I’m really not looking forward to this.
Frankly, watching Missouri basketball isn’t something I look forward to any more. In 2017, Missouri hired Cuonzo Martin and he turned an 8 win team into an NCAA tournament team with mostly minimal turnover. It was just fun to be excited about basketball again. You knew they were likely to take a step back the following year, but it felt even over those two seasons he was establishing a floor for what Missouri basketball was going to be. Through some hard luck, they sunk in 2019 an again in 2020. But they competed, and won more games than most expected, then got back to the NCAA Tournament last year.
Martin gutted this last roster far more this past season than he did in year one, and these results have been so much worse than anything you could have expected. Watching the game against Wichita State wasn’t fun. It probably didn’t help that we sat through a horrific passing performance for Mizzou Football just hours before, but watching Mizzou miss it’s first 11 3-point attempts while managing to fall behind a Wichita State squad having it’s own offensive issues... it just never felt like they were going to push through and win the game.
But lets rip this band-aid off.
- The Points per possession were actually a hair under 0.80: but the Spreadsheet I use rounds up so only two decimal points are shown. Missouri has already had four of their six games with an efficiency below 0.90. For some context there, they had 5 games below 0.90 last season, and Frank Haith’s Missouri teams had 8 such games in three seasons.
- It’s really hard to win when you can’t make or at least be a threat, to make a 3-point shot: Missouri made just two 3-pointers against Wichita State. It’s the second time they’ve made only two 3s in a game this year. That total equals the total number of games with 2 made threes or fewer in Cuonzo Martin’s tenure (they made 2 vs Emporia State in 2017, and made 2 vs Butler in 2019).
- If you’re having trouble making shots, attack the rim and try to get to the line, right?: Missouri shot just 13 Free Throws, and then worse made only 7.
When you look at how bad Wichita State’s numbers were, a 26% turnover rate, just 0.88 points per possession, sub 50% from the FT line... there’s no way they should have won this game. And in the end it wasn’t really all that close. Once WSU extended the lead to 9, and then 11 with 10:57 to play in the game. it just never felt like Missouri would mount a comeback. The lead was never cut below 8 points until there were 16 seconds to play when Amari Davis scored a layup.
Your Trifecta: Amari Davis, Jarron Coleman, Javon Pickett
On the season: Kobe Brown 10, Ronnie DeGray III 7, Amari Davis 6, Javon Pickett 4, Jarron Coleman 4, DaJuan Gordon 2, Yaya Keita 1, Jordan Wilmore 1
Again if you’re looking for positives it’s there in Amari Davis. He just needs to get more looks and earlier in the game. Right now Davis usage is hanging around 18% when he’s on the floor. But you’d really want that to go up.
I really expected to get more from Coleman to this point. He’s been good at distributing the ball, but he’s sporting a 26% turnover rate.
This is the second game in a row where Yaya Keita had a GS/Min score in the top 3, but didn’t play enough to make the trifecta.
If Ronnie DeGray isn’t productive it seems to bog down the offense, and that just can’t be a key to the offense.
Just one player above the magical 40% floor rate, and the next highest percentage was from a guy who played just a single minute. When you see Coleman’s usage and his pass rate, it all actually looks pretty good.
I really don’t know how you don’t find any minutes for Anton Brookshire, and Sean Durugordon. For all the troubles Missouri has had offensively, not trying something else seems to be at least a portion of the problem. The offense you’ve crafted isn’t putting the players you’re playing in positions to score.
And if your offense is geared to get Javon Pickett the ball in a dribble hand off, or off a ball screen, then there might be a functional issue with the approach. If going into the offseason the goal was to supplement Kobe Brown and Pickett, it wasn’t the right approach. Instead of looking to replace Dru Smith’s production, and Xavier Pinson’s production, and Jeremiah TIlmon’s production, the pieces look like they were added to build around the two guys who were role players on a good team.
In the KenPom Era (26 seasons), here’s how Missouri’s current offense ranks against the past:
- Adj O: 26th
- eFG%: 26th
- TOR%: 22nd
- 2FG%: 22nd
- 3FG%: 26th
In 3 of the 5 categories, it’s the worst. Missouri’s offense has a 0.94 raw offensive points per possession so far, and that’s having played just two top 50 defenses. Going up against Florida State will give you problems, and the Shockers are also trending at a top 50 rate. Maybe going against an NAIA squad like Paul Quinn will cure some offensive ills, but a major part of the problem is putting the right players in the right spots to make shots.
This is trending towards a very long winter in Columbia. Not that this team doesn’t have enough talent to turn it around, but it starts with the staff making the decision to ride with the best offensive unit, and get their best offensive players in better position to score. That’s not a spot up from DaJaun Gordon, or a post up for Jordan Wilmore. This team isn’t good enough to waste offensive possessions are unsuccessful plays.
If you were hoping for the best possible start, you were probably hopeful for a 5-1 start. At this point Mizzou has dropped on game you didn’t expect them to, and one toss up. We can argue about whether you should beat a Wichita State team at home (you should expect to win that game), but according to the stats it was always going to be a relatively close game. Beat Paul Quinn, go win at L*berty, and maybe you’re starting to build at the right as the matchup in Lawrence looms.
True Shooting Percentage (TS%): Quite simply, this calculates a player’s shooting percentage while taking into account 2FG%, 3FG%, and FT%. The formula is Total Points / 2 * (FGA + (0.475+FTA)). The 0.475 is a Free Throw modifier. KenPomeroy and other College Basketball sites typically use 0.475, while the NBA typically uses 0.44. That’s basically what TS% is. A measure of scoring efficiency based on the number of points scored over the number of possessions in which they attempted to score, more here.
Effective Field Goal Percentage (eFG%): This is similar to TS%, but takes 3-point shooting more into account. The formula is FGM + (0.5 * 3PM) / FGA
So think of TS% as scoring efficiency, and eFG% as shooting efficiency, more here.
Expected Offensive Rebounds: Measured based upon the average rebounds a college basketball team gets on both the defensive and offensive end. This takes the overall number of missed shots (or shots available to be rebounded) and divides them by the number of offensive rebounds and compares them with the statistical average.
AdjGS: A take-off of the Game Score metric (definition here) accepted by a lot of basketball stat nerds. It takes points, assists, rebounds (offensive & defensive), steals, blocks, turnovers and fouls into account to determine an individual’s “score” for a given game. The “adjustment” in Adjusted Game Score is simply matching the total game scores to the total points scored in the game, thereby redistributing the game’s points scored to those who had the biggest impact on the game itself, instead of just how many balls a player put through a basket.
Offensive Rating (ORtg): Similar to Adjusted game score, but this looks at how many points per possession a player would score if they were averaged over 100 possessions.
Usage%: This “estimates the % of team possessions a player consumes while on the floor” (via sports-reference.com/cbb). The usage of those possessions is determined via a formula using field goal and free throw attempts, offensive rebounds, assists and turnovers. The higher the number, the more prevalent a player is (good or bad) in a team’s offensive outcome.
Floor%: Via sports-reference.com/cbb: Floor % answers the question, “When a Player uses a possession, what is the probability that his team scores at least 1 point?”. The higher the Floor%, the more frequently the team probably scores when the given player is involved.
Touches/Possession: Using field goal attempts, free throw attempts, assists and turnovers, touches attempt to estimate, “the number of times a player touched the ball in an attacking position on the floor.” Take the estimated touches and divide it by the estimated number of possessions for which a player was on the court, and you get a rough idea of how many times a player touched the ball in a given possession. For point guards, you’ll see the number in the 3-4 range. For shooting guards and wings, 2-3. For an offensively limited center, 1.30. You get the idea.
Anyway, using the Touches figure, we can estimate the percentage of time a player “in an attacking position” passes, shoots, turns the ball over, or gets fouled.