With so much going on in the college football world Sunday it was easy to forget college basketball. I mentioned on the podcast how this could be potentially a trap game for the Tigers. They were coming off a big road win over Pittsburgh and coming back during a weekend when the focus will be mostly on the football team and their bowl announcement.
Mizzou Football landed in the Cotton Bowl, against Ohio State. And the Basketball Tigers jumped out early thanks to some loose Shocker ball handling, and following a 10-0 spurt to start the game they never relinquished the lead en route to a 10 point win.
It wasn’t perfect, it didn’t even feel like an extension of the road win. But it was necessary, as Missouri did what they needed to do in beating a tough and stingy Wichita State team.
I don’t want to make this any more than it is. This was a necessary win. Mizzou led from the 18:24 mark in the 1st half to the final buzzer. They needed to win the game, they won the game. It was relatively undramatic.
It’s a bit weird how Missouri seems to flow from one game to the next and the way they play, the way they win, varies greatly from game to game. Like the rebounding, beating Pitt on the glass and then getting hammered by Wichita the very next time out. Sometimes when Mizzou gets beat on the glass it's more that they just get nowhere close to their expected rebounds while giving up slightly more to the opposition. This was the case yesterday as the -8.9 is an ugly number, but it had more to do with Missouri’s measly 18.9% offensive rebound rate.
- How do you make up for getting creamed on the glass? Turnovers! Wichita had six turnovers before Missouri even had one. By that point Missouri had a 10 point lead. Wichita was loose with the ball early and it provided the buffer the Tigers would use to win the game.
- Sometimes it’s not if you made your threes but when: and Wichita State finished 8-28 for a paltry 28.6%. In the first half they made 6 of 12, they then made two of their first four in the second half before missing their last 12. Their last made three cut the lead to 3 points, but the shots didn’t fall over the last 10 minutes. Meanwhile in the last 10 minutes, Missouri made a couple threes. One with 3:30 left to give the Tigers a 5 point lead, and another on the next possession to push a 3 point lead back to 6.
Your Trifecta: Sean East II, Caleb Grill, Connor Vanover
On the season: Sean East 20, Noah Carter 12, Nick Honor 7, Caleb Grill 6, Anthony Robinson II 3, Tamar Bates 3, Connor Vanover 1, Jesus Carralero Martin 1, Aidan Shaw 1
Missouri’s offense hasn’t been all that great and it's through no fault of Sean East. Since East was so bad against Jackson State, he’s averaged over 20 points while shooting 21 of 40 from 2FG and 7 of 11 from 3FG. The only thing holding him back is the turnovers, he’s had 13 over the last four games. But with his usage being so high and his shotmaking being so consistently good, it’s barely harmed his efficiency.
We started seeing the emergence of East’s new pick and roll partner in Connor Vanover. Vanover’s first appearance in the trifecta coincided with his first matchup against his old coach, and Vanover was everything Missouri needed on offense. It would be nice if Vanover were a little better in space and could cover more ground defensively, but that’s not what Dennis Gates signed up for. This game is what he signed up for. Timely finishing around the rim and a big three point make.
Tough night for Noah Carter. He still got to the free throw line and made an impact there. But for what they were getting from East and Vanover, plus Caleb Grill’s good night, that was enough offensively.
As the lineups are evening out a bit more, so too are the roles. Gates feels comfortable with Sean East in pick and rolls, and there’s been enough three point shot making to make up the difference. Maybe this isn’t the flame throwing offense we saw a year ago, but they seem to be a little better defensively. If the defense can hold as steady and find a way to be more consistent on the glass then Missouri can be pretty good.
Obviously being pretty good may not be enough when you’re heading into Phog Allen Fieldhouse. And whatever progress Missouri has made could be undone by the vindictive streak that runs through Bill Self’s cold-blooded heart. Then a neutral court game against a tough Seton Hall squad. Then Braggin Rights.
The next few weeks are for a lot of things. It’s a chance for Mizzou to erase any smudges from their resume and make several big statements.
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.