See what all the hype is about.
Hudl Focus is the hands-free smart camera that takes the hassle out of filming.
See what all the hype is about.
Hudl Focus is the hands-free smart camera that takes the hassle out of filming.
Orignially titled “The 40/60/80 Club”
By Stephen Shea, Ph.D. (@SteveShea33)
Editor’s note from Brian: Yes you have to play to your individual players’ strengths, and some of your individual player’s strengths might be long 2s. The data is presented to stimulate some thought as to what types of skills you want to work on to develop in your players, and how you want to structure your offensive and defensive philosophy and tactics.
These are NBA data and the NBA 3 point arc is constructed differently than college and high school. I still believe that there are applications of this information to those levels.
Analytics have had no more obvious influence on the game of basketball than on shot selection, and the influence extends beyond the suggestion to take more threes.
The best shots are from behind the arc, at the hoop and at the free-throw line.
(The points per shot for free throws is for a 2 shot free throw situation)
Even though high school does not have a “restricted area,” you can still use the visual from college and professional games to get an idea where those shots are taken, even on a court without that marking.
As a result, NBA teams are taking half as many mid-range jumpers as they did 20 years ago. And there’s no sign of that trend slowing down.
If teams are strategizing to take more shots at the hoop, from three and from the free-throw line, then it’s only natural that they should want the players that are the most efficient from those regions.
We introduce the 40/60/80 Club, an exclusive group of go-to NBA scorers that shoot better than 40% from three, 60% from the restricted area and 80% from the free-throw line.
Editor’s note from Brian: Just an idea that you might be able to apply to your players. In my opinion, looking at overall field goal percentage (combining 2s and 3s as field goal attempts is not a very helpful statistic. Breaking shots into restricted area, other 2’s, 3’s and free throws give you a much better idea of where you are strong and where you need to improve–both from an offensive and defensive point of view.
Dr. Shea has coauthored two books on the subject of utilizing analtyical data in basketball. You can find out more about both books by clicking on the links or images of the book covers below.
Check out Hudl’s national high school performance report to find out how your team stacks up.
Compare your team’s performance to the nation’s best high school basketball programs and craft a better game plan. Their analysts have compiled all the performance metrics from Hudl Assist data to bring you a comprehensive look at what winning teams are doing.
Average fouls per game
Editor’s Note from Brian The purpose of this post is to offer some ideas about applying these analytics to what you currently do and improve how you evaluate your offensive execution. You probably won’t be able to apply all of this, but hopefully you can use parts of it to help your players understand and measure how you want your team to play on offense. I have included screenshots of part of the tables as a way to add context to the points that Dr. Shea makes.
If you want to view the entire article including sortable data tables for all NBA teams, you can click here: What if Your Team had Houston’s Shot Selection I realize that the shorter distances for different 3 point shots does not apply to high school and college, but I also believe that there are specific spots on the arc that your players shoot better from, or at least favor as spots for 3 point attempts.
And, of course, we have to coach to our player’s strengths, but if we develop and play players whose strength is mid range, then we will be limited in the effectiveness of our offense, just as we would be limiting our offense if our primary ball handler could only dribble towards their strong hand.
I also realize that free throw shooting is even more efficient than field goal shooting, and that you are going to get to the line more frequently by attacking the basket. That has to be factored in. Free throw scoring efficiency is tied to the ability of the free throw shooter. A 70% free throw shooter will score, on average, 1.40 points per 2 shot free throw possession, which is better tan any of these. To me, that still points out that paint shots outside the restricted area and mid range shots are the worst ways to attempt to score.
As always, my goal is to provide food for you and your staff to use to work to improve your program. I do believe that analytics have a place in the decision making processes for basketball coaches, but that it is not the only tool to use.
End of Editor’s Note
What if your team had Houston’s shot selection?
Stephen Shea, Ph.D.
There are 5 major shooting zones on an NBA court: the restricted area (at the hoop), the paint (but not in the restricted area), mid-range, corners, and above the break. Among the zones, the paint and mid-range shots are, by far, the least efficient.
One team has leveraged this information to design a strategy that attempts to greatly reduce paint and mid-range shots. This season, just 7.6% of Houston’s field goal attempts have come from the paint and just 5.8% have come from mid-range. Both percentages are league lows.
Houston’s shot selection is far from the norm. While mid-range attempts are on the decline, many teams are still taking 20% or more of their shots from this inefficient region. What if they didn’t?
As a thought exercise, let’s suppose every team had Houston’s shot selection. We’ll keep each team’s field goal percentages from each zone the same. For example, Sacramento has shot 36.6% from mid-range this season and taken 28.1% of their shots from that region. We’ll assume Sacramento maintains their 36.6% but that they only take 7.6% of their FGA from mid-range (Houston’s percentage).
We’ll measure the team’s shooting efficiency by points per shot (PPS). The table below contains each team’s current PPS, their hypothetical PPS with Houston’s shot selection (labeled NewPPS), the difference between the hypothetical and actual PPS, and the additional points per game the team would score with Houston’s shot selection.
Shot selection can impact shooting efficiency, and so, it wouldn’t be fair to suggest that a team could radically alter their shot selection tomorrow and maintain their shooting efficiencies from each zone. Still, when we see that a team like Sacramento would produce 12.6 more points per game with their current field goal percentages and Houston’s shot selection, we have to ask, why aren’t they trying?
With the season rapidly approaching, it’s time to start building your game plan. These stats and linked video can help accelerate that process.
There are a lot of things to consider as you begin to craft your strategy for the upcoming season. Your team must replace the production of departed seniors and transfers and determine which younger players are best suited to step into larger roles. While your overall style may not undergo sweeping changes, it’s important to tweak your game plan based on your current team’s abilities.
Allow the statistics to help you. By examining last year’s numbers and watching the video connected to them, you can find useful nuggets to help shape your current squad.
We recommend you get familiar with these three stats as you develop your plan for this year.
For whatever reason, some athletes just play better together. Chemistry is integral in basketball, and certain players feel more comfortable playing with one another. They have full trust in one another and seem to share a telekinetic connection, always knowing where their teammates will be.
Lineup data helps you find which combinations are most lethal. It shows you which groups of players are most efficient offensively, which lock down the opposition best and who owns the boards together. Conversely, it can shine a spotlight on players that don’t mesh that well.
“It’s a simpler process than you’d expect,” Tucker Zeleny, the Director of Sports Analytics and Data at the University of Nebraska, said. “It makes it pretty easy to look at the five-player combinations. We look at, ‘Here’s our best, here’s our worst.’ We try to look at our most common combinations when we’re putting a lot of weight into it.”
Lineup data can help you find players that might be best used off the bench or in clutch situations. It can be the key to finding your best combinations.
The key to having an effective offense is getting your athletes shots in the areas where they truly excel. This is why shot charts are so pivotal. They clearly display each athlete’s shooting percentage and volume from different spots on the court.
Linking shot charts to video gives them an extra boost. Now you not only see where your athletes prosper, but also why. This information can be critical to building your offense and determining what plays to run for each player.
“When I can look at the chart and see what’s going on, I’ll click on the specific area and that’ll pull up video,” Chris Horton, the women’s coach at Lone Oak High School (Texas), said. “If I’ve got a girl that’s having trouble scoring inside, why? What’s she doing? It helps me coach them. It helps me big picture with offensive design, but it also helps me help them. I’ll go into each individual area and I’ll pull up the video.”
Shot charts go beyond the individual. Look at team shot charts to expose areas where your team struggles. Consider devoting some additional practice time to those spaces or creating new plays to get better looks.
The beauty of VPS is that it takes minutes out of the equation. Whether an athlete played 35 minutes or 10, this all-encompassing stat compiles his or her contributions into one number to define the performance.
VPS brings to light the efficiency quotient that can be hidden by traditional counting stats. By balancing both positive and negative contributions, it provides a more complete view of how an athlete actually performs.
“It takes the positive stuff, divides it by the negative and gives you a value point system,” Ryan Fretz, the head coach at Clyde High School (Ohio), said. “It truly shows how efficiently how your players are playing. Your star can come out and say, ‘I had 22 points and 10 rebounds last night.’ Yeah, but you also missed ten free throws, had five turnovers and took 30 shots in the game. Look how much more efficient you could be if you took care of the ball and had better shot selection.’
“Colleges look at it. The NBA looks at it. They don’t just look at points and rebounds and assists. We’re looking at the efficiency of the players.”
Take VPS into account to help identify players who thrived in lesser roles last year, but might be ready to step up this season.
These are just a few of the statistics you can examine from last year’s team to set this year’s up for success. Use stats in conjunction with their connected video to get a good idea of what your team needs and who can step up.
This post was written by Andy Rochon. He is the boys JV coach and Varsity Assistant at Ocoee High School in west Orlando. His site is about his system of Symmetrics. He has several other posts on the site with ideas for quantifying ball movement and player decision making. Click the link to see more of his concepts: Symmetrics
Editor’s Note from Brian. I realize that many coaches reading this blog do not have the time or the resources to apply all of these ideas. However, I hope that you might be able to apply some of the concepts on a smaller scale. If you have a player or two that you are trying to get to react quicker or be more aware, you could apply some of these ideas to help them. Or, you could time just a few possessions just to identify where the sweet spot is for your team.
**Pete Carril said, “be good at all things that happen a lot.” I truly believe that is the cornerstone of what Symmetrics is about!**
Now it is time to take a look into HOW we track Tempo. The 3 parts of Tempo are Pace(total number of possessions), Player Movement(average speed at which players cut/sprint while performing decision/action), and Average Length of each possession on offense/defense). When I was an assistant at State College of Florida I had one player that these three numbers helped tremendously, especially on the defensive side of the ball. It was a neat process to watch him go from being inactive/disinterested to a bouncy/active defender who averaged 2.8 blocks per game at 6’6.
Here is how you can apply the numbers to your coaching philosophy/game plan. Knowing the Pace or how many possessions your team creates in a game is important. This lets you know if you are getting enough offensive opportunities. Opportunities are vital for teams, while the amount of good opportunities may be important for others. Either way my colleagues has expressed know how many possession their team averages a game is a stat they want to know.
Next, is Player Movement and this is a little bit tougher to track each instance an action/decision is committed. This is why we have each player perform 5 trials of a given action/decision, add each individual score and divide people total number of teammates who performed the action/decision, and that is how we get a verage speed of each action/decision. These numbers are very similar to average speed numbers the NBA is tracking on the SportVu cameras(average speed while sprinting up/down floor, total miles ran, ect). These numbers let a coach know if their players are are putting in the EFFORT or playing with ENERGY you want your players to play with. In Symmetrics we call this the JUICE INDICATOR and will be solely based on how much energy you expend while playing the game(aka the faster you move the more energy you produce).
The last and most important part(my opinion)to tracking Tempo is the average time spent on offense vs average time spent on defense. Why is this important you might ask? Back in ‘07 when the Phoenix Suns 7 seconds or less uptempo style was popular it was important for them know how many times they got a shot in 7 seconds or less, how many possessions did this take place, and stats showing how efficiently they performed in these situations(makes/misses, turnovers, fouls, ect). Knowing that information allows the staff to know whether or not to tell them to perform the action more or less based on stats look. For example, when I was at SCG our offensive style was similar to the Spurs. We wanted to come up the floor, move the ball, drive and kick to get 3 or best shot in the paint. If our time on offense was only averaging 10 seconds I would urge our players to make a few more passes, foot fight with their defender when they catch, or enter the ball to the post. All three of these decisions that turn to actions allowed us to possess the ball just a few seconds longer. Which gives more time for the defense to breakdown or make a mistake. May seem minor, but ball/player movement makes all the difference possession by possession when wearing down an opponent. Defensively, to wear down opponents we would really get out and put pressure on the ball. Our secondary defenders aka help side would sit in gaps to protect against dribble penetration(pack line principles w/pressure on the ball). This didn’t allow for ball handle to be comfortable and make direct line passes, and it didn’t up as many uncontested shots because we closed out to everything like pack line teams do.
Here is how Raheem and I would go over these numbers. On the bus ride home(it’s juco so usually 2+ hour trips)we would sit and just talk hoops. He would tell me about his life living between Canada and the United States, the players he has had the opportunity to play with and against, as well as his overall knowledge of the game. Somewhere in between him talking about his Juco stint in Casper, Wyoming he said something that I’ll never forget. Raheem said, “Coach I feel like in my head I know what to do, but I can’t get my teammates to do it or sometimes I mess it up.” To me this is a kid who is trying to be a leader for a team full of players who were trying to get theirs. This is when we started talking about Player Decision-Making.
After, each game we got on the bus and sat down and talked about the good, the bad, and the downright horrific!! Yes, there were times where we would have to agree to disagree. That is the beauty of Symmetrics, it is all about tracking your decisions/actions and you do not have to change if you do not want to(Your playing time may though). A typical night riding home on a big charter bus we would watch college basketball on our phones and I would go through the team report. For example, I’d say, “Heem as a team we were 1st help defender was Late to help on dribble penetration 18 times, we gave up 14 points on 4/6 shooting(2 3pt FG), they drew 5 fouls, and our 2nd help wasn’t there 11 of 18 times our 1st help was late. I’d explain to him what a contested shot looked like, how many he attempted vs how many he made, and other actions/decisions he could do more of to score a few extra basketball because of his great athleticism(Offensive Rebounds/Tip ins).
Now I’m telling you we did this almost after every game, except for the really hard loses or the few major wins we had that year. He truly changed as a player, not because I am a genius, but because he was willing to listen and grow as a player. I wanted to observe to see how well he would understand terminology, how quickly he was able to apply the information, and Symmetrics was the reason he became aware enough to ACT instead of REACT to situations on the floor.
Over the last three seasons I have tracked Tempo in this way and have found it extremely useful for our coaching staff and players.
Now I want to share Symmetrics with as many coaches possible who are looking to have an immediate impact on their team! This is not to reinvent your philosophy or revamp your style of play. Symmetrics is just to categorize and organize your philosophy into simple cues, in your terminology, that players and your coaching staff can easily remember and apply to practice or games right away!
Thanks again for reading this if you stuck around until the end. Spend some time this weekend thinking about which decisions/actions you value or do not value. Then begin plugging them into the various Risk categories. Is the decision which leads to an action low in risk and high in reward? Then it belongs in the Low Risk category. Is the decision high in risk and low in reward? Then it needs to be added to the High Risk category. If the action is something that depends on the player’s skill set, time/situation, and/or positive only outweighs negative by a little or vise versa then it belongs in the Mid Risk + or – category pending on which one carries more weight.(ie: 50/50 ball= Mid Risk+ because there are more positive outcomes by diving for a loose ball instead of trying to dribble a loose ball).
About the Author of This Post
This post was written by Andy Rochon. He is the boys JV coach and Varsity Assistant at Ocoee High School in west Orlando. His site is about his system of Symmetrics. He has several other posts on the site with ideas for quantifying ball movement and player decision making.