Welcome to the College Basketball season, everyone! Make sure you start your freakouts early, and after watching last night I’m sure there are a few of you who were freaking out.
It’s ok. Take a deep breath.
It’s hard to believe, but we’ve had exactly one game before the, “Did you make your threes?” question entered the chat. But as we get into the stats there are going to be a few things that stand out to me, and they may stand out to you. And that goes beyond just the fact of Southern Indiana shot 50% from outside the arc on the game, but EIGHTY-TWO PERCENT in the second half is just wild.
There are going to be a lot of these games over the next few weeks where Mizzou looks like a team figuring it out, right before they look like a team on the brink of disaster. It’s a rebuild, and with 8 new players, three holdovers, and an entirely new Coaching staff and a schedule early on where Mizzou should be able to get away with a lot of experimentation. They experimented a lot, and late Dennis Gates leaned on the guys he knew and trusted with mixed results.
Let’s see how this all played out.
- Is USI shooting 14/17 from deep a canary in the coal mine? One of the areas where we had a lot of concerns going into the season was on the defensive end. I thought they’d be good offensively, and mediocre defensively. That still looks like it’s possible, but I figured they would get beat up around the rim and less so on the perimeter. You hope that part of the reason for the open looks and missed assignments was a matter of new players needing to learn how to communicate with each other. But regardless, Mizzou let an inferior team hang around close enough and then they just couldn’t stop making outside shots. Which closed the gap.
- The reality is, every other stat in this lineup points to a Mizzou blowout: Dennis Gates’ squad did the things well which we expected them to do well. Near the top of that was they valued the basketball. A 13.4% turnover rate would’ve been toppled just twice last season and one of those games was the Paul Quin College game... so yeah, that’s an improvement.
- The Tigers also forced 12 steals: implying there was at least some effort defensively. While I didn’t imagine Mizzou to be a stellar defensive team, I figured they would be good putting pressure on the ball, and forcing turnovers. The back end of the defense might need some help but you can see how this team can create some level of havoc on defense.
One last point here is that Mizzou scored the ball on a 1.18 points per possession average and 1.33 points per shot while hitting just 25% from three point range. That's honestly really very good. I’ll take the Tigers shooting 62% on their 2FG the rest of the season. If you consider the 2012 Mizzou team shot 57% (the best in the KenPom era) from 2FG it’s easy to appreciate what shooting 60+% can look like.
Your Trifecta: Kobe Brown, Tre Gomillion, Sean East II
On the season: Kobe Brown 3, Tre Gomillion 2, Sean East II 1
So the launch of Isiaih Mosley as an offensive weapon got off to a great start as Mosley made his first two shots, and then it sputtered as he went on to miss his next five shots in just 16 minutes. Mosley had a 113 Offensive Rating last season, and wasn’t good last night in limited action. His defensive rotations were slow, and overall he had a few mental errors. Another part of the process of acclimating all the new players.
Kobe continues to be Kobe though, and having a reliable finisher around the rim, a strong rebounder, and a guy who seems like he understands what he is able to do offensively is benefiticial.
Great night from Aidan. 12 minutes 9 points, but better is that he competed on the glass and on defense. AYE DAN SHA is the kind of athlete where if he’s on the floor doing good things he’s going to elevate everyone on the roster simply by being there.
If Sean East does this offensively on most nights, and improves defensively, he’ll be fine.
Quick note, the %Shots is actually touches per possession, I’m toying with getting rid of that stat because I’m not sure how applicable it is for what we talk about. So, mid-change. I’m more interested in % of team shots than even %Shoot, which I realize sound similar but I assure you they are different stats.
If at the end of the year, D’Moi Hodge and Deandre Gholston are at 23% and 22% usage then I’m going to go out on a limb and say Mizzou didn’t meet their goals. If you’re looking at the usage rates, it doesn’t quite add up with what we thought we’d see before the season. I don’t mean that as a disrespect of Hodge or Gholston but they were viewed as more 3&D level guys. Nearly one of every 4 shots was from Gholston or Hodge, and 3 for 10 from deep.
Aside from Kaleb Brown’s turnover percentage, which is not the same as Turnover Rate, everyone else was really within a reasonable range. Again, it’s early, but the investment in ball handling looks like it’s paid off.
It’s only game 1, so any takeaways should be measured. Watching the game live and then turning around and pouring over the stats are two completely different experiences. Watching the game was frustrating. It really was. Watching USI hit 3 after 3 and inch closer and closer in a game where Mizzou and a 20 point lead with under 5 minutes to play was frustrating. I get all of that. They only missed 8 shots the entire second half, and just 3 shots after the 13 minute mark in the second half. In those 13 minutes they took 17 shots and 10 of those were 3-point MAKES. Not shots... makes.
It’s a little worrisome, but with so much in flux with the lineup and the experimentation still occurring, it’s more likely Dennis Gates is trying to figure things out. You hope he can figure out to get his guys to get their switches down, communicate through screens better, and be alert to shooters.
So the good news is Mizzou didn’t shoot well from outside, the other team went a bit bonkers, but they had 11 more possessions once you subtracted turnovers. Which was enough to overcome 50% three point shooting. Mizzou plays again on Friday. They play Penn, who lost 78-50 to Iona. On to the next.
Rest of the SEC Results:
- Kentucky 95, Howard 63
- Arkansas 76, North Dakota State 58
- Tennessee 75, Tennessee Tech 43
- Auburn 70, George Mason 52
- Alabama 75, Longwood 54
- Mississippi State 64, TA&M-CC 44
- Memphis 76, Vanderbilt 67
- Texas A&M 81, UL Monroe 54
- Georgia 68, Western Carolina 55
- Florida 81, Stony Brook 45
- Ole Miss 73, Alcorn State 58
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.