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Missouri has no excuse for being this bad at basketball

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HAPPY SUNDAY, EVERYBODY!

Jamie Squire/Getty Images

Your Trifecta: Wright-Gant-Phillips.

Your Season Totals: Your Season Totals: Puryear 25, Phillips 20, Wright 16, Clark 15, Walton 12, Gant 12, Isabell 9, VanLeer 7, Woods 5, Allen 2, Rosburg 3. Freshmen 64, sophomores 39, juniors 20, seniors 2.

That is indeed pretty scary there, Coach.

Miss. St. 76, Missouri 62

Mizzou
Miss. St.
Pace (No. of Possessions) 70.0
Points Per Possession (PPP) 0.89 1.09
Points Per Shot (PPS) 1.00 1.25
2-PT FG% 56.8% 52.6%
3-PT FG% 8.0% 34.8%
FT% 77.8% 63.2%
True Shooting % 44.3% 54.8%
FTA/FGA 29.0% 31.1%
Mizzou Miss. St.
Assists 11 13
Steals 8 5
Turnovers 10 13
Ball Control Index (BCI)
(Assists + Steals) / TO
1.90 1.38
Mizzou Miss. St.
Expected Offensive Rebounds 14.0 12.7
Offensive Rebounds 11 13
Difference -3.0 +0.3
  • Mississippi State was without its best player, didn't shoot incredibly well, turned the ball over 13 times, and merely broke even in terms of offensive rebounds.
  • Mississippi State is either the second- or third-worst team in the SEC.
  • Mississippi State led Missouri by 22 points five minutes into the second half. In Columbia.
  • Missouri shot 25 3-pointers despite making only two of them and despite making 57% of its 2-pointers.
  • Mississippi State is almost literally the worst defensive rebounding team in the country -- the Bulldogs rank 325th in defensive rebounding rate. Mizzou came up three offensive rebounds short of expectations.
  • Missouri now ranks 281st in offensive rebound rate. Maybe that makes a little sense because of the lack of size. But the Tigers also now rank 334th in 3PT%. They can't create a ton of shots near the basket because they get blocked (272nd in Block%), they can't shoot 3-pointers, and they can't grab offensive rebounds. And they're not incredible at avoiding turnovers. That leaves you ... few options for scoring.

Mizzou Player Stats

(Definitions at the bottom of the post.)

Player
AdjGS GmSc/Min Line
Namon Wright 16.6 0.64 26 Min, 16 Pts (6-12 FG, 1-5 3PT, 3-3 FT), 9 Reb (1 Off), 1 Ast, 2 TO, 2 PF
Jakeenan Gant 15.3 0.64 24 Min, 11 Pts (5-8 FG, 0-1 3PT, 1-2 FT), 5 Reb (3 Off), 1 Stl, 1 Blk, 3 PF
Terrence Phillips 10.7 0.29 37 Min, 10 Pts (3-12 FG, 1-8 3PT, 3-4 FT), 5 Reb, 4 Ast, 4 Stl, 2 TO, 4 PF
Ryan Rosburg 9.0 1.00 9 Min, 6 Pts (1-2 FG, 4-4 FT), 1 Reb, 1 Blk
K.J. Walton 6.2 0.29 21 Min, 7 Pts (2-5 FG, 0-2 3PT, 3-3 FT), 4 Reb, 1 TO, 1 PF
Wes Clark 3.2 0.11 28 Min, 4 Pts (2-8 FG, 0-5 3PT), 2 Reb (1 Off), 3 Ast, 2 Stl, 1 TO, 3 PF
D'Angelo Allen 3.0 0.30 10 Min, 4 Pts (2-3 FG), 2 Reb (1 Off), 1 Blk, 2 TO, 1 PF
Russell Woods 2.9 0.26 11 Min, 2 Pts (1-2 FG, 0-2 FT), 4 Reb (3 Off), 1 Ast, 1 TO, 1 PF
Kevin Puryear -3.2 -0.16 20 Min, 2 Pts (1-5 FG), 1 TO
Cullen VanLeer -3.2 -0.23 14 Min, 0 Pts (0-5 FG, 0-4 3PT), 2 Ast
Jimmy Barton 1.5 N/A 0+ Min, 1 Stl
Player Usage% Floor% Touches/
Poss.
%Pass %Shoot %Fouled %T/O
Namon Wright 29% 43% 2.5 26% 53% 12% 9%
Jakeenan Gant 19% 55% 1.2 0% 81% 19% 0%
Terrence Phillips 21% 31% 3.2 57% 29% 9% 5%
Ryan Rosburg 21% 52% 1.8 0% 35% 65% 0%
K.J. Walton 17% 38% 1.2 0% 57% 32% 11%
Wes Clark 16% 29% 2.7 66% 30% 0% 4%
D'Angelo Allen 25% 35% 1.4 0% 60% 0% 40%
Russell Woods 18% 31% 2.8 55% 19% 18% 9%
Kevin Puryear 15% 14% 0.9 0% 83% 0% 17%
Cullen VanLeer 18% 13% 3.4 70% 30% 0% 0%
  • Mizzou has 10 games left this year. Namon Wright is averaging about 3.6 3-point attempts per game ... and is making 26% of them. Assuming he's got about 36 3-pointers left to take this year (3.6 * 10), he would have to make 21 of them (58%) to match last year's 3-point percentage. I mean, hey, I'm all for it. But that's probably not going to happen. It really is a damn shame, too, because as we've said many times now, the rest of Namon's game seems to have improved. Wright got swatted at least once, but he was still 5-for-7 on 2-pointers and got to the line. He had a nice 3-point play in the second half, and he grabbed EIGHT defensive rebounds. He's trying.
  • Wes Clark's last 4 games: 8 PPG on just 29% 2PT, 29% 3PT, and just 6 FT attempts.
  • We got another reminder of what Jakeenan Gant could be. He made a few short jumpers and grabbed three offensive rebounds. He did attempt (and miss) another 3-pointer, but it was forgiven (by me) because a) his jumper had indeed been falling, if not from that far out, and b) it was later in the game and didn't really matter.
  • Man, I wish KJ Walton could shoot. He's got a lot of other really, really good traits. But unless you play defense like JT Tiller, you probably have to be able to shoot to be a serious weapon at 6'3.

Summary

I'm going to start the summary by paraphrasing a comment I made here yesterday.

We’ve seen that Wright and Clark are capable of scoring 25+. We’ve seen that Puryear is capable of scoring 20+. We’ve seen Gant running the floor and flying toward the basket. We’ve seen that Phillips can be a great hustle guy and passer. We've seen Allen can be a fantastic energy guy for small bursts of time. We’ve seen that Rosburg is at least capable of grabbing 5-8 RPGs. We’ve seen that VanLeer can knock down open shots and has good form. We’ve seen Tramaine Isabell go Full Clarence Gilbert here and there. We’ve seen that Walton can be semi-elite at getting to the rim and drawing fouls. That’s a lot of assets.

This makes sense, by the way, when you remember that Wright, Clark, Gant, and Walton were all four-star recruits, that Puryear had other power-conference offers, that Allen chose Missouri over Oklahoma, etc.

This team is indeed young as hell, and that's going to hold you back. And with only one full recruiting cycle in the books (and the transfer of Johnathan Williams III), Kim Anderson doesn't yet have the size situation where he wants it. These are legitimate reasons for a second-year coach to be struggling. They are reasons why you should almost never get rid of a guy after just two years. You just don't know enough yet.

Maybe Mack Rhoades is indeed prepared to give Anderson a third year on the job because of this. Or maybe he just doesn't think he could woo an attractive coach at the moment, with this level of poor play, slight NCAA sanctions (with the possibility for more, I guess), etc. Maybe he's seen this team behind the scenes and has seen improvement that hasn't reached the surface yet.

And maybe, in his third year, everything clicks for Anderson. He figures out how to better keep his team's confidence well-calibrated, and the combination of greater experience and an influx of size (and a potentially awesome wing in Willie Jackson) pushes Missouri a few leaps forward. It really is possible, and we get examples of similar (though perhaps not this extreme) turnarounds every year. This year, USC is 16-5 and 28th in KenPom after winning just 23 games (with sub-150 rankings) Andy Enfield's first two years. It does happen.

But any pro-Anderson case requires us to completely ignore what's happening on the court. Youth and size will hold you back, but the runs this team allows are simply unacceptable. Any decent team, it seems, can rip off a 17-0 run at some point, and Mississippi State, a wholly mediocre team without its best player, went on easy runs of 13-3, 14-3, 13-6, and 10-2 on Saturday night. There are excuses for struggling; there's no excuse for this.

A team with this clear potential cannot allow this. Missouri lacks any semblance of confidence, and in last night's accidentally damning press conference, Anderson pretty clearly admitted that he has no idea why or how to fix it.

Giving Anderson a third year requires a leap of faith that has no evidence behind it. Maybe he gets it, and maybe it works out fine. But I'm not sure my confidence in that has ever been lower ... and it was never high to begin with.

---

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.