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Three takeaways: St. John’s vs. Missouri Tigers

A look at the box score and some of the takeaways from the game.

Wendell Cruz

There was a lot to enjoy about the Red Storm’s loss, for those who like drama. The Red Storm looked sunk in the first half, dominated on the glass and by the three-pointer.

But there were some worrisome aspects to the loss, as well. The Red Storm may have gotten a career-high from Shamorie Ponds (31 points), a season-high 29 minutes from Tariq Owens and a solid statistical performance from Bashir Ahmed (17 points on 4/8 shooting), but the Johnnies also saw Missouri implement a playbook that the team will see all season long - use size, hit threes.

A look at the box score, the four factors and the takeaways, as we get ready for tomorrow’s consolation game between St. John’s and Central Florida at noon.

Wendell Cruz

Box Score

link

What are the Four Factors?

The “Four Factors” are:

  • Effective Field Goal percentage (field goal percentage with extra credit for three-pointers made);
  • Turnover percentage (Percentage of possessions ending in a turnover);
  • Offensive rebound percentage (percentage of misses that each team gets back as an offensive rebound);
  • and Free Throw Rate/ Free Throw-to-Field Goal Attempted ratio (to show how often a team gets to the line, relative to shots taken).

Effective Field Goal Percentage

St. John’s: 50.8% | Missouri 59.3%

Shooting is usually a driver for wins, and the explosive three-point shooting for the Missouri Tigers was certainly a key factor in the game. In fact, Oregon State also scorched the nets with 46% shooting outside the arc (and 55% eFG). Quick opponents are finding spots in the Red Storm chaos to get off deep shots.

Also of note is that while Oregon State’s shots were 50% assisted, Missouri players assisted on 80% of their shots - a fairly high level, which indicates that perhaps the Red Storm were not able to consistently cause deflections and make finding offensive rhythm difficult for the Tigers.

Turnover percentage

St. John’s: 15.3% | Missouri 22.3%

St. John’s did an excellent job for a stretch of forcing turnovers and uncomfortable offensive possessions on their way to a stirring comeback. But the Johnnies turned the ball over at a higher rate than their average - while also allowing more threes than they might like.

Wendell Cruz

Off. rebound percentage

St. John’s: 28.9% | Missouri: 46.7%

“I thought we got off to a bad start,” said Chris Mullin. “They pounded us on the boards.”

That pounding was not unexpected. Missouri has two top-50 freshman forwards, plus a number of strong upperclassman forwards. St. John’s has players who are sized like wings playing center. They are fast, and they will win their share of battles, but in the wrong game, the team’s lack of size will continue to be exposed.

The Tigers’ offensive rebounding yielded ten more field goal attempts in the game. (The forced turnovers helped even up the shot disparity.)

Free Throw Rate

St. John’s: 28.1% | Missouri: 59.3%

Missouri was +5 in free throw attempts in the first half. The Tigers were +9, including the waning minutes as the Johnnies fouled to extend the game.

Three Takeaways

Justin Simon looks for the shot, while Tariq Owens looks on
Wendell Cruz

That three-point defense, though... The Red Storm allowed 52% shooting from outside the arc, and 46% in their previous game. The Johnnies are great at creating pressure, but right now, it seems that opponents know that the open cracks in the defense are not at the rim, but in the corners for threes.

Strap in for the ride. St. John’s has, so far, shown an ability to attack any opponent with pressure. That assault on point guards and adjustment to pressure has (again, so far) meant that St. John’s is not out of any game. As all seemed lost in the first half, the Red Storm took control for 10 to 15 minutes and regained the upper hand.

Composure is a question in progress. Marvin Clark II is essential to the Red Storm attack. Clark is the player who can generate offense and make outside shots from the center position. But Clark also picked up a technical along the way, limiting his minutes. Marcus LoVett was on the edge of a censure by the referees for his intensity. At times, the team has been playing so hard that they miss easy shots at the rim. The team’s players bring a fierce intensity, and that passion can run on the edge of danger on the court.