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Study Hall: Arkansas 61, Missouri 60

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An encouraging, gutting loss for Missouri. We've seen this before. Just keep the chemistry from rotting...

Dak Dillon-USA TODAY Sports

Your Trifecta: Teki-J3-Shamburger.

Your Season Trifecta totals: J3 26 points, Shamburger 23, Clark 18, Teki 16, Wright eight, Isabell six, Gant six, Allen five, Rosburg two, Post four. By class: sophomores 42, freshmen 37, seniors 21, juniors two.

You know it's been a tough season when your first reaction after the game ends is to figure out where it ranks among the season's gut-wrenching losses. That was my reaction, anyway. (The verdict: not as bad as Illinois, second place ahead of Oklahoma State.)

We caught a lot of glimpses today of what a good Missouri team might look like in the future. Mizzou maintained its composure against Arkansas' pressure, to the point where the Hogs simply stopped pressing altogether. The Tigers made some huge jumpers in the final minutes despite a couple of lengthy offensive droughts. They kept battling despite setbacks -- droughts, banked-in 3-pointers, Arkansas offensive rebounds -- and gave themselves a chance to win at the line with three seconds left. Against a pretty good Arkansas team, that's an accomplishment. But like a lot of Mizzou's other "accomplishments" this season, it didn't accompany a win.

Arkansas 61, Missouri 60

Mizzou
Arkansas
Pace (No. of Possessions) 56.9
Points Per Possession (PPP) 1.05 1.07
Points Per Shot (PPS) 1.03 0.97
2-PT FG% 40.0% 40.4%
3-PT FG% 38.9% 25.0%
FT% 63.6% 61.1%
True Shooting % 47.7% 43.0%
FTA/FGA 19.0% 28.6%
Mizzou Arkansas
Assists 11 10
Steals 0 3
Turnovers 8 3
Ball Control Index (BCI)
(Assists + Steals) / TO
1.38 4.33
Mizzou Arkansas
Expected Offensive Rebounds 13.1 15.4
Offensive Rebounds 13 16
Difference -0.1 +0.6
  • Funny how things work out. Mizzou played against a Mike Anderson team, dictated tempo (to say the least), shot better, nearly fought the rebounding battle to a draw, and lost because of BCI. This seems about right ... until you see that Mizzou had only eight turnovers. That's not bad. Zero steals in 40 minutes, though? Bad. Arkansas was able to get a shot off on almost every possession and simply ended up attempting five more shots (and seven more free throws) than Missouri. It was just barely enough.

  • That's right, rebounding was nearly a draw. Arkansas grabbed seven offensive rebounds in a four-possession span late in the game and grabbed only nine in the other 53. The four points they scored off of offensive boards in that short span helped to win them the game, but Mizzou still held its own here. Wes Clark and D'Angelo Allen each had four defensive rebounds,and J3 had seven. Best rebounding performance in a few games.

Mizzou Player Stats

(Definitions at the bottom of the post.)

Player
AdjGS GmSc/Min Line
Montaque Gill-Caesar 16.4 0.71 23 Min, 16 Pts (6-9 FG, 3-3 3PT, 1-1 FT), 2 Reb (1 Off), 2 TO
Johnathan Williams III 16.3 0.45 36 Min, 15 Pts (7-15 FG, 1-3 3PT), 10 Reb (3 Off), 1 Ast, 2 Blk, 1 TO, 4 PF
Keith Shamburger 7.7 0.24 32 Min, 10 Pts (4-7 FG, 2-4 3PT), 1 Ast, 1 TO, 3 PF
Wes Clark 7.1 0.22 33 Min, 8 Pts (3-11 FG, 0-2 3PT, 2-4 FT), 5 Reb (1 Off), 6 Ast, 2 TO
Namon Wright 5.6 0.33 17 Min, 4 Pts (1-3 FG, 1-3 3PT, 1-2 FT), 3 Reb, 2 Ast, 1 PF
D'Angelo Allen 4.1 0.17 24 Min, 2 Pts (0-3 FG, 2-2 FT), 6 Reb (2 Off), 1 Blk, 1 PF
Tramaine Isabell 1.2 0.08 15 Min, 2 Pts (1-5 FG, 0-2 3PT), 4 Reb (1 Off), 1 Ast, 1 PF
Jakeenan Gant -1.0 -0.26 4 Min, 0 Pts (0-1 FG, 0-1 3PT)
Keanau Post -1.5 -0.09 16 Min, 3 Pts (1-4 FG, 1-2 FT), 4 Reb (2 Off), 2 TO, 3 PF
Player Usage% Floor% Touches/
Poss.
%Pass %Shoot %Fouled %T/O
Montaque Gill-Caesar 28% 50% 1.9 0% 73% 10% 16%
Johnathan Williams III 25% 41% 2.1 27% 69% 0% 5%
Keith Shamburger 14% 48% 1.5 42% 50% 0% 7%
Wes Clark 25% 34% 5.7 66% 21% 10% 4%
Namon Wright 13% 43% 3.6 68% 17% 15% 0%
D'Angelo Allen 9% 21% 0.8 0% 54% 46% 0%
Tramaine Isabell 19% 23% 2.6 54% 46% 0% 0%
Jakeenan Gant 14% 0% 0.9 0% 100% 0% 0%
Keanau Post 24% 19% 1.9 0% 47% 30% 23%
  • Welcome back, Montaque Gill-Caesar! You could tell that Teki was still fearing contact early in the game, and it led to a couple of hesitant finishes near the basket, but Mizzou had desperately missed his jump shot.

  • No free throws for J3. He made some big shots and had his best rebounding game in a while, but he does still need to create contact and get to the line more. That's the next step.

  • I can't think of a single shot from Wes Clark, Keith Shamburger, and Tramaine Isabell that I didn't like. They combined for eight assists to just three turnovers (against the Fastest 40 Minutes, no less) and they took mostly good shots. They also only made eight of 23 from the floor -- 4-for-7 from Shamburger, and 4-for-16 (0-for-4 from 3-point range) from Clark/Isabell. Clark made a couple of big jumpers late and played some strong man defense, but ... well ... there are two particular free throws that will be haunting him for a while.

  • I know D'Angelo Allen has been fighting a shooting drought for a while, but he needs to make sure not to completely disappear from the offense. He was 0-for-3 from the field, but he had a couple of driving or shooting opportunities that he completely passed up, content to turn his back to the basket and pass to a guard 25 feet away. He's a good defender and had a good rebounding day, but he needs to make sure he's not turning Mizzou possessions into 4-on-5 experiences at times.

Summary

An encouraging, gutting loss. We've seen this before. But I guess the goal for the season remains the same: avoid rotting chemistry in the face of these losses. If this team sticks together, it's going to be solid next year and damn good in two years. But as I've written about 134 times this year, every loss presents a new opportunity for chemistry to falter. We'll see if and how the team keeps pressing forward, especially after Kentucky's Thursday visit. Just keep fighting.

---

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.