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The Decline of Assists and Point Guard Play at Oklahoma State (Graph)


The graph above represents my favorite stat in all of basketball, Assists to Field Goals Made. Or to put it another way: What percentage of the made baskets came from good passing?

Forgive me for simplifying here, but over a wide sample (like a season), the teams that do well offensively tend to do so by getting a lot of easy shots. Layups and 10 footers don't have off nights like three-pointers, 18 footers, and circus shots do. So generally the teams that can get the most easy shots will perform better over time, and the only way to consistently get easy shots is through good passing. Take a look at that graph and the picture becomes clear as to why the Cowboy offense seems to be having a harder and harder time scoring over the past few years.... good passing, along with the leadership at the PG position, is simply not there. (isn't is nice when there is a stat that backs up what you already thought?)

For reference, here are the A/FGM ratios for the top teams in the nation right now. (I usually set the bar at 55% to consider the team to have a well run offense*)

Team A/FGM
North Carolina 61.2%
Syracuse 55.0%
Ohio State 59.5%
Kentucky 49.8%
Missouri 55.9%
Baylor 55.7%
Michigan State 60.0%

* This stat doesn't work as well with dribble-drive offenses like Kentucky and the Eaton lead Cowboys because the official scorers don't give out the assists as freely when they are kickouts and handoffs as much of the passing tends to be in that offense.

And yes, we have pretty much given up on game preview and recaps around here. Those are kinda boring anyway no? Now it is all rambling nonsense or quick posts about a telling stat. Enjoy it.