Thursday, February 7, 2013

Kansas's Shot Selection

TCU stunned the college basketball world by knocking off Kansas yesterday 62-55. Obviously, a whole lot has to go wrong for an upset of this degree to happen. Three point shooting is generally a huge factor in upsets, but not the only factor. However, I went back and looked at Kansas's three point attempts from the game. I decided to exclude threes taken in the last two minutes of the game. Those were, for the most part, necessary because of the nature of being down late in a game. Instead, I looked at KU's shot attempts when twos were equally viable options.

Kansas managed to make just one of their 13 threes in the previously stated situation. I charted the degree of difficulty of all 13 of these threes. This is obviously very subjective, but I accounted for degree of contest, shot distance, pass location, and what the shooter did to create the shot. I think this is more valuable than simply recording "contested" or "open". Of the 13 threes, I classified nine as "good shots", two as "mediocre shots", and two as "bad shots". Obviously, Kansas suffered from some bad luck when shooting the three ball against TCU.

The most telling aspect of the Jayhawk's three point attempts was remaining time in shot clock. Of the 13 threes, only one was taken with under 20 seconds left in the shot clock (and that one was 19 seconds). Kansas was taking good shots, but that doesn't mean they shouldn't be more patient and utilize the full shot clock to find an even better shot. Of course, you do run the risk of turning the ball over by passing on good shots for the prospect of a better shot. Still, the average time left on the shot clock for KU threes was 24 seconds.

The image below shows all 13 three point attempts, the remaining time on the shot clock (bottom left corner), and how the shot was created:



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