Why & How UVA Should Buck the Trend and Win from the Midrange

I did a deep dive into why and how this UVA squad ought to increase its volume in the midrange from an analytical standpoint while looking at how and why basketball has shifted away from long two-pointers and addressing why this team is an outlier:

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Nate Oats would like a word. Great analysis Zach!

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Excellent read!

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Really really good. And extra points for 0 mentions of KenPom, Boy Wonder

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The opportunity cost of Hauser in the midrange (1.12 points per shot) is likely less touches and shots for Hauser at the 3 point line, where he is scoring 1.32 points per shot. And he’s not much of a threat to drive to higher percentage layups out of the high post.

It seems the solve is to find an offensive set that gets more looks for Hauser at 3 rather than one that gets more looks for lower productivity long range 2s.

I get they tried that with 5 out and failed when defenses adjusted, but there have to be other wrinkles (cbs?) that would still achieve the same objective of putting your players in their most productive positions (eg hauser/huff/Murphy shooting 3s, beekman/morsel driving, huff rolling to the basket).

How about we just make Sam shoot 20+ times a game? I don’t really care where he’s at on the court.

Is this too simplistic? Lol

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I meant the midrange to be more of a solution to the fact that our fall back offense when struggling against switches is to give kihei the ball which hasn’t worked out perfectly.

Generate more threes, sure, but they’ve already done a great deal of that and we’ve seen teams counter. But 1.12 points per attempt from the midrange is good enough to go to more consistently than they have especially considering that those shots are much easier to produce.

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I will never ever understand why we don’t put Jay in more pick and rolls

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I think they have run a decent amount of pick and rolls for Jay over the season. The problem is that over the last stretch of games, teams have more or less switched them all to neutralize the roll.

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Nate Oats and other analytics aficionados seem to believe that efficiency numbers will stay the same regardless of whether you shrink the floor or not to just five feet in or 22 feet out from the basket. As UVA has found, if a team has the ability to switch every screen and shot blockers to challenge shots at the rim, the efficiency of those shots usually goes way down. The analytics folks also seem to want to ignore the talents of your individual players in terms of whether they are good 3 pt shooters or are good near the rim. Taking these factors into account for us, the trade off might be a 25% three point shot from Kihei, Reece or Casey or a 40% shot in the lane from those same players versus a 56% shot from Hauser from 10 to 22 feet. If we could get 1.32 points per shot from Hauser, we would. But if teams are taking that away from us, then the solution might be, as Zach suggests, working to creat a mix of shots from all three levels that gives your overall offensive efficiency a good proficiency. I’ll also reiterate something I’ve pointed out before. Nate Oats’ Alabama team, despite his analytics bravado, is winning on elite defense and not so much on an offense that is less efficient than UVA’s this year or even UVA’s mediocre offense in 2017.

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