I’m really surprised by how bad Ole Miss is.
Missouri beat them for the third time this season, and in each game it wasn’t all that close. No matter what Ole Miss tried to do, Mizzou always had an answer. Which is really weird, considering that before this season the Rebels were the one program who seemed to just feast upon the misfortunes of Missouri Basketball.
But despite struggling through this awful season, Cuonzo Martin and his merry band of misfits seem to have Ole Miss figured out. After a first half that went back and forth, Mizzou came out in the second half and set the tone. They outscored the Rebels by 12 in the half, and the bulk of that happened with a 13-2 spurt to open things up.
Cuonzo Martin knows what this team is. He knows what their margins are, and what they need to accomplish to win games. Most teams don’t comply, but for some reason Ole Miss just seems to let Mizzou do all the things they need to do offensively to be good. It almost makes Missouri fun to watch.
- Winning the Four Factors >>>: Both teams couldn’t hit squat from outside, and didn’t attempt many shots from deep because of it. But attacking the rim and making interior shots, plus getting to the foul line, and winning the meager offensive rebounding battle (mostly by erasing Ole Miss on the glass) is certainly how Mizzou is going to win games with this club. Not always pretty but it (sometimes) works.
- It’s not often how well you shot from outside but when you shot well: Missouri hit 4 3s all game long. The first 3 were from Ronnie DeGray III, who was keeping Mizzou in the game in the first half as the rest of the offense stumbled and Kobe Brown was in foul trouble. The fourth 3 was from Boogie Coleman to cap an 11-0 run which gave Missouri its first double digit lead. Meanwhile, Ole Miss hit 2 threes early, and 2 late when it didn’t matter. Basically, the 4 Mizzou made were more important when they happened.
I really don’t get why this Ole Miss team is as bad as they are. They have athletes, a good center, quality wings, Jarkel Joiner is a consistent threat, there are plenty of 4-star recruits on their roster. And they just have no cohesiveness. It just goes to show how hard it is to win, and win consistently.
Your Trifecta: Kobe Brown, Trevon Brazile, Ronnie DeGray III
On the season: Kobe Brown 50, Ronnie DeGray III 31, Javon Pickett 29, Amari Davis 24, Jarron Coleman 24, Trevon Brazile 17, DaJuan Gordon 13, Sean Durugordon 2, Yaya Keita 1, Jordan Wilmore 1
Kobe is Missouri’s best player, and it’s most important. And he’s been that guy against Ole Miss. In the first half he was in foul trouble, but he was dominant in the second half. He had a ‘that feels about right’ usage of 27% and returned a floor rate over 50%. When he’s returning 1.19 points per possession that’s a good thing. Particularly when you can pump almost 1⁄3 of the possessions through him when he’s on the floor.
I almost feel like we’re watching Trevon Brazile take another step. Because he’s been really good the last 3-4 games. He’s better defensively on switches, but he’s been selective on his rim attacks and smart in attacking the defense. It’s also nice to see a guy who looks like he should be a good free throw shooter making his free throws.
For as important as some guys are on this team, perhaps nobody is more valuable than Boogie Coleman. Coleman had 0 points, no assists, and a couple bad turnovers in the first half, including an airball 3-point attempt. In the second half he was a different player. He still had 2 turnovers, but 9 points and no missed shots, plus 2 assists.
And Ronnie DeGray is the guy that you never want to waste a good shooting night from him.
It was a good night for the Missouri offense. But they were just as good defensively. The key to limiting Ole Miss is to make Matthew Murrell and Jarkel Joiner less efficient, and not get killed around the rim. Ole Miss wants to get rim attacks and Mizzou made that difficult.
Neither of these two teams are particularly good, but Ole Miss isn’t as bad as Mizzou if you consult the metrics. Yet 3 games, 3 wins and it should tell you which team is the better team.
Mizzou faces LSU in the second round of the SEC Tournament. It’s very likely their last game. Playing back to backs with a short bench in a long season is just really difficult to overcome. Hopefully Mizzou can keep it respectable, but LSU defends at a much higher level than Ole Miss does. Once the season is over, we’ll hopefully learn the fate of Missouri’s head coach. Either way it’s going to help to know what the future holds.
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.