There’s this made-up thing we often refer to called a “bad season checklist” as a way to cope with a season circling the drain. It's an indicator of improbability, the kinds of tricks that just seem to fall against you as a way of making your season worse. Think of it as the opposite of a good season checklist, with Mizzou Football converting a 4th and 17 and a 61-yard field goal to win two big games on their schedule.
It’s like when your team comes out of the gates hot and playing well, and looks like you can bury your opponent only to see them make five of their first seven threes. Many of them well-defended, and one canned by a 7-foot forward at the end of the shot clock on what might have been your best defensive possession of the game.
It’s making 8 of your first 10 2FGA and your opponent only making two of their first 8 2FGA and never gaining separation because they’re hitting five of seven from deep while you miss your first five.
It’s your most heralded transfer never getting off the sideline with a foot injury, and your second most heralded transfer missing the last 9 games with a broken wrist. And it’s another transfer putting in a career night where he looked like the new version of Kareem Rush while the rest of his teammates struggle to get any shots to fall on offense. Missouri isn’t this bad of a team. They’re also not a good one, but for all the luck they had swing their way last season the pendulum has swung back hard against them this year.
If you cut off each shot by each team while it was in the air and didn’t know the score, Mizzou looked like a 10-15 point leader at halftime. Instead, they trailed by 3. Even as Florida extended their lead in the second half, Missouri hung around enough thanks to Tamar Bates. But virtually nobody else could get anything going for them to mount a comeback.
- Florida had five players in double figures, but Missouri handled their guards fairly well: Tyrese Samuel and Micah Handlogten were a combined 10/16 from the field with only one three-point attempt (it was missed). Alex Condon was also one of two inside the arc, so those three were 11 of 18. The rest of the team was 5 of 16. For context there, the Gators' 47.1% mark inside the 3-point arc would have been Mizzou’s fourth-worst performance of the season, and it was Florida’s fifth-worst mark on the year.
- The Tigers were good from inside the arc, but this is why effective field goal percentage is such an important stat: The Gators were able to erase their significant disadvantage inside the arc through three-point makes and Mizzou did the opposite. It’s just another example of how the adage of, “Did you make your threes?” has cost the Tigers again. They’re now shooting 28.3% from deep in conference play which is good for 11th. Their three-point defense is 14th in the league, giving up 38.7%.
I’m a proponent of three-point shooting being mostly about luck. Mostly. There are occasions where you may leave a good shooter open on a paint touch and a kick out; that’s poor defense. And I do quibble with how often Mizzou runs by shooters on closeouts instead of trying to stay in front... but that wasn’t the problem against Florida. The Gators made pretty well-defended threes.
- You add in the three-point makes, and consider then how UF erased Mizzou on the glass: and that’s the ball game. For Mizzou to be able to play their “style” with steals and turnovers as an attempt to mask their struggles on the glass, they have to force turnovers, and this team just doesn’t do that at a high enough level. They value the ball (1st in SEC play) like last year, but their forced turnovers are down almost 5% in conference play.
Your Trifecta: Tamar Bates, Nick Honor, Jordan Butler
On the season: Sean East II 34, Tamar Bates 20, Noah Carter 18, Nick Honor 14, Caleb Grill 6, Aidan Shaw 3, Connor Vanover 3, Trent Pierce 3, Anthony Robinson II 3, Jesus Carralero-Martin 2, Jordan Butler 1
Jordan Butler made the trifecta with 4 points, a couple rebounds, and a block in 13 minutes. It was that kind of night.
Really, it was Tamar Bates’ night, and his teammates just couldn’t provide enough cover for him to make it a celebratory one. Instead, we’re all consoling ourselves about the loss instead of celebrating Bates’ breakout run. Consider this, since the Seton Hall game Bates is averaging 19.6 points per game with virtually no drop off in efficiency. Prior to that he was averaging just 7.1 points per game shooting 48.3% from 2FG, 42.8% from 3FG. But he attempted just 52 shots in 171 minutes of action (or about 17.1 mpg). That’s a shot attempt every 3.2 minutes. Since Seton Hall, he’s averaging 25.1 mpg and his shooting splits are: 65.6% (44/67 from 2) and 52.1% (12/23 from 3) all while still making basically all of his free throws (he’s 47 of 50 on the season). So in 234 minutes, he’s taken 90 shots, or one every 2.6 minutes.
But better is because he’s such a good free throw shooter, and he’s getting to the line more. 34 attempts at the line over the last 8 games, 16 attempts over the first 10 games... for a guy shooting over 90%. It reminds me of this tweet from Drew King following the loss to Georgia, learning to play through contact and getting to the line.
Regardless of how this season wraps up, Bates has shown the kind of quality guard he can be when he’s given a bit more leeway.
Maybe you don’t want Bates at 43% usage, but if he’s going to put up 1.4 points per possession then maybe you do?
But just a pretty brutal game for Noah Carter and Sean East. That’s two games in a row where East hasn’t been able to help the team in the way he has for much of the season. Especially poor timing when it seems like Nick Honor is finally breaking out of his shooting slump making six of his last 12 after making just six of his previous 27 attempts.
Missouri is just a team that hasn’t fired on all cylinders since the Wichita State game, which, coincidentally, is when Caleb Grill got hurt. And the road isn’t easy this week with games at Texas A&M and then at South Carolina.
A&M has been disappointing but they’re 2-3 in league play and probably should be 3-2. They still rebound the ball like crazy and only have one guy who shoots the ball from outside with any consistency. That guy was also preseason player of the year in the league in Wade Taylor IV. We’ve seen South Carolina, and while the Gamecocks have changed the narrative around their expectations this season they’re still a team Mizzou should have beaten.
I’m not sure where else to go here. The game planning against Florida was good, but again a team Dennis Gates figured was going to be able to shoot a lot of threes, those shots just weren’t falling. Just once this team needs a game where they can have most everything working at once, instead of just one or two things. If they can get that to happen this week I think they can steal a road game.
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 that 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 approximates how many possessions an individual is responsible for within the team's calculated possessions.
ShotRate%: This is the percentage of team’s 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.