#7 Missouri vs #10 Utah State — The nitty-gritty for both teams – Cache Valley Daily

Photo on left – Missouri’s Noah Carter celebrates a basket in a game against Mississippi at Mizzou Arena in Columbia. (Associated Press)
Photo on right – Steven Ashworth hypes up the crowd in a game against Boise State at the Dee Glen Smith Spectrum in Logan. (Cache Valley Daily)

#10 seed Utah State and #7 seed Missouri will meet in Sacramento in the first round of the NCAA Tournament on Thursday. Everything you need to get a good first look at these two teams is all available right here. Team records, rankings, strengths, weaknesses, top players and more. There may be more to these teams than these numbers, but this is the intro to both teams and how they match up.

Utah State

Record — 26-8 (13-5, 3rd in Mountain West)

Head Coach — Ryan Odom (2nd season, 44-24 record)

The Good

  • 2nd in points per possession on jump shots (per Synergy Sports)

  • 5th in 3-point percentage

  • 9th-best halfcourt offensive rating (per Synergy Sports)

  • 10th in assists per game

  • 10th-best offensive rating (per Synergy Sports)

  • 13th-best adjusted offensive efficiency (per KenPom)

  • 21st in 3-pointers made per game

  • 24th in field goal percentage

  • 25th in assist-to-turnover ratio

  • 30th in free throw percentage

The Not-So-Good

  • 315th in steals per game

  • 290th in turnovers forced per game

  • 260th in turnover margin

  • 233rd in 3-point percentage defense

  • 193rd in fouls committed per game

  • 189th in fast break points

The Top Players

  • Steven Ashworth (6-1, Jr.) – 16.3 points | 46.2 FG% | 44.3 3P% | 3.2 rebounds | 4.5 assists | 1.2 steals

    • First Team All-Mountain West

    • 6th-best 3-point percentage

    • 8th in total 3-pointers made

    • One of three players with 500 points, 100 rebounds, 100 assists, 100 threes this year

  • Max Shulga (6-4, Jr.) – 12.1 points | 43.2 FG% | 36.9 3P% | 4.4 rebounds | 4.1 assists

    • Honorable Mention All-Mountain West

    • One of seven players with 400 points, 150 rebounds, 130 assists, 55 made threes this year

  • Taylor Funk (6-9, Gr.) – 13.3 points | 45.1 FG% | 37.8 3P% | 5.5 rebounds | 1.7 assists

    • Mountain West All-Tournament Team

    • Honorable Mention All-Mountain West (media vote)

The Skinny

Utah State is an elite scoring team with elite level shooting. Defensively it’s a team that’s finding its own the last few weeks and has the capability of shutting teams down for large chunks of a half. It’s a team without a ton of depth but has very skilled and versatile players at the top of its rotation.


Record — 24-9 (11-7, 4th in SEC)

Head Coach — Dennis Gates (1st season, 24-9 record)

The Good

  • 1st in turnover margin

  • 2nd in steals per game

  • 7th-highest rate of transition offense in NCAA (min 100 transition possessions, per Synergy Sports)

  • 8th in turnovers forced per game

  • 10th in adjusted offensive efficiency (per KenPom)

  • 13th-best offensive rating (per Synergy Sports)

  • 19th in assists per game

  • 19th in assist-to-turnover ratio

  • 20th in fast break points

  • 22nd in 3-pointers made per game

  • 22nd in effective field goal percentage

  • 27th in bench points per game

  • 32nd in field goal percentage

  • 55th in points per possession transition offense (per Synergy Sports)

  • Six wins against opponents ranked in AP Poll

The Not-So-Good

  • 360th in rebounding percentage (per Sports Reference)

  • 350th in rebounding margin

  • 304th in consistency ranking (per Haslemetrics)

  • 270th in fouls committed per game

  • 178th adjusted defensive efficiency (per KenPom)

  • 163rd in momentum ranking (per Haslemetrics)

The Top Players

  • Kobe Brown (6-7, Sr.) – 15.8 points | 55.2 FG% | 44.7 3P% | 6.3 rebounds | 2.5 assists | 1.5 steals

  • D’Moi Hodge (6-4, Sr.) – 14.8 points 47.9 FG% | 40.1 3P% | 3.8 rebounds | 1.6 assists | 2.5 steals

    • 3rd in total steals

    • 23rd in total 3-pointers made

The Skinny

Missouri is a fast-paced, offensively dominant team that thrives on forcing turnovers and making teams pay with quick points on the other end. The Tigers can light you up with 3-pointers and have several players highly capable of searching out a bucket in isolation.

Ranking Summary

Ranking Utah State Missouri
BPI 42 61
EvanMiya 41 66
KenPom 18 51
Haslemetrics 18 38
NET 18 42
Sangarin 37 52
Simple Rating System 25 49
TeamRankings 35 51
T-Rank 25 56
AVERAGE RANK 28.8 51.8

Who’s the favorite?

Based on chalk, Missouri is the favorite as the seven seed over the 10 seed Utah State, but using other tools it seems the Aggies may be the true favorites.

Metric Utah State Missouri
Points Spread -1.5 +1.5
ESPN Matchup Predictor (% chance to win) 60.9% 39.1%
KenPom score prediction 83 79
Haslemetrics score prediction 79 77
EvanMiya score prediction 79 77
T-Rank score prediction 83 79

The two teams square off in the opening game of the South Region game in Sacramento, California at 11:40 a.m. MDT. The game will be televised on TNT and can be heard on 106.9 The FAN.

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