The whole concept of Study Hall is an interesting one. Data analysis works best with more data, and games, specifically basketball games, are prone to far more wild swings in performance than even football. It’s for this season I hope to have enough time to make some tweaks to the formulas and the format of Study Hall for next season (**if you have suggestions on things you’d like to see leave them in the comments as I’m open to ideas right now**).
We do however have a full season of data to look at now. However you all watched this team play so it’ll be interesting to see if there is anything surprising in here, or if this ends up being a “yeah we pretty much expected that” kind of post. After all we’ve seen, with the ebbs and flows of the season Mizzou finished mostly ok offensively, kinda decent defensively, and we know how important Jordan Geist was.
- One thing I might look at is incorporating defensive rebounding totals in with expected rebounds: Cuonzo Martin experimented with lineups all over the place so the consistency of rebounding wasn’t always there, but Missouri was the #4 offensive rebounding team in the SEC and the #1 defensive rebounding team in the league. There were eight games where Missouri lost the rebounding battle out of 32, and they won the battle in 9 of their last 10 (their last game they lost the rebound battle to Auburn — and the game before that streak they lost to A&M without Tilmon). It seemed clear down the stretch the Tigers figured out how to win the glass.
- I’m not sure what a Cuonzo Martin finished product looks like: But the season loss in BCI isn’t surprising. In the coming seasons the Tigers really need to figure out their turnover numbers. I’m not sure Martin is every going to field a team which takes the ball away at a high rate, but the 16.7% assist rate isn’t great. KenPom calculates Assist Rate on assists per FGM, this calculation is assists/possessions. Generally assisted baskets are better looks and more easily converted, so it doesn’t matter which you use, higher is better. In KenPom Mizzou was 299th in AssistRate.
- An area I’m really interested in watching going forward: is Mizzou’s 2FG shooting numbers. I expect they’ll continue to shoot well from 3FG in the coming years with Mark Smith and Torrence Watson shooting from the outside, but the 2FG finishing needs to improve. I’m sure we’ll talk about this more in the offseason but this is the fourth season in the last five where Mizzou’s 2FG shooting was below 50%.
Overall i think the offensive framework that’s been put in over the last two years is a good one, and it’s one that can really exploit defenses and generate good looks. I think there’s a reason why Mark Smith shot 47.5% from deep and Watson shot well late... they get good open looks. With some physical maturity and a little more athleticism you hope a few more of those drives end with finishes.
Your Trifecta: Jordan Geist, Mark Smith, Jeremiah Tilmon
The top spot was of ZERO surprise. Jordan Geist was so good all year. But by missing 13 games its almost easy to forget how valuable Mark Smith was through the bulk of the season.
Tilmon, well we know the story, was so valuable to this team I think it’s apt he did actually finish in the season trifecta.
The freshmen were lumped all together, Watson and Pinson picked up steam late as Pickett’s back failed him down the stretch. Before the Florida game Pickett was actually well in front of both. He just needed to be healthy.
I almost left Guess off the list because it just seemed mean to let that line shine again, but Martin and his staff have a K.J. Santos problem. Maybe it’s Santos was adjusting to a new role and maybe if he gets a few more minutes on the wing he’ll improve but being the only guy in the negative for a game score on the season can’t be a good thing.
So here is where I talk about Floor%. It’s usually a good night offensively if four or more players are above 40% and Mizzou misses the cut with three. If there’s a bit of an issues it’s how grouped everyone is around 36-42%. This might explain some of the offensive issues a bit.
Not having a real go-to player shows where the usage stats ended up, the Tigers missed Jontay Porter offensively because of his ability to not only make shots but be a focal point offensively and pass out of double teams. When Tilmon became the focal point he struggled with a high turnover rate but when he wasn’t turning the ball over you can see how the offense could run.
Having a more steady hand at point guard next year should resolve a few of those issues, Dru Smith was known for his high efficiency, and Pinson should only improve. The combination of those two should help the ball handling get better, and consistent shooting from Watson and Smith might help Tilmon see fewer double teams.
By the end of the season the roles had been carved out more so than at any point of the year. The hope is Dru Smith and Mario McKinney can improve on the efficiency with which Jordan Geist played, and Tray Jackson can help with the four spot, and Mizzou’s youth will take a step forward. All of those things and you can see Mizzou taking the step forward they need to in order to put themselves back into the NCAA tournament.
Coming soon we’ll have plenty of post season reviews and coverage. So stay tuned to what’s coming in the days ahead.