Meet the best teams at taking shots

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Jack Salt says this taking more shots than your opponent stuff really works. (Matt Riley/UVA Media Relations)

There are exciting developments afoot in the fast-paced, glamorous, and paparazzi-laden world of shot-volume studies.

Ever since the appearance of the shot volume index (SVI) a couple years back, the metric's been dominated by one team: North Carolina. This hegemony has led casual fans and, yes, even texting coaches to infer something like the following:

Great. Want to put up a lot of shots? Be a storied program with six national titles and incredible athletes who form possibly the best offensive rebounding collective in the history of the sport. Hey, thanks, John! I'll be sure to put that on my whiteboard tomorrow!

O, how the mighty have fallen….

Shot volume index (SVI)
Turnover percentage, offensive rebound percentage, and shot volume
Major-conference games only, through January 27

                         TO%     OR%     SVI
1.  Virginia            13.0    30.0    101.6
2.  Purdue              16.0    35.3    100.6
3.  Tennessee           15.5    31.9     99.6
4.  Arizona             15.3    31.1     99.5
5.  Alabama             17.2    34.7     98.9
6.  Duke                17.3    34.2     98.6
7.  Baylor              19.4    39.9     98.6

The UNC legacy notwithstanding, getting more shots is about way more than just second chances. Actually, it's mostly about first chances. You can't get an offensive board if you've already committed a turnover.

So, right, let's go ahead and compare these two straight up….

The Wisconsin school of thought
Effective FG percentage and points per possession, conference games only

                        eFG%     TO%    OR%    SVI     PPP
Wisconsin  2015         54.3    11.8   32.2   104.1   1.20
Virginia   2019         56.1    13.0   30.0   101.6   1.19

We invest significant effort in parsing out the drop in expected scoring values between this catch-and-shoot three and that transition pull-up three, and rightfully so. But, being the savvy customer that he is, Tony Bennett's also mindful of the fact that the largest drop of all, by far, is from any shot attempt, even the longest and dumbest two off the dribble, to no shot attempt.

As always, one of the most interesting nuggets coughed up by this SVI thing is how the hoops gods don't care one whit how you get the job done. Some coaches hate offensive boards. Others hate turnovers. Both approaches can land you in exactly the same spot in terms of shot attempts.

                         TO%     OR%     SVI
24. Wake Forest         19.8    36.0     96.4
25. St. John's          13.7    20.7     96.3

While we're on the subject of letting a thousand styles bloom, it turns out that in 2019 there are a few programs that elect to deemphasize offensive rebounding.

Red light on the offensive glass
Lowest offensive-to-defensive rebound ratios
Major-conference games only, through January 27

                     OR%     DR%   ratio
Northwestern        19.4    73.6    0.26
Wisconsin           20.1    70.7    0.28
Creighton           21.3    74.8    0.28

True, the Bluejays' situation is a bit different, inasmuch as they're one of the most perimeter-oriented offenses ever glimpsed in major-conference play. All that floor spacing isn't terribly conducive to offensive boards, duly noted.

Conversely, what's interesting about the Wildcats and Badgers is that they're pretty normal in terms of how many threes they're trying. They just don't care for offensive rebounds.

As it happens, Northwestern doesn't shoot all that well anyway. In Wisconsin's case, however, this relative lack of second chances forms a partial explanation for why really good shooting isn't producing the same number of points as what similar levels of accuracy are netting elsewhere….

Ranked by shooting
Major-conference games only, through January 27

                        eFG%     SVI      PPP
Wisconsin               53.7    93.7     1.02
Auburn                  53.1    97.2     1.12
North Carolina          52.6    96.7     1.11
Iowa                    52.4    97.5     1.11
Purdue                  51.2   100.6     1.11

Emphasis on the word “partial.” Also price in the fact that the Badgers seldom shoot free throws, and, when they do, it's often a 49 percent foul shooter who's at the line. Rarely has 51 percent shooting on twos and 40 percent accuracy on threes resulted in so few points on the board.

Lastly, it's only January, but let the record show that 2019's current last-place team for shot volume is setting a pace for point-producing paucity that can only be pegged as portentous in proportion to the paradigmatic paltry performances of the past.

Lowest shot volumes, 2011-18
Major-conference games only

                           TO%     OR%      SVI
Texas Tech         2012   26.2    25.6      84.4
Arizona State      2012   26.4    27.9      85.1
Mississippi State  2013   24.7    25.8      86.2

Here's the complete roster of 2019 shot volumes in major-conference play, with pithy category titles at plus and minus one standard deviation.

Shot volume index (SVI)
Major-conference games only, through January 27

Gluttonous	         TO%     OR%     SVI
1.  Virginia            13.0    30.0    101.6
2.  Purdue              16.0    35.3    100.6
3.  Tennessee           15.5    31.9     99.6
4.  Arizona             15.3    31.1     99.5
5.  Alabama             17.2    34.7     98.9
6.  Duke                17.3    34.2     98.6
7.  Baylor              19.4    39.9     98.6
8.  Xavier              16.5    31.9     98.4
9.  LSU                 17.6    34.1     98.2
10. Notre Dame          15.5    28.8     98.2
11. Providence          17.3    33.1     98.1
12. Michigan State      19.0    37.5     98.0

Normal                   TO%     OR%     SVI
13. NC State            18.7    36.0     97.7
14. Iowa                16.7    30.4     97.5
15. Michigan            14.8    24.5     97.4
16. Florida State       17.6    32.0     97.2
17. Nebraska            15.7    27.3     97.2
18. Auburn              18.5    34.2     97.1
19. Louisville          17.7    31.8     97.0
20. Villanova           16.0    27.5     97.0
21. North Carolina      19.4    35.5     96.7
22. Oklahoma State      17.4    30.2     96.6
23. USC                 15.3    25.0     96.6
24. Wake Forest         19.8    36.0     96.4
25. St. John's          13.7    20.7     96.3
26. Minnesota           17.2    29.1     96.3
27. Oregon              18.0    30.5     96.0
28. Kentucky            18.8    32.5     96.0
29. Oklahoma            16.8    27.4     96.0
30. Texas               17.4    28.9     96.0
31. Butler              16.3    26.0     95.9
32. Virginia Tech       16.8    26.7     95.7
33. Rutgers             17.8    29.3     95.7
34. Kansas State        17.6    28.6     95.6
35. Arizona State       19.2    32.6     95.6
36. Florida             19.3    32.6     95.5
37. Iowa State          15.4    22.3     95.2
38. West Virginia       21.1    36.5     95.1 (average, huzzah)
39. Miami               17.1    25.7     94.9
40. Ole Miss            19.8    32.7     94.9
41. DePaul              19.4    31.3     94.8
42. Georgetown          18.1    28.1     94.8
43. Penn State          18.4    28.8     94.8
44. Cal                 16.2    23.4     94.8
45. Colorado            19.0    30.3     94.8
46. Mississippi State   19.5    31.6     94.8
47. South Carolina      20.0    33.0     94.8
48. Illinois            19.2    30.5     94.6
49. Texas A&M           17.3    25.7     94.6
50. Oregon State        18.5    28.4     94.5
51. Boston College      16.4    23.0     94.4
52. Syracuse            19.0    28.5     94.0
53. TCU                 20.8    33.0     93.9
54. Indiana             18.0    25.6     93.8
55. Arkansas            20.2    31.2     93.8
56. Wisconsin           15.8    20.1     93.7
57. Vanderbilt          18.6    26.6     93.5
58. Maryland            21.3    33.4     93.4
59. Northwestern        16.0    19.4     93.1
60. Pitt                20.4    29.7     92.9
61. Kansas              19.7    28.0     92.9
62. Marquette           17.8    23.3     92.9
63. Ohio State          20.3    29.5     92.9
64. Creighton           17.1    21.3     92.8
65. UCLA                22.2    34.1     92.7
66. Washington          19.5    26.7     92.6

Starving                 TO%     OR%     SVI
67. Clemson             19.3    25.0     92.0
68. Utah                20.7    27.9     91.7
69. Seton Hall          20.9    28.2     91.6
70. Georgia             22.5    31.8     91.3
71. Stanford            21.8    27.3     90.2
72. Washington State    19.9    22.5     90.2
73. Texas Tech          20.2    21.4     89.4
74. Missouri            23.6    27.9     88.4
75. Georgia Tech        24.2    22.4     85.3

AVG                     18.3    29.3     95.1

 

About the Author: Taylor Coburn

Hi my name is Taylor C Copburn I love to play the odds and beat the point spread on NFL, NCAA and NBA games. Breaking down the risk value and finding the angle to collect on my wagers.

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