In an ideal world Ben Sternberg gets to sink a late game three with Mizzou up 20 or so, each senior getting a moment to shine and wave to the crowd as the Tigers secured a double bye in the SEC Tournament. It’s been a tremendous season, with so many great moments, surely Mizzou would get one more for the home crowd?
But here’s the funny thing about the SEC; even the bad teams have some talent. In fact, I thought from a talent standpoint, this might be the best Ole Miss roster in a while. The talent on this team wasn’t the problem all year. They struggled to play together and make shots. But I also even made the case that Ole Miss should not have fired Kermit Davis when they did because his team was still playing hard and fighting. And I said on the podcast earlier this week that this could be a tricky game. When Matthew Murrell hit his first three of the game I quietly gulped because Murrell going off was on my bingo board for how Mizzou might lose this game.
But this Tiger team… This is a fun bunch. I’d hesitate to call them special, but they’re certainly special to us. They are nothing if not an adventure, and today wasn’t easy but we got the result everyone wanted.
Mizzou got the win. They beat an Ole Miss team for the fifth straight time. They made the needed plays and kept this game in the win column. Three point shots weren’t falling, but they’d done enough to force Ole Miss into playing smaller to combat Mizzou’s advantages which let Kobe Brown and Noah Carter run rampant on the inside. In the end that was enough to overcome a team who was still fighting but one who struggled to win games late and close. Something Mizzou has shown they can do this year.
- When both teams are making shots, sometimes it’s just who takes more shots: this game was a close game, both teams were right at 1.4ish for the points per shot. Mizzou got three more shots, turning in a slightly higher points per possession, which is enough to pull out a give point win.
- I pointed out above that Ole Miss was forced to playing smaller: in a lot of ways it made them better offensively, Mizzou had trouble stopping them on offense in the second half. Even though the Rebels were playing better they still had 7 2nd half turnovers, which was enough to overcome the efficiency when they were getting shots. Ole Miss kept putting the pressures on Mizzou to keep making shots and they did just that. Missouri made 9 of their last 12 shot attempts. Ole Miss made just four of their last 12.
- Another night of not getting crushed on the glass: Ole Miss playing small helps, yes. But for all the weaknesses this team has with its size and inability to collect rebounds, the goal most games is going to be bend but don’t break. Just be competitive. This is the fourth straight game where they haven’t gotten crushed on the glass, and not coincidentally the fourth straight win.
Your Trifecta: Noah Carter, Kobe Brown, DeAndre Gholston
On the season: Kobe Brown 47, D’Moi Hodge 46, Noah Carter 22, Nick Honor 21, DeAndre Gholston 18, Sean East II 18, Tre Gomillion 6, Isiaih Mosley 5, Mohamed Diarra 4
A note on Kobe Brown as I feel like we’ve spent plenty of internet ink on the fourth year senior from Alabama in this space. But this has to be one of the quietest trifecta appearances of the year for Kobe. It’s not often Brown plays fewer than 30 minutes, but I love that he did in this game and still hit his marks while letting a couple guys who were shining continue to shine. So let’s talk about those other guys.
Noah Carter, man… welcome back. After a stretch of games where Carter was the forgotten and missing man he’s come back with a vengeance. He’s shooting 43.7% from deep over the last four games, but moreso it’s been his work around the rim. He had his second straight 5-6 performance from 2FG range, and he’s 14/18 over the last four games. That’s 78%. That’ll do.
Gholston was brilliantly Green Light Dree in the first half. Mizzou scored 41 points in the first half, and Dree had 12 of them. Whenever the Tigers needed a bucket he stepped up and got it. Then he only had 3 points in the second half, but his scoop shot in the middle of the lane to put Mizzou back up 4 points was huge. What a great Senior day for the Super Senior. It would’ve been nice had he hit a three or two, but for everything Dree has done this year, including making a couple late threes, I think we’ll take this.
D’Moi was good, and pilfered with frequency again. But the guy who gave the team the energy it needed was Aidan Shaw. We’re big Shaw fans at this here blog, always have been. But Shaw was always a little bit of a project, and while he’s not a finished product by any stretch... we saw what Aidan is yesterday. 18 minutes, thunderous dunks, high flying rebounds, and yes some solid defensive work. He’s still figuring a lot of things out but you can see how he becomes a big fixture of this team and this program for many years to come.
After the conclusion of the SEC regular season, your Missouri Men’s Basketball Tigers have secured their highest SEC Tournament seed since joining the league in 2012-13. Once have the Tigers been a 5 seed (2018) and once a 6 (2013), but this is the highest seed the team has landed. So congratulations and celebration is in order. The fact it happened in year one, with a roster of mostly mid-major transfers, is impressive. What it does is it gets fans excited for what Dennis Gates might be able to achieve once he’s able to upgrade the talent level.
But that thought is for then, this is for now.
What this team has achieved is nothing short of impressive. The SEC Tournament isn’t anything that will make or break this season, but Mizzou has been a near fixture in the Wednesday play in games, and they’ve never had a double bye. This is the 11th SEC Tournament for the University, and four of those have been played on Wednesday with another year that would have been on Wednesday had Mizzou not self imposed a postseason ban.
We thought Mizzou would be better than the media, who picked the Tigers 11th in the preseason. But I never thought they’d get to the 4 seed line. With the unbalanced schedule, so much about a conference schedule can just be who you play twice and when and where you get the teams at the top of the conference. There’s no doubt that getting Ole Miss and LSU twice each helps. They got Vanderbilt early and at home, bonus. They got Kentucky at home and early, another bonus. But they also had a tough entry into conference play and navigated that as well as you could have asked.
A 23-8 start to the Dennis Gates era should get you excited. But it is March now, and March is when legends are born. We’ll see if this team can go from special to legendary.
We’ll see you on Friday.
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.