Reading through Truehoop’s First Cup today, something caught my eye:

 Richard Justice of the Houston Chronicle: “According to Daryl Morey’s evaluations, Kevin Martin has been one of the NBA’s most efficient scorers in the last 30 years. He’s the only player who has shot 40 percent from the beyond 3-point line and averaged eight free-throw attempts a game in the course of an entire season. And he has done it in two of his six NBA seasons.


             I think Kevin Martin is terrific, and every public statement by Daryl Morey piques my intellectual curiousity. Keeping with my theme of repressing thoughts of the Pacers atrocious season and preparing for the 2010 draft; I wondered if those numbers (3PT% and FTA/G) would show any standouts in this year’s draft class. Examining the numbers showed only one college player who had reached that threshold this year, Marquez Haynes. I broadened the list to any college players with a 3PT% above 40% who are averaging more than 5 FTA’s/G. Remarkably, that list is still only 10 players.

Name Position School 3PT% FTA/G Draftexpress Projection
Jimmer Fredette PG BYU 48.2% 6.4 2nd Rd, #9 2011
Elias Harris SF/PF Gonzaga 45.2% 5.4 1st Rd, #14 2011
Mark Payne SG/SF UC Davis 43.9% 6.3 2nd Rd, #29 2011
Adrian Oliver PG/SG San Jose State 41.7% 7.0 Undrafted
Marquez Haynes PG/SG Texas-Arlington 41.0% 8.5 Undrafted
Scottie Reynolds PG/SG Villanova 40.9% 6.0 Undrafted
Jon Scheyer PG/SG Duke 40.9% 5.5 2nd Rd, #29 2010
Luke Babbitt PF/SF Nevada 40.8% 5.8 2nd Rd, #5 2011
Sylven Landesberg SG Virginia 40.7% 5.2 2nd Rd, #1 2011
Damion James PF/SF Texas 40.5% 6.6 1st Rd, # 25 2010

* I left off Keith Benson from Oakland, and Gus Gilchrist from South Florida because they are both Power Forwards with fewer than 20 3PT attempts on the season.

                   There are some guys on this list that have been getting a lot of attention like Elias Harris, Scottie Reynolds and Damion James. There are some others playing really well, but getting no attention, like Jimmer Fredette, Mark Payne and Luke Babbitt. I was glad to see Jon Scheyer on this list (my recent recommendation for the player the Pacers should select with the 2nd Rd). pick they receive from Dallas this year. The most interesting thing to me is that, other than Elias Harris, there are no players on this list likely to get drafted in the lottery. It goes without saying that players reaching these two statistical benchmarks are very efficient scoring the ball. Most of the players on this list also have some obvious flaws, especially in the size and atheleticism departments, which is impacting their draft status. Still, maybe some of these guys deserve a closer look?

                     To put the examination of these players into context, I assembled a similar table for all college players since the 01/02 season who had a 3PT% better than 40% and averaged over 5 FTA/G.

Name School Year 3PT% FTA/G
Sasa Cuic Oregon St. 05/06 49.3% 5.6
Adrian Banks Arkansas 06/07 47.5% 5.5
Chris Paul Wake Forest 04/05 47.4% 5.8
Ty Lawson UNC 08/09 47.2% 5.9
Nick George Virginia Commonwealth 05/06 46.8% 5.1
Chris Paul Wake Forest 03/04 46.5% 5.7
Acie Law Texas A+M 06/07 45.8% 5.4
Alex Harris UCSB 06/07 45.8% 6.9
Dan Dickau Gonzaga 01/02 45.7% 6.0
Morris Almond Rice 06/07 45.6% 8.9
George Hill IUPUI 07/08 45.0% 7.7
Reuben Douglas New Mexico 01/02 44.9% 5.6
Travis Diener Marquette 03/04 44.8% 5.0
Jarrius Jackson Texas Tech 05/06 44.8% 5.8
Al Thornton Florida State 06/07 44.4% 6.0
Morris Almond Rice 05/06 44.4% 5.2
Jared Dudley Boston College 06/07 44.3% 6.4
Trey Johnson Jackson State 05/06 44.1% 7.3
D.J. Augustin Texas 06/07 44.1% 5.1
Jeff Teague Wake Forest 08/09 44.1% 7.1
Luke Jackson Oregon 03/04 44.0% 6.1
Andrew Wisniewski Centenary 01/02 43.8% 7.1
Jarrius Jackson Texas Tech 06/07 43.6% 5.6
Ryan Toolson Utah Valley St. 07/08 43.6% 5.7
Danny Granger New Mexico 04/05 43.3% 6.8
Dior Lowhorn San Fransisco 08/09 43.2% 5.1
Dan Grunfeld Stanford 04/05 43.1% 5.2
Luke Babbitt Nevada 08/09 42.9% 5.2
Mark Tyndale Temple 06/07 42.9% 6.6
Adam Morrison Gonzaga 05/06 42.8% 9.4
Cartier Martin Kansas State 05/06 42.7% 5.6
Ben Woodside N. Dakota St. 08/09 42.7% 8.3
Henry Domercant E. Illinois 02/03 42.4% 9.1
Alex Harris UCSB 07/08 42.3% 7.2
C.J. Watson Tennesee 05/06 42.2% 5.7
Travis Hansen BYU 01/02 42.2% 6.1
Ryan Thompson Rider 08/09 42.2% 5.5
J.J. Redick Duke 05/06 42.1% 7.1
Chris Lofton Tennessee 06/07 41.9% 5.1
Ben Gordon Connecticut 02/03 41.9% 5.4
Will Daniels Rhode Island 06/07 41.8% 6.5
Andrew Wisniewski Centenary 03/04 41.8% 7.0
Chris Douglas-Roberts Memphis 07/08 41.3% 5.7
Keith McLeod Bowling Green 01/02 41.2% 8.2
Luis Flores Manhattan 01/02 41.1% 6.5
Antoine Aquido Hofstra 07/08 41.0% 5.4
Ryan Anderson California 07/08 41.0% 6.0
Ben Woodside N. Dakota St. 05/06 40.9% 7.2
Steve Burtt Iona 05/06 40.7% 6.6
Jerryd Bayless Arizona 07/08 40.7% 7.4
James Harden Arizona St. 07/08 40.7% 6.6
Jodie Meeks Kentucky 08/09 40.6% 6.5
Travis Diener Marquette 04/05 40.5% 6.4
Bo McCalebb New Orleans 07/08 40.5% 7.0
Gary Neal Towson 05/06 40.5% 7.8
Aaron Jackson Duquesne 08/09 40.5% 5.5
Jared Newson Tennessee-Martin 05/06 40.4% 6.5
Kevin Durant Texas 06/07 40.4% 7.8
Dylan Page UW-Milwaukee 03/04 40.4% 5.6
J.J. Redick Duke 03/04 40.4% 6.3
Reece Gaines Louisville 02/03 40.3% 5.9
Blake Stepp Gonzaga 02/03 40.3% 5.3
Brandon Roy Washington 05/06 40.2% 6.4
Troy Bell Boston College 02/03 40.2% 8.6
Quincy Douby Rutgers 05/06 40.1% 5.3
Pat Calathes St. Joseph’s 07/08 40.0% 5.1
Luke Jackson Oregon 01/02 40.0% 5.3
James Jones Miami 02/03 40.0% 5.0
Jeremy Lin Harvard 08/09 40.0% 6.0

Green – Current NBA Players       

 * To pare down this list to legitimate qualifiers I only included players who attempted at least two 3p FGs per game.

** If you reduce the 3PT% threshold to 38% then the list would include current NBA players Deron Williams, Stephon Curry and Courtney Lee         

             This list breaks down into some pretty distinct categories. You have the players from small and mid-major schools who put up ridiculous numbers against 2nd tier competition (Trey Johnson, Andrew Wisniewski, Ryan Toolson). There are the busts,  the wash-outs, and the not quites (Reece Gaines, Luke Jackson, Quincy Douby, Chris Lofton). There are also some legitimatly useful NBA players, guys making meaningful contributions (James Jones, J.J. Redick, Jerryd Bayless, James Harden, Ryan Anderson, etc.). Finally there are some stars on this list (Chris Paul, Kevin Durant, Brandon Roy, Danny Granger). Granger would be the exception, but Durant, Roy and Paul would appear on any list of the 10 most efficient offensive players in the NBA.

             There is certainly not a direct correlation between excelling in these categories at the college level, and being succesful in the NBA. I do think it is an interesting way to look at scoring efficency. Excelling in these categories seems to indicate not just skill level, but the awareness of when to use those skills to make the most of your time on the floor. Knowing when to use your jump shot and when to attack the basket to maximize efficiency is a skill that is sorely lacking  in a lot of NBA backcourt players. If Daryl Morey is using this as a tool to analyze players than it is good enough for me . . . . . . . and hopefully the Pacers.


Filed under 2010 Draft, College Basketball, Houston Rockets, NBA, Statistical Analysis

3 responses to “Efficiency

  1. Pingback: Remember the Paint? « Hardcourt Mayhem

  2. Crow

    Morey makes a worthwhile stat observation (as far as it goes) and you are sharp to make note of it. Having a good 3 point game and being able and willing to drive is a good combo. But having both and a good or even average defensive impact would be far better than having dual offensive weapons and then, according to Adjusted +/-, more than giving it all way on defense as appears to be the case with Martin to date.

    • Thanks for the comment Crow. You make an excellent point and I’d love to jump on your suggestion.

      There are several college players on this list who are rookies this season. As we move into the season I’ll give a shot at incorporating the Adjusted +/- numbers for the players on this list to see who is cancelling out their offensive contributions with atrocious defense.

      Thanks for reading!

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