Your Trifecta: J3-Clark-Shamburger.
Your Season Trifecta totals: J3 22 points, Teki 13, Shamburger 13, Clark 13, Gant five, Wright six, Allen five, Isabell four, Rosburg two, Post one. By class: sophomores 35, freshmen 33, seniors 14, juniors two.
Probably the best thing I can say about this win: Missouri was the more mature, mentally strong team on the court. Now, LSU's pretty damn young itself -- Jarell Martin and Jordan Mickey are both sophomores, and there's only one senior in the rotation (and he played only nine minutes last night) -- but still, that's a beautiful thing to say for such a freshman- and sophomore-oriented team.
Last night, Mizzou not only got big-time play from two sophomores (Johnathan Williams III, Wes Clark) and important contributions from two freshmen (Namon Wright, Tramaine Isabell), but its seniors also came through. Keanau Post grabbed five offensive rebounds, blocked three shots, and put on a miniature dunk fest. Keith Shamburger made four of five free throws down the stretch with four assists and a big, late-in-regulation 3-pointer. They are Mizzou's senior leadership, and in the first game of conference play, they came up huge.
Missouri 74, LSU 67
|Pace (No. of Possessions)||77.3|
|Points Per Possession (PPP)||0.96||0.87|
|Points Per Shot (PPS)||1.10||1.02|
|True Shooting %||50.3%||44.0%|
Ball Control Index (BCI)
(Assists + Steals) / TO
|Expected Offensive Rebounds||14.9||16.5|
- From an offensive perspective, this was more a game of "who's less bad?" than anything else. Neither team hit one point per possession, and the two combined for 33 turnovers. But Mizzou hit nearly as many free throws in 15 attempts as LSU did in 23, and Mizzou hit more 3-pointers. That, and a slightly better (less bad) ball-handling ratio, made up for LSU's rebounding edge.
- I would have never guessed that LSU would shoot 41% on 2-pointers. Mizzou contested shots pretty well (five blocks!), but LSU still shoots 51% for the year. Solid defense plus a little good fortune, I think.
- Keanau Post's four turnovers kept him out of the trifecta, but his three blocks were big, and his five offensive rebounds were immense. In terms of expected rebounds, Mizzou was minus-5.4 with him. And non-Post Tigers shot 34.3% on 2-pointers. He had his drawbacks, but he was probably the most important player in the game.
Mizzou Player Stats
(Definitions at the bottom of the post.)
|Johnathan Williams III||18.2||0.51||36 Min, 21 Pts (8-17 FG, 0-1 3PT, 5-8 FT), 10 Reb (4 Off), 1 Blk, 2 TO, 4 PF|
|Wes Clark||15.1||0.44||34 Min, 13 Pts (4-12 FG, 3-8 3PT, 2-2 FT), 5 Reb, 3 Ast, 3 Stl, 1 TO, 3 PF|
|Keith Shamburger||13.2||0.36||37 Min, 10 Pts (2-6 FG, 2-6 3PT, 4-5 FT), 5 Reb, 4 Ast, 1 Stl, 1 TO, 3 PF|
|Keanau Post||11.4||0.39||29 Min, 12 Pts (6-10 FG), 7 Reb (5 Off), 3 Blk, 4 TO, 4 PF|
|Namon Wright||7.1||0.22||33 Min, 9 Pts (3-9 FG, 3-4 3PT), 5 Reb, 2 Ast, 1 Stl, 2 TO, 2 PF|
|Tramaine Isabell||7.0||0.23||30 Min, 3 Pts (1-7 FG, 1-2 3PT), 4 Reb (1 Off), 6 Ast, 2 Stl, 1 TO, 1 PF|
|Jakeenan Gant||2.7||0.19||14 Min, 4 Pts (2-3 FG), 2 Reb, 1 TO, 1 PF|
|Ryan Rosburg||1.0||0.50||2 Min, 0 Pts (0-0 FG), 1 Blk|
|D'Angelo Allen||-1.6||-0.16||10 Min, 2 Pts (1-3 FG, 0-1 3PT), 1 Reb, 1 Ast, 2 TO, 1 PF|
|Johnathan Williams III||32%||38%||2.3||0%||59%||34%||7%|
- Now, by calling Post "the most important player of the game," I'm revealing just how much I already take Johnathan Williams III for granted. He had four offensive rebounds and six defensive rebounds, shot 8-for-16 on 2-pointers, and got to the line eight times (with only two turnovers). That's awesome, especially considering he gives up about 15-20 points to both Martin and Mickey. J3 was averaging 9.2 points and 4.3 rebounds through six games. He's averaged 17.6 and 9.1 since.
- Post, Gant, and Allen combined for seven turnovers and a %TO well over 20%, but the guards handled themselves against LSU's pressure. Clark, Shamburger, and Isabell: 13 assists, three steals, three turnovers, six steals. Toss in a 6-for-16 effort on 3-pointers (and 6-for-7 from the line), and you've got one hell of a performance.
- Clark is so frustrating at times because, when he looks good, he looks so naturally good that you expect to see him look this way more frequently. He was Missouri's best player in the opening games, but he took a backseat of late. He was big last night. So was Shamburger with his free throws, and so was Isabell with his passing. I was incredibly encouraged that Isabell found ways to contribute in a reliable fashion even though he couldn't find the basket.
- I refuse -- refuse -- to get sucked into thinking Keanau Post is going to start looking like this every game. He's still only had about five good games in a year and a half, after all. But this is the first time he's looked like this in back-to-back games. And basically, every time he does show up like this, it's like looking down your bench and suddenly discovering a four-star post man. "Where did you come from?" If he becomes a semi-consistent force -- not as good as he was against LSU but not invisible -- Mizzou's ceiling rises from about 6-12 in conference to about 10-8.
- Mizzou won this game without Montaque Gill-Caesar. I just wanted to type that out. Pretty impressive. Namon Wright had 11 points and three assists in his last four games. He nearly matched that last night, and Mizzou desperately needed that in Teki's absence.
LSU's not amazing (currently 61st in the Pomeroy rankings), but the Tigers aren't bad. They challenged Mizzou in precisely a way that Mizzou hasn't really liked to be challenged this year -- with size and pressure -- and this young team responded with resilience and energy. Mizzou was down 19-8 ten minutes into the game but outscored LSU 19-11 the rest of the half. Down 54-46 with eight minutes left, they responded with a 14-2 run. And when LSU gutted them with a 3-pointer to send the game to overtime, they responded by scoring nine of the 11 points in the overtime period. And again, they did so without their most natural scorer.
We've been seeing improvement from this team for a while, from the middle 20 minutes of the Xavier game, to the first 39:59 of the Illinois game, to about the first 44 minutes of the Oklahoma State game. Those setbacks could have caused the team to crater, but instead it just made them more familiar with what it takes to win these games. If you can internalize that lesson as a young team, you can do great things when you become an experienced team.
So now comes another kind of test. Auburn plays at a slower pace but, like a Bruce Pearl team does, the Tigers force all sorts of turnovers. This isn't necessarily the type of team you want to play on two days' rest, but aside from forcing turnovers and drawing fouls, Auburn doesn't do much right. These two teams are basically dead even in the Pomeroy rankings, but Mizzou hasn't played like the No. 143 team very much over the last three weeks or so, losing to No. 48 Illinois by three and to No. 25 Oklahoma State by two, beating No. 61 LSU, and at the very least beating No. 273 Lipscomb by about four points more than projected.
If this really is the New Mizzou, a 2-0 SEC start could come to fruition (before Kentucky makes it 2-1 next week in Lexington). But if Mizzou is due a setback, Auburn's physicality could force one. Every game is a new test for a young team; Mizzou's passed more than it has failed recently.
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.