The Tigers were a 21 point favorite against another Ohio Valley Conference opponent and walked out with a 7 point win. It wasn’t all bad!
Really, there were long steady segments where the Tigers looked like the team we’ve gotten used to seeing over the last few weeks. They were getting turnovers, spurting out to quick runs, and it felt early like they would be able to have an easy and early afternoon. Until they didn’t. Mizzou led 13-6, 18-8, and 34-20 before SEMO used a 17-3 run to take a 40-39 lead with just over 2 minutes left in the 1st half. Mizzou would close the half on an 11-0 run to go in up 10, but still... right?
They were playing well until they weren’t. Meanwhile, SEMO was shooting the ball really well. In the first half they were 8-16 from 3FG, and in the second half they were 5-10. So every time it felt like Mizzou might run away with the game, the Redhawks hit a 3. Their first 10 point lead was cut to 7 by a Phillip Russell three. Mizzou got the lead by to 11 and SEMO hit a 3. The 14 point lead which resulted in an Aidan Shaw alley-oop dunk off of a turnover was answered by a SEMO timeout, and then a three. Then during that 17-3 run they hit three in a row and were only interrupted by Noah Carter making a 3-point shot.
Even a 19 point second half lead wasn’t safe as SEMO chipped away at it down the stretch with 3 additional three pointers in the last 8 minutes.
It was frustrating to watch, sure, but what’s a little funny about it was that Mizzou’s win expectancy never dipped below 98.3% in the entire second half. So even while things felt like they were falling apart, it was still mostly in control. It was a 16 point lead at 6 minutes left, a 12 point lead at 3 minutes, and it never got below 6 points. SEMO was just doing a great job of adding some window dressing, and you certainly don’t want your team enduring that kind of slippage.
In a lot of ways this game mirrored their season opener against Southern Indiana, a game where Mizzou was in control for the majority of the game and USI charged late to make it less comfortable than you wanted it to be.
- I’ve been making a big deal over extra shots at the rim: and this was nearly even for the first time in a while. Mizzou has been able to turn their opponent over and limit their own turnovers, but the 2.21 BCI is the lowest of the season except for Lindenwood. And as we’re finding out, the lower Mizzou’s BCI number the more likely they are to be in a more competitive game. Against Lindenwood you can get away with it, against SEMO you can still get away with it, but less... but that’s a 100 spot jump in KenPom from 347 to 256. How would this look with another 100 spot jump or more?
- Three Point Field Goal Shooting is still something we’re going to talk about: When “did you make your threes” is a constant conversation, but mostly in the last few years because No, Mizzou did not make their threes. But yesterday, they kinda did. Mizzou hit 40% of their 3s and SEMO hit 50%, they took about the same number of threes and SEMO hit two additional shots from outside. So they only were +6 points in that category. Not exactly some huge advantage.
- And a rebounding win: I don't know, they didn’t get their expected Offensive Rebounds but neither did SEMO.
This was Mizzou’s 4th most efficient offensive performance, the turnovers were high but they still had 14 steals and 17 assists. They got to the Free Throw line much more than SEMO. But they also had their 2nd worst defensive performance from an efficiency standpoint.
Your Trifecta: Kobe Brown, Sean East II, D’Moi Hodge
On the season: D’Moi Hodge 14, Kobe Brown 11, Noah Carter 9, Sean East II 7, Nick Honor 5, DeAndre Gholston 3, Tre Gomillion 3, Isiaih Mosley 2
This was a Kobe/Sean game.
The rest of the cast really didn’t help out much. The rotation was trimmed to almost nothing for a Dennis Gates team. At this point we think Gates wants to get to a rotation of 10 guys, with those 10 mostly being the starting five, plus Sean East, Tre Gomillion, Isiaih Mosley, Aidan Shaw, and Ronnie DeGray. Mohamed Diarra has played in four of the 9 games and never more than five minutes. Kaleb Brown hasn’t played in three of the last five games and only played 9 minutes against Coastal. DeGray played an average of 9.6 minutes in the last 3 games and just one minute last night. Aidan Shaw’s minutes are likely to fluctuate; he was hitting at least 11-12 minutes until the last few games when the defensive lapses kept him sidelined a bit more. But in the second half last night the rotation was really just 7 players, Shaw played just 3 minutes, Carter just 7, Gholston 9.
Then there’s the case of Isiaih Mosley, at what point is this how it’s going to be versus Mosley figuring out how to be the guy we thought he would be? Mosley played 6 minutes last night and was a -10, he took 2 shots and missed both. Gates alluded to Mosley dealing with a personal issue impacting his playing time at Wichita State, and I don’t have any idea what’s going on but he was thought to be a central piece for this team. He flashed a few games ago and has otherwise been non-existent. I’m not sure what to expect from here on out, but I’ve no doubt he’s the most talented all-around offensive player. There’s a disconnect defensively at times, and it seems like he’s less than engaged quite often. I’m not sure what the answer is. Maybe there is no answer. Or maybe he’ll go for 40 against kU?
I’ll be ok if a poor game from Nick Honor looks like 50% from the floor, 50% from 3, a 1:1 assist to turnover ration with 4 steals. He basically had two poor decisions all night. Noah Carter struggled. DeAndre Gholston wasn’t all that good either, a 0% pass rate. But Kobe was so good, Sean East was also very good.
East seems to have turned on a switch here recently. He might’ve been the best player against Wichita State, and if it wasn’t for Kobe Brown being the best version of Kobe Brown, East would have been the best player again last night.
Sometimes it’s easy to forget there is another team trying to win the game when you play. Your team isn’t playing against itself. The competition level has been mediocre sure, but I’ll say that I think SEMO might be ok for an OVC school. Brad Korn has built a tough roster with good guard play, and while it’s not often they’ll shoot 50% from 3FG, if they shoot it consistently they could contend for an OVC Championship. Still, Mizzou has to be better, particularly on defense.
We didn’t learn anything new about this team last night. They struggle defensively, particularly with high middle ball screens. Those lift the Tigers limited back-line defense up the floor and make scramble rotations all that much harder when there’s a good heady point guard manning the ball screen. They’re going to have to gang rebound to offset the size issues. But they’re capable of creating enough turnovers, especially live ball turnovers, to get runouts and early clock offense.
This looks like the early makings of a good, but not great team. There are just 12 undefeated teams left in the country. At 9-0 Mizzou is just one of two teams (UConn) with as many wins. That’s the good news. The bad news is no surprise; they haven’t really played anyone. Mizzou has the 10th lowest KenPom rating of the remaining undefeated teams, with just UNLV and New Mexico lagging behind them. The Rebels have two top 100 wins, The Lobos just one. Mizzou is behind Utah State who has zero top 100 wins but only one win outside of the top 200. Only Auburn, Maryland, and Mississippi State are outside of the top 10, everyone else is very highly ranked.
The goal for the first 9 games was to do what they’ve done and that is win them all. The schedule set up in a way that they really should win them all, with maybe the exception of the Wichita State game, which was clearly a toss up. But the mission has been accomplished and now it’s Kansas week.
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.