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Study Hall: It was all bad

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Mizzou went on the road against a middling mid-major and it went poorly.

study hall 2020

It’s not going to be fun for most of the rest of this season.

There are things you can come back from. You can come back from losing to UMKC. It should never happen, but the excuses are built in. We’re a new roster, new guys, figuring things out. But you have to figure it out and come back from it.

Then there are things you can’t do. You can’t go on the road, against a mid to low major trash hole like L*berty and not just lose. But lose... like that. If the game were close, and the home crowd helps the officials make a few extra bad calls, and the skinny kid with floppy hair throws in some improbably shot which puts them over the top and you can’t pull it out... that’s one thing. The program itself, while still one you should be able to beat on the road if you’re Missouri. is pretty good. So a loss there isn’t altogether bad. Unless it’s like this.

Team Stats

study hall 2022 liberty

The normal format isn’t going to work here because in the first half was so awful it’s impossible to separate the first half from the rest of the game.

Mizzou had 34 possessions in the first half. They made 3 shots. They had 15 turnovers. The points per possession was 0.412. I don’t think I’ve ever seen numbers like that. When you’re that bad in the first half nothing else matters. I’m not sure how many teams have come back from a 21 point deficit after making just three field goals (all by one player btw) but I’m betting it’s not very many. Particularly none as offensively challenged as Missouri has shown to be.

The results are what they are.

Player Stats

Your Trifecta: Kobe Brown, Amari Davis, Ronnie DeGray III

study hall 2022 liberty

On the season: Kobe Brown 16, Amari Davis 9, Ronnie DeGray III 8, DaJuan Gordon 4, Javon Pickett 4, Jarron Coleman 4, Yaya Keita 1, Jordan Wilmore 1

It feels like you can count on Kobe Brown to be pretty good at this point, but with nowhere else to go it makes it difficult for him to be efficient. Brown was ok, but five turnovers with 25% usage is tough.

Amari Davis continues his improved offensive play, but he was only 0-3 in the first half.

I got nothing.

study hall 2022 liberty

One player in the 40%+ range for floor rate and it’s the guy who had two physical assaults on defense in the first half and never saw the floor again.

There are only so many ways I can say, “What you’re doing isn’t working” before it just gets exhausting. The roster makeup, the offensive possessions, the defensive decision making, none of it makes sense. I’ve watched every game Cuonzo Martin has coached since taking the Missouri job and I can attest to you, he’s not a bad basketball coach. His team scouts are good, the game plan is reliably consistent and set up to give his team a chance. For four years, this was the case.

But I’m not spending this space talking about numbers because there are all kinds of stats to tell you what you’re seeing: it’s not working.

The things I felt I trusted Martin and his staff to do for the last 4 years… they aren’t there. The offense isn’t generating good shots, they’re just running offense. Passing to the next spot in hopes that unlocks the key to the basket. Eventually one of the key guys takes it upon himself to find a way to generate a shot, good or not, but an attempt. I’ve seen these teams in the past. Mostly because I watched Kim Anderson’s teams for three years.

That’s what this feels like. When the opponent hits their third three pointer to give them a 9-3 lead, eventually going up to 16-3, you know that’s it. There’s no coming back. Whatever Missouri has, it’s not enough. If Cuonzo wants to save his job, it’s likely going to be on the backs of guys like Anton Brookshire and Sean Durugordon and Yaya Keita, possibly even Trevon Brazile and Kaleb Brown. I like Amari Davis; I think he can be useful. Boogie Coleman is struggling big time. DaJuan Gordon looks like a decent complementary piece, but not the impact you were hoping for. And Jordan Wilmore is not Zach Edey.

Against Eastern Illinois, I’m going young. Start whoever you want, but you need to give the youth more run. The path out lies with talent, not with what clearly hasn't worked so far.

Regardless, I’m not sure this is going to be the ending we envisioned within the news cycle of the month of March and April of 2017.


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.