Tennessee-Missouri Four Factors Forecast

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Here’s the GRT Four Factors Forecast for Tennessee’s game against the Missouri Tigers tomorrow.

Summary and Score Prediction

The commencement of the SEC basketball season brings with it the toughest test so far for the Vols, as they travel to CoMo to take on CuoMa’s Missouri Tigers. The Tigers’ numbers aren’t quite as impressive as are the Vols’, but they are so much closer than the rest of the competition to date that everything could change, especially if the Vols throw good money after bad by getting frustrated into taking more bad shots to make up for misses and if they lose the battle for free-throw-attempts.

Here’s our humble suggestion on what to watch for:

  1. Expect both offenses to look ugly and for some level-headed commentator to eventually pipe up that one person’s ugly offense is another’s beautiful defense. Shots will probably do a lot of clanking for both teams, but as long as you end up with the most points on the scoreboard, you’re good.
  2. Expect trips to the free-throw line to be at a premium. Both teams play solid defense, and whichever one does the best job at defending without giving up free trips to the free line may well win this one on that basis alone.

KenPom likes the Vols by 2 and puts the score at Tennessee 67, Missouri 65, which translates into a 57% chance of winning.

Our new Hoops Statsy Preview Machine, still discovering its legs, likes the Vols by 12 points (Tennessee 69, Missouri 57).

Details below.


Here’s what each team looks like at this point of the season.

Hmm. Kind of even-ish-looking. We’ll see what the rest of the data shows, but it’s looking like Missouri hates three-point shots like the Grinch hates the Whos, no matter who’s taking them.

Four Factors: Straight-Up

Effective FG%

Conclusion: A step up from most of the competition so far this season. More like us when shooting the ball than anyone else save Colorado.

Turnover %

Conclusion: The Tigers are protecting possession most like Colorado and St. Joe’s. Not nearly as well as the Vols are, though.

Offensive Rebound %

Conclusion: Missouri is the best offensive-rebounding team the Vols have played so far this short season, but Tennessee is still a ways out in front on this, uh, front.

Free Throw Rate

Conclusion: Ooh, look. It’s Yeti. Sasquatch. The Loch Ness Monster. We haven’t yet seen much of any opponent doing anything of any importance better than the Vols so far this season, but here it is: The Tigers are getting to the free throw line much more often than the Vols.

But let’s see what that stifling Tennessee defense might do to those offensive numbers.

Four Factors: Opponent impact

Effective FG%


As is customary for a Cuonzo Martin-coached team, the Tigers are going to frustrate a team blindly hoping for shots to go down easily. Tennessee is shooting well enough, but Missouri’s going to make it more difficult than usual.

The difference is more pronounced on the other end, though, where the Vols’ defense figures to frustrate Missouri’s offense even more.

Turnover %


Missouri might hate three-pointers, but they much more like the carve-the-roast-beast version of the Grinch when it comes to stealing stuff. They will not steal the ball, especially from a team who locks it up in a bank vault on a Cayman Island in Switzerland. Yeah, my fingers just did that. Don’t care, because it makes the point. 🙂

On the other side of the court, Tennessee has zero qualms about relieving you of your possessions, although Missouri does seem to be a bit more protective than most teams we’ve played so far this season.

Offensive Rebounding %


Man, do I love those numbers for the Vols. They’re getting after it on the offensive boards (and Missouri shouldn’t present too much of a hindrance to that this game), and they’re getting after it on the defensive glass just as well. Mo boards, mo possessions, mo points, mo wins.

Free Throw Rate


And here’s where it appears we have a push, as Tennessee’s not doing especially well at getting to the line, and Missouri’s not likely to help much. On the other side of the court, the Tigers are used to free shots, but they’re not used to playing Tennessee, which plays defense without fouling.

Go Vols.

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