It happened again.
I have some thoughts about this game. Let’s get through it together.
First off, just as a refresher: this was Cuonzo Martin’s 5th loss to a team outside the top 100 in KenPom (and second to a non-Power Conference team outside the top 100). Kim Anderson had 4 such losses in his first year, and 4 his last year. So, keep this in mind just as some context to start. Because I saw some ludicrous comments last night saying Cuonzo is somehow worse than KA. That’s absurd.
Second off, the above in no way absolves the effort and execution from the team last night. There are ways to chalk certain games up to a bad night shooting, or maybe the other team came out and just made ridiculous shots. But that’s not really what happened. So what did?
- Going 0-for-Four in the Four Factors: That’s a surefire way to lose. I don’t have the count in front of me and don’t feel like looking it up, but I doubt there are many, if any, wins when the team lost ALL of the Four Factors.
- Offense was always going to be a concern going into the year: And through two games we haven’t seen anything to alleviate the worries. When in transition things are better, but UMKC was not sending anyone to the offensive glass which shut down the run outs off defensive rebounds (an area where Mizzou has run out hard over the past two seasons). They also clogged driving lanes and asked Missouri to shoot from outside.
- You lost the rebounding advantage to a Summit League team: and one who’s best interior player played just 16 minutes due to foul trouble. That’s just the expected rebounds, too. Missouri had just 6 offensive rebounds, and lost the overall rebound count as well.
Your Trifecta: Kobe Brown, Ronnie DeGray III, DaJuan Gordon
On the season: Javon Pickett 3, Kobe Brown 3, Jarron Coleman 2, Ronnie DeGray III 2, DaJuan Gordon 1
Good night from Kobe offensively, in a way. DeGray came on late. DaJuan was decent in his first appearance.
Not having Boogie Coleman after he hurt his ankle was bad. Javon had a tough night. Amari Davis wasn’t very effective. They got virtually nothing from the five spot when they went big.
This is all me being nice so far.
Most of the numbers we run are looking at the offense, because offense is easier to quantify when you’re breaking down statistics. In particular, the advanced kind we have here.
The offense was an issue last night. Some of these numbers were softened by Missouri scoring 14 points in the last 5:11 of the game. Expand that out a little further, they had just 34 points after 28 minutes and 40 seconds of play. That means they scored 32 points in the last 11 minutes. That’s bad all around.
As bad as the offense was, 66 points should really be enough to beat a team like Kansas City. Instead, Mizzou gave up 1.08 points per possession, and 1.45 points per shot. Last year they gave up 1.06 ppp to Oregon, and 1.43 points per shot to LSU. This was UMKC. Putting up better numbers than two NCAA Tournament teams, with multiple pros on each roster.
For Missouri to be the team we all kinda hoped they could be this year, they’re going to have to rely on their defense to be consistent and good. I even noted when the preseason KenPom rankings came out, Missouri’s defense was rated 102nd, and it would be Cuonzo’s worst defensive ballclub while at Missouri. Which, considering he was importing this roster of guys he wanted… seemed unlikely. At worst this mishmash of transfers and incoming freshmen would be pretty good defensively right? RIGHT?
1.08, 1.45. 62.7% true shooting, 60.9% effective field goal. UMKC.
Evan Gilyard, a transfer from New Mexico State, who spent two seasons at UTEP, scored as many points against your defense as he did against Eastern New Mexico University while in El Paso. ENMU is not a Division 1 institution.
I hate using terms like unacceptable or embarrassing when I talk about these kinds of things, because as fans we shouldn’t consider anything unacceptable or embarrassing unless it’s off the court kind of nonsense. Terrence Phillips Title IX accusations, Jordan Barnett and a DWI, DGB… yeah that whole thing. College students playing a sport will never embarrass me, so if you’re embarrassed that’s your call, I guess. And by tuning in on Thursday we’re all pretty much admitting the performance against UMKC was acceptable, right?
Keep in mind I’m in no way saying you should be happy about the result. That sucked. The coach should be mad, and hold players accountable. The players should be even madder, and hold themselves accountable. If it happens once you can shrug and say, “hey bad things happen sometimes.” But there’s not enough margin for error with this team to have more performances, not with their upcoming schedule.
But as long as this team is relying upon Javon Pickett to be an offensive kick starter, as long as Kobe Brown is the primary facilitator, as long as Jordan Wilmore is logging minutes where he’s having to guard ball screens on the perimeter, this team is at a disadvantage. The offseason reset experiment was always going to hinge upon Boogie and Amari being able to scale up, and DaJuan being able to improve his usage and efficiency. That and some contributions from the freshmen.
So far we haven’t seen evidence of any of those things being the case. So with a team in need of any kind of offensive help, they have to be better defensively. The quicker turnaround might help, but for all the parallels with the first year under KA after the loss to UMKC, this definitely feels like a bad omen. And not the sign we were looking for when trying to find reasons for hope in what was already shaping up to be a tough season.
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.
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.
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.
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.