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Study Hall: Mizzou losses were every bit as bad as you remember them

It’s funny when nobody plays well how hard it gets to win.

study hall 2020

My post-season project extends for the third week. Study Hall for the season but broken down by:

  1. Mizzou vs Everyone
  2. When Mizzou won
  3. When Mizzou lost
  4. Mizzou on a skid
  5. Mizzou recovers

The next few weeks are going to be a little painful. I don’t think it’s rocket science to say when teams lose they usually play worse. But trying to extract what goes wrong in those moments, versus what goes right in wins is how you get better.

Unlike with the wins, we’re not throwing any games out.

So we looked at:

  • at #45 Xavier
  • vs #25 Butler
  • vs #36 Oklahoma
  • vs #318 Charleston Southern
  • at #29 Kentucky
  • vs #68 Tennessee
  • at #48 Mississippi State
  • at #60 Alabama
  • vs #131 Texas A&M
  • at #10 West Virginia
  • at #69 South Carolina
  • at #131 Texas A&M
  • at #37 LSU
  • at #47 Arkansas
  • vs #48 Mississippi State
  • at #102 Ole Miss

Let’s jump in.

Team Stats

study hall 2020 losses
  • PPP in wins... 1.06, PPP is losses 0.90. On the Defensive side they were 0.88 in wins, and 1.08 in losses. That’s a net difference of 0.16 on offense, and 0.20 on defense. So a net change of 0.36 points per possessions (36 points over 100). Over 67 possessions that’s a 24 point swing from a win to a loss. I think you can expect a swing but that’s a dramatic swing.
  • Geesh the defense gave up 57% in true shooting percentage: 34% from three, and over 51% from two... for a team which prides itself on defense isn’t good. Early on in the season Missouri was dragging their opponents down, even in losses, but that changed quickly once Tilmon and Smith got hurt.
  • Mizzou’s offensive BCI was relatively unchanged: but things defensively weren’t good either. Turnovers went from 15 to 12 per contest, and assists went from 9 to 12. They also lost the expected rebound battle which was a net 2.7 rebound swing.

Again, you expect things to be worse in losses, but the degree to which they’re worse is the problem. Missouri had 16 losses on the season and in those losses they were collectively 24 points worse per game than in wins. Of the 16 losses, 10 of those were by double digits. Only six games were by less than 10 points and one of those was to a sub 300 KenPom team.

This teams swings from good to bad were far too extreme.

Player Stats

Your Trifecta: Dru Smith, Jeremiah Tilmon Jr, Mark Smith

study hall 2020 losses

Dru Smith’s GameScore was roughly the same, but in spots 2 & three were guys that missed a fair amount of the losses. Tilmon missed 8 of the 16 losses, and Mark Smith missed 4 of the 16. So basically they’re contributing more in 8 and 12 games than the rest of the roster did with the whole 16.

Missouri’s best version of itself involved a secondary perimeter scorer and some kind of action from the wing. As you can see from the front court, they were able to sustain through the losses. Both Reed Nikko and Tilmon were productive, even Kobe Brown was productive.

Meanwhile Xavier Pinson had a 78 offensive rating, Javon Pickett was at 70, they were both bested by Torrence Watson’s 79 offensive rating. Just a whole lotta ugly numbers, which put Dru Smith in a real bind to try and find the rest of the production.

study hall 2020 losses

So for 16 games (more than half the season) Pinson was basically brutal. His Floor percentage dipped to 31%. Pickett’s was even worse at 27%.

But again look at the difference with the production between the front court and the back court. Scoring on the front court was really only negatively impacted by Mitchell Smith. Both Nikko and Tilmon were above 40% with expected usage. Parker Braun was productive too (and hey get em Axel).

Meanwhile everyone who launched a shot from beyond a few feet out just looks pretty bad. Dru Smiths numbers aren’t great, but they weren’t awful either.

We know the issues with this team, but they were exasperated in the losses like they were on steroids. When Missouri was playing well, they were able to generate some offense with their guards. Otherwise there was no offense.

The plan in the offseason is to flip about six of those losses into wins with more consistent offense. But I think they also need to shore up the defense too.

Next week we’ll dive deeper down the bad rabbit hole before clawing our way out. Maybe by the time we’re reading good things again Missouri will have a little more roster clarity to go with it.