Without being cliche, It is what it is at this point. Mizzou lost another game by a large margin, and looked incapable of mounting any real challenge to a ranked opponent at home.
For a segment of the season, the Tigers found a glitch in the matrix. They were able to exploit a slight softening in the schedule coupled with a refined offensive approach to look more coherent for a while. But after five games in 11 short days with just eight available players? It’s easy to see how this got away.
Tennessee has a better roster. They are deeper, with high level point guard play, complete with NBA prospects at guard. The front line is huge. They were better than Missouri in every statistical category, and looked every bit of a team in line for a 3-seed in the SEC tournament. Missouri looked like a bottom tier SEC program destined for a long offseason.
- PPP vs PPS: Is it bad when your opponents PPP is equal to your PPS? Yes. The answer is yes. It’s bad.
- Tennessee was actually not very good from 2-point range: Their bigs are pretty mediocre around the rim, despite having an enormous advantage over the Tigers in that area. Mizzou did clip them by a hair in percentage, but the effective-field-goal and true-shooting percentages were lopsided because the Vols had some easy wide open looks from distance. They even made a few tough contested 3s.
- I waver back and forth over the importance of the four factors: They’re indicators of success. But the only one Mizzou won was the FTA/FGA. One reason for it looking as lopsided as it did is because Missouri had more turnovers.
There were a few stretches where the Tigers looked good. They played even for the first 10 minutes. Then lost the middle 20 minutes by around 20 points. Then cut it to 12 over the next 5 minutes, and then it evened out back to 19 over the last five. But the trouble with having long stretches of poor basketball is it usually means you have a problematic roster.
Your Trifecta: Javon Pickett, Kobe Brown, DaJuan Gordon
On the season: Kobe Brown 42, Ronnie DeGray III 28, Jarron Coleman 24, Javon Pickett 23, Amari Davis 22, DaJuan Gordon 13, Trevon Brazile 12, Sean Durugordon 2, Yaya Keita 1, Jordan Wilmore 1
There was a bit of a narrative going around that Missouri was far more successful when Kobe Brown and Javon Pickett both scored in double figures. That narrative has fallen by the wayside the last few games after both Pickett and Brown scored in double figures in a close loss against Mississippi State. They did it again last night — and MU got methodically taken apart. The issue isn’t with Brown and Pickett, it’s more that Mizzou needs a LOT of their pieces to play well to be competitive, especially against a ranked opponent. With an eight man rotation, they can withstand one guy having an off night. But not 3.
We’re beginning to run out of things to say about this season. Matt Harris calculated Missour’s raw efficiency margin so far this season over stretches of games, and it looks like this:
- First 15 games: minus-11.63
- Middle 7 games: 0.37
- Last 6 games: minus-15.89
- Overall: minus-9.59
Over seven games, MU found some schematic tweaks that helped the offense function well enough to offset a defense that’s struggled all season. Maybe it was a dead cat bounce.
Following the win at Texas A&M, there was some confidence around the program, and maybe faint hints of hope within the fan base. After sweeping Ole Miss, there were a few whispers of thought this was going to turn around.
But then the schedule toughened up with opponents that had the kind of size and physicality to counter the Tigers altered attack. And this roster is still missing the kinds of key parts that sustain you, regardless of the opposition. DaJuan Gordon’s found a rhythm in SEC play, but the rest of the team still can't shoot 3s, ranking 353rd nationally. They don’t have point guard and struggle to value the ball, sitting at 322nd in turnover percentage. And sitting at 208th in free-throw percentage means they can’t generate easy offense. You make up deficits by maximizing possessions from long range or the free-throw line. Mizzou can’t do any of that.
Tennessee? The Vols canned half their 3-point attempts, committed just nine turnovers, and sank 15 of 19 freebies. There were mediocre inside the arc, and it didn’t matter. They forced MU into poor shots, kept the ball, and maximized those possessions. All the luxuries MU lacks.
MU heads to LSU at 4-11 in the SEC and clearly a bottom-three team (Ole Miss is 4-10 and play at Auburn tonight, Georgia still only has one win). Cuonzo Martin’s never lost five games in a row since taking the job. He’s lost four in a row three times. In 2019, three of the losses came against top-50 teams. In 2020, three were road games, and the fourth saw Jeremiah Tilmon sitting with an injury. On Saturday, he’ll be flirting with a mark of distinction no one wants.
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.