After thinking "outside the box" for last week’s stat, I’m going to keep it basic this week and go with assist percentage, which is the percentage of field goals that are assisted on.

A% = assists/field goals made

The results (see the stats page) are a little surprising, given that "sharing the basketball" is always viewed as a good thing. With UNC (3rd) and Illinois (12th) near the top of A%, it’s easy to think that this stat is a key to success, and I’ve heard that a lot lately. But Duke (299th), Texas (295th), and Villanova (308th) are among the worst teams at assisting, and all three sport very efficient offenses.

For the most part it appears that increased assist percentage correlates to a more efficient offense. But as is the case in college basketball, the exceptions are what spice things up. So I’d love to hear any possible explanations as to why a team can be very successful without a lot of helpers.

You’ll also notice that the Basketball ShrinkTM is available for your use. For those who missed this post from earlier in the week, Basketball ShrinkTM is an affordable way for you to assess a team’s personality. By clicking on a team of your choice, you’ll get a listing of the most similar teams with respect to the three basic characteristics – tempo, offensive efficiency, and defensive efficiency, in the adjusted form of each stat.

For instance, click on Princeton and you get Princeton offspring Air Force and Northwestern as the two teams most analogous to the Tigers, based on their play this season.