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Missouri’s offense scored well against Auburn, but the defense imploded. It’s always something.

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Study Hall time

NCAA Basketball: Auburn at Missouri Denny Medley-USA TODAY Sports

Your Trifecta: Geist-Puryear-Phillips.

For the last few days, I’ve been in Boston for what is my sixth straight trip to the Sloan Sports Analytics Conference. The first year, 2012, Mizzou played Texas Tech on the Saturday of the conference, and I religiously followed along on the computer, even in panels.

For my second trip, 2013, I met a few Rock M’ers (including switzy and MU ‘97) at a bar on the Thursday night before to make sure we caught Mizzou’s 90-68 win over South Carolina. That Saturday, I kept up with the 89-76 home win over LSU on the computer, even in panels.

This year, I missed two games. I didn’t even try to catch a second of either one. I almost forgot to check the score yesterday.

I do not absolve myself of this. Good fans keep tabs through good and bad. But that almost perfectly captures the de-evolution of Mizzou’s basketball fortunes. The team has gone from Must Watch to “Oh, right, they had a game” in five years.

Auburn 89, Missouri 78

Mizzou Auburn
Pace (No. of Possessions) 72.0
Points Per Possession (PPP) 1.08 1.24
Points Per Shot (PPS) 1.22 1.56
2-PT FG% 34.6% 74.2%
3-PT FG% 34.2% 34.6%
FT% 80.8% 57.1%
True Shooting % 51.7% 64.2%
FTA/FGA 40.6% 49.1%
Mizzou Auburn
Assists 14 16
Steals 6 6
Turnovers 8 12
Ball Control Index (BCI)
(Assists + Steals) / TO
2.50 1.83
Mizzou Auburn
Expected Offensive Rebounds 15.2 10.5
Offensive Rebounds 10 9
Difference -5.2 -1.5

Didn’t watch a second. But it appears Mizzou lost this one with defense. The Tigers averaged 1.08 points per possession, which would have been substandard for the 2012 team but was far above normal this year. But the defense made Auburn look like 2012 Mizzou, apparently. Auburn made THREE-QUARTERS OF ITS 2-POINTERS. At that point, it didn’t matter that Mizzou won the ball-handling battle or outshot AU from the free throw line.

Mizzou Player Stats

Player AdjGS GmSc/Min Line
Jordan Geist 21.9 0.78 28 Min, 13 Pts (4-8 FG, 4-6 3PT, 1-2 FT), 6 Reb (3 Off), 5 Ast, 1 Stl, 1 TO, 1 PF
Kevin Puryear 20.1 0.56 36 Min, 19 Pts (4-14 FG, 1-3 3PT, 10-12 FT), 8 Reb (2 Off), 1 Ast, 1 PF
Terrence Phillips 13.7 0.40 34 Min, 15 Pts (4-11 FG, 3-9 3PT, 4-4 FT), 5 Ast, 1 Stl, 3 TO, 3 PF
Jordan Barnett 9.4 0.33 28 Min, 12 Pts (4-11 FG, 2-9 3PT, 2-2 FT), 4 Reb (1 Off), 1 Stl, 1 TO, 3 PF
Reed Nikko 8.6 1.23 7 Min, 4 Pts (1-1 FG, 2-2 FT), 2 Reb (1 Off), 2 Stl, 1 Blk, 4 PF
Russell Woods 3.0 0.12 25 Min, 6 Pts (2-4 FG, 2-2 FT), 2 Reb (1 Off), 1 TO, 5 PF
Frankie Hughes 2.8 0.12 23 Min, 9 Pts (3-10 FG, 3-8 3PT), 4 Reb, 1 Ast, 2 TO, 3 PF
Cullen VanLeer 1.5 0.12 12 Min, 0 Pts (0-3 FG, 0-3 3PT), 1 Reb (1 Off), 2 Ast, 1 Stl
Adam Wolf 0.0 0.00 1 Min
K.J. Walton -3.0 -0.50 6 Min, 0 Pts (0-2 FG, 0-2 FT), 2 Reb (1 Off), 2 PF
Player Usage% Floor% Touches/
Poss.
%Pass %Shoot %Fouled %T/O
Jordan Geist 17% 49% 4.0 73% 20% 4% 2%
Kevin Puryear 26% 36% 2.3 20% 47% 34% 0%
Terrence Phillips 22% 38% 3.8 63% 24% 7% 6%
Jordan Barnett 22% 32% 1.4 0% 80% 12% 7%
Reed Nikko 13% 69% 1.1 0% 37% 63% 0%
Russell Woods 11% 40% 0.7 0% 60% 25% 15%
Frankie Hughes 25% 23% 2.2 33% 56% 0% 11%
Cullen VanLeer 12% 20% 3.4 80% 20% 0% 0%
K.J. Walton 23% 0% 1.7 0% 54% 46% 0%

I’m at least happy that Kevin Puryear had another decent scoring game before the end of the season. He had fallen into a funk, scoring 14 points on 5-for-26 shooting over the previous three games, so it was nice that he got to rebound a bit. Meanwhile, Jordan Geist was a man possessed on offense. Both good things.

But if the opponent doesn’t miss, you probably aren’t going to win.

These Study Halls have been on auto-pilot, and I apologize. But the season’s almost over. There’s a chance we care again soon.