Winning basketball games is hard. Winning road basketball games is harder. Winning road basketball games when you were -17.1% in effective field goal shooting... well it’s not impossible, but it’s improbable.
Then you factor in more details. Like: Kobe Brown was virtually absent, Isiaih Mosley didn’t play at all, and Mizzou made just 7 of 33 from three point range, and they still won. Wichita State went on a 16-0 run, and a 10-0 run, both in the second half and Mizzou still won. That’s 26-0 in unanswered points ON THE ROAD!
Some stats on the effectiveness of scoring runs:— Evan Miyakawa (@EvanMiya) January 26, 2022
- When a team goes on a scoring run of 10-0 or better, they win 72% of the time.
- When a team has more double digit scoring runs than their opponent, they win 83% of the time.
"The Kill Shot" as some (me) are calling it. https://t.co/SdB4kumfdz
Evan Miyakawa is a good follow if you like this analytics stuff. He’s like if KenPom were younger and wanting to go even further down the rabbit hole. Some of his data is still working itself out, but it’s fun to see where it’s going.
Still, from his stats, the win was improbable. The Shockers are not a great basketball team. They’re not Kentucky, or Kansas, or Arkansas. But they’re not a bad team, either. They’re a solid top 100 AAC team who has a shot to play in the post season this year. More likely the NIT or something else, but they’re a good team. Before the game Mizzou was favored to win by a possession, and they basically did that. How?
Let’s find out.
- BCI: Look, Mizzou shot poorly and they could not find their range from distance, but they played 81 possessions and turned the ball over just 8 times. It was the first time this season where Mizzou had less than 20 assists and because they took care of the ball, and took the ball away (16 steals tied for a season high) their shooting just didn’t matter. It’s really remarkable. So I’m marking it.
- WHO WON THE REBOUND BATTLE?: Oh, hey +2.5 in the rebounding for the first time playing another high major program. I went back and looked and Mizzou was +2 against Lindenwood and +2.4 against Southern Indiana.
- I think we might be figuring some things out, but the Tigers had 15 more FGA and 12 more possessions: which is 82 more possessions in 8 games. Mizzou also had 42 points off layups and dunks versus 28 points for Wichita State. The Tigers just get better shots pretty regularly, and they get more of them. So even on nights when things aren’t falling like you’re used to, that recipe can help you stay in games.
I’m just constantly impressed by the fact that Mizzou is this good with the ball. They haven’t been this good at not turning the ball over since 2011-12. They haven’t been this good at forcing turnovers since 2009-10. And the last time they were assisting on this many field goals was 2008-09. Grated, they’ve now played approximately one team with a real pulse, but that’s still the kind of thing which can get you excited for Mizzou Basketball.
Your Trifecta: Noah Carter, Sean East II, D’Moi Hodge
On the season: D’Moi Hodge 13, Noah Carter 9, Kobe Brown 8, Sean East II 5, Nick Honor 5, DeAndre Gholston 3, Tre Gomillion 3, Isiaih Mosley 2
What’s great about this win is it really didn’t feel like anyone was playing well. On the other side, it didn’t really feel like anyone played bad, either. There were guys who didn’t shoot the ball well, but aside from some missed shots and a few defensive lapses, everyone seemed to hold the line.
In the game, I did feel like Noah Carter was giving good minutes, but he also had 6 of his 20 points in overtime. He was strong on the glass and made some outside shots in opportune times. But while last game it was that DeAndre Gholston killed HCU, and Isiaih Mosley killed Coastal Carolina and Mississippi Valley State, and D’Moi Hodge killed SIU-Edwardsville... there was no one guy offensively who did it for Mizzou. They guarded like hell, missed a bunch of shots, and found a way to crawl back into the game when they got down.
As an example, after the 16-0 run for the Shockers, Mizzou answered with a 6-0 run. Kobe Brown, Ronnie DeGray III, and Gholston all had buckets in that run. They were a combined -27 in the game. Brown was -17, Gholston was -9, DeGray was -1 (which is one reason why individual +/- can be tricky). The three guys who had a negative floor impact stemmed the tide when things could’ve gotten away from the Tigers, and nearly did.
One game after watching 11 guys hit a Floor Rate of 40% or better, Mizzou had just five players eclipse that mark. But Missouri was in a top 100 road game and they did not get Nick Honor, Kobe Brown, or Isiaih Mosley to give them production. Honor shot poorly but was otherwise fine, Brown didn’t seem to shake off early foul trouble, and Mosley didn’t play. For anyone wondering about Mosley, Matter had this quote from Dennis Gates:
Here's Dennis Gates' full answer on why Mosley didn't play tonight: https://t.co/5MUCjPzO7G pic.twitter.com/WcvpaQSP6q— Dave Matter (@Dave_Matter) November 30, 2022
In a lot of different ways this was the exact game Mizzou needed in Wichita. They needed to get punched hard in the mouth, they needed to have an off night shooting the ball, they needed lots of things to go against them. The best part is they got ALL of those things and they still won.
How they won is simple; they valued the ball and got extra shots. The Effective FG% was a blowout, but the Free Throw rate was a wash, and the Rebounding tiled slightly towards the Tigers. But as much as they got smashed in shooting, they created so many turnovers without turning the ball over that it negated that big of a shooting disadvantage.
If you enjoy watching this team, I get it. They play fast, they play hard, they generate turnovers at a similar level to Mike Anderson’s teams and value the ball as good as a Big 12 Champion. Yes, you want to see these things continue as the competition increases, and the league leading levels they’re at now are likely to level off some. But you can see that this is how Dennis Gates built up the roster. It’s a smart and tough basketball team. That itself goes a long way.
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.