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Study Hall: Missouri 72, Lipscomb 60

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Mizzou looked bad enough to fall behind by double digits in both halves against Lipscomb but looked good enough to deliver runs of 11-3, 16-1, and 13-2 to dig out of danger and win by 12. Every win's a good win this year.

Dak Dillon-USA TODAY Sports

Your Trifecta: Isabell-Clark-Shamburger.

Your Season Trifecta totals: J3 19, Teki 13 points, Shamburger 12, Clark 11, Gant five, Wright six, Allen five, Isabell four, Rosburg two, Post one. By class: freshmen 33, sophomores 30, seniors 13, juniors two.

The good news about this game: when Missouri absolutely needed to look good, the Tigers looked great. The semi-desperate moves of giving Tramaine Isabell 23 minutes for energy and Keanau Post 14 minutes for girth worked beautifully. Mizzou was able to find offense with a hobbled Teki Gill-Caesar on the bench, and the Tigers were able to find general success when Lipscomb went big and negated Mizzou's small lineup. Good things!

The bad news about this game: when Missouri was allowed to look less than great, the Tigers looked horrendous. When you go on runs of 11-3, 16-1, and 13-2 against a sub-200 and only win by 12, you know you played a lot of pretty dead minutes.

We feared a letdown in energy after going from Illinois and OSU to Lipscomb, and from mostly-full neutral court venues to a less-than-half-full Mizzou Arena. The fears were justified, even though things weren't immediately awful.

Round-for-round scoring:

Round 1: 10-10
Round 2: 10-10
Round 3: Lipscomb 10-9
Round 4: Lipscomb 10-8
Round 5: Mizzou 10-9
Round 6: Lipscomb 10-9
Round 7: Mizzou 10-8
Round 8: Mizzou 10-8
Round 9: Mizzou 10-9
Round 10: Mizzou 10-9

Missouri 72, Lipscomb 60

Mizzou
Lipscomb
Pace (No. of Possessions) 69.9
Points Per Possession (PPP) 1.03 0.86
Points Per Shot (PPS) 1.41 1.02
2-PT FG% 52.8% 44.0%
3-PT FG% 33.3% 23.5%
FT% 61.3% 66.7%
True Shooting % 55.7% 44.0%
Mizzou Lipscomb
Assists 13 10
Steals 9 5
Turnovers 10 14
Ball Control Index (BCI)
(Assists + Steals) / TO
2.20 1.07
Mizzou Lipscomb
Expected Offensive Rebounds 11.6 14.7
Offensive Rebounds 5 11
Difference -6.6 -3.7
  • Lipscomb had a perfect underdog strategy and turned this game into everything I sometimes dislike about college basketball. The Bisons shot 34 3-pointers, sent almost everybody back when the shot went up (to negate transition opportunities) and fouled a lot. The game had no pace, and Mizzou was hostage to whether the random 3-pointers went in. Outside of Nathan Moran's efforts (4-for-7), they really didn't (rest of team: 4-for-27), but it was really annoying.

  • Also annoying: Mizzou got thumped on the boards despite Keanau Post doing strong work. The Bisons were actively trying not to grab offensive rebounds for a good portion of the game and still grabbed more than Missouri. J3 had three offensive boards, Post had two ... and everybody else had zero. When you're missing Gill-Caesar, offense should be the biggest concern, but rebounding should still be there. It wasn't.

  • Luckily the ball-handling was mostly superb. (Case in point: three point guards in the trifecta.) Keith Shamburger was sloppy and a little frustrating early but played beautifully for most of the final three-quarters of the game, Wes Clark didn't really have his shot but had six points and four steals (and that great transition block!) to zero turnovers, and Tramaine Isabell, while still a work in progress on defense, had two steals to zero turnovers. Shooting and ball-handling were able to overcome alarming, awful rebounding.

Mizzou Player Stats

(Definitions at the bottom of the post.)

Player
AdjGS GmSc/Min Line
Tramaine Isabell 15.4 0.67 23 Min, 14 Pts (4-8 FG, 1-3 3PT, 5-6 FT), 3 Reb, 2 Stl, 1 PF
Wes Clark 14.2 0.40 36 Min, 8 Pts (3-9 FG, 1-2 3PT, 1-2 FT), 2 Reb, 6 Ast, 4 Stl, 1 Blk, 2 PF
Keith Shamburger 13.5 0.36 37 Min, 15 Pts (6-9 FG, 3-5 3PT), 3 Reb, 2 Ast, 1 Stl, 3 TO, 2 PF
Johnathan Williams III 11.7 0.47 25 Min, 16 Pts (4-9 FG, 8-14 FT), 10 Reb (3 Off), 1 Ast, 3 TO, 4 PF
Keanau Post 9.3 0.66 14 Min, 7 Pts (3-5 FG, 1-1 FT), 10 Reb (2 Off), 3 PF
D'Angelo Allen 8.5 0.37 23 Min, 7 Pts (2-4 FG, 3-4 FT), 3 Reb, 1 Ast, 1 Stl, 1 Blk, 3 PF
Jakeenan Gant 3.6 0.30 12 Min, 3 Pts (1-1 FG, 1-2 FT), 2 Reb, 1 Ast, 2 PF
Ryan Rosburg 0.1 0.03 5 Min, 2 Pts (1-1 FG, 0-2 FT), 2 PF
Namon Wright -1.0 -0.06 16 Min, 0 Pts (0-3 FG, 0-3 3PT), 2 Reb, 1 Ast, 1 Stl, 1 TO
Montaque Gill-Caesar -3.9 -0.44 9 Min, 0 Pts (0-2 FG, 0-2 3PT), 2 Reb, 1 Ast, 3 TO
Player Usage% Floor% Touches/
Poss.
%Pass %Shoot %Fouled %T/O
Tramaine Isabell 25% 47% 1.6 0% 62% 38% 0%
Wes Clark 15% 44% 3.7 77% 20% 4% 0%
Keith Shamburger 17% 48% 1.9 50% 38% 0% 13%
Johnathan Williams III 39% 36% 3.4 20% 31% 39% 10%
Keanau Post 21% 55% 1.2 0% 86% 14% 0%
D'Angelo Allen 13% 49% 1.7 45% 31% 25% 0%
Jakeenan Gant 8% 68% 2.1 69% 12% 19% 0%
Ryan Rosburg 20% 50% 1.5 0% 38% 62% 0%
Namon Wright 13% 8% 1.8 60% 30% 0% 10%
Montaque Gill-Caesar 30% 7% 3.5 54% 18% 0% 28%
  • It is incredible how confident Tramaine Isabell is. I've already said it like 16 times this season, but that could mean amazing things when this kid's a junior. An Isabell-and-Allen swagger combo could be something else. His confidence and sense for the moment are top-notch already; I can't imagine what might happen when the game slows down for him a bit.

  • It really is funny to watch the point guard roles shift from game to game. In this one, Shamburger had the outside shot working, so Wes Clark had six assists and a 77% pass rate.

  • I think I'm taking J3 for granted at this point. He had 16 & 10, and I've barely mentioned him so far.

  • Keanau Post fascinates me. When he scored on the and-1 late in the first half, the team almost dogpiled him. Shamburger and D'Angelo Allen in particular (i.e. the two emotional leaders on the team) gave him an extended congratulations. It seems like everybody knows what this guy could be if he plays like he practices, but there's just something about the spotlight that doesn't treat him very well. And after asking out of the Xavier game and sitting the bench for two straight games afterward, he was apparently practicing really well, earned some major minutes (yes, partially out of desperation), and did a lot with them.

  • It makes me sad watching Ryan Rosburg at the free throw line at this point. He wants to be anywhere else in the world. He almost just chest passes the ball at the basket to get things over with. We've seen players go through shooting slumps before, but I'm not sure I've ever seen anything like this. This guy was 41-for-72 from the line, 56.9%, in his first two seasons. He's 3-for-18 this year. THREE FOR EIGHTEEN. That's an awful 3-point percentage. He's actually grabbing rebounds as well as he ever has -- his 11.0% OR% is almost three percent better than last year, and he's matching his 13.3% DR% from last year. He's blocking shots at a higher rate, too, and almost never turning the ball over. But he's also playing like he doesn't want to get fouled, and that makes him an almost complete liability. And I don't know how you fix it until you get to the line more and find your rhythm again.

Summary

Any wins are good wins this year. That Missouri looked so sketchy in allowing Lipscomb to build double-digit leads in both halves was anything but encouraging after such solid performances against Illinois and Oklahoma State, but that's life. When the Tigers had their collective backs against the wall, they went on a 16-1 run to take the lead, and when Lipscomb forced them to close the game out at the free throw line, they did. The Bisons were easily the worst team Mizzou will play in 2015 -- even worse than Mississippi State -- and it was maybe the last chance for a feel-good blowout, but c'est la vie.

As tends to happen during losing seasons, the rumors have began to percolate on other corners of the Internet. The coaching staff isn't getting along! Certain players aren't buying in and will leave soon! (If you haven't seen those rumors yet, they're incredibly vague. I'm not hiding names or being coy here. Just general "danger! danger!" stuff.)

The rumors were incredibly predictable, and they've shown up right on cue. Maybe some of them are even true. But after this team played poorly enough to dig itself a hole, the same guys then played with enough togetherness to pull themselves out and pull away from danger. Allen and Shamburger were emotional and encouraging throughout. Isabell looked (mostly) great. Post showed up. And Mizzou scored 72 points without Teki Gill-Caesar, which I wasn't sure was possible. That's good enough for now. We'll see how the Tigers react when a pretty good LSU team comes to town on Thursday.

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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.