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    A look at assisted-on data

    by Ken Pomeroy on Friday, March 30, 2012


    In today’s fast-paced society, it can be difficult to carve out time to break down video on your favorite team’s next opponent. One way to cheat the system and get a rough feel for offensive tendencies is to look at ‘assisted-on’ data, which indicates how many of a player’s made shots were assisted. Does a player primarily score off the pass or the dribble (or put-backs)? Does this change depending on where a player shoots? This kind of information can be derived from play-by-play data and I’ve done that for each team currently in New Orleans. The data below is in the from of assisted baskets/field goals made and there are a few interesting nuggets to be mined from reviewing this sort of data.

    Ohio State

    Name              2Pt(Short)    2Pt(Long)     3-Pointers
    J Sullinger      67/116 .578   31/91  .341   14/16  .875
    W Buford         31/59  .525   35/81  .432   46/59  .780
    D Thomas         59/99  .596   40/92  .435   48/48 1.000
    A Craft           8/58  .138    2/32  .062   14/21  .667
    L Smith          18/39  .462    1/18  .056   27/29  .931
    A Williams       12/16  .750    0/3   .000    0/0   .000
    S Thompson       19/22  .864    6/11  .545    1/1  1.000
    E Ravenel        24/31  .774   10/15  .667    0/0   .000
    

    You’ll see in the data that almost every non-point guard is assisted on over 90% of their made three-pointers. (Notice Deshaun Thomas hasn’t had a single unassisted three-pointer this season.) This makes William Buford’s 78% assist rate on threes unusual. Also, Buford has made 81 long 2’s compared to 59 short 2’s. He’s the Buckeyes mid-range guy. So cut Buford some slack when talking about his shooting struggles, because he was never going to make a high percentage of 2’s given his role. And making “only” 36% of his threes this season isn’t bad at all considering how many shots he takes off the dribble.

    Kansas

    Name              2Pt(Short)    2Pt(Long)     3-Pointers
    T Robinson      100/163 .613   35/73  .479    7/7  1.000
    T Taylor         29/85  .341    5/71  .070   38/56  .679
    J Withey         63/79  .797   18/28  .643    0/0   .000
    E Johnson        22/48  .458    5/20  .250   58/63  .921
    T Releford       33/61  .541    8/28  .286   23/24  .958
    K Young          22/33  .667    8/10  .800    3/3  1.000
    C Teahan          2/10  .200    3/7   .429   45/46  .978
    

    Tyshawn Taylor has been assisted on “only” 68% of his made threes. That’s actually the second-lowest figure (to Aaron Craft - who takes far fewer threes) of any regular still playing. Basically, he’s the most likely player to make a three off the dribble which is unusual considering that 34% of his short 2’s are assisted – a high figure for a point guard. Down low, put-backs are not Jeff Withey’s specialty. He is assisted on short 2’s like few other post players.

    Louisville

    Name              2Pt(Short)    2Pt(Long)     3-Pointers
    C Behanan        63/107 .589    9/29  .310    6/6  1.000
    G Dieng          64/88  .727   20/52  .385    1/1  1.000
    P Siva           14/75  .187    3/26  .115   14/16  .875
    K Kuric          38/53  .717   12/34  .353   70/75  .933
    C Smith          23/39  .590    1/14  .071   56/66  .848
    R Smith          26/63  .413    6/41  .146   37/41  .902
    J Swopshire      14/26  .538    7/14  .500    5/5  1.000
    

    We have to use some caution when comparing shot selection across teams because one scorekeepers’s 2-pt jumper is another’s lay-up. Within-team comparisons are fair game, though, and this is something I wouldn’t have known before looking at the data – Gorgui Dieng, Louisville’s 6-10 rim protector, is much more likely to take a mid-range shot than Chane Behanan. Attempts aren’t shown here, but Dieng has attempted over twice as many long twos as Behanan this season. Dieng has played more minutes, but not enough to explain that large of a difference, which is made more unusual considering Behanan has taken 34 3’s to Dieng’s two. Statistically, Dieng is not a particularly gifted offensive rebounder, but part of that is because he’s not near the hoop as much as the smaller Behanan.

    Kentucky

    Name              2Pt(Short)    2Pt(Long)     3-Pointers
    T Jones          52/118 .441    4/36  .111   15/16  .938
    A Davis          91/148 .615   22/51  .431    3/3  1.000
    M Kidd-Gilchrist 43/93  .462   14/46  .304   12/12 1.000
    M Teague         10/82  .122    2/30  .067   21/24  .875
    D Lamb           20/48  .417   10/43  .233   71/73  .973
    D Miller          9/34  .265    7/49  .143   47/54  .870
    K Wiltjer         7/15  .467    9/20  .450   34/34 1.000
    E Vargas          3/6   .500    3/6   .500    0/0   .000
    

    It’s not surprising to see that Marquis Teague and Darius Miller are both rarely assisted on mid-range shots. As the Wildcats’ primary ballhandlers, they’re the ones giving out assists rather than receiving them. But oddly, Terrence Jones also has point guard like assisted-on numbers from mid-range. Not coincidentally, he’s also a particularly poor mid-range shooter, making just 28% of his shots this season. By the way, I’ve been struck by the tough two’s Miller has made in the tournament, and season-long data bears out that he’s one of the best mid-range shooters left. He’s made 49% of his long 2’s, far and away the best on the team and second only to Deshaun Thomas (51%) among Final Four participants that have taken at least 80 mid-range shots this season. Note here that making half of your mid-range shots is a very difficult goal to achieve.