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We almost certainly know how this Missouri Basketball story is going to end

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Arizona v Missouri Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images

Your Trifecta: Walton-Jackson-Phillips. Walton and Jackson shot 7-for-13 from the field (54%). The rest of the team shot 13-for-43 (37%).

Eastern Illinois 67, Missouri 64

Mizzou
Eastern Illinois
Pace (No. of Possessions) 69.4
Points Per Possession (PPP) 0.92 0.96
Points Per Shot (PPS) 1.14 1.02
2-PT FG% 52.6% 37.8%
3-PT FG% 16.7% 27.6%
FT% 62.5% 88.2%
True Shooting % 48.1% 45.6%
FTA/FGA 42.9% 25.8%
Mizzou Eastern Illinois
Assists 12 11
Steals 7 9
Turnovers 15 13
Ball Control Index (BCI)
(Assists + Steals) / TO
1.27 1.54
Mizzou Eastern Illinois
Expected Offensive Rebounds 13.1 15.6
Offensive Rebounds 12 16
Difference -1.1 +0.4

Mizzou’s up-to-date Five Factor rankings, per Pomeroy:

  • Effective FG%: 313th on offense, 10th on defense
  • Turnover %: 61st on offense, 93rd on defense
  • Off. Reb. %: 185th on offense, 127th on defense
  • FTA/FGA: 113th on offense, 97th on defense

One of these things, not like the other ones...

We technically learned nothing new about the team on Saturday at Mizzou Arena. We know that Mizzou is going to shoot horribly, that its opponent isn’t going to shoot much better, that rebounding is going to be a wash/slight loss, and that Mizzou is going to do a decent job of drawing fouls and avoiding committing them. That’s more or less what happened.

Saturday simply confirmed again that Missouri is such a dismal shooting team that if anything else goes wrong, the Tigers can’t beat even a top-250 team.

Against EIU, that “anything else” was ball-handling. Rebounding was again mostly a wash (though with Reed Nikko returning and Jordan Barnett returning, you’d have hoped Mizzou could have come up with another defensive rebound or two), and EIU shot as poorly as the Tigers. But Mizzou’s 15 turnovers (nine from EIU steals) ended up turning the BCI battle and flipping enough possessions to make the difference.

Of course, a lot of things make the difference when you lose by 3, I guess.

Mizzou Player Stats

Player
AdjGS GmSc/Min Line
K.J. Walton 10.4 0.74 14 Min, 9 Pts (3-5 FG, 3-5 FT), 2 Stl, 2 PF
Willie Jackson 9.6 0.53 18 Min, 9 Pts (4-8 FG, 1-1 FT), 5 Reb (3 Off), 1 Blk, 1 TO, 2 PF
Terrence Phillips 9.3 0.36 26 Min, 8 Pts (1-6 FG, 1-4 3PT, 5-6 FT), 3 Reb, 7 Ast, 1 Stl, 3 TO, 3 PF
Reed Nikko 7.7 0.70 11 Min, 4 Pts (2-2 FG, 0-2 FT), 5 Reb (3 Off), 1 Stl, 2 Blk, 2 TO, 1 PF
Jordan Geist 7.1 0.48 15 Min, 6 Pts (2-3 FG, 1-2 3PT, 1-2 FT), 4 Reb, 2 Ast, 2 TO
Cullen VanLeer 7.0 0.25 28 Min, 6 Pts (2-6 FG, 0-3 3PT, 2-2 FT), 5 Reb, 1 Ast
Kevin Puryear 5.0 0.21 24 Min, 8 Pts (4-9 FG, 0-2 3PT, 0-1 FT), 6 Reb (2 Off), 1 Ast, 1 Stl, 3 TO, 2 PF
Russell Woods 3.5 0.27 13 Min, 6 Pts (2-5 FG, 2-3 FT), 1 Reb (1 Off), 1 Stl, 1 TO, 3 PF
Jordan Barnett 1.5 0.06 24 Min, 3 Pts (1-6 FG, 0-4 3PT, 1-2 FT), 5 Reb, 1 Ast, 1 Stl, 1 TO
Mitchell Smith 0.0 0.00 4 Min
Frankie Hughes -1.9 -0.08 23 Min, 5 Pts (2-6 FG, 1-3 3PT, 0-0 FT), 1 Reb, 2 TO, 3 PF

KJ Walton has become the go-to “When nothing else is working, have him hurl himself at the rim” weapon. (Side note: Walton’s act only seems to work when nothing else is working, which is strange.) He and Willie Jackson combined to score 18 points on 13 field goal attempts and six field goals. Certainly not bad. Plus, Jackson contributed three offensive rebounds, basically playing exactly as I hoped he would this year.

The problem: They played only 32 combined minutes. Cullen VanLeer and Frankie Hughes, meanwhile: 51 minutes, 5.1 Adj. GS points

I generally set the bar around 0.4 or 0.5 Adj. GS points per minute as a way of discerning who was playing well (at least as far as box score stats go). Three players topped 0.5: Walton, Jackson, and Nikko. They combined for 43 minutes.

When you’ve got three guys playing reasonably well, and they combine for 43 minutes on the court, that either means that your regulars are playing terribly or the way you distribute your minutes is off, perhaps by a lot. Or in this team’s case, both.

Player Usage% Floor% Touches/
Poss.
%Pass %Shoot %Fouled %T/O
K.J. Walton 25% 50% 1.9 0% 55% 45% 0%
Willie Jackson 26% 41% 1.6 0% 81% 8% 10%
Terrence Phillips 22% 37% 6.1 75% 11% 9% 5%
Reed Nikko 22% 37% 1.5 0% 35% 29% 35%
Jordan Geist 19% 44% 3.5 64% 16% 9% 11%
Cullen VanLeer 12% 39% 1.4 43% 44% 12% 0%
Kevin Puryear 25% 30% 2.2 31% 48% 4% 16%
Russell Woods 28% 33% 1.9 0% 59% 29% 12%
Jordan Barnett 16% 20% 1.7 40% 41% 11% 7%
Frankie Hughes 17% 21% 1.0 0% 75% 0% 25%

Kudos to Terrence Phillips for figuring out how to dish seven assists when nobody could make a shot. Jordan Geist actually had a decent game, too, aside from a horrendous, ill-timed five-second turnover, anyway.

Here are some links to game recaps if you are inclined to click: MUtigers.com, The Trib, Post-Dispatch, The Missourian, KC Star, PowerMizzou. They all say the same thing.

We all know where this is headed. Kim Anderson has about 21 games left to get an incredibly young, increasingly demoralized squad to turn things around enough to save his job. It’s probably not going to happen. So on we go. The season isn’t going to end for nearly three more months, and whether he gets fired soon or later in the year (and it really doesn’t matter which), he’s probably going to get fired.

The Tigers’ projected win total per Pomeroy has fallen from the 13-15 win range back to 11-19. That would give Anderson an incredible 30 wins in three seasons.

Between 2009-12, Mizzou averaged 27 wins per year.

Fortunes change quickly sometimes.