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Study Hall: Arkansas 74, Mizzou 68

No matter who you are, and how good you are, winning on the road is still tough to do.

study hall 2022

If you want to feel better about last night’s game, just think about this:

  • Home Georgia 76, Road ranked #22 Auburn 64
  • Home Georgia Tech 76, Road ranked #12 Miami 70
  • Home NC State 84, Road ranked #16 Duke 60
  • Home Providence 73, Road ranked #4 UConn 61

Only one ranked team lost at home last night and that team was Baylor, who lost to ranked TCU. The Horned Frogs needed 33 points from Mike Miles, Jr. and a pretty heroic comeback to win the game.

On Tuesday, Virginia lost at Pitt and New Mexico lost at Fresno State, both ranked foes against unranked opponents.

Last night your ranked Mizzou Tigers went on the road and lost to a ranked Arkansas team by 6 points. They didn’t play great. Credit to Arkansas, they won despite not playing all that great either. They had a terrific mid-game run where they turned a 15-point deficit into a lead that got as big as 8 points. But the Tigers were struggling to make shots, and even though they were still able to cut things down to 3 points late... they were never able to get fully over that hump.

Winning on the road is tough. Arkansas fields a top-5 defense, and with an offense that can get askew in a hurry, their defense is what keeps them into games. They smothered D’Moi Hodge, who only mustered 4 shots and just 2 from outside the arc. Meanwhile, they were able to exploit the Tigers biggest weakness, the glass. In all, it was a tough road loss. I guess we’ll look over the stats and see what went down.

Team Stats

study hall 2023 arkansas
  • The glass, yeah: If there’s one thing Eric Musselman does is believe in a scout... to an extreme. Arkansas is a bigger and more athletic team than Missouri is and they punished Mizzou on the glass. Illinois rebounded half of their shots against Mizzou but the Tigers shot the ball so well it didn’t matter. Arkansas rebounded MORE than half their shots and Mizzou’s shooting couldn’t make up the difference.
  • Winning the BCI but in a backdoor way: Missouri didn’t generate the amount of steals they’re used to, and they were nearly equal on the assist rate, but it’s good to go into BWA and not cough the ball up. If anything, it was the one thing that kept the Tigers around. Maybe they weren’t shooting very well, but they were still getting shots. They problem was Mizzou’s good ball handling was cancelled out by Arkansas’ Offensive Rebounds.
  • It wasn’t a good shooting night for either team: but after being abysmal, Arkansas evened it out hard. While Mizzou was just sorta ok, then was bad, then got ok again. Mizzou was 10 for their first 20, then 6 for their next 20, and finished 8 of 14. The Hogs were 5 for their first 20, then 13/20, and finished 8 of their last 14.

If you’re building a recipe for a road loss, you usually start with turnovers. But Mizzou didn’t really turn the ball over, Arkansas did. But Mizzou didn’t take advantage of free points, and just had a few poor possessions when they needed good ones late in the game.

Player Stats

Your Trifecta: Nick Honor, Sean East II, Noah Carter

study hall 2023 arkansas

On the season: D’Moi Hodge 23, Kobe Brown 17, Nick Honor 13, Noah Carter 12, Sean East II 10, DeAndre Gholston 5, Tre Gomillion 3, Isiaih Mosley 2

Without Kobe Brown through much of the 1st half due to foul trouble, the Missouri offense looked buggy. Devo Davis was tasked with taking D’Moi Hodge out of the game. Hodge is a good player, and a lot of fun, but he’s not a shot generator. He’s a shot taker. He gets the ball and if he’s open, he’s taking the shot. But he’s just not a guy who can break defenders down off the dribble. In particular, Davis is a great defender. Which makes it all that much harder. Brown and Hodge have been fixtures for Mizzou’s success this season, and due to fouls and some solid defense, provided just 17 points. Or roughly about 35% of what they averaged the previous two games

Nick Honor is one of my favorite players to watch, but it’s not the best sign that he’s your Adjusted Game Score leader. Honor is a guy who thrives in the shadows. He can make jumpers here and there, but the offense is better when he’s deferring to others. Against Illinois and Kentucky, he had 8 total points.

study hall 2023 arkansas

This is way more red than we’re accustomed to seeing. But this is also about Arkansas defense as it is Mizzou’s offense. The offense wasn’t bad considering how good the Hogs’ defense is. Their adjusted efficiency is 5th in the country at 87.6 ORtg, and Mizzou sported a 103.1 Offensive Rating. And If they’d have just had a couple better possessions it likely would have been enough to get over the hump.

I mentioned above how Muss likes to hammer his scout to an extreme level. When Mizzou came out, he had Makhi Mitchell stand in front of the rim and perform a “Kornet Kontest” when Mizzou attempted a three. He was daring Ronnie DeGray III, a career 30.8% three- point shooter to beat them. The other advantage was this also took away cutting angles which Mizzou has largely exploited over the last couple games.

By no means am I saying we should be happy about losing to Arkansas. I thought the Hogs were vulnerable, and I was right. I thought if Mizzou was able to execute their game plan and make shots, they’d be able to escape with a win. But it’s often that pesky “make shots” thing that evades teams when they go on the road. It would have been another opportunity at a Quad 1 win, and with Arkansas still figuring out who they are offensively, maybe you can get that one.

But while the scout was working in the first half, Mizzou made the wrong amount of mistakes in the last three minutes of the 1st half to breathe some life into the lifeless Razorbacks. Then it became a battle and a 1-for-7 start to the second half for Mizzou’s 3-point shooting was enough to give them a really difficult hole to dig out of.

But things aren’t over by any stretch. They lost a tough, mostly close, road game to a top 25 team. There are bound to be other games on the road this season where the Tigers struggle. But with Vanderbilt coming into COMO on Saturday Mizzou has a good opportunity to get right back in the win column. If they take care of business against Vandy, then the following week provides two opportunities for road wins in the SEC.

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 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 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.