In their regular season finale, the Tigers went to Starkville and got red hot… just in time for the SEC Tourney!
Just when we thought no Tiger team was safe within the state of Mississippi, Robin Pingeton’s Tigers showed us that yes, it is actually possible to go to the Magnolia State and get a win. And win they did. In a dominating performance from start to finish, really, because the Tigers had it all working for them.
It’s STUDY HALL time, and I’m channeling my inner Sam Snelling. Wish me luck! Forever a Study Hall admirer, but never a Study Hall writer myself. We’ll see how this goes and perhaps I can do this going forward!
To the stats!
- Good Shooting = Wins: A 55.6% True Shooting % is going to win you a lot of ballgames. For reference, when Sam compiled the YTD Study Hall back in late December, the Tigers were averaging 60.3 TS%, which was… well…. good. 55.6% is still quite good, considering the better competition in the SEC. Top that off with a 40% shooting performance beyond the arc, and yeah… that’ll work. Especially when you see that MS State shot 56% from 2 but only [winces]13.6% from three, Missouri’s 12 made threes helped out a lot.
- Low FT Numbers a Cause for Concern?: The low amount of free throws continues to be something to look at, as it’s been an issue all season. While this game was so lopsided that it didn’t end up mattering (they only shot 12 FT), it could be something to look at in the tournament. Missouri is a physical team, and should be getting to the line more.
- Ball Control: Ball control was a little loose this game with 18— though again, it didn’t end up mattering in the grand scheme of things as the Bulldogs only scored 8 points off those giveaways. The Tigers WILL need to get that tightened back up though if they intend to make it far into the SEC Tournament, as other, better teams**, will take far more advantage of the turnovers. Mama Dembele and Aijha Blackwell accounted for 11 (!) of the team’s 18 turnovers, and as starters and big minute-getters, that will have to improve.
**It’s SUPER weird to look at MS State, who has been a basketball powerhouse for quite some time (top 2 in SEC, goes far into NCAAT more often than not), and not consider them one of the “top” teams.
Your Trifecta: Shug, Frankie, Shannon
Robin Pingeton has a helluva transfer class, huh? Of that trifecta, 2 of the 3 are transfers. Remember, because of Shug’s stops at Tulsa and later, Texas Tech (where she never actually played in a game), she hadn’t actually played in a real life game in TWO years. When you consider that she comes off the bench and is contributing this much, that’s pretty awesome. Maybe she’ll stick around for one more year? One can hope! Dufficy is also proving to be quite a pick up for Coach P, as the Utah St transfer, who averaged 15/10 as a starter her last year in the Mountain West, has done great work, especially since filling in with starter’s minutes for the injured LaDazhia Williams. Also, consider this— AB didn’t even get into the trifecta — she was fifth — and she had a quiet double-double.
That rebounding!: Insert heart eyes emoji. 46-31 is I-M-P-R-E-S-S-I-V-E. Now, might the Tigers have benefited from the fact that second leading rebounder, Rekia Jackson, had no rebounds and only played 11 minutes? Maybe, but Aijha Blackwell, the Human Rebounding Machine ™, had 14 boards, and Frank, Dufficy, Dickson, and Williams (who only played 12 min) each had 5.
Where was Haley?: Haley Troup has been on fire as of late but took a step back this game and had a difficult time. She only took 7 shots the entire game, and only made two of them. Luckily, many of her teammates were around to fill in— this team has some DEPTH— so Haley missing in action one game wasn’t cause for concern.
As you know from reading the other Study Halls, we here at Rock M like floor% rates at/above 40%, and this game had three with that mark or higher: Frank, Dufficy, and Dickson, while a few others hovered in the mid-high 30s. This was a rather low floor% for Aijha Blackwell, who (at least in the YTD Study Hall) typically is around 40.
The game was never that close, and the Tigers didn’t relinquish the lead at any point. In fact, the radio broadcast (I listened while I was working) pointed out that the only timeout Coach P even called was to sub out some of her players. It was that dominating.
Mizzou was +5 in the first quarter and +11 in the second quarter, and headed into halftime shooting 50%, while Mississippi State shot a paltry 29.4%. The Tigers came out strong after the half, and heading into the fourth quarter, outscored the Bulldogs by 8. However, as the graphic above shows (courtesy of MizzouStats.com), it was a good thing the Tigers gave themselves some breathing room, as MSU did start to shoot better (41.7% in the second half) and outscored MU 17-13 in the fourth quarter. They held Missouri scoreless from the field for the final 5 minutes (Jayla Kelly did get two FT with less than a minute left), and went 0-6 on FG attempts. That will also be something to monitor going into Thursday’s game (and hopefully going forward in the postseason). Gotta keep your foot on the gas!
Next up? The No. 10 seed Tigers will take on No. 7 seed Alabama on Thursday at 6pm. Last time they met up was New Year’s Eve, and it…. wasn’t pretty— the Tigers were ice cold shooting in all areas. The winner of Thursday’s game (ahem… Mizzou) will then take on South Carolina. If you remember correctly, the Tigers kept things close with the Gamecocks for a half a few weeks ago, so there’s hope, y’all. But first, they must decisively dispose of the Crimson Tide.
Here’s the bracket, in case you haven’t committed it to memory.
It’s that time…
— Southeastern Conference (@SEC) March 1, 2021
That’s all from me! Hope you enjoyed it, and M-I-Z!
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.