It took all of 30 seconds for me to not be nervous about this game. With any game there’s at least a little bit of nerves going into the game. The “What if’s” of watching Mizzou lose to UMKC, Lipscomb, Charleston Southern, and others swirl around your brain a little. But watching just the first few possessions I knew Mizzou was going to win this game. The only question would be the margin.
It was clear early that Lindenwood wasn’t going to be able to prevent Missouri from getting what they wanted offensively. On the other side of the floor, Lindenwood didn’t have the level of shooting and playmaking ability to win this game. Even though they hung around for the first 8 minutes, and even had a little comeback in the middle of the 2nd Half, at no point did the words “Uh” or “Oh” creep into my head.
Hopefully you felt the same. It’s a much more pleasurable way to watch the game! Anyway, for a full game story, read Brandon’s coverage from last night. Let’s get into the numbers and takeaways and stuff.
- Just look in awe at that 2FG%: 72.2% is excellent. You have to go all the way back to 2017 against Wagner to see the last time Mizzou was that high. The three point shooting wasn’t with the Tigers tonight (although they did make some timely threes), but if you shoot that well around the rim it doesn’t matter.
- Not sure how I feel about getting owned on the FTA/FGA line when you’re clearly the stronger team: The officiating felt a little all over the place, and it wasn’t like Mizzou wasn’t getting to the rim, but still. It’s not ideal to get to the line only 8 times, and send your opponent there 23 times... even if you win by nearly 30 points.
- Ball control has been the Tigers’ friend: And last night they had a 21.7% turnover rate. Now 7 of the team’s 16 TOs came down to two players, but it meant they were only +3 in the possession department instead of the +10 and +11 they’ve been in the previous two games. Still, +24 over three games is pretty solid.
- Considering both teams shot the ball so poorly: They both hit 43% on 3PA for FGA percentage... maybe drive the ball to the rim a little more, everyone. For all our sake.
20+ assists again!
Your Trifecta: Kobe Brown, Noah Carter, Nick Honor
On the season: Kobe Brown 6, Noah Carter 5, Nick Honor 3, Tre Gomillion 2, D’Moi Hodge 1, Sean East II 1
Kobe Brown’s floor game was nearly perfect. And really aside from him, nobody really played great. Carter was good, but everyone else had beneficial stretches. The most momentous was when Mizzou was struggling at around the 10 minute mark, Dennis Gates had been experimenting with lineups, and in doing so the Lions had trimmed the lead down to about 10 points. He subbed in D’Moi Hodge and Kobe Brown. Hodge had not been playing very well to that point, but he ignited.
Hodge made a transition three, then followed up a Lindenwood basket with two fast break attacking layups. The lead was back to 15 in a matter of a minute and a half. The Tigers would balloon the lead into the 20s and they never looked back.
Isiaih Mosley might be trying to figure out how he fits into the roster and the rotation, but he can throw a lob. Mosley had a multitude of good passes on the night, but his teammates failed him to convert. But he threw lobs to Tre Gomillion, Kobe Brown, and Aidan Shaw, and all three were perfectly placed. He actually had four assists, it looks like Kaleb Brown was credited with Mosley’s alley-oop pass to Shaw towards the end of the game.
Five players with a floor rate of 40% or better, five others in the 30% range. Maybe this is the broken record part, but in our Preseason Previews we looked at Deandre Gholston as a useful player, but not somebody you wanted to drive possessions through. He did as much at Milwaukee, mostly out of necessity, and results were mixed. But as a defender, and catch and shoot guy, he was good. So 35% usage is still high, even in his limited minutes as Gates was trying to get some extended looks for Mosley and others.
I brought up a similar point on Hodge, but he’s not creating offense. Hodge has a 20% Possession rate on KenPom.com and a 114.9 Offensive Rating. Gholston is 24% and 95.0. Hodge is a guy who knows what he does well, and he looks for those chances to do those things. Gholston looks like a guy still figuring that out.
You gotta love Ben Sternberg making the most of his minute of play. A 43% Floor rate and a 97% Usage. * * chefs kiss * *
But here’s why I like what I’ve seen so far, in three games we’ve seen Mizzou find a lot of ways to score points. Sure the matchups haven’t exactly been a murderers row, but the offense has found ways to be efficient. The Tigers currently have the 26th rated Offense by Adjusted Efficiency. Southern Indiana might be better than expected, as they’ve already ascended to 200th in KenPom and just beat Southern Illinois. SIU was in the top 100 and took down Oklahoma State on the road. Penn still hasn’t won, but lost a close game to a tough Towson squad. I expect it to be a long season for Lindenwood, but overall this is exactly the kind of slate you need if you’re trying to make sense of a jumbled roster.
If this is what it looks like when Gates is trying to figure it out, then I’m excited to see what it might look like when he’s figured it out.
Missouri hasn’t solved the questions we had for them coming into the season. They’re small inside, and defensively it’s going to be tough. They’re prone to getting beat up on the glass. But they play a fast-paced style, they’re unafraid to attack early, and more than anything they have a lot of smart basketball players. Smart players making good reads and getting good efficient shots will always be fun to watch.
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.