing fingers and playing as individuals in second half when A&M went on big run— Dave Matter (@Dave_Matter) January 22, 2015
Williams III: "We’re getting tired as a team losing games we should win or losing games that we had. That’s just getting frustrating."— Dave Matter (@Dave_Matter) January 22, 2015
That's a pretty reliable part of the Bad Season Checklist, and this is quite obviously a bad season.
Texas A&M 62, Missouri 50
|Pace (No. of Possessions)||56.6|
|Points Per Possession (PPP)||0.88||1.09|
|Points Per Shot (PPS)||1.06||1.32|
|True Shooting %||50.8%||55.6%|
Ball Control Index (BCI)
(Assists + Steals) / TO
|Expected Offensive Rebounds||10.1||10.4|
- Again, I think this team is better in transition than in playing an absurdly slow, plodding pace. But when you're getting erased from the boards and cannot get any stops, it's kind of hard to play transition basketball even if you want to. (And when you're getting erased from the boards, and you're committing turnovers on one-fourth of your possessions, well ...)
- Unfortunately, there were no "first half vs. second half" stats in the box score, so I couldn't compare and contrast. But I think you know what that comparison would say. Decent, then horrific.
Mizzou Player Stats
(Definitions at the bottom of the post.)
|Wes Clark||27.7||0.79||35 Min, 18 Pts (7-11 FG, 4-6 3PT, 0-1 FT), 1 Reb, 6 Ast, 5 Stl, 3 TO, 3 PF|
|Johnathan Williams III||12.9||0.35||37 Min, 9 Pts (4-10 FG, 1-2 FT), 10 Reb (3 Off), 2 Ast, 1 Stl, 1 TO, 1 PF|
|Keith Shamburger||10.2||0.26||39 Min, 5 Pts (2-4 FG, 1-3 3PT), 4 Reb, 4 Ast, 2 Stl, 2 TO, 1 PF|
|Keanau Post||5.2||0.26||20 Min, 4 Pts (2-3 FG), 2 Reb, 3 Blk, 5 PF|
|Namon Wright||1.8||0.13||14 Min, 6 Pts (2-5 FG, 2-4 3PT), 1 Ast, 2 TO, 2 PF|
|Ryan Rosburg||1.1||0.54||2 Min, 0 Pts (0-0 FG), 1 Blk|
|Tramaine Isabell||0.0||0.00||3 Min, 0 Pts (0-0 FG)|
|Deuce Bello||-1.1||-0.22||5 Min, 0 Pts (0-1 FG), 1 Reb, 1 Ast, 1 TO|
|Montaque Gill-Caesar||-1.5||-0.07||23 Min, 8 Pts (3-9 FG, 1-4 3PT, 1-2 FT), 1 Reb, 3 TO, 2 PF|
|Jakeenan Gant||-1.7||-0.17||10 Min, 0 Pts (0-1 FG), 1 PF|
|D'Angelo Allen||-5.5||-0.46||12 Min, 0 Pts (0-3 FG), 1 Reb (1 Off), 1 TO, 3 PF|
|Johnathan Williams III||20%||35%||2.5||44%||37%||15%||4%|
Mizzou freshmen vs. LSU: 15.2 Adj. GS points
Mizzou freshmen vs. Auburn: 25.1 Adj. GS points
Mizzou freshmen vs. Kentucky: 6.1 Adj. GS points
Mizzou freshmen vs. Tennessee: 21.4 Adj. GS points
Mizzou freshmen vs. Texas A&M: -6.9 Adj. GS points
One of Mizzou's biggest problems right now is that Kim Anderson has absolutely no idea who he can count on to show up from one game to the next. He doesn't know if Keanau Post is going to give him 8 minutes or 25. He doesn't know if Wes Clark's jumpers will go 7-for-10 or 1-for-10. He has no idea what Johnathan Williams III will bring to the table offensively. but mostly, half of his rotation consists of five freshmen who come and go from game to game.
Teki Gill-Caesar is Mizzou's most offensively gifted player, and he's been battling all sorts of rust and confidence issues after returning from a back injury.
Jakeenan Gant is getting muscled around drastically by the SEC's bigs (and if there's one thing the SEC has, it's size and athleticism).
D'Angelo Allen has hit a complete brick wall offensively.
Tramaine Isabell's effort has evidently been pretty scattershot in practice, and it's translating to a lack of both minutes and consistency.
Namon Wright is still trying to figure out how to contribute something besides open 3s to the box score.
The freshmen are freshmen, in other words.
Keith Shamburger, one of two seniors, is the only consistent presence Mizzou has. Wes Clark is battling an ankle injury, Teki is battling a back injury, and J3 is suddenly battling a complete lack of offensive confidence. And the team's two juniors have played a combined seven minutes the last two games. Shamburger's trying as hard as he can to provide leadership, but he's never going to be good enough to offset what Mizzou is lacking. So you're basically left relying on freshmen to provide any semblance of depth. And four of the five were total liabilities last night.
One positive note: Wes Clark was pretty awesome. According to Mizzou historian Tom Orf, he provided just the Tigers' third 18-point, six-assist, five-steal performance since Anthony Peeler left. (The others: Stefhon Hannah against Arkansas in 2007 and Phil Pressey against Baylor in 2012.) So there's that! And of course, his 27.7 Adj. GS performance was offset by the fact that the rest of the team only provided about 22.3 points to the box score. Yuck.
I've said all along that all I want from the 2014-15 season is better play in February than we saw in November. Two weeks ago, I was supremely confident of that. Now ... we'll see. Three straight home games is sometimes just what the doctor ordered, but they're all against good teams (Arkansas and Ole Miss are in Pomeroy's top 40, and Kentucky is Kentucky), and ... well ... playing in front of depressing home crowds doesn't exactly lift the spirits.
Arkansas isn't the greatest road team in the world, and a spirited performance, combined with some semblance of ball control and rebounding, could give the Tigers a chance. But let's just say that the Fastest 40 Minutes isn't really something you want to play when you can't play a slow 30 minutes without running out of gas.
The goal hasn't changed: weather a bad season, stick together, and rally in the offseason. The bad appears that it might be worse than originally expected, which perhaps decreases the odds of the second and third steps, but it doesn't render them impossible. Just stick together, find your leadership before the season runs out, and go from there. But in the meantime, there are 14 games left in the season, and a lot more of them are probably going to look like yesterday's.
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.