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Missouri is turning the ball over a lot but also creating tons of assists

Here are today’s Mizzou Links.

It’s no secret: the Mizzou basketball team turns the ball over a lot. The Tigers are between above average and excellent in basically every other category, but ball-handling is an obvious, painful issue.


They’re getting to the line without fouling. They’re making shots and forcing misses. They’re grabbing offensive rebounds (Miami game aside) and doing a reasonably solid job of preventing you from doing the same. But oh, those turnovers.

The bad news is that Missouri’s point guard situation is still unsettled, and when that’s the case, your ball-handling is only going to improve so much.

The good news: a lot of this is the offensive system. Mizzou’s asking a lot of a lot of ball-handlers and is doing so without the bell cow that was supposed to lead the offense all year. In theory, that improves as the players get more and more used to their roles. In theory.

Martin claimed that Missouri’s offense has caused some of the turnovers. The first-year MU coach asks for all of his players to touch the ball, for post players to be strong passers and playmakers — and some players aren’t used to that responsibility yet.

“That’s a product of our offense, because we play in space with five guys; everybody touches the ball,” Martin said. “It’s not as if we have one or two guys do all the dribbling and passing. You’ve got the big guys handling the ball.”

While Missouri’s turnover rate is high, the most encouraging thing is the rate of assists to field goals made: 66 percent, eighth in the country. Without Michael Porter Jr., Mizzou is passing its way to open shots, which means it’s creating a lot of assists and a high field goal percentage. To a degree, that makes the turnovers worth it.

But let’s still see if we can jump into the top 200 in TO%, huh?

I talked a bit about this in this week’s appearance with George and Jay on the Closers, by the way.

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