Preview: Kansas at Missouri

In the FAKE standings, Missouri's tied for ninth in the Big 12 at 3-6. In the REAL standings, they're in a three-way tie for seventh. In the average (unadjusted) efficiency margin (aka least catchily named) standings, they're in sixth place (and closer to fifth than to seventh). Even though Missouri's better than their conference record indicates, it doesn't necessarily follow that they're actually good, as their at-risk profile indicates:

Team Record Off Eff Def Eff Diff
Missouri 2-8 102 106 -4
vs. Big 12 3-6 105 104 +1

Wins: @Colorado (+23), @Iowa State (+34)

Losses: @Purdue (-23), vs. Illinois (-4), Iowa State (+2), @Texas (-33), Kansas State (-9), @Kansas (-6), @Kansas State (-12), Nebraska (-16)

Missouri is consistently competitive (except at Texas), and, considering what Mike Anderson's working with in his inaugural campaign, that's an accomplishment.


(Big 12 games only)

Team eFG% OR% TO% FT Rate FT% PPP
KU off 54.4 36.9 21.0 22.3 68.9 1.11
MU def 49.5 35.9 24.2 47.8 73.8 1.04

Missouri will undoubtedly force a good number of turnovers on Saturday. In doing so, they will assuredly allow a lot of made baskets, offensive rebounds, and free throw attempts. At the pace at which this game figures to be played, fans of Kansas scoring a lot of points should be sated.


(Big 12 games only)

Team eFG% OR% TO% FT Rate FT% PPP
KU def 45.7 27.7 21.0 39.2 68.9 0.92
MU off 51.5 26.3 18.1 20.5 70.6 1.05

Missouri stayed in the game in Lawrence by taking care of the ball (an atypically strong defensive rebounding performance keyed by an atypically long stretch of playing time for Kalen Grimes helped as well). They didn't make many shots (44.5 eFG%) put they took a lot (73, 16 more than the Jayhawks that night and the most any Kansas opponent has attempted in a game this year).

If Kansas had just forced Missouri to turn the ball over even at the Tigers' already low average turnover rate, that would have meant a couple more empty Tiger possessions. Should Kansas be able to force turnovers nearer their usual rate, Missouri will have real difficulty scoring. (And, if Missouri has real difficulty scoring, Mike Anderson will be more likely to leave Kalen Grimes on the bench, further increasing Kansas's advantage on the glass.)

Missouri played about as well as they can in Lawrence. (Seriously, Nebraska got offensive rebounds almost twice as often against the Tigers last Saturday in Columbia than did the Jayhawks in Lawrence.) If Kansas makes realistic gains on the offensive glass and in forcing turnovers compared to the first game, they'll win handily.

Prediction: Kansas 85 Missouri 70