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Study Hall: Missouri 64, Florida 52

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A desperately needed shot in the arm.

Jamie Squire/Getty Images

Your Trifecta: Wright-J3-Shamburger.

Your Season Trifecta: Your Season Trifecta: J3 37 points, Shamburger 35, Clark 24, Teki 18, Post 12, Wright 11, Gant 10, Allen nine, Isabell seven, Rosburg five. By class: sophomores 61, freshmen 55, seniors 47, juniors five.

Perhaps the most encouraging part about Tuesday night's win: it wasn't incredibly out of character. Yes, Namon Wright went nuts and isn't going to go 6-for-8 on 3-pointers every game the rest of the year (though it'd be awesome if he did...). And yes, you got a little bit of an "it's our night" vibe when Wright made end-of-shot-clock 3s and Jakeenan Gant tried to lob in a pass to Johnathan Williams III and it accidentally went in the basket. But Mizzou was non-existent on the offensive glass, had just two steals, shot under 50% on 2-pointers, under 40% on 3-pointers (players not named Wright: 1-for-11), and under 75% on free throws. (And hey, Gant's basket didn't even count because it was negated by a foul.)

Mizzou didn't need absolutely everything to go right to beat a still-decent (but obviously limited and, toward the end, demoralized) Florida team by 12 points. The Tigers just needed one hot shooter. And wow, were they due one hot shooter.

Missouri 64, Florida 52

Mizzou
Florida
Pace (No. of Possessions) 62.0
Points Per Possession (PPP) 1.03 0.84
Points Per Shot (PPS) 1.45 1.08
2-PT FG% 48.0% 56.0%
3-PT FG% 36.8% 21.7%
FT% 70.4% 39.1%
True Shooting % 57.3% 44.7%
FTA/FGA 61.4% 47.9%
Mizzou Florida
Assists 12 9
Steals 2 3
Turnovers 9 10
Ball Control Index (BCI)
(Assists + Steals) / TO
1.56 1.20
Mizzou Florida
Expected Offensive Rebounds 10.1 12.3
Offensive Rebounds 3 5
Difference -7.1 -7.3
  • These teams combined to miss 54 field goals and 22 free throws ... and grab eight offensive boards. I'm not sure I've ever seen that before. Obviously part of that was a desire to get back in transition defense, but even then, that's incredibly strange.

  • I bolded perhaps the most out-of-character stat of the night (beyond the rebounds). For the game, Florida committed only 18 fouls, 13 in the first 38 minutes. But even in those first 38, Mizzou attempted 17 free throws -- far from a great number, but a decent one. Most of Florida's fouls were in response to attacking actions by Missouri. Yes, Wright's 3-point shooting was the single biggest reason for the win, but Mizzou actually got to the line a little bit. And unlike Florida, Mizzou actually made some of its freebies. (And in the final two minutes, the Tigers made nine of 10 free throws. Also nice to see.)

Mizzou Player Stats

(Definitions at the bottom of the post.)

Player
AdjGS GmSc/Min Line
Namon Wright 32.6 0.93 35 Min, 28 Pts (10-13 FG, 6-8 3PT, 2-3 FT), 4 Reb, 2 PF
Johnathan Williams III 12.3 0.40 31 Min, 9 Pts (1-4 FG, 0-1 3PT, 7-10 FT), 7 Reb (1 Off), 3 Ast, 1 TO, 1 PF
Keith Shamburger 8.8 0.27 33 Min, 7 Pts (0-5 FG, 0-4 3PT, 7-9 FT), 4 Reb, 5 Ast, 2 Stl, 2 TO, 3 PF
Jakeenan Gant 7.3 0.40 18 Min, 4 Pts (2-4 FG, 0-1 3PT, 0-1 FT), 6 Reb, 3 Blk, 1 PF
Montaque Gill-Caesar 5.3 0.16 32 Min, 9 Pts (3-9 FG, 1-4 3PT, 2-2 FT), 3 Reb, 3 Ast, 2 TO, 3 PF
Keanau Post 3.0 0.16 19 Min, 6 Pts (3-7 FG), 4 Reb (2 Off), 1 TO, 3 PF
Ryan Rosburg -0.3 -0.02 12 Min, 1 Pts (0-1 FG, 1-2 FT), 1 Reb, 1 PF
D'Angelo Allen -1.3 -0.10 13 Min, 0 Pts (0-0 FG), 1 Reb, 3 PF
Tramaine Isabell -1.7 -0.24 7 Min, 0 Pts (0-1 FG, 0-1 3PT), 2 Reb, 1 Ast, 1 TO, 2 PF
Player Usage% Floor% Touches/
Poss.
%Pass %Shoot %Fouled %T/O
Namon Wright 25% 67% 1.4 0% 87% 13% 0%
Johnathan Williams III 19% 40% 3.1 60% 14% 23% 3%
Keith Shamburger 20% 34% 4.2 69% 12% 14% 5%
Jakeenan Gant 15% 39% 0.8 0% 86% 14% 0%
Montaque Gill-Caesar 23% 34% 3.1 59% 30% 4% 7%
Keanau Post 26% 31% 1.4 0% 88% 0% 12%
Ryan Rosburg 10% 22% 0.6 0% 43% 57% 0%
Tramaine Isabell 18% 16% 3.7 75% 13% 0% 12%
  • We've talked a lot this year about simply wanting to catch glimpses of what the next good Missouri basketball team will look like. We certainly got quite a few glimpses last night. Wright not only making jumpers but creating open ones. Teki getting into the act toward the end. J3 grabbing rebounds and generating contact (and after a brief cold spell in the first half, making his free throws). Jakeenan Gant playing defense, blocking shots, grabbing defensive boards, and dunking like crazy (and not shooting as many long jumpers). Guys were playing their roles really well, and again, in a way that didn't scream "one-in-a-million performance."

  • Actually, Gant deserves his own bullet point here. Yes, he still attempted a couple of long jumpers, and no, that is never a good shot (at least not this year). But he had more of a defensive impact in this game than he had in any other game this year. His "block on one end, alley-oop on the other" combination with about seven minutes left could become a signature for him, and if he ever does get control over his jumpshot, you can see how he could become something like a 10 & 6 & 2 guy pretty quickly.

  • Wright was due. Against A&M, Arkansas, and Kentucky in January, he averaged fewer than four field goal attempts per game. And from Elon (Game 9) to Kentucky at home (Game 20), he hoisted more than five shots just three times.

    But he put up 18 against Alabama and Ole Miss before his brief suspension, and he put up seven against Mississippi State, six against Arkansas, and nine against Vanderbilt. He was asserting himself a bit more, and with mostly dreadful results (last five games: 8-for-21 on 2-pointers, 3-for-19 on 3-pointers). He's just too smooth a shooter to put up those numbers, especially considering a lot (though not all) of the shots were pretty open. He was due a progression-toward-the-mean game, and he got it. He had his legs under him, and passers got him the ball in a really nice catch-and-shoot location. This is how it's supposed to work.

    He was shooting 33% on 3-pointers before the Florida game; now he's at 37%.

Summary

Again, Mizzou was so very much due a game like this, but it was actually more encouraging that the Tigers still did plenty of things poorly. As fun as it would have been to go crazy and win by 30, it was exciting to see Mizzou follow what could become a pretty reliable recipe. Yes, Wright was 10-for-13 from the field, which is unsustainable, but Wright, Teki, and Shamburger were 13-for-27, and the team as a whole shot only 43%. Mizzou enforced some semblance of control of the rim on defense (again, thanks to Gant as much as anybody), and when it was winning time late, the Tigers made their shots and the Gators didn't.

The mantra heading into the game yesterday was "one more win," but this was a recipe Mizzou could follow a couple more times this season. Winning at Georgia is probably a bit too much to ask, but with simply good, not amazing performances, Mizzou will have a chance against Auburn, Mississippi State, and [insert first-round SEC opponent here].

(I feel like Rally Baby, repeatedly asking for "one more time!" while playing any number of games. We asked for one more win and got it. So let's ask for one more win.)

Really, though, Mizzou needed this game just to feel good again. The Tigers had lost 13 games in a row but had come devastatingly close in at least four of those losses, and it seemed like complete demoralization set in in Nashville on Saturday. They (and the fans) needed a reminder of what they could become, and they got it. Whether or not this is the last win of the season, it was a nice evening at Mizzou Arena.

---

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.