I’m going to do my best to not talk about the officiating, which had a not-insignificant impact on the game. We here at ye ole Study Hall are a statistical based blog so we’re gonna talk about advanced statistical analysis and some stuff. Like...
Missouri had about an 8% free throw rate (technically 7.7% but the starboard I use rounds to the nearest 10th), Alabama had a 45% free throw rate. Our friend, Matt Wakins, had the details:
For context, Mizzou rates middle of the pack in DI, averaging a 29.1% ftr.— Mizzou Basketball Analysis (@DataMizzou) January 23, 2022
Assuming that rate occurred in this game, Mizzou's FT attempts would've risen from 5 to 19.
So five times since 2010. eight times since 2002. And no wins when the FT rate is under 10%. Getting free attempts at points helps you win, that’s not really breaking news. And while Alabama was attempting nearly 30 free throws, Missouri... a team known for not exactly a lot of jump-shooting and more known as a team trying to get rim attacks, not getting really any calls around the rim.
One free throw attempt was on Ronnie DeGray’s made 3FG. The other four attempts came from Javon Pickett. Our collective crude math had zero free throw attempts on rim attacks. Two were on a loose ball foul, and another two on a floater.
It’s hard enough to win on the road. And hard enough to beat a team as offensively talented as Alabama. Missouri didn’t need the officiating to be that lopsided, and it was.
- Extracting away from the officiating is the sheer amount of offensive rebounds in this game: Early in the game Mizzou was attacking the glass and getting cutbacks. They had 11 second chance points, but in the second half it was a different game. And that was a very real theme for most of these stats.
- Mizzou dragged the game down for about 30 minutes: there were only 30 possessions in the first half, leaving 35 for the second half. Their turnover rate in the first half was 10%, in the second half it was 22%. When you give the ball up 8 times in 35 possessions while also giving up 10 offensive rebounds on 13 missed shots... well yeah that math is pretty easy to figure out.
- For the most part, Missouri did every thing right and it was working: if you’re looking at shooting percentages, Mizzou was offensively as perfect as they needed to be. Alabama on the other hand, were saved by free throws. They scored 65 points if you takeaway their FTs. They needed every point they accumulated at the FT line. Mizzou had a 4 point lead at half despite being down 7 makes and 12 attempts. In the second half they lost by 6, and the free throw disparity was 11 makes and 12 attempts. When you’re ahead at the end of the game, the other team has to foul to keep up. But those numbers were only 4 makes and 6 attempts.
It has to be frustrating for Cuonzo Martin. This year has been a disaster, up until the last three games, and four of the last five. There’s been a bit of figuring it out on Missouri’s side of things. They probably should’ve beaten Texas A&M, and certainly had chances to sweep Alabama. Just imagine having gone through the tough times early in the year and have your team playing nearly as well as it probably can, and to just be undone by an absurdly deficient game of officiating... I’d be pretty pissed.
Your Trifecta: Jarron Coleman, DaJuan Gordon, Amari Davis
On the season: Kobe Brown 27, Amari Davis 19, Jarron Coleman 17, Ronnie DeGray III 14, Javon Pickett 12, Trevon Brazile 8, DaJuan Gordon 7, Sean Durugordon 2, Yaya Keita 1, Jordan Wilmore 1
Individually, Missouri did not get a great game from Kobe Brown. If Kobe is able to be better maybe he’s able to hold off the Tide comeback, but he wasn’t. Which is too bad because everyone else was really good. Kobe wasn’t awful, but he struggled to make shots, he was still really involved and dished out 4 assists and grabbed 10 boards.
Who was good? Pretty much anyone who played. Boogie turned the ball over too much, but that’s the risk of playing a secondary ball handler. Outside of his ball handling Boogie’s ORtg was 1.1 ppp. Gordon struggled with some foul trouble but he was also really good. Maybe his best game as a Tiger. Amari continued to hit from the mid range. Trevon should’ve played more in the second half but when he was in the game he was impactful.
This is turning more into the team we were hoping to see all year. (I’ll fix the “Player 12” stuff in the next post, but had to make quick work with Sean Durugordon’s transfer)
Just going to LOL a bit at the six guys with a 40%+ floor rate. Of the guys who played significant minutes, only Boogie and Kobe weren’t as efficient as they needed to be. For Coleman that was turnovers, for Brown it was missed shots. That’s as close to a perfect offensive game as you can roll. And it still wasn’t enough.
10 points worse than Alabama in their place in 65 possessions is about 15 points per 100 possessions. The game was closer than the final score would indicate, but with analytics you don’t get points for being ahead by 14 in the second half if you still lose by 10.
At the 13:54 mark in the second half, Boogie hit a three pointer to put Mizzou up 14 points. At that point in the game the Tigers had control and were holding the pace. The foul disparity was just 2-0, with the Tide having both fouls. Now, I’m really not a conspiracy type of guy at all. In fact, I think even the officiating disparity in this game was more likely just regular bad ref stuff than any “fix” or a nod from the league office to make sure the “good” team won this game. But it should be noted that with Mizzou up 12 just a minute later the Tigers picked up their first foul of the half. That was with 13:10 to play. Over the next 9+ minutes of game action, Missouri was whistled for 10 fouls. Alabama was whistled for zero.
The score went from 63-49 (+14) to 77-73 Alabama (-4), an 18 point swing. Regardless of the stats and fouls, this is where the game got away from Missouri. If it wasn’t the officials, it was the rebounding, the turnovers. Watching the game flow, I tend to think that the loose whistle allowed Alabama to be more aggressive on defense, and attack the rim on the offensive glass and with loose balls. Essentially the terms were set, and it favored a Tide comeback.
Missouri still had opportunities. They could have rebounded and defended better. They could have valued the ball a little more, taken better shots. In the first game Mizzou led by as many as 18, with 10:44 left in the second half. This time it was 14 with 13:54. Not enough, with too much time.
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.