The Braggin’ Rights rivalry is a bit of a weird game. Two regional teams who share a border and just setting an annual game in a consistent time frame and let things work themselves out and suddenly the Illini are one of our more consistent rivals. Officially the “Braggin’ Rights” part of this game came around in the early 80s, with the two programs at a crescendo of success. Illinois and Missouri were two of the more consistently good programs from 1980 to the late 1990s. Illinois missed the NCAA tournament just four times from 1980 to 2000. While Missouri missed the tournament just five times in that same span.
But since the 2000-01 season, Missouri has just 7 wins in the series, and three of those were over the previous three years. The previous four games came when Mike Anderson was revving up at the same time Bruce Weber had lost Bill Self’s recruits, and eventually turned the program over the John Groce.
I’m not sure the point of this intro really. I think I’m just avoiding talking about the game. But while the last three wins were nice, Illinois’ upswings in more recent seasons have been more up than Missouri’s, so while Illinois is on a bit of a high point... the Tigers are most definitely not.
- I’m going to start with defense, because this is the most intriguing part for me: Cuonzo has long been known as a defensive coach and he’s really yet to unlock the key to this team and it’s defense. But 1.25 ppp and 67% eFG rate is awful. On top of that Missouri let Illinois gobble up 35% of the shots they did miss. And it’s just like a Bingo card of how things aren't working with this collection of talent on the roster. There’s no real reason for them to be this poor at the things they’re poor at. At least when it comes to playing against good teams like Illinois or Kansas or Florida State.
- Rivalry games are always filled with weirdness: and early on it looked like Missouri was going to hang in and make it interesting. After DaJuan and Javon canned 3s in the early minutes I had a momentary thought maybe this was going to be their outlier shooting night. But I can’t imagine there are many power conference teams you’re going to beat scoring 0.89 points per possession and 41% eFG.
- You have to shoot SOME 3s in todays game: I get when people get upset at a certain volume of 3s. And Missouri certainly taking 37% of their shots from behind the arc isn’t a recipe for success. After making their first 2 attempts, Missouri made just 4 of 21, which is right about their season average.
Your Trifecta: Jarron Coleman, Trevon Brazile, Kobe Brown
On the season: Kobe Brown 23, Amari Davis 13, Ronnie DeGray III 9, Javon Pickett 7, Jarron Coleman 7, DaJuan Gordon 5, Trevon Brazile 3, Sean Durugordon 2, Yaya Keita 1, Jordan Wilmore 1
Boogie being the top of the GameScore while simultaneously -28 in the +/- is a perfect microcosm of where this team is. Coleman scored a bucket to cut the score to 6 at 31-25 in the first half, and his next made basket cut the Illinois lead to 52-28. You read that right. Missouri scored one point while Illinois scored 21.
Magical Javon Pickett went missing in his final Braggin’ Rights game. Here’s his line from each year:
- Freshman: 16 points, 7/8 shooting, 4 rebounds, 149 ORtg.
- Sophomore: 17 points, 7/13 shooting, 6 rebounds, 140 ORtg.
- Junior: 14 points, 6/8 shooting, 5 rebounds, 164 ORtg.
- Senior: 3 points, 1/8 shooting, 3 rebounds, 43 ORtg.
For three seasons he was invincible against the Illini. And last night it all went away.
Last night also marked the second straight disappearing act from Amari Davis in a rivalry game. Against KU Davis was held scoreless, last night he had just 2 points. Against Utah he had 17. Just saying some level of consistency would be nice, particularly for a team who needs the offense.
TREVON BRAZILE IS AWESOME. He’s still figuring a lot of things out, and his offense is a work in progress but it’s easy to see what we’ve been talking about with his ceiling. He was beating shots of bigger and more powerful post players around the rim and affecting others. His weak side defense and timing is already at an elite level. If he can be a consistent shooter he’s going to have a shot at the next level.
Kobe has been this teams best player all year, but I’m not sure him attempting 7 3’s is quite the move you want. Against the bigger and more athletic Illini front line, Kobe struggled to impact the game around the rim the way he’s used to.
I wrote so much on twitter as the game was unfolding last night but these runs when the defense is getting gashed were... yeah, they’re bad:
The game started 8-6 Missouri. Then it was 23-4 Illinois. Then 13-2 Missouri. By that point it was 31-26 Illinois with about 4 minutes to play in the half. The Tigers got spanked a bit but fought their way back in it. Then the bottom absolutely fell out. Mizzou scored one point, while Illinois scored 9 to finish the first half, and 12 to start the second half. That also included two long 2FGs from Trent Frazier where his toe was on the line. Missouri went from down 6 to down 26. As we’ve seen in the past, really bad offensive teams typically equal a super long winter.
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.