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Missouri's offense has improved down the stretch, but oh, that defense...

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I'll be quick about this one since it's running late, and ... I'm not sure I have anything new to say about this game.

Crystal LoGiudice-USA TODAY Sports

Your Trifecta: Rosburg-Walton-Puryear.

Your Season Totals: Your Season Totals: Puryear 35, Phillips 25, Wright 23, Rosburg 21, Clark 18, Walton 17, Gant 14, Isabell 13, VanLeer 7, Woods 5, Allen 2. Freshmen 84, sophomores 52, juniors 23, seniors 21.

LSU 80, Missouri 71

Mizzou
LSU
Pace (No. of Possessions) 66.0
Points Per Possession (PPP) 1.08 1.21
Points Per Shot (PPS) 1.22 1.51
2-PT FG% 57.1% 59.5%
3-PT FG% 34.8% 37.5%
FT% 77.8% 75.0%
True Shooting % 57.3% 62.9%
FTA/FGA 15.5% 45.3%
Mizzou LSU
Assists 11 20
Steals 3 10
Turnovers 15 10
Ball Control Index (BCI)
(Assists + Steals) / TO
0.93 3.00
Mizzou LSU
Expected Offensive Rebounds 10.7 9.8
Offensive Rebounds 11 8
Difference +0.3 -1.8
  • At least Missouri's gotten a little bit creative down the stretch, what with Ryan Rosburg suddenly becoming an all-conference caliber center and the Tiger offense showing not only a pulse, but downright quality. Granted, that makes the constant defensive deficiencies a little less bearable, but ... one thing at a time, right?
  • Missouri has averaged no worse than 0.95 points per possession for eight straight games. Granted, 0.95 isn't an incredibly high bar, but ... it kind of is for this team, and Missouri has cleared it. Meanwhile, the Tigers have allowed under 1 point per possession just twice in the last nine games. A&M averaged 1.25, LSU 1.21. That's wretched. It's hard enough to win when you've got Missouri's offense, even if it is improving; it's harder if you turn every opponent into Missouri's 2012 offense (production-wise).
  • Granted, everything was a problem in the first half -- Mizzou shot 36% while LSU shot 58%. But after Mizzou's big run to cut the game to three points, the Tigers needed to make just a couple more stops, and they never came.

    Walton cuts the lead to 3 with a 3-pointer, and Antonio Blakeney makes a 3 on the other end.

    Phillips scores on a layup, and Tim Quarterman makes a 3.

    Walton makes a jumper, and Blakeney makes a jumper.

    Rosburg makes two free throws, and Ben Simmons makes two three throws.

    Rosburg makes one more, and Simmons makes two more.

    Puryear makes two freebies, and Simmons makes two more.

    Mizzou scored on Mizzou scored on five straight possessions and still watched a three-point deficit balloon back to eight. That's hard to do.

Mizzou Player Stats

(Definitions at the bottom of the post.)

Player
AdjGS GmSc/Min Line
Ryan Rosburg 17.5 0.58 30 Min, 13 Pts (5-7 FG, 3-5 FT), 5 Reb (4 Off), 3 Ast, 1 Blk, 2 TO, 5 PF
K.J. Walton 14.0 0.88 16 Min, 11 Pts (4-6 FG, 3-3 3PT), 1 Reb, 1 Ast, 1 PF
Kevin Puryear 11.2 0.43 26 Min, 13 Pts (4-8 FG, 3-5 3PT, 2-2 FT), 3 Reb (1 Off), 1 Ast, 3 TO, 2 PF
Terrence Phillips 10.8 0.33 33 Min, 13 Pts (5-11 FG, 1-4 3PT, 2-2 FT), 2 Reb, 4 Ast, 3 TO, 2 PF
Jakeenan Gant 9.1 0.57 16 Min, 6 Pts (3-4 FG, 0-1 3PT), 5 Reb (3 Off), 1 Blk, 2 TO
Namon Wright 6.7 0.21 32 Min, 5 Pts (2-6 FG, 1-3 3PT), 8 Reb, 1 Ast, 2 Stl, 2 TO, 1 PF
Cullen VanLeer 2.5 0.14 18 Min, 4 Pts (2-6 FG, 0-4 3PT), 1 Reb, 1 Ast
Russell Woods 1.2 0.16 8 Min, 2 Pts (1-2 FG), 2 Reb (1 Off), 3 PF
Jimmy Barton -0.6 -0.21 3 Min, 0 Pts (0-0 FG), 1 PF
Tramaine Isabell -0.8 -0.04 18 Min, 4 Pts (2-8 FG, 0-3 3PT), 3 Reb (2 Off), 1 Stl, 2 TO, 1 PF
Player Usage% Floor% Touches/
Poss.
%Pass %Shoot %Fouled %T/O
Ryan Rosburg 19% 54% 3.4 52% 21% 21% 6%
K.J. Walton 19% 66% 2.3 50% 50% 0% 0%
Kevin Puryear 24% 38% 2.3 30% 40% 15% 15%
Terrence Phillips 23% 42% 3.7 58% 27% 7% 7%
Jakeenan Gant 19% 46% 1.1 0% 67% 0% 33%
Namon Wright 13% 26% 1.3 42% 43% 0% 14%
Cullen VanLeer 17% 35% 2.0 50% 50% 0% 0%
Russell Woods 13% 46% 0.8 0% 100% 0% 0%
Tramaine Isabell 29% 18% 1.7 0% 80% 0% 20%
  • It's a shame that we're going to lose Rosburg after one more game, and we don't know who else might end up transferring, but it's certainly heartening to see the four freshmen combining for 38.5 Adj. GS points. Obviously Walton and Puryear aren't going to go a combined 6-for-8 from 3-point range that often (though they're welcome to do it as frequently as possible next year), but the freshmen were huge in the 19-6 run that brought Mizzou back. Now they just need a little bit of defensive help.
  • Walton, by the way, is now shooting 35% on 3-pointers for the year. Cullen VanLeer: 27%.
  • I'm sorry. That was mean and a step toward beating a dead horse. The Walton-vs-CVL debate has gone on for a couple of months, and I see what I think Kim Anderson sees in CVL -- I've studied him pretty closely in recent games, and he really doesn't take many wrong steps. He knows what he's supposed to do at all times, and that has to be incredibly comforting as a head coach. So I hate to further this pointless debate. But damn, do I like what Walton's going to be in a couple of years.
  • I guess Isabell was due a bad game, huh?

Summary

One game left. Pomeroy gives Mizzou about a 30% chance of beating Florida on Saturday, and while that would be great -- Rosburg's certainly earned one more happy moment -- like I said last week, I'm ready to dive into the offseason, see who else is leaving, and see who else might come back. And I'm also ready to see what guys like Phillips and Walton are capable of after an offseason of work.

---

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.