Who's the best shooter? If you've played HORSE before, you know that the question isn't so simply answered. The best three-point shooter might be worse on free throws than another player. And when you add making contested shots to the mix, it can really throw things askew.
Still, one of the cool things about the statistical revolution in basketball, which followed on the footsteps of the baseball one chronicled in Moneyball, among other places, is that it's easier than ever to find out what percentages players shoot from which spots on the floor, creating a much better (while still imperfect) picture of where players take shots from, and how well they do so.
Note: Effective Field Goal Percentage (eFG%) is a field goal percentage weighted for three-point shots. So a three-point make is worth 1.5 times that of a two-point make. True Shooting Percentage (TS%) is similar, except that it includes free throws as well.*
TS% is a great quick stat to plot out a game statistically. But you'll notice, over the course of the year, that I use eFG% more often. This is largely a personal preference, as I think including free throws — which don't truly happen in the run of play, with everybody frozen and a player taking a clean look at the rim without defense — along with the a percentage of shots taken in game action is somewhat misleading. So I'll typically use eFG% AND a separate free throw percentage, rather than the all-inclusive TS%. But I digress.
So, who are the best shooters on the Texas team so far? Division 1 Team Averages are in parentheses, per Hoop-math.com
Effective Field Goal Percentage (50.4)
1) Jonathan Holmes — 59.8 percent
2) Connor Lammert — 55.9
3) Cameron Ridley — 54.5
True Shooting Percentage (54.2)
1) Holmes — 65.8 percent
2) Lammert — 59.0
3) Ridley — 56.4
At The Rim (60.9)
1) Lammert — 80 percent
2) Kendal Yancy — 68.4
3) Ridley — 66.0
Two-Point Jumpers (35.7)
1) Holmes — 48.1 percent
2) Isaiah Taylor — 39.6
3) Lammert — 39.1
1) Holmes — 45.2 percent
2) Yancy — 42.9
3) Lammert — 38.5
Free Throw Percentage (69.1)
1) Holmes — 86.4 percent
2) Javan Felix — 80.0
3) Lammert — 78.6
Will somebody get Jonathan Holmes a trophy? He's become an über-efficient scorer, finishing above the national average in every shooting category, and in many cases, well over. The only category where he wasn't first among the Longhorns was shooting at the rim, where he was fifth (Demarcus Holland was fourth at 62.2 percent, with Holmes immediately behind at 62.1). And even there, Holmes made shots at an above-average rate nationally. His 48.1 percent on two-point jumpers was more than 12 points above the national average, while his 45.2 percent clip of hitting three-pointers was nearly 11 points higher. Of course, the biggest gap between Holmes and the average player occurred at the free throw line, where his percentage as 17 points up from the national average.
A few other things that were apparent from this: Connor Lammert, who was probably Texas's most efficient shooter a year ago (he was No. 1 at the rim and on two-point jumpers), is a gifted shooter as well, but he faces a big road block to playing time given that Holmes (playing the same position) provides a better shooting presence, along with better defense and rebounding.
Cameron Ridley's shooting percentage at the rim is more than four points up from last year, with the big fella also getting to the free throw line at an even more astounding rate. Another player who made a nice jump in a key category is Javan Felix, who is making three-pointers at a much better rate (almost 10 points better), though Felix is shooting worse at the rim and on his two-point jumpers.
And look at the freshmen. Kendal Yancy is often thought of as a versatile domino who is in the game for defense and ball movement, but he has the early makings of an excellent three-and-drive shooter. His two-point jumper percentage is lacking, at 23.8 percent, but that's often the last part to come. Isaiah Taylor's two-point jumper percentage is encouraging as a change-of-pace to his lightning-quick forays to the rim, as a number of those shots are Taylor sinking runners and floaters over help defenders.
Overall, Texas is a slightly below average shooting team, finishing just below average on shooting at the rim and on two-point jumpers and just above average on three-point shooting. The biggest gap is at the free throw line. The 'Horns make just 62.5 percent of their free throw attempts, leaving them 6.6 points behind national team averages.