Two teams entered the court of play, both prepared for a tough and physical contest. Vanderbilt was coming off a big home win over LSU, Missouri was coming off a big road win over Texas A&M. The Commodores have had a tough season since entering conference play. At one point they lost 6 of 8 games, with their only wins in that stretch over Georgia.
As the game started, the physicality was fierce. The defense was forcing the ball out away from the basket. Points were hard to come by. Fouls... were not.
Sometimes wins and losses are complicated, but in this game the results were what they are for a few pretty simple and clear reasons.
- Foul disparity: Mizzou was called for 27 fouls, and had two players foul out. Vanderbilt attempted 35 FTs to Missouri’s 12. Vanderbilt made 24 to Missouri’s 7. The FTA to FGA was 78% to 20%. There have been two times under Cuonzo Martin where Missouri’s opponent has had a higher FTA/FGA rate, and that was Auburn each of the last two years. Mizzou won the first game two years ago when their own FTR was 57%.
- Missouri actually had more raw possessions: ball handling has been a problem all year, and it was a little shaky at times but the non-steal Turnover percentage was good, and they attempted 16 more shots than Vanderbilt. Had it not been for the fouling, this would’ve been the kind of performance Mizzou needed.
- Losing on the glass to a poor rebounding team: that’s not great. Missouri is an ok offensive rebounding team, but they’re a pretty poor defensive rebounding team. Both teams finished with 12 ORBs but Vandy was able to capitalize far more with 17 2nd chance points.
Your Trifecta: Kobe Brown, Javon Pickett, Ronnie DeGray III
On the season: Kobe Brown 35, Amari Davis 22, Jarron Coleman 21, Ronnie DeGray III 20, Javon Pickett 17, DaJuan Gordon 11, Trevon Brazile 8, Sean Durugordon 2, Yaya Keita 1, Jordan Wilmore 1
Sometimes the game is complex, sometimes it’s simple. Missouri fouled a lot, and had rotten nights from two guys they needed more from. Amari Davis has been really very good at getting to his spots and making his shots at a fair clip. He was instrumental to Mizzou’s win over Texas A&M. But he struggled against Vanderbilt. This isn’t a statistical note, but more observational. I thought Davis got too deep into the defense too often and struggled to finish over the size around the rim for the ‘Dores.
Not only was Davis’ performance a problem, but Jarron Coleman struggled, too. Boogie and Amari have been near fixtures in the trifecta recently and they combined for 8 points and 7 fouls.
Missouri really did everything they needed to do, other than commit too many fouls. Kobe Brown played 27 minutes, and he hasn’t played less than 30 minutes since the first Texas A&M game. Having Brown on the floor is key for Missouri’s rebounding and offense.
Javon Pickett coming back was an offensive boost. Kaleb Brown hitting 2 three pointers was found money. But for a team who had largely fixed their 3-point shooting woes by being more selective, Missouri regressed against Vandy. In conference play they’ve been 12th in 3FG/FGA rate but attempted 10% more 3s last night.
So again, it’s simple.
Mizzou fouled too much.
Mizzou shot too many threes.
Amari Davis and Jarron Coleman played poorly.
That was enough.
If you want to complain about the foul disparity, I won’t stop you. It’s one of the main reasons the Tigers lost. I said after Texas A&M that winning on the road is hard, and Vanderbilt this season is better than they’ve been since 2017. Losing this game hurts, because it’s a game you can win if you don’t foul as much, make a couple more threes, and get better minutes from Amari and Boogie.
Mizzou has only won three of their last 9 games. There’s no doubt they’re playing better but the results are what they are. Losing close games is better than blowouts, I guess. But this team still needs to find a way to a few more wins. Next up is Ole Miss this weekend at home.
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.