Make sense of it if you can, but arguably the worst team in Cuonzo Martin’s coaching career went on the road and played a team Missouri is 3-15 against since joining the SEC, and promptly beat the tar out of them.
Ole Miss has been that team with a weird hex over Missouri. In the two programs’ histories, Missouri had more losses by 12 points or more (5) than wins (3) against what most College Basketball fans would consider a forgettable program. Martin himself had two of those wins to seven losses, but he seemed to exorcise those demons with an absolute walloping in Oxford.
First things first, Ole Miss is not a good basketball team. They started the season 6-2 with respectable losses to Boise State and Marquette, but then things went a little sideways when they got spanked by Western Kentucky. Then a few games later, senior leader Jarkel Joiner was sidelined with a back injury, and they’ve gone from a top 70 level team to one barely inside of the top 120.
So maybe this was just a case of a team on a slide — forgetting they had to show up after a big home game against a top 10 opponent in Auburn — meeting up with a team hunting for a win heading into a tough stretch? Whatever it was, it was a pretty thorough butt-kicking, and it was fun. Maybe even cathartic for a few fans, too.
- The shot breakdown is pretty interesting: 2FGA Mizzou 44, Ole Miss 39. 3FGA Mizzou 7, Ole Miss 22, FTA Mizzou 14, Ole Miss 13. Missouri only attempted 7 3FGAs, and made four of them. It’s almost like you can make a higher percentage when the shots you’re taking are good shots. The Tigers had landed a multitude of body blows by attacking the rim, and then hit a couple threes to take any wind out of the Rebel sails.
- Even though the turnover rate was still high: Mizzou seemed to figure it out more in the second half. 9 turnovers in the first half, just 5 in the second. It turns out, not coughing up the ball when you’re generating a respectable shooting percentage is a good thing for your offense. And when it came to the turnover battle, it was nearly a draw which was helpful as well.
- On the surface, giving up 14 offensive rebounds seems like a lot: but Mizzou actually won the expected rebound battle. Ole Miss just missed SO MANY shots they were bound to get some of those rebounds. But also second chance points: Mizzou 11, Ole Miss 10.
Missouri had so frustrated Ole Miss that Kermit Davis called ALL of his timeouts in the first half, including three in the final five minutes. The first 10 minutes were a 15-15 draw, with both teams playing sloppy basketball. The Tigers had a brief 6-0 run before a 4-0 Rebel spurt. But in the final 8 minutes Mizzou closed on a 16-4 run.
Your Trifecta: Amari Davis, Ronnie DeGray III, Kobe Brown
On the season: Kobe Brown 27, Amari Davis 18, Jarron Coleman 14, Ronnie DeGray III 14, Javon Pickett 12, Trevon Brazile 8, DaJuan Gordon 5, Sean Durugordon 2, Yaya Keita 1, Jordan Wilmore 1
This is cool:
he’s like .— Mizzou Hoops (@MizzouHoops) January 19, 2022
First @SEC player to go 10-of-10 and perfect at the line since 2012. pic.twitter.com/Gnngdy67MK
We’ve talked a good amount about Amari Davis in this spot, and others. Amari was really good for two seasons at Green Bay by excelling in the mid-range, and snaking his way to the rim. Last night, Davis couldn’t miss and there were no attempts beyond the 3 point arc. Amari was playing so well that he effectively sat DaJuan Gordon for the second half.
Just look at his Floor Rate! Ronnie DeGray was awesome, he played tough defense, forced turnovers, boarded, and made his shots. And his measly 71% floor rate was the best Mizzou has seen since Sean Durugordon’s 73% in just five minutes of playing time. So DeGray’s performance in 25 minutes could’ve been the most efficient of the year. Until Amari was just better.
There was one brief moment where it looked like the lead might be in danger. After spurting out to their 15 point first half lead, Missouri expanded their lead to as many as 19 points. But Kermit Davis pulled a move old school Norm Stewart fans will remember well; he did a 5 man out substitution and put in a host of freshmen who had barely played in SEC play. Grant Slatten, James White, Eric Van Der Heijden, plus Daeshun Ruffin and Nysier Brooks. That prompted a 9 point run for the Rebels.
But Cuonzo Martin took the chance to reset at the media timeout, and a 15-0 run put the game away. And then suddenly Mizzou was no longer the 172nd rated team in KenPom. They’d ascended to 139th by the end of the night.
Is everything better now?
Hardly. But we’ve seen competence in three of the last four games and two of them resulted in wins. You can’t ignore the 4th result, because that kind of result is still possible as the rest of the season winds down. Mizzou is 8-9 and a sub-100 basketball team. If anyone had said that before the season I think we’d all be disappointed. But the way forward for Martin and this team is a lot more results like this, and those other three games than the one loss. I’ve said on the pod, results matter but less so the wins and losses. Getting blown out by regional rivals is not a good thing for solidifying your future. Keep the blowouts behind you, and see how many wins you can steal and there’s a case.
But go to Tuscaloosa on Saturday and get housed? Well, that would put us right back to where we were after Arkansas. Don’t erase the goodwill. Take advantage of it.
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.