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In Spite Of Itself, Mizzou Survives Game Against Iowa State

Mizzou was able to push the “can’t win on the road in the Big 12” monkey off of its back in Ames on Saturday, but the monkey certainly made a mess in the process.

One of the greatest numerical indicators of Mike Anderson’s blend of offense and defense is the Ball Control Index (BCI) statistic used by Rock M Nation’s Bill Connelly. BCI simply represents the ratio of combined steals and assists to turnovers. It’s a measure that almost always favors Mizzou and bears testament to whether or not Mizzou was in its comfort zone.

Mizzou was remarkably average on Saturday in the assists column (the Tigers finished with 17 assists, 1.1 shy of their season average), but the steals and turnover numbers just slaughtered Mizzou’s BCI. Only five steals tied Mizzou’s second-lowest output for the season, and MU’s 16 turnovers were their highest total in conference play other than an 18-turnover night against Iowa State in late January.

The end result of Missouri’s futility of ball security was Iowa State winning the BCI battle, 1.64 to 1.38. But the numbers don’t really do the sloppiness justice.

Soft passes eluded the grasp of Matt Pressey and resulted in backcourt violations. Kim English contributed multiple traveling violations. Justin Safford fired an outlet pass into the shoulder of teammate Michael Dixon and out of play, not realizing Dixon was standing right next to him.

Mizzou is now 3-0 in an important stretch of games against Oklahoma, Texas Tech and Iowa State. And after a 4-5 start to Big 12 play, Missouri seems content to pick up wins no matter how ugly the process.