By Marciano Lopez ’13
Tonight, the Villanova men’s basketball team plays St. John’s at the Pavilion, beginning Big East conference play. So, to commemorate the end of non-conference play, I have cooked up a couple of more infographics for the curious fan.
The first may be found by following this link. It is the same as the first infographic, Shot Distribution by Shot Type, with updated data. (The first infographic had data up to but not including the St. Joe’s game.) Also, this new version is way more cluttered. Humor me while I run through the information present:
- Shots are broken into three types: shots at rim, two-point jumpers and three-pointers. For each shot type, a pie chart shows how shot attempts are distributed among the players.
- The player with the most attempts for each shot type is pictured.
- Next to the pie charts is a table showing pertinent field goal information for that shot type. The charts are sorted in descending order of field goals attempted.
- Near the upper-left corner, I put team field goal stats for each shot type.
There is a lot of information here (probably too much), but this infographic tells us nothing about the most extraordinary part of the Villanova offense: free-throw shooting. According to Ken Pomeroy’s statistics, Villanova is first in the nation at getting to the line, with a free-throw rate of 52.7 percent. Free-throw rate (FTRate) is easily calculated: just free-throw attempts divided by field-goal attempts (FTA/FGA). Villanova’s FTRate is so good that on average, the Wildcats will get to the free-throw line (slightly more than) once for every two shot attempts.
Now that you have a better idea how large a role free throws play in the Villanova offense, let me show you a bar graph so you will know whom to credit.
Sophomore forward JayVaughn Pinkston is far and away the best on the team at drawing fouls. His individual FTRate of 90.7 (basically one free throw for each shot he attempts) is 11th-best in the country, according to Pomeroy again. Even though he doesn’t make free throws at an exceptional rate, he still has more free throws made than anyone else has even attempted.
You don’t need much assistance to interpret this graph, but I’d like to point out Daniel Ochefu. I find him very promising despite his very bad free-throw percentage. He draws a lot of fouls, which I believe has much to do with his exemplary offensive rebounding (he has 23 offensive boards, tied for second on the team).
And yes, the the title of this bar graph is a little misleading. Editorial pressure, I’m sure you understand. We have to spice up dry, dry math with hyperbole and razzmatazz. In fact, free throws aren’t the biggest part of the offense in terms of points scored, but they are the biggest part of the offense in terms of shots attempted, and they are the most noteworthy part of the offense, besides.