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Another top-100 opponent, another big loss for Missouri. Things are going south quickly.

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Consider this your Sunday live thread.

Denny Medley-USA TODAY Sports

Your Trifecta: VanLeer-Isabell-Woods

Your Season Totals: Your Season Totals: Puryear 13, Phillips 13, VanLeer 7, Walton 6, Wright 6, Gant 6, Isabell 5, Clark 2, Woods 2. Freshmen 39, sophomores 17, juniors 4, seniors 0.

Per the season trifecta totals, your four most valuable Tigers this year have been the four freshmen. That's terrifying.

Actually, that's scary for a couple of reasons. First, when your four best players are freshmen, you almost certainly aren't going to be very good. Even Kentucky doesn't get away with that every year.

Second, it's scary because it's a reminder of how little anyone else has developed. Wes Clark still can't find his shot and is slowly losing the ability to put anything else in the box score either. Namon Wright is 3-for-20 from the field in his last three games. Jakeenan Gant has scored more than four points three times in 10 games and has grabbed more than three rebounds three times. D'Angelo Allen was a key cog in a not-completely-awful team last December and now doesn't see the court. Tramaine Isabell keeps dropping hints that he's close to putting things together, but he can't do it with anything resembling consistency. The freshmen have been impressive and mature, but they've also very much played like freshmen. And they've still been the best thing Missouri's had going.

I'm not going to talk about firing Kim Anderson or anything like that yet. It's 10 games into his second year. But in five games against top-100 teams, Mizzou has been destroyed twice and handled easily twice, and in the fifth game the Tigers were down huge before rallying. They've got almost nothing to offer against decent teams. And while they are indeed one of the youngest teams in the country, you still have to show development. You still have to drop hints that experience means improvement. This sophomore class is really struggling to take a step forward.

I hate making these comparisons, but on December 19 last year, Missouri ranked 149th in Ken Pomeroy's rankings. Right now the Tigers are 190th and have fallen 21 spots in two games. After the debacle against Arizona, I said that the NC State and Illinois games were desperately important for Missouri to show it's progressing. Mizzou responded with about 11 good minutes against NC State, then got run out of the gym. This ain't good.

NC State 73, Missouri 59

Mizzou
NC State
Pace (No. of Possessions) 60.6
Points Per Possession (PPP) 0.97 1.21
Points Per Shot (PPS) 1.16 1.35
2-PT FG% 44.1% 44.7%
3-PT FG% 41.2% 31.3%
FT% 42.1% 80.0%
True Shooting % 49.7% 54.3%
FTA/FGA 37.3% 55.6%
Mizzou NC State
Assists 13 10
Steals 6 4
Turnovers 8 9
Ball Control Index (BCI)
(Assists + Steals) / TO
2.38 1.56
Mizzou NC State
Expected Offensive Rebounds 12.2 12.4
Offensive Rebounds 7 15
Difference -5.2 +2.6
  • Mizzou's shooting wasn't awful. It wasn't great by any means, but a true shooting percentage of 50% is still better than the Tigers managed for wide swaths of last season. The problem, of course, was what happened on the glass. NC State is a good offensive rebounding team and certainly pulled down quite a few second-chance opportunities; more importantly, though, the Wolfpack are only a decent to solid defensive rebounding team, and they erased Missouri from the offensive glass. Mizzou doesn't have much of a presence there to begin with, but the Tigers had almost none.
  • But hey, the ball handling was pretty good. That's a plus.
  • Free throw shooting. Yuuuuuck. That NC State made more free throws than Mizzou attempted (and Cat Barber almost has as many as Mizzou by himself) was bad to begin with. That the Tigers were almost equally effective from the free throw line as from the 3-point line made it way worse.
  • Maybe the most depressing number of the day: 8,087. That was not only the attendance at Mizzou Arena ... that was the best attendance of the year so far. 8,087. Best attendance of the year.

Mizzou Player Stats

(Definitions at the bottom of the post.)

Player
AdjGS GmSc/Min Line
Cullen VanLeer 14.6 0.61 24 Min, 12 Pts (4-7 FG, 4-7 3PT), 2 Reb, 1 Ast, 1 PF
Tramaine Isabell 12.4 0.52 24 Min, 10 Pts (4-7 FG, 1-2 3PT, 1-2 FT), 3 Reb (1 Off), 2 Ast, 2 Stl, 2 TO, 2 PF
Russell Woods 7.3 0.38 19 Min, 4 Pts (2-3 FG), 4 Reb, 2 Ast, 1 Blk, 3 PF
Terrence Phillips 5.2 0.25 21 Min, 7 Pts (2-6 FG, 1-3 3PT, 2-2 FT), 1 Reb, 1 Ast, 1 Stl, 1 TO, 3 PF
Kevin Puryear 4.9 0.19 25 Min, 4 Pts (1-2 FG, 2-2 FT), 2 Reb, 1 PF
Jakeenan Gant 4.9 0.30 16 Min, 4 Pts (2-5 FG), 2 Reb (1 Off), 1 Stl, 1 Blk, 2 PF
Wes Clark 4.2 0.19 22 Min, 7 Pts (3-9 FG, 1-3 3PT), 2 Reb (1 Off), 3 Ast, 1 TO, 3 PF
Ryan Rosburg 2.0 0.13 15 Min, 2 Pts (1-2 FG, 0-0 3PT, 0-1 FT), 6 Reb (2 Off), 1 Ast, 0 Stl, 1 TO, 4 PF
D'Angelo Allen 3.3 0.83 4 Min, 3 Pts (1-1 FG, 1-4 FT), 1 Reb (1 Off)
K.J. Walton 0.3 0.03 11 Min, 4 Pts (2-3 FG, 0-1 3PT, 0-2 FT), 3 Ast, 3 TO, 2 PF
Namon Wright -2.0 -0.10 19 Min, 2 Pts (0-6 FG, 0-1 3PT, 2-6 FT), 3 Reb, 2 Stl, 1 PF
Player Usage% Floor% Touches/
Poss.
%Pass %Shoot %Fouled %T/O
Cullen VanLeer 17% 54% 1.8 46% 54% 0% 0%
Tramaine Isabell 24% 44% 3.1 52% 31% 8% 9%
Russell Woods 9% 70% 2.6 80% 20% 0% 0%
Terrence Phillips 22% 34% 2.3 40% 41% 12% 7%
Kevin Puryear 7% 50% 0.5 0% 53% 47% 0%
Jakeenan Gant 19% 34% 1.0 0% 100% 0% 0%
Wes Clark 27% 34% 4.2 64% 33% 0% 4%
D'Angelo Allen 41% 44% 3.8 0% 22% 78% 0%
Ryan Rosburg 14% 33% 2.2 60% 20% 9% 10%
K.J. Walton 37% 38% 7.7 69% 12% 7% 12%
Namon Wright 27% 11% 2.0 0% 53% 47% 0%

Summary

Pomeroy now projects Mizzou's record at 11-20. The rankings are sliding. At this point, Missouri only ranks in the top 100 in offensive FTA/FGA, 2PT% allowed, and offensive block rate. The Tigers rank 300th or worse in four categories. Young team or not, Kim Anderson's going to have to quickly prove that he can figure out how to improve this team in-season. He didn't last year. When it started to get bad, it got really, really bad. The Illinois game is another opportunity. Here's to hoping the Tigers take advantage of it. Otherwise we might be looking at the makings of a 2014-15 repeat.

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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.