My post-season project extends for the fourth week now. Study Hall for the season but broken down by:
Last week was bad, this week is going to be worse. Keep you heads up everyone, we’re close to seeing the best version of Missouri. So just stick it out for one more week. We’ve got some positive recruiting news to chew on if you need a rinse after this.
Here are the games we’re looking at:
- at #48 Mississippi State
- at #60 Alabama
- vs #131 Texas A&M
- at #10 West Virginia
- vs #96 Georgia
- at #69 South Carolina
- at #131 Texas A&M
I went back and forth on including Georgia or not. I decided to leave it in as part of the entire streak and it actually softened the numbers a bit. But I’ll do my best to mention the differences when they stand out.
Let’s jump in... into this cold cold cold pool.
- Control the tempo, control the game: Of all the stats we’ve looked at so far this is the fastest pace we’ve seen. Considering WVU, A&M, and MSU all play slower than Missouri, getting turned up by South Carolina, Alabama, Georgia isn’t enough to offset those differences.
- 0.87 PPP isn’t going to beat anyone: Well, nearly anyone... considering there were five teams who had worse offenses on the season in AdjustedO (I’m actually stunned it’s that many — Missouri played against one of them in Chicago State). Missouri had that kind of offensive output against SEC teams... which will net you losses like they had. The NET +/- per possession is 0.21. Take away Georgia and that builds to -0.23 points per possession.
- On top of that: Cuonzo Martin and his team get busted on the class. They under performed on the offensive glass and under performed on the defensive glass too. So a team shooting 38.6% from 2-point range, 26.7% from 3-point range, and an effective field goal percentage of 39.3% couldn’t get rebounds either.
Your Trifecta: Dru Smith, Reed Nikko, Mark Smith
Dru Smith was about the only constant through all this, and you can see the pressure mount on his in this stretch. His ORtg suffered, and that 88 ORtg was actually 5 points better than if you subtracted the Georgia game.
But I think we’re seeing the real patter of the seasons struggles. Early some pointed to Javon Pickett as the trigger for the team, but in reality is was Xavier Pinson.
Pinson’s up-and-down nature mirrored Mizzou’s offensive struggles. When X played with an ORtg of 100 or better Missouri was 9-2. Four games where they didn’t get Pinson playing well offensively were in the preseason. They were provided consistency in the form of Dru Smith, but when he was asked to do more because others were doing less his productivity sank like a rock.
Sticking with Pinson, for me I think you look at his Usage Rate and then look at his Floor Percentage it’s an indicator of his production. Xavier nearly always has a high-ish usage, and in this stretch of games he was nearly useless from the floor. He had 16 points against Georgia, so those numbers are even uglier if you remove that game. A super ugly 0.06 game score a minute kinda jumps out if you remove the Georgia game.
Reed Nikko was about the only consistent thing going... other than Parker Braun and Axel Okongo. Two very high usage guys in the offense.
Well, let’s not dwell on this too much. I think you can see how much Missouri needed a consistent scoring threat, and without even Jeremiah Tilmon and Mark Smith (for a stretch) things got even worse offensively. Pinson was important mainly because of what he flashed down the stretch. With a viable option to run the offense through with Dru Smith, the team had more legs.
If only they were in pursuit of a good offensive option this spring... Stay tuned for that update.
Next week will be the final installment. The “lets fill you with hope” post where you project short term success over the entire season and get your hopes up about next season. Like clockwork.