Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Weber State's Three Point Shooting Edge

There are many interesting things about Weber State this year, but one of the most interesting is the huge edge that the Wildcats have had with three-point shooting.

When you consider the following four facts, it is not hard to see why Weber leads the Big Sky in both offensive and defensive efficiency:

1. They lead the country in three-point field goal percentage at 43.3%.
2. They lead the county in three-point field goal percentage against at 28.0%.
3. They are second in the country in allowing the least amount of three point attempts per game.
4. They are first in the country in 3PA/FGA allowed, as just 21.8% of the opponent's field goal attempts are threes (the next lowest is 24.1%).

What does it all mean?

If it's not obvious, the rub is this - they shoot a great percentage on their threes, they hold their opponents to a terrible percentage when shooting threes, and they don't allow their opponents to get off threes.

They stress this, sometimes at the expense of going after turnovers (their defensive turnover rate is 318th in the country), but achieving the goal of not allowing an opponent good looks from deep. Before the question gets posed, it is not a case of Big Sky teams just not shooting threes. Here is how teams look in terms of the percentage of their shots that are three-pointers (national rank in parenthesis):

Eastern Washington - 42.8% (13)
Montana State - 36.1% (87)
Idaho State - 35.9% (94)
Montana - 35.2% (111)
Northern Colorado - 33.1% (166)
North Dakota - 32.8% (175)
Sacramento State - 31.1% (230)
Northern Arizona - 30.7% (239)
Southern Utah - 28.3% (290)
Portland State - 25.5% (320)

Looking at these numbers, it's a little easier to put into context how Weber State has won 11 straight games, sits 18-2 in the Big Sky, and has a chance to be a giant killer if they can make it into the NCAA Tournament.

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