The first 10 minutes of play felt familiar. Mizzou was playing pretty well, shooting well, turning the ball over a bit too much, and giving up second chance opportunities. With about 9:22 left in the 1st half, Iowa State guard Jaren Holmes buried a 3-point shot to help the Cyclones take a one-point lead.
The Tigers raced back up the floor and 6 seconds later Isiaih Mosley buried a 3-pointer from the top of the key to retake the lead. That made three didn’t start some avalanche. But it triggered a run which would see the Tigers double up on the Cyclones the rest of the half, 22-11, to take a 10-point half time lead.
There was no kill-shot. There was no big wild run. Even as Missouri was pouring in points, Iowa State would answer. But the answers weren’t tit-for-tat. So a 10-point halftime lead became 15 quickly. Then 18. Then 19. Mizzou never got to a 20-point lead, but it never got below 13 points in the rest of the second half, and after the Tigers made their first 5 shots out of the half, the game was basically over.
Iowa State is a team which thrives on turnovers and easy baskets. They aren’t a great half court offensive team and when Mizzou stopped turning the ball over suddenly it got a lot tougher for the Cyclones. At 7:31 they had cut the lead to 13 before a D’Moi Hodge (wide open) three basically canceled the comeback. Both teams played out the string. With an in-conference road game on Monday, T.J. Otzelberger called things off for the most part and even put in his bench guys before Dennis Gates did.
- Iowa State got the pace they wanted: as the game was played in the mid-60s. But the Tigers were able to attack in some early clock offense enough to put the pressure on the Cyclones on the other end. When Mizzou is making early clock threes they’re really really really really good and difficult to beat.
- The Cyclones lead the country in TOR% at 27.5%: so for Mizzou to turn the ball over just twelve times was a boon to their offense. 27.5% would have been closer to 18 turnovers. Maybe they still win at 18 with the way they shot the ball, but it's certainly a lot closer. By being that efficient on offense and not turning the ball over they put immense pressure on a fairly mediocre offensive ball club to be great, and Iowa State was not up for it.
- I’ll also point out the free throw attempts here: the FTA/FGA number for Mizzou nearly doubled that of ISU. Since entering league play Mizzou has sent their opponents to the FT line a lot. Since the start of conference play Mizzou has had a Defensive FTR of around 40.1%. For a team who struggles on the defensive end, you don’t need to give your opponent free points. It’s difficult in the SEC because it’s such a physical league that LOTS of fouls are called. But if Mizzou can find a way to limit the damage at the FT line the rest of the way forward, they’ll be better for it.
Most of this game was played on Iowa State’s terms, and Mizzou just beat them at it. They turned ISU over more, and they executed in the half court more.
Tigers offense hit a skid late, averaging 20 points over 25 possessions (0.800).— Order On The Court (@DataMizzou) January 28, 2023
However, the first 39 possessions we're electric, notching 58 points, good for 1.487 PPP.
Mizzou would've lost by 3 if they had gone scoreless the last 15:30.
For the last 10 minutes or so, not much of it mattered. Both teams knew what the final result was going to be. But for the first 30 minutes or so the offense was absolutely humming. When you have Kobe, D’Moi, and Isiaih making shots, Mizzou is just a really difficult team to defend against.
Your Trifecta: Kobe Brown, D’Moi Hodge, Nick Honor
On the season: D’Moi Hodge 30, Kobe Brown 29, Nick Honor 17, Noah Carter 15, Sean East II 13, DeAndre Gholston 10, Tre Gomillion 5, Isiaih Mosley 5, Mohamed Diarra 3
Kobe Brown was awesome yesterday. And efficient. 20 points and 12 boards, 20% usage and a nearly 1.7 points per possession. I feel like I’m going to say this a lot, but this version of Kobe just makes Mizzou so tough to beat. It feels like he’s re-committed himself to rebounding since missing the Alabama game and watching his boys get crushed on the glass. His numbers through 20 games are pretty ridiculous,
But as good as Kobe’s been, this team’s ceiling lifts a lot with good D’Moi. I feel like I can’t talk about D’Moi and his production without also mentioning Isiaih Mosley, because even though Mosley only had 8 points, the attention he commands from the defense does A LOT for a guy like D’Moi Hodge. I’ve said before that Hodge isn’t a shot creator, but he’s a shot taker. Mosley is a shot creator, he creates for himself and for others. His ability to draw defensive attention, along with that of Brown, is giving Hodge the open looks he’s been missing until the last few games.
Also it was just really good to see Nick Honor make some shots. When he’s a 3-point threat on top of Mosley and Hodge, plus guys like Noah Carter and DeAndre Gholston and Kobe Brown, it just goes further to spread the floor for cuts and drives.
I like to say it’s as much “did you make your threes” as “when did you make your threes” because Mizzou finished 14 of 30 from behind the arc. But they also missed their last 6 attempts. So before that cold streak to finish the game, they were 14 of 24, or 58.3%. They also finished 3 for their last 14. So they were 11 of 16 with about 15 minutes to play, that’s 68.8%!!!. When you start the game shooting like that, it leaves you a lot of room for error as things wind down.
We also got appearances from Dree doing some bullsh*t, a 4-point play and a sweet spin move layup, plus a step through jumper from the baseline for good measure.
Momentum is only as good as your next play or your next game, but it looks like Mizzou is in a good spot right now. They play Wednesday against LSU with a chance to win 3 in a row for the first time since they finished off Kentucky in December. LSU is a game they should win, the Bayou Bengals aren’t good offensively and have lost 8 games in a row. It’s still not a game you can take for granted, though, since weird things happen in Conference play. But it should be a win.
Beating ISU put Mizzou in a spot where they pretty much have to screw up an NCAA Tournament bid. Which means just winning the games you’re supposed to win the rest of the way. That starts on Wednesday.
Big 12-SEC Challenge Results:
- Oklahoma 93, Alabama (2) 69
- Tennessee (4) 82, Texas (10) 71
- Kansas State (5) 64, Florida 50
- Kansas (9) 77, Kentucky 68
- Mississippi State 81, TCU (11) 74
- West Virginia 80, Auburn (15) 77
- Baylor (17) 67, Arkansas 64
- Texas Tech 76, LSU 68
- Oklahoma State 82, Ole Miss 60
The SEC lost the last Challenge 7-3, with Mizzou joining Mississippi State and Tennessee in the victory column. And everyone else taking an L.
Other SEC Games:
- Texas A&M 72, Vanderbilt 66
- Georgia 81, South Carolina 78
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.
%Min: This is easy, it’s the percentage of minutes a player played which were available to them. That would be 40 minutes, or 45 if the game goes to overtime.
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.
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. This combined with Usage Rate gives you a sense of impact on the floor.
IndPoss: This is approximates how many possessions an individual is responsible for within the teams calculated possessions.
ShotRate%: This is the percentage of teams shots a player takes while on the floor.
AstRate%: Attempts to estimate the number of assists a player has on teammates made field goals when he is on the floor. The formula is basically AST / (((MinutesPlayed / (Team MP / 5)) * Team FGM) - FGM).
TORate%: Attempts to estimate the number of turnovers a player commits in their individual possessions. The formula is simple: TO / IndPoss
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.
In attempting to update Study Hall, I’m moving away from Touches/Possession and moving into the Rates a little more. This is a little experimental so if there’s something you’d like to see let me know and I’ll see if there’s an easy visual way to present it.