Friday, March 2, 2007

Free throw woes

Anyone who's seen a GW game this year has probably noticed that the team doesn't get to the line much. I decided to do a little analysis about free throws and see what I came up with.

GW has shot the second fewest free throws in the league - 496. The league average is just under 588, and only Richmond has shot fewer, with 439. That's not good. That equates to 18.4 foul shots per game for GW, versus 20.8 for the league. GW has also taken 59 fewer free throws than their opponents, the second-worst ratio, again behind Richmond. Neither of those are huge differences, but could amount to a 3 or 4 point swing. GW does shoot 70.6%, a little above the league average of 69.7, but has scored the 2nd fewest points from free throws in the league.

Interestingly, Xavier has shot the most free throws in the league, with 736, and their opponents have taken the fewest, 478. That's by far the biggest difference in the league, 258. Either they're very careful and also draw fouls easily, or they have some friendly refs. Their opponents have the second lowest free throw shooting percentage in the league, with 66.3, which could means they've gotten lucky with opponents or maybe the crowd noise is tough. Richmond has the biggest deficit, -266, which I think is due mainly to the fact that they're bad and also take a lot of jump shots.

Surprisingly, Duquesne shoots the best in the league, making 75.4% of their free throws. Their opponents shoot the worst at 62.3%. Maybe they have weird rims or a loud arena.

So, what does this mean? GW should get the foul line more often to get those free points and get their opponents in foul trouble, and whoever plays Duquesne or Xavier should practice their free throw shooting. Any other thoughts?

Here's the raw chart I made

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