I feel like a need a heavy dose of caveats to drop in here before I get into this Study Hall. And something of a reminder on where I come from, analytically.
I am not an analytics guru. I admire people who are, who can spend time with a million spreadsheets and derive or extract the needed information. I’ve gotten better at it, and I know what works, but I’m still at my core a “watch the game and figure out your takes” guy.
Stats do matter. Advanced stats provide a deeper understanding of what and how things happened. The more individual data points you have the more you can understand what and who a team is. What their foot print is, what makes them tick. If you’re in the locker room and in practice day in and day out you may have a better idea, but we’re not. So we rely upon this data.
Now, I’ll also add that I’m not coming off my stance on Dennis Gates. I think he’s one of the better young coaches in the game. But... I’m not sure this Missouri basketball team is very good. At least not yet. And certainly they were not good last night. As much as you wanted the comeback win over Minnesota to mean something, that was just tossed out the window. The momentum was tossed aside by a SWAC team with an 0-5 record and no losses within 14 points of their opponent. But against Missouri they brought the fight, and the Tigers were not ready for it. Their coach, and his staff, did not do them any favors either.
Talk about a game where you don’t recognize your team. For a year plus we’ve seen this team handle the ball exquisitely and then last night they were just dreadful. And it didn’t matter who it was, it was just slow clumsy ball handling for most of the night. It was better in the second half, but still around 34 possessions and 7 turnovers is 20% which is absurdly high for Missouri under Gates. Still, when you’re making 1.31 points per shot you should probably try to keep the ball for shots instead of turnovers.
- The rebounding has been better: but it was not good against Jackson State. They were +0.7 which sure is fine. But someone named Zeke Cook had five offensive rebounds on his own.
- It’s really frustrating to see Mizzou basically do what they needed and still lose: at least in terms of shooting the basketball. If you hit 60+% of your shots inside the arc, and 37+% of your shots from outside the arc, you should beat a SWAC team. Even a good SWAC team.
I’m not sure what else is needed to go over, but Mizzou has been a better defensive team this year over their efforts last season. Against Jackson State they were just ok. It all basically came down to some awful ball handling and giving up too many shots at the rim.
Your Trifecta: Caleb Grill, Nick Honor, Jesus Carralero-Martin
On the season: Sean East 10, Nick Honor 7, Noah Carter 5, Caleb Grill 3, Tamar Bates 3, Jesus Carralero Martin 1, Aidan Shaw 1
Above I took a shot at the staff for how this game was handled, and I’m looking at two of the three best GS / Min players with a total of 10 minutes played. John Tonje and Connor Vanover, for what ever reason, are not getting additional minutes. Two of the guys who we thought would be helping this team more are not helping on the floor. Again, for whatever reason. We know Tonje had an early season injury he was dealing with, but aside form Vanover having to sit three games he's only played 10 minutes in 2 games.
It’s also stunning to see Sean East with such a negative +/-. He was -17 in 28 minutes. Meaning when Sean East wasn’t on the floor for just 12 minutes, Mizzou was +16. I never like to say one player lost the game, and if we’re honest here Sean East didn’t do that. It wasn't his fault Mizzou lost, at all. East had a bad night, especially when you consider how good he’s been for so much of the season so far. I tend to think it’s more just the lineups are a little off so far.
Well that’s more red than we’re used to.
It’s wild that Jesus Carralero-Martin (just realized my graph was cutting off his full last name, that’ll adjust for next time out) had a 205.7 offensive rating and a 5% usage rate. It’s also wild that we finally got to see Caleb Grill having a good night and it was wasted. Nick Honor has been fine. Tamar Bates is almost performing well. Everything about this roster seems to be that it’s still very much a work in progress.
I guess this is where I’ll divert a bit into the theme so far of the season. Mizzou just isn’t very good. They have the framework to be good. But right now they are not. Opening with an opponent like Arkansas Pine Bluff, a team who just lost by 19 points to Incarnate Word, isn’t a good basis for figuring out who you are. They then lost to Memphis by 15, beat a poor shooting SIUE squad semi comfortably, and then squeaked out a win over Minnesota. Mizzou has shown so far they’re just as much the team who was down 20 to the Gophers as they are the team who outplayed them by 22 over the final 11 minutes.
Sometimes it’s hard to separate that, but so far it’s been nearly impossible to figure out what this Mizzou team is. Gates has been more than willing to play a lot of guys, but there’s little to no consistency. You can expect Nick Honor to play a lot, and Sean East. But who else does Gates trust at this point? Both Honor and East were on the team last year so they should have a bigger rapport with the head coach. Noah Carter is likely in a similar boat. But at this point who else gets that benefit of the doubt?
This loss is a very bad loss, and really the first negative mark on Dennis Gates’ resume at Missouri. Jackson State is 284th in KenPom after last night, that’s better than Charleston Southern in 2019-20, and right in the ballpark of UMKC in Kim Anderson’s first season. So where it ranks is HIGH on the list of bad. Mizzou fans who mocked Arkansas for losing to UNC-Greensboro are probably pretty quiet right now. At least Greensboro is a top 100 team, and a team who finished 3rd in the Southern Conference last year. The Southern Conference is the 17th rated conference the SWAC is the 30th.
So yeah, there’s no sugar coating what happened. Dennis Gates has a lot to figure out with his team. He seems to want to play everyone, but he needs to really figure out what his rotation is. Right now it’s too piecemeal and erratic to make sense of. Who knows where this season goes but right now this isn’t an NCAA Tournament team. There’s a LONG way to go before we can begin to think about that.
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.