Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Guest Post: Ray Floriani on Minutes per Field Goal Attempt

Fellow stats lover Ray Floriani, a writer for Hoopville, the Big East Report and Basketball Times, ran across this statistic in an SEC blog. He was kind enough to run the numbers for the Villanova team and compare them to some of the Big East scoring leaders. And share his thoughts with us.

By Ray Floriani
Big East Report
Basketball Times

SOUTH ORANGE, NJ Saw an item on an SEC blog that listed the conference leaders in field goals attempted. This figure did not take sheer FGAs but calculated a figure, minutes per field goal attempt, dividing minutes by FGA. The leader in the SEC this past season was Marcus Thornton of LSU at 2.1 (mins per FGA). Devan Downey (2.3) and Austin Steed (2.4) both of South Carolina, followed Thornton. Which tells us the Gamecocks may not have enjoyed a banner year, still, they had a few players who weren’t bashful when it came to launching shots.

Decided to do a distribution on Villanova based on 2008 Big East (regular season only). In addition the top ten conference scorers are listed by (scoring) order with their minutes per field goal attempt.

Villanova Minutes per FGA 2007-08

Corey Fisher2.46
Malcolm Grant2.74
Scottie Reynolds2.81
Corey Stokes2.94
Antonio Pena3.68
Dwayne Anderson4.40
Shane Clark4.47
Dante Cunningham4.77
Reggie Redding5.13

Big East Conference Minutes per FGA of Top Ten scorers 2008

1.L. HarangodyNotre Dame1.79
2.S. Young Pittsburgh2.28
3.D. JonesSouth Florida2.63
4.B. LaingSeton Hall2.72
5.D. VaughnCincinnati2.58
6.J. FlynnSyracuse2.80
7.K. GransberrySouth Florida2.76
8.D. GreenSyracuse2.36
9.D. BurnsDePaul2.33
10.A.J. PriceUConn2.68

Notes:  No surprise that guards basically dominated the top of ‘Nova’s list. The stat does give some insight regarding field goal attempt distribution. In the ‘raw’ stats, Scottie Reynolds led the Wildcats with 199 FGA while Corey Fisher was second at 164. Applying the figures per minute you can see Fisher was the one who was more active when it came to shooting.

Luke Harangody would get what the SEC folks at ‘The Good. The Bad. The Dirty’, the ‘Ball-hog’ award. Not really, as the SEC blog points out not everyone at the top of the list is to be considered selfish and possessive of the basketball. In Harangody’s case, he’’s the farthest thing from it. The Notre Dame sensation clearly led the best of the Big East in scoring and did it while taking a shot just under every two minutes. Call that smart coaching by Mike Brey. You have a dominant low post presence you feed him.

Kentrell Gransberry of South Florida was in the top ten and my observation regarding Harangody applies to him also. South Florida (with Dominque Jones) had two players with lofty minutes per field goal ratings. Again, there weren’t a great deal of options for the Bulls.

Syracuse also had two players with high rates (a shot less than every three minutes). One has to believe the wealth would have been spread more if Eric Devendorf hadn’t gone down with a season ending injury.

The shot disparity seems small. But over a forty minute span it is significant. For instance a shot every two minutes (given a player goes the full contest) gives 20 FGA. Another player getting a look every four minutes with similar playing time attempts 10 shots. A significant difference.

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