I’m not sure if it’s possible to have approximately 57 different takeaways from one single basketball game but I felt like I had at least that many after the final horn blew in Kansas City last night.
Most of it sucked. Some of it was nice. There was a good start, a very bad middle, a hectic finish and, in the end, a disappointing loss.
You could run the game 100 times and get 100 different outcomes and I’m not sure Seton Hall puts on the offensive game the way they did. Well, maybe only 2-3 times out of 100. Basically, the Hall put on a terrific offensive performance. The type of performance they had not had against another high major opponent this year. But we’ve seen this version of the Tigers.
The one where the offense gets stagnant and the defense gets leaky. A 16-3 run in the first half by the Pirates to let a 6-point lead turn into an 7-point deficit felt familiar. But even late in the 1st half the game was still within reach, and Missouri was only down 4 points going into the break. They even scored first in the 2nd half to cut the lead down to 2 points. But then Seton Hall used a 21-4 run over the next 7 minutes to put the game out of reach.
Sure, Mizzou cut the lead down over the rest of the second half, and with a flourish at the end got it down to as few as 4 points. But they never got it to a single possession, and even that 4-point lead was with just 10 seconds to play. And it required Seton Hall missing three of six free throws down the final stretch to get there.
Mizzou fought, which is good. But the moment to get the game back was with Sean East II at the free throw line down 11 with just over 8 minutes to play. East missed two free throws so the lead went from 19 with 12 minutes to play, to 11 with 8 minutes, and back to 19 when Amir Dawes canned a corner three with 5:53 to play. Sure, the 14-1 run after that part was more fun, but 19 down with 5:53 left is a lot. Especially when the Pirates are overall a better team than the last team Mizzou came back on.
- Just think about the obstacles you have to overcome when you give up 67.9% eFG: and 1.66 points per shot, and 1.33 points per possession. 1.33 ppp is what Mizzou scored against Arkansas Pine Bluff. Their mark of 1.24 was the third best on the season. So offensively this was really a pretty good night, but you just gave up too much. For historical context on the 67.9% eFG that’s Mizzou in Phog Allen Cuonzo Martin’s last year. That’s not great.
- A lot was made during the broadcast of Seton Hall’s three-point shooting, but it was their work inside the arc that killed the Tigers: Seton Hall attempted just 11 non-rim 2 point shots, they were 5 of 11 on those shots. They tried 22 shots at the rim and made 18 of them. So 18 of 22 at the rim, 5 of 11 away from the rim. Mizzou attempted 38 2FGs and 17 of those were non-rim 2s. They made just one of those shots (per the Statbroadcast count) and were otherwise 15 of 21 at the rim. I don’t mean to get all MID-RANGE BAD on you here but... this is why analytics has the reputation it does, I guess. Mizzou was bad from the mid-range and had Seton Hall weren’t taking many mid-range shots.
- On a night when you were 71% at the rim, and 50% from three, you were having the kind of offensive night where the offense was working: so why were there that many mid-range attempts?
- And how was it possible you allowed such a high percentage defensively? Seton Hall got good shots, open shots outside, and they made a good percentage of them. But at the rim they were more physical with their finishes. Mizzou didn’t push the Pirates out of what they wanted to do offensively.
Your Trifecta: Tamar Bates, Sean East II, Nick Honor
On the season: Sean East 25, Noah Carter 12, Nick Honor 10, Tamar Bates 6, Caleb Grill 6, Anthony Robinson II 3, Connor Vanover 2, Jesus Carralero Martin 1, Aidan Shaw 1
Welcome back to the trifecta, Tamar Bates. It’s really a shame Mizzou wasted such a good performance from Bates. And while Bates wasn’t great in the mid-range, he was terrific on catch and shoots, and even got to the rim. There were fewer possessions of indecisiveness which has been one of the things plaguing Bates and his ability to make plays.
Both East and Honor came on later in the second half, despite being just 3-9 for 7 points in the first half combined. And it’s just too bad we didn’t get like 100 more minutes of what Trent Pierce was doing.
Which then some of what happens comes back to the rather odd substitution patterns. It did seem like Dennis Gates had figured out the sub pattern he wanted for the Pitt game. It was the same for Wichita State, and then Caleb Grill got hurt and things shifted a bit for Kansas, and then went out the window against Seton Hall. I realize that sometimes with different teams you can think different players and rotations may have better success based upon matchups. But it really felt like things got askew again after finding some consistency.
Both Trent Pierce and Jordan Butler had to wait until the second half to see any action, and both had solid contributions once inserted. Aidan Shaw got buried in favor of Jesus Carrelero-Martin through a large portion of the middle of the game. He tried Curt Lewis as well in the second half, and Mabor Majak in the first half. He also went away from Connor Vanover, despite Vanover being helpful each of the last two games.
I’d also point out that on the day Matt Harris wrote a terrific piece on Nick Honor and his shot selection, his usage equaled that of last year, just about 16%.
But I’d go back to what the issue was with this team in this game... it wasn’t scoring. It was stopping the other team from scoring and getting all the shots they wanted. Maybe if Seton Hall ended up 7 of 23 from 3FG and just 15 of 22 at the rim, and Mizzou had won by 5 or 6 points we’d feel different. Mizzou’s opening lineup is more defensive-focused with Bates and Shaw, the early sub is Vanover who doesn’t give you much defensively outside of some moderate rim protection. Moving Vanover away from the rim usually results in opening up the rim offensively. There are solutions, even if maybe they aren’t great.
Vanover doesn’t rebound well enough when he’s on the floor either. Mabor Majak really doesn’t. You know who does? The freshmen! And Aidan. Getting the ball once it goes on the glass has been an adventure over the last two years, and younger players tend to be more erratic on defensive rotations... but they’re doing good things! I just think this team still has a chance to be pretty good but it’s never going to be like last year.
Going into Braggin’ Rights with the wheels a bit loose on the car isn’t ideal. But all is not lost. There’s still time and room for this team to grow and be a more complete version of themselves by the time the SEC games hit. It’s possible! It really is.
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.