Never have I published a more appropriate column/analysis piece just days before Mizzou would go out and demonstrate each and every point that was made in this Close & Late piece.
As the season wore on, my perception on who and what this team is and can be has changed a bit. Early on I thought the offense would be able to carry them enough against some good opponents they’d be able to steal some wins. There’s no way to avoid a tough scoring night; sometimes it’s just not your night. But Mizzou has proven they’re good enough on that half of the floor where you can expect them to find points on most nights.
But I thought there was a renewed effort defensively and on the glass from this team over the last few weeks that culminated with a really good performance against Tennessee. The Vols were playing without PG Zakai Zeigler, who is the only true point guard on the roster. Without him, UT has struggled a bit in the ball handling department, and the generating offense department. But even without Zeigler, Tennessee whipped both Arkansas and Ole Miss, two teams who will defend you hard. But neither team who had the offensive competency of Missouri.
- Tennessee has give up more than 1.0 PPP in a game 10 times this season: they’ve given up 1.1 PPP just four times. Missouri now has two of the top 3 offensive performances against the top ranked defense in the country.
- The three point shooting is always key, because it helps provide spacing: but the spacing it provides is keeping defenses away from the rim, leaving it open for cuts and drives. Mizzou shot 64% from 2FG and had 34 points on dunks and layups, compared to the bigger and more physical Vols who had just 20 points off dunks and layups on 50% shooting from 2FG.
- Mizzou lost the rebound battle, BUT: Look at Tennessee’s expected rebounds, -2.2. And the rebound rate was the fourth best on the season. That’s important.
I mentioned this on twitter already but it plays into the last point:
Mizzou offensively again played UTs bigs off the floor and negated their advantage on the glass in doing so. Without elite size around the rim, Kobe just abused UTs defense.— Sam Snelling (@SamTSnelling) March 10, 2023
For the second time Mizzou made Tennessee match them instead of the other way around. The Vols had similar results. They were better offensively but it hurt them on defense as Mizzou was able to get pretty much anything they wanted at the rim.
Your Trifecta: Kobe Brown, D’Moi Hodge, Nick Honor
On the season: Kobe Brown 50, D’Moi Hodge 48, Nick Honor 22, Noah Carter 22, DeAndre Gholston 18, Sean East II 18, Tre Gomillion 6, Isiaih Mosley 5, Mohamed Diarra 4
What an incredible performance by Kobe Brown. Kobe had what might have been his best performance as a Tiger, and in a game when it really, truly mattered. His shooting this season has been a remarkable surprise, but one of the best things about it is he hasn’t fallen in love with that shot. He takes them, and makes them, but he still gets to the rim with frequency, and prefers to play bully ball over smaller defenders. And because Brown is so strong, even bigger defenders struggle with him in the post. Putting up 1.54 points per possession against a defense with elite size and length is just big boy stuff.
Nick Honor just continues to be a big shot maker. His layup in the paint and subsequent made three gave Mizzou control in the game late. D’Moi Hodge followed up with a three point dagger, and Kobe’s offensive rebound iced the game away, but it was Honor who wrestled control of the game into the Tigers’ hands, and they never gave it back.
Hodge is just fun player, man. He really is. The offense is perfect for a guy like him. He plays fast, gets to the rim, and takes threes in quick order. I’m not sure he has to be as good as he was tonight for Mizzou to be successful, but it doesn’t hurt.
DeAndre Gholston deserves some credit here, too. He didn’t play much down the stretch but he made some tough shots and provided enough offensive boost as a third option. Noah Carter also helped play the Tennessee bigs off the floor. Watching Uros Plavsic and Jonas Aidoo try to defend the nimble-footed Carter off the dribble was good comedy while it lasted.
Not a great night for Sean East II or Mohamed Diarra, though. Sometimes East just tried to do too much and it bit him. Although in his defense, one of his turnovers was the back court call which was a bad call. If you don’t know the rule, you’re not in the front court until both feet and the basketball are in the front court. He had one foot in the front court and one in the back. That’s a legal play.
So Mizzou is in the SEC Tournament Semifinals for the first time since joining the league back in 2012. They’ll play Alabama tomorrow at noon on ESPN for a chance to play for an SEC Tournament title.
The entry as a basketball program hasn’t gone the way most of us envisioned it, including leadership at Missouri. But they think they’ve found their guy in Dennis Gates, since they announced an extension which has a reported buyout north of $25 million. You all know me well enough to know that I like to hedge my bets. There’s zero question Gates has been awesome this year. I’ve seen nothing, from his coaching to his recruiting to the support from the administration, which would make me feel like Gates can’t succeed in a big way at Mizzou.
So let’s just keep this train rolling and go beat Bama, what do ya say?
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.