Here's something I don't do too often around here: basketball statistics. After the Clemson game I followed up on a hunch that I've had since the middle of the season, teams shot much better than their season average against us from downtown.
3FGVT% - 3FGS% is the money column. It's the difference between a team's three-point percentage against Virginia Tech and its season average. A positive number indicates a team shot better from behind the arc against Tech than they did over the course of the season (through 1/27).
|Date||Opponent||Result||3FGVT% - 3FGS%||3FGVT||3FGVTA||3FGVT%||3FGS||3FGSA||3FGS%|
|1/12/2013||@ Georgia Tech||W||2.49||8||24||33.33||99||321||30.84|
|12/8/2012||@ West Virginia||L||12.44||10||24||41.67||95||325||29.23|
|11/19/2012||@ UNC Greensboro||W||-1.66||11||35||31.43||137||414||33.09|
|11/10/2012||East Tenn. St.||W||-14.34||3||16||18.75||138||417||33.09|
The important stuff:
To add some context, Creighton is first in the nation in three-point percentage (44.8%), while Mississippi Valley State is last at 28.3%. Some thoughts:
- Virginia is ranked 16th nationally at 39.1%, and they still managed to shoot almost 9% higher against the Hokies.
- Not once during Tech's 7-0 start did a team manage to shoot higher than their season average. What is Tech doing differently defensively between now and then? Could it be a combination of opponents finding their stroke plus tired turkey legs not getting out to the perimeter quick enough?
- In each loss, Tech's opponent has shot better than their season average.
Some individuals have shot well above their mean too. Colorado State's Dorian Green hit 5 of 6 threes (86%), contrast that to his 34.88% season average. Virginia's Evan Nolte and Joe Harris shot 55.56% and 66.67%, respectively, against Tech. On the year they average 44.26% and 46.67%. Clemson's K.J. McDaniels went ham, hitting 5 of 7 from deep (71.42%), even though he averages just 32.99% this season. It is possible the Hokies are doing all they can defensively, and are running into hot shooters. After the Clemson loss, James Johnson had this to say.
James Johnson on what went wrong as far as all of Clemson's treys: "Nothing went wrong, they made shots. If we're in man and they knock 3s down, what went wrong with man? If we're in zone and they make 10 3s, what went wrong? They come in last in the league (in 3s). We're not in a situation where I think we could guard their post guys inside. We've got to try to play some statistics, we've got to try to play a little bit of zone and try to take them out and make them do something that they can't do or they haven't done, and they made shots tonight. I think most of them were contested. We had a couple that we should've got but most of them was contested. ... Damarcus Harrison hit a big time shot with the shot clock running down right in front of their bench on the baseline, tough shot. They made some contested shots but they had a couple that we made some mistakes in our defense and that's going to happen. They shot the ball extremely well."
Hopefully J.J. can figure out a fix, because allowing teams to shoot threes at a rate of 31.8% (105th nationally) on the season, and 41% over the last 10 games probably won't result in many more wins.
I fully admit there's a possibility for human error (transcription) in this analysis.