Well that got fun, didn’t it?
We’ll lead with the obvious. Eastern Illinois is terrible. There are 358 Division 1 basketball teams, and according to KenPom.com there are only eight programs which are worse. Understanding they’re awful offensively, and also very bad on defense, should provide us the context to talk about how this game went.
I hope you listened to the podcast, if not I recommend you listen because some of the things we talked about kind of happened in this game. I don’t know what is going to happen this year, but the early metrics aren’t friendly for Cuonzo Martin and his basketball team. It’s easy to be pessimistic after the start we’ve witnessed. Something had to give.
A few games ago, Martin switched up his starters. But in the pod we talked about how the way out is with the youth. Martin needed to trust his young players more. We needed to see more from Anton Brookshire, specifically.
Last night we were gifted a conundrum for the coach and his staff. Jarron ‘Boogie’ Coleman was a pregame scratch for some kind of violation of team policy. Meaning Martin was going to have to give Brookshire some rope. At the same time, Brookshire’s high school teammate — and the most intriguing prospect on the roster — Trevon Brazile, was cleared to play.
Why you play games against teams you should beat no matter what is to get guys like that a lot of looks and let them build confidence. After a rocky start — the score was tied at 15 with around 10 minutes to play in the 1st half — Mizzou was able to open things up by clamping down on defense and getting to the rim. And then it got kind of fun.
- 14 turnovers against a bad team isn’t great: but as long as Missouri is trying to run with tempo and not playing with a true point guard, the turnovers are going to happen. It’s unfortunate because it looks like they will have virtually no hope of using the three point shot to close the gap on those missed possessions.
- It’s not easy to have an eFG% or TS% north of 50%: when you shoot 10.5% from 3 point range. But one way to make that up is by hitting the 2FG% at 70%. Mizzou was 17 of 22 on dunks and layups. When they got in close, they made the shots.
- +9 rebound margin is pretty awesome: no matter how bad your opponent might be. Mizzou doubled up the EIU rebounds 42-21. They missed 28 shots and got 14 rebounds.
17 misses came from 3FG, meaning they missed just 11 other shots. Considering they started the game cold (they missed their first four shots) and finished the 1st half and started the second half cold (another four shots missed), they basically hit on 60% of the rest of their shots.
1st 10 minutes: 15 - 13
last 30 minutes: 59 - 29
Your Trifecta: Kobe Brown, Amari Davis, DaJuan Gordon
On the season: Kobe Brown 19, Amari Davis 11, Ronnie DeGray III 8, DaJuan Gordon 5, Javon Pickett 4, Jarron Coleman 4, Yaya Keita 1, Jordan Wilmore 1
Kobe had a quiet night, and still led the team in Adjusted Game Score. His impact in getting steals and rebounds was immense. The post defense led to at least 2 or 3 poke aways which led to breaks. And he had 11 rebounds but it felt like more.
It was a good night for DaJuan Gordon also, cutting to the rim, defending hard, rebounding well also. I’d love for Gordon to be a moderately good 3-point shooter but that’s just not in the cards at this point. If he can be this player it’ll be helpful.
It was really nice for Anton Brookshire see the ball go through the net from 3FG. He’s a guy who is very important to this team and the future of the program. He’s the closest thing the roster has to a point guard, and while he hasn't played well to start he’s going to figure it out.
A game after one player cleared the 40% floor rate Missouri had 7 hit that mark.
This isn’t some banner performance which sets the tone for the rest of the year. Missouri isn’t fixed. But there was progress made.
For one, we got to see the hype about Brazile. He’s long. And he’s got good hands and good timing defensively. He’s not yet a finished product but you can see it’s all there. And you got to see Brookshire get some extended run.
I don’t know what’s going on with Boogie, but it seems just watching those two together you want to see more of them. As I’ve used this space to talk about rotations, if I were Cuonzo Martin I’d make sure Brookshire saw the floor at least 20 minutes per game, and I’d try to make sure Brazile was out there for nearly as much. We’ve seen enough from Kobe and Amari to expect they’re going to be pretty good for you going forward. The other veteran transfers have been hit-and-miss enough to give you the room to play young.
There is a path forward for this team. But it’s riding through the bumps with the young talent. Martin needs to trust Anton and Trevon the way he previously trusted Kobe Brown and Javon Pickett.
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.