For the first 18 minutes this game went a lot like the last few games have gone for Missouri. They scrapped, and fought, and dragged their way through the game, and on the road against a top 25 team they held a narrow 5 point lead with a couple minutes to play in the 1st half.
Missouri was turning the ball over with great frequency (roughly a 40% turnover rate in the first half) but they were making shots (1.45 points per shot), and the defense was clicking as well as you could ask. But then Kobe Brown — already with 2 fouls — was defending a driving player and was a part of a foul. The officials assigned the foul to Trevon Brazile, correctly, but the close call put the fear into Cuonzo Martin. He looked at the time — just 1:52 left — and the lead — Mizzou was up 5 on the road — and figured he could buy his star some time down the stretch and sent him to the bench. Sorry, that was quite the sentence. But we got through it.
The point is, Martin figured he could buy some time. The defense was working. The offense was doing enough. Just get to the half with a lead and you’re probably feeling pretty good. But Martin’s gamble didn’t pay off. Iowa State made their two free throws, and then countered a made Tiger basket with an 8-0 run (assisted by a Martin technical) to close out the half and take a 3 point lead at halftime.
It felt at the time like a momentum swing, and Iowa State was able to carry that momentum into the second half. Then after four minutes of strangling each other, Iowa State made their shots.
- Lost possessions: For a team that doesn’t offense well at times, they sure do give away a lot of possessions. Iowa State took ELEVEN more shots than Missouri did, and had 6 more possessions with the ball. There was a 0.27 point differential in possession efficiency, but that drops to just 0.07 on a per shot basis. Basically, if Mizzou had just valued the ball and gotten the same number of possessions, this would have been a much closer game. They’d have scored 60 points. Still a loss. But not turn the tv off with 10 minutes to go loss.
- One of the things that continues to disappoint me with this team is how they aren’t able to win the rebounding battles: They’re constantly playing small by design, but that just means you have to be tenacious on the boards. Whatever mix has been on the floor they’ve been leaking possessions by not limiting second chances, and not generating enough either.
- Mizzou is largely a solid FT shooting team: but yesterday it wasn’t working. The Tigers actually shot more free throws than Iowa State (+3), but lost the points battle at the line by 4.
Your Trifecta: DaJuan Gordon, Jarron Coleman, Amari Davis
On the season: Kobe Brown 29, Amari Davis 20, Jarron Coleman 19, Ronnie DeGray III 15, Javon Pickett 15, DaJuan Gordon 10, Trevon Brazile 8, Sean Durugordon 2, Yaya Keita 1, Jordan Wilmore 1
I don’t think, with the way this roster is constructed, Mizzou can afford to get virtually nothing from Kobe Brown. A 50 Offensive Rating in 34 minutes and just 3 points, and that basket came with 6 minutes to play and cut the lead to 16. The game was really over by that point and they’d gotten one point from their best player. Especially on a night when Javon Pickett played 6 minutes and was held out after hitting his head.
It was nice to see a good game from DaJuan Gordon, frankly he was one of the main reasons Mizzou kept things close for as long as they did. He and Boogie, along with Ronnie DeGray III, combined for all but 3 points in the first half. You know that time when it looked like Mizzou had a shot.
So if you think the %TO seems low, it’s because Missouri’s “violations” are traditionally considered team turnovers. I counted NINE charges, 5 second calls, 10 second calls, and shot clock turnovers. They had only 5 turnovers in the second half but 4 of those were a shot clock expiration, a 5 second violation, and two charges. Only one live ball turnover.
So the fact that four Mizzou Tigers had a good floor rate was balanced by all those times they didn’t get shots.
Matt and I said on the podcast that any wins this past week would have been unexpected. The real keys to the season are when you’re not playing top 25 teams. The average KenPom rating for Missouri over the last 11 games has been around 40th. They went 3-8, and beat just one team inside the top 100 (hello Alabama, thanks for beating Baylor). The remaining 11 games are against teams whose average ranking in KenPom is about 71st. Texas A&M is 72nd in KenPom, and Missouri showed they could be more than competitive against a team like that.
So while the season seems dire, there is some opportunity moving forward for this team to make us all feel a little better at least. Or not. Who knows?
If you want to look on the positive side, Mizzou has lost 3 games in a row for the first time this season. And under Cuonzo Martin the Tigers have never lost more than 4 games in a row. Texas A&M is on a four game losing streak, Florida has lost 3 in a row (and nearly did it again before their comeback against Oklahoma State), Vanderbilt snapped their 3 game losing streak against Georgia, and Ole Miss has lost four in a row before winning 2 of their last 3. Those are Mizzou’s next four opponents.
Here are the rest of yesterday’s scores:
- 1. Auburn 86, Oklahoma 68
- 12. Kentucky 80, 5. Kansas 62
- 13. Texas Tech 76, Mississippi State 50
- Texas 52, 18. Tennessee 51
- Arkansas 77, West Virginia 68
- TCU 77, 19. LSU (19) 68
- Alabama 87, 4. Baylor 78
- Ole Miss 67, Kansas State 56
- Florida 81, Oklahoma State 72
- Vanderbilt 85, Vanderbilt 77
- South Carolina 74, Texas A&M 63
We’re excited to bring you more coverage of good sports teams coming up later. Like wrestling and women’s basketball!
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.