October 17, 2011 - by David Hess
The college basketball season starts in only three and a half weeks, which means it’s time to start preparing that section of the site for the upcoming year. We buy it some new back-to-school clothes, make sure it knows where all its classes are, and help it stock up on laundry detergent and quarters.
The first step this year was to add a few new team and player stats, and to make sure the improvements we’ve made to other sports are migrated over to the college basketball side. Here are some features we rolled out today.
Some of these are probably familiar to you, but a few won’t be. The more unique stats are defined below:
Assists per Possession [Assists / Possessions]
Effective Possession Ratio [(Possessions + Offensive Rebounds – Turnovers) / Possessions] — This measures how good a team is at actually getting scoring chances out of their possessions. Turning it over costs them a chance, while grabbing an offensive board gains them an extra one. Higher is better.
Extra Scoring Chances per Game [Offensive Rebounds + Opponent Turnovers – Opponent Offensive Rebounds – Turnovers] — Teams always get roughly the same number of possessions. But through rebounding, ball handling, and pressure defense, one team can gain more true scoring chances than the other.
Floor % — Estimates the percentage of possessions on which a team scores at least one point. This stat is key in late game situations. Formula and concept by Dean Oliver.
Free Throws Made per 100 Possessions [100 * Free Throws Made / Possessions] — Formula and concept by John Ezekowitz.
Percent of Points from 2 Pointers [2 * Two Pointers Made / Total Points]
Percent of Points from 3 Pointers [3 * Three Pointers Made / Total Points]
Percent of Points from Free Throws [Free Throws Made / Total Points]
Personal Fouls per Possession [Fouls / Possessions]
Steals per Possession [Steals / Possessions]
Total Rebounding % (Rebound Rate) [Total Rebounds / (Total Rebounds + Opponent Total Rebounds)]
True Shooting % [Points / (Field Goal Attempts + 0.475 * Free Throws)] — This measures how successful a team is at converting scoring opportunities into points, taking into account both three pointers and free throws.
Turnovers per Possession [Turnovers / Possessions] — Some of you may know this as Turnover%.
For these opponent stats, the formulas are the same, just calculated using the values for the opposition:
Opponent Assists per Possession
Opponent Effective Possession Ratio
Opponent Floor %
Opponent Free Throws Made per 100 Possessions
Opponent Percent of Points from 2 Pointers
Opponent Percent of Points from 3 Pointers
Opponent Percent of Points from Free Throws
Opponent Personal Fouls per Possession
Opponent Steals per Possession
Opponent True Shooting %
Opponent Turnovers per Possession
One of these is a commonly-used stat that we’ve been overlooking for too long, while the others are a bit more unusual, but should be interesting.
Assist to Turnover Ratio [Assists / Turnovers] — This is the one that I’m sure you’ve all heard of before.
Blocks per Foul [Blocks / Personal Fouls] — Sure, blocking shots is great, but doing so without racking up fouls is even better.
Steals per Foul [Steals / Personal Fouls] — The same concept applies to steals. Sometimes fast and accurate hands are better than theft by force.
Defensive Plays per Foul [(Blocks + Steals) / Personal Fouls] — The previous two stats combined, to show who creates the most defensive havoc for the lowest price in fouls.
Game Score — The formula for this one is a bit long, so for more details we refer you to the original source, John Hollinger. Basically, it’s one number that sums up how well a player did in a game. Unlike Hollinger, we don’t adjust for pace.
Finally, here are a couple pages where we’ve made some minor improvements for the upcoming season.
College Basketball Player Pages — Check out Jared Sullinger as an example. We’ve made some cosmetic improvements here, plus we’ve added a few more stats to this overview page, so you can see more info at a glance. Soon, we’ll be adding stats from the past few seasons as well.
College Basketball Conference Pages — Here’s the ACC for your perusal. We’re now highlighting the top players from the conference in terms of scoring, rebounding, and assists. Right now they are sorted by season totals, since that’s what we use for NFL conference pages. But starting Thursday (when we roll out our next release), they’ll be sorted by per-game averages, which are much more basketball-y.
We hope you enjoy the new stats!
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