Every year, Bill goes out of town and I get to do Study Hall. It’s a fun little project for me because it removes me from one role and inserts me into another one. The fact this happened for a game I didn’t get to watch the full 40 minutes of is sort of fitting.
Mostly because I like to give Bill a hard time about not actually watching the basketball games. Instead, it’s my turn to look at Study Hall stats and tell a story about a game.
It’s probably helpful to have Matt doing good work on the post-game wraps. Read them here:
Tigers ride Jontay Porter’s rediscovered touch to an easy road victory
and my favorite:
One final thought: Mizzou closed out
A follow up to the second piece. This is a really important piece because there is some lazy analysis amongst the post-game (and in-game) reactions I’ve read that said MIzzou’s defense in the early going was bad. Matt’s piece pretty much proves that analysis wrong. I love bucking conventional wisdom.
Going into the game we told you Vanderbilt wasn’t very good on defense. Then Missouri puts up a 72.3% true shooting percentage and basically proves the scout correct. The Tigers ball handling issues were a severe issue early with nine turnovers in the first half, but they turned it around and absolutely torched Vandy in the second half.
*****psssst.... mizzou won the bci battle*****
Missouri won because they kept close enough through the Commodores hot streak from deep in the first half and valued the ball in the second half which allowed them to keep their own hot pace.
Vandy struggled to stop the Tiger offense, and anytime you go on the road and score 1.64 points for every shot you take, you’re probably going to be okay.
- Losing a rebounding battle to a team virtually devoid of size isn’t good
- However, when you aren’t missing shots it’s hard to get rebounds, and Mizzou didn’t miss many shots
- Defensively the Tigers forced Vandy to make guarded shots
- Vandy failed to make guarded shots after the first 10 minutes
Your Trifecta: Porter-Barnett-Geist
When Jontay is this good it takes pretty much all the pressure off anyone else. Porter has been the KenPom MVP in five games, but this was the masterpiece. He grabbed about one-fourth of available rebounds and tallied nearly one-third of the points. And I’ll give you a rec if you remember his miss. It seemed like Jontay didn’t miss, and all this on a night when 99% of the Mizzou fans were hoping to see his brother suit up for the first time since the first game. But it was the 18-year-old should-be high schooler who was the best player on the court this night.
Jeremiah Tilmon was also nearly unstoppable down low. He did miss three shots but six boards and an efficient floor game while only fouling thrice is what most envision a sophomore season might look like for Tilmon who set the tone for the Tigers early.
The last time Kassius Robertson did not score in double digits was against Texas A&M in College Station. The last time Robertson did not make the trifecta was also ... AH JUST KIDDING, he missed the trifecta against Ole Miss at home. He was pretty inefficient that game. But that’s the only game he’s missed the trifecta since Texas A&M. Robertson has been terrific and he was due to take a backseat.
Not to be overlooked, Brett Rau played minutes, and while he didn’t accomplish much, he didn’t hurt Mizzou either. If Mizzou is playing in an NCAA tournament game while giving Brett Rau regular minutes and starting Cullen VanLeer, you know Cuonzo Martin is a wizard.
Also, I’m pulling for Cullen, he’s bound to hit a three again soon.
And Congrats to Kevin Puryear, who went over the 1,000 point mark.
Congratulations to the newest member of #Mizzou's 1️⃣0️⃣0️⃣0️⃣ Point Club...— Mizzou Basketball (@MizzouHoops) February 28, 2018
#️⃣2️⃣4️⃣ @CallMe_KP24 #MIZ pic.twitter.com/u8arQX57Jk
Pretty great story. Puryear suffered through a lot over the previous two years. This year he’s hit game winners and is starting for a likely tournament team.
Uh-oh, Floor Watch... I’d be lying if I knew the exact stat but I know it’s something like Mizzou is really really hard to beat (maybe undefeated) when they have three or more players at 40% Floor%. Against Vandy Jontay (SEVENTY FOUR%), Jordan Barnett, Jordan Geist and... REED NIKKO all eclipsed 40%. Jeremiah Tilmon and Kevin Puryear were at 39% each. Seems okay.
What’s interesting is the %Pass, where four players were all over 60%, meaning the ball movement was good. And Geist was playing an excellent role as a point guard with a 74% pass rate and just a 5% turnover rate.
When Mizzou doesn’t have to deal with pressure, they’ll still turn the ball over, but one who doesn’t is Geist.
On to Arkansas. An important game, to say the least.