Sunday, September 6, 2009

Guest Contributor Ray Floriani: Percentage of Team FGA

by Ray Floriani

LYNDHURST, NJ - In the process of doing some pre-season cleanup, I came across a 1985 book A Fan's Guide to ACC Basketball. The work, penned by two ACC experts Barry Jacobs and Ron Morris, provided a look and forecast of the conference from a statistical approach. Bill James was gaining momentum with his Baseball Abstract works. The authors, like yours truly, greatly admired James' approach and ideas. Jacobs and Morris did not have any tempo free analysis though they did have a player efficiency formula (for another time). Their work may seem elementary by some of today's standards but two and a half decades it was cutting edge, entertaining and insightful.

One tool of use today was percentage of field goal attempts. A simple but useful tool that allows quick calculation. Divide the player's field goal attempts (FGA) by the team total and you have your percentage. As noted, it's simple to compute and it gives you an insight to a team's primary option.

The following are the leaders of the respective Big East teams, in percentage order, of players who took the greatest percentage of their team's attempts in 2009. Big East regular season games are the only ones factored in.

In the Fan's Guide, the ACC leader in FGA percentage for 1983-84 was Johnny Dawkins, quite recognizable in coaching circles but a very good ball player just the same. Dawkins took 26.3% of Duke's attempts. Just narrowly behind Dawkins was another name of Note, Michael Jordan attempted 25.2% of North Carolina's field goal attempts.

Team% of
Luke HarangodyND377114832.8
Jeremy HazellSHU324110829.2
Jerel McNealMU307105329.2
Dominique JonesUSF28497829.0
Dar TuckerDePaul282102527.5
Mike RosarioRU279102927.1
Da'Sean ButlerWVU275108425.4
Paris HorneJohn's243100524.2
Sam YoungPitt247110022.5
Jonny FlynnCuse239108822.0
Earl Clark'Ville227106121.4
Dante CunninghamNova222105021.1
Deonta Vaughn'Nati217103421.0
A.J. PriceUConn205102620.0
Weyinmi EfejukuPC204108018.9
DaJuan Summers G'town17594518.5

Final notes:  Flynn paced Syracuse while Eric Devendorf (20.5%) was not far behind. In fact, the guard oriented Orange saw Flynn and Devendorf combine for 177 of Syracuse's 346 attempts. That's over half of the tries from downtown.

Pre-season I might have wanted to see Scottie Reynolds get more looks than Cunningham. As the year progressed Cunningham was more assertive inside and don't forget some of his attempts were from offensive rebounds as he led 'Nova with 47 in that category. A look at the rest of the Wildcats (this is a 'Nova blog) and their shot attempt percentages. As noted in the main breakdown, Villanova had 1050 attempts.

% of
Scottie Reynolds20219.2
Corey Fisher13713.0
Dwayne Anderson13012.4
Corey Stokes11410.9
Reggie Redding969.1
Antoine Pena716.8
Shane Clark686.5

In two cases the leading scorer was not the leader in percentage of shots taken. First case was 'Nova where Reynolds' 16.9 edged Cunningham?s 16.0. The other scenario was with Georgetown. Greg Monroe led the Hoyas in scoring (12.9) edging Summers' norm of 12.8. Monroe took 17% (161 attempts) of Georgetown's shots which was third behind Summers and Chris Wright (18.4%)

Mike Rosario attempted almost one third of Rutgers shots. Not a bad choice even though Rosario was a freshman. Rosario was a three point threat for Rutgers which meant he got the green light as the Scarlet Knights played catch up in the second half of almost all their conference contests.

Jeremy Hazell paced Seton Hall as well. Hazell also was given that proverbial green light even with the Hall in a lead. When Hazell was in a groove few, if any, could stop him. And Bobby Gonzalez called his number.

Marquette had three players, Jeremy McNeal, Wesley Matthews and Lazar Haywood, attempt over 200 shots. Dominic James attempted 167 before going down with an injury with three regular season contests remaining. Among the four mentioned, they attempted 910 (86.4%) of Marquette's 1053 shots.

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