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Study Hall: Mississippi State 77, Missouri 74

Mizzou got 27 points from J3, 12 from Ryan Rosburg, six assists and three 3-pointers from Keith Shamburger, and five offensive rebounds from D'Angelo Allen. The Tigers had one of their best rebounding performances of the season and held steady in the ball-handling battle despite the loss of Wes Clark. And they lost. To Mississippi State. At home. HEY GUYS, HAPPY SUNDAY LIVE THREAD.

Dak Dillon-USA TODAY Sports

Your Trifecta: J3-Shamburger-Rosburg.

Your Season Trifecta: J3 35 points, Shamburger 31, Clark 24, Teki 16, Post 11, Wright eight, Allen seven, Gant seven, Isabell six, Rosburg five. By class: sophomores 56, freshmen 42, seniors 41, juniors five.

Back in November, I laid out my one goal for this season. I simply wanted the team to look better in February than it did in November.

Back in December, I expressed optimism for this goal because basically every player had looked damn strong at least once. And then Jakeenan Gant went out and looked fantastic in his very first game. So that was basically 10 players who had looked good at some point. Add some run-of-the-mill in-season development to the equation, and poof ... you've got yourself a salty team.

When Mizzou beat LSU to start SEC play, it bumped the Tigers' Pomeroy ranking to 143rd -- still not great, but a clear step up. As of this morning, Mizzou ranks 201st. In no way does this team look better in February.

Now, there are reasons for that. Wes Clark, one of the team's three steadiest, best contributors (and probably one of the two best in SEC play) is out for the season. Plus, as we'll see below, the back injury that Teki Gill-Caesar face in December completely derailed his season. Mizzou has gotten jack s*** in terms of good luck this year. (And that continued yesterday afternoon, when two MSU players who were shooting in the 60-70% range on free throws combined to go 22-for-25.) Throw in the suspensions and the obvious lack of lineup continuity, and it begins to make even more sense.

Still, I had no idea a team could, for an entire season, look this scattershot in terms of who's good and who's bad from game to game. The header above is amazing. Mizzou got its best game of the season from at least two players (J3, Rosburg) and maybe two more (Shamburger, Allen) and lost to Mississippi State at home because everybody in the backcourt not named Shamburger was awful. And because Mizzou cannot. Stop. Fouling.

Mississippi State 77, Missouri 74

Miss. State
Pace (No. of Possessions) 65.0
Points Per Possession (PPP) 1.14 1.18
Points Per Shot (PPS) 1.25 1.88
2-PT FG% 54.5% 60.0%
3-PT FG% 30.8% 45.5%
FT% 66.7% 78.8%
True Shooting % 54.2% 69.3%
FTA/FGA 35.6% 80.5%
Mizzou Miss. State
Assists 13 8
Steals 4 4
Turnovers 13 12
Ball Control Index (BCI)
(Assists + Steals) / TO
1.31 1.00
Mizzou Miss. State
Expected Offensive Rebounds 12.6 7.6
Offensive Rebounds 16 5
Difference +3.4 -2.6
  • Oh, and did I mention that Mizzou dominated on the glass and won the ball control battle -- and got season-best performances from between two and four players -- and still lost? At home? To Mississippi State? This season has convinced me that I understand nothing about college basketball. Oh, and speaking of the game as a whole...

  • There were 51 fouls and 54 free throws. In a February game between teams with a combined record of 18-30. (I know that last sentence doesn't actually matter, but it added some maddening context.) At various times, I thought to myself (a couple of times out loud), "Damn, there are still 11 minutes left in this game?" "Damn, there are still eight minutes left in this game?" "Damn, there are still six minutes left in this game?" "Damn, there are still five minutes left in this game?" "Damn, there are still three minutes left in this game?" At the two-hour mark, there were still three minutes left.

    I've been intending to write a "fixing college basketball" post at some point, using Sam Mellinger's awesome Kansas City Star piece from January as a jumping-off point. But I'm just not sure I have anything unique to say. I'm not sure there's a need for any sort of 'commissioner' for the sport as proposed in that piece (though I'm also not opposed), but my main problem is that the proposed solutions are all I can think to propose. How the shot clock hasn't already been lopped to 30 seconds, I have no idea. How last year's attempted officiating changes failed, I have no idea. (Okay, I do know: teams didn't change the way they played, and officials went "Oh, okay," and went back to calling fouls as they did before.) Widening the lane? Sure. Moving the 3-point line back? Sure. Cut the number of timeouts? Absolutely. Do it all. But do something because this is absolutely miserable to watch. And of course, when your team is 7-18, it's even more miserable. But this would need fixing even if Mizzou were 18-7.

Mizzou Player Stats

(Definitions at the bottom of the post.)

AdjGS GmSc/Min Line
Johnathan Williams III 34.3 1.27 27 Min, 27 Pts (9-15 FG, 3-5 3PT, 6-8 FT), 7 Reb (4 Off), 2 Ast, 1 Blk, 2 TO, 4 PF
Keith Shamburger 25.7 0.64 40 Min, 15 Pts (3-8 FG, 3-8 3PT, 6-6 FT), 3 Reb, 6 Ast, 2 Stl, 4 PF
Ryan Rosburg 12.6 0.43 29 Min, 12 Pts (6-7 FG, 0-1 FT), 2 Reb (1 Off), 1 Ast, 1 Blk, 2 TO, 4 PF
D'Angelo Allen 11.6 0.51 23 Min, 7 Pts (3-5 FG, 1-2 3PT), 7 Reb (5 Off), 1 Ast, 1 TO, 3 PF
Keanau Post 1.6 0.14 11 Min, 3 Pts (1-2 FG, 1-2 FT), 1 Reb, 1 Blk, 4 PF
Namon Wright 0.3 0.01 26 Min, 6 Pts (2-7 FG, 1-3 3PT, 1-2 FT), 3 Reb, 2 Ast, 1 Stl, 3 TO, 4 PF
Jakeenan Gant -0.2 -0.02 8 Min, 2 Pts (1-4 FG), 1 Reb (1 Off), 1 PF
Montaque Gill-Caesar -8.9 -0.41 22 Min, 2 Pts (1-8 FG, 0-6 3PT, 0-2 FT), 1 Reb, 1 Ast, 1 Stl, 2 TO, 4 PF
Deuce Bello -10.0 -0.72 14 Min, 0 Pts (0-3 FG, 0-2 3PT), 3 TO, 3 PF
Player Usage% Floor% Touches/
%Pass %Shoot %Fouled %T/O
Johnathan Williams III 37% 50% 4.1 32% 41% 21% 5%
Keith Shamburger 13% 51% 3.7 72% 16% 12% 0%
Ryan Rosburg 16% 61% 1.7 37% 44% 6% 13%
D'Angelo Allen 13% 49% 1.6 50% 42% 0% 8%
Keanau Post 13% 42% 1.1 0% 51% 49% 0%
Namon Wright 21% 25% 2.8 50% 30% 8% 13%
Jakeenan Gant 25% 21% 1.5 0% 100% 0% 0%
Montaque Gill-Caesar 24% 11% 2.5 33% 45% 11% 11%
Deuce Bello 21% 0% 1.3 0% 50% 0% 50%
  • D'Angelo Allen: 23 Min, 7 Pts (3-5 FG, 1-2 3PT), 7 Reb (5 Off), 1 Ast, 1 TO, 3 PF, 11.6 AdjGS Pts.

    Other 3 Freshmen
    : 56 Min, 10 Pts (4-19 FG, 1-9 3PT, 1-4 FT), 5 Reb (1 Off), 3 Ast, 2 Stl, 5 TO, 8 PF, -8.8 Adj. GS Pts.

  • Since his return from injury, Teki is shooting 10-for-25 (40%) on 2-pointers, 4-for-21 (19%) on 3-pointers (3-for-3 vs. Arkansas, 1-for-18 vs. everybody else), and 3-for-8 (38%) from the free throw line. In these seven games, he's averaging 0.76 points per shot. His offensive rating has been over 100 (the national average) just once. His rating for the season is now 82.3. Or, to put that another way:

    Teki in November and December: 9.9 Adj. GS PPG
    Teki in January and February: -1.9 Adj. GS PPG

    Take out the Arkansas game, and his Jan/Feb average is minus-4.6 per game.

    Now, part of that could be "freshman hits a wall" stuff. But that injury obliterated any sort of growth Teki was experiencing there, and he's not fixed yet. And his season averages are going to be absolutely horrific, even by freshman standards.

  • I thought Deuce Bello looked pretty decent (or at lest better than expected) filling in for Wes Clark at South Carolina. He was abysmal on Saturday. Wes Clark was averaging 11.7 Adj. GS PPG in conference play; in his first game "filling in" for Clark (in quotes because he only played 14 minutes, so basically Shamburger and his 40 minutes also filled in a bit), Bello contributed minus-10.0. This isn't a mathematically sound comparison, but ... there's a 21.7 point difference there. In a game Mizzou lost by three.

  • Man oh man, was J3 good yesterday. When Mizzou took the lead late with four and a half minutes left -- sparked by J3 making a 3-pointer on one possession, then grabbing an offensive board and feeding Keanau Post for the go-ahead layup, I was in the process of writing some sort of "Please don't blow J3's best performance ever, you guys," tweet for the Rock M account. But before I could get it typed out on my phone, MSU had already taken the lead back. Mizzou led for all of 17 seconds, and then MSU went on a quick 8-2 run that basically won the game.


Seven to eight games left. Then we get to start talking about how this team digs its way out next season. Because it certainly isn't happening this year. This team is still fighting hard -- after all, a 17-point deficit did turn into a one-point second-half lead yesterday -- but there have just been too many obstacles and too much awful individual play, and it trips Mizzou up every time.


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 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.