Well it’s certainly fun, right?
We’re two games in, with two high scoring games, and it’s as if this is the polar opposite of the last few years (what, like 9 years?) where scoring has often been a slog. Mizzou won last night and for the second game in a row they did so by just being better offensively. The defense has been, well, not as bad as we think based upon the shooting, but also not good enough to pull away when they needed to.
Mizzou started out very hot from the floor, but after scoring 15 points on their first five possessions, it would take them 18 possessions to get their next 15 points. As the offense scuffled to make shots, the Tigers got creative and went to the line. They scored 7 points from the stripe in the final 7 minutes. And everything was needed as it was another opponent’s night to scorch the nets.
I’m not sure there are many sweeping generalizations we can make at this point since it’s a new team, a new roster, a new coach, and they’re two games into trying to figure it all out. But this is also one of the reasons why the schedule is what it is, so the team could have as much to figure it out as possible.
- Two games now, and the Turnover Rate is niiiiiiiice: Just 9 turnovers on the game for a 12.9% rate. You can overcome a lot of things offensively if you can value the ball. Against Penn that means +10 more possessions that ended with a shot, and it was +11 against Southern Indiana. Overall, the BCI was an absolute blowout. I could get used to that.
- 1.32 points per possession, and according to the StatBroadcast feed: it was even better at 1.581 ppp in the second half, mostly thanks to Noah Carter, Nick Honor, and Tre Gomillion, who scored 40 of the 49 points.
- Rebounding? Who needs it when you make all the shots! Ok, so some rebounding would help. Mizzou is going to struggle in this category all year long. I think we should just prepare ourselves for the frustration.
- Another way to help when your offense gets a bit sticky is to get to the FT Line: A FT rate of 43% can solve a lot of issues. Mizzou had 4 such games last year, and the Tigers are already at 40% on the year.
Your Trifecta: Noah Carter, Nick Honor, D’Moi Hodge
On the season: Noah Carter 3, Kobe Brown 3, Nick Honor 2, Tre Gomillion 2, D’Moi Hodge 1, Sean East II 1
Wow, was Noah Carter good. 11 points and 5 boards in the first half, 17 points and 4 boards in the second half. Carter obviously doesn’t need to shoot 6-of-9 from 3FG every game, but it will help out a lot when he does.
Obviously Carter was the standout, but it was easy to see why we talked up Nick Honor this past offseason. He completely controlled the tempo and play of the game offensively. He expertly used his high ball screens to generate good offensive looks, and he and Carter were clinical. For two guys who have only been playing together a few months it was a lot of fun to watch.
Also, D’Moi Hodge edged out Tre Gomillion in the last spot, but it’s hard to argue that Gomillion wasn’t the more valuable in the second half. I mentioned above Gomillion’s contributions to the team’s second half points, but he had 10 points on four shots, and four rebounds, plus a couple assists. They also got some great minutes and effort from Aidan Shaw.
I talked last game about the usage of Hodge and Deandre Gholston, and even this game it was still high. Gholston wasn’t as good offensively, and he was parked for more of the game because of it. But Hodge still played 18 second half minutes. He’s a menace defensively, which feels like that’s saying something based upon the opponents output so far.
But it’s also part of the reason why many are alarmed by the Isiaih Mosley DNP. And not to stir the pot here, but whatever the reason, Missouri and Mosley need to get this straightened out. If Hodge and Gholston are in the corner for catch and shoots, and Honor and Mosley are running ball screens or generating offense it’s going to be better for everyone. Particularly once the team gets into some stickier matchups. I think people are over-complicating the DNP, though. Gates isn’t going to comment beyond what he’s said. He’s unhappy with something, otherwise Mosley would’ve played. Maybe it’s worrying for worry’s sake, especially when the issue hasn’t been on offense so far. But they’ve also been facing some teams who aren’t great defensive teams. Mosley is important for the sole reason of raising the ceiling on the season.
We saw the first minutes from Mohamed Diarra, and we saw why he hasn’t played much so far. The talent is still there, and he’s got a ways to go.
Right now the defensive issues are troublesome. I don’t think this trend of teams shooting 50% from behind the arc is likely to stick game to game, but the rebound and second chance points are worth keeping an eye on. You simply can’t make Carter and Brown 6’10, the roster is what it is at this point. They need to clean up rotations and switching, and then just gang rebound and hope for the best. But we said before the season this team should be good offensively, and questionable defensively. Now if these other teams could not just make all their outside shots that would be great.
Still, this looks like it’s a fun team. The jury is out on just how good they are, but they’re fun!
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.