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kako
01-30-2019, 01:59 PM
From The Athletic on Barrett, talking draft projections:

In the last quarter century of college basketball, no high-major player has averaged at least 23 points, six rebounds, and four assists in a season. That Barrett is averaging 23.9 points, 6.7 rebounds and 4.0 assists a night at 18 years old while playing against one of the toughest schedules in the country shouldn’t be discounted.

https://theathletic.com/780756/2019/01/29/vecenie-2019-mock-draft-1-0-its-zion-and-then-everyone-else/?source=dailyemail
(pay site, highly recommended)

Zion is listed as #1, RJ is listed as #2. Cam is listed as #4.

We all get gaga over Zion (rightfully so). But if Zion wasn't a Devil, we'd be going crazy over RJ day-in, day-out. He'd probably be scoring even more, given the additional shots that would be available.

Still love the "Maple Mamba" sign that was on TV.

9F

uh_no
01-30-2019, 02:12 PM
From The Athletic on Barrett, talking draft projections:

In the last quarter century of college basketball, no high-major player has averaged at least 23 points, six rebounds, and four assists in a season. That Barrett is averaging 23.9 points, 6.7 rebounds and 4.0 assists a night at 18 years old while playing against one of the toughest schedules in the country shouldn’t be discounted.

https://theathletic.com/780756/2019/01/29/vecenie-2019-mock-draft-1-0-its-zion-and-then-everyone-else/?source=dailyemail
(pay site, highly recommended)

Zion is listed as #1, RJ is listed as #2. Cam is listed as #4.

We all get gaga over Zion (rightfully so). But if Zion wasn't a Devil, we'd be going crazy over RJ day-in, day-out. He'd probably be scoring even more, given the additional shots that would be available.

Still love the "Maple Mamba" sign that was on TV.

9F

I think the stats like "nobody has averaged THESE specific amounts of these specific stats" are somewhat overvalued, since at some point, every player is unique....so the more qualifiers you add, the less useful it becomes....it's kind of like filing patents....everything is novel to some degree, it's just whether the novelty is also general enough to be useful IP.

anyway

he's a fantastic player, and I didn't realize his assist count was so high. With his consistency on the pull up 15' jumper, this guy is going to do well. He clearly has spurts of inconsistency in his efficiency, but he also has games where he can be highly efficient....and he'll just get better at his decision making.

I do go crazy over him. he's a fantastic player, and we're lucky that we get to see these guys on the floor at the same time.

Acymetric
01-30-2019, 02:18 PM
I think the stats like "nobody has averaged THESE specific amounts of these specific stats" are somewhat overvalued, since at some point, every player is unique...so the more qualifiers you add, the less useful it becomes...it's kind of like filing patents...everything is novel to some degree, it's just whether the novelty is also general enough to be useful IP.

anyway

he's a fantastic player, and I didn't realize his assist count was so high. With his consistency on the pull up 15' jumper, this guy is going to do well. He clearly has spurts of inconsistency in his efficiency, but he also has games where he can be highly efficient...and he'll just get better at his decision making.

I do go crazy over him. he's a fantastic player, and we're lucky that we get to see these guys on the floor at the same time.

Agree with this. Anecdotal evidence: You hear "first player to average x, y, z [, q, r...]" with the possible addendum of "while also [some other trivia/stat]" all the time. Like they have a state like that for someone on almost every team anywhere it seems like.

JasonEvans
01-30-2019, 02:23 PM
He'd probably be scoring even more, given the additional shots that would be available.

Love me some RJ, for sure. He's going to be a fabulous pro and he is one of the best slashers I've ever seen wear a Duke uniform.

But "more shots" may not be the best thing to wish for when it comes to RJ. He's averaging 19.5 FGA per game. I am not sure what the all-time record is at Duke, but I suspect he is going to own it when the season is done. I went back over many years and the only guy who comes anywhere close to 19.5 FGA per game is JJ's senior season when he averaged 17.9 FGA. His EffFG% of 50.5 is fine, but not great, and he has not been the most efficient guy this season. The prospect of him shooting even more is not something that seems like it would lead to more success by the team.

BeachBlueDevil
01-30-2019, 02:25 PM
A buddy of mine and fellow Duke fan were having a couple beers the other night and talking about the current Duke team and he asked me if I thought Zion should be the #1 pick in the draft.

I started to answer "yes" without much thought. I paused and I replied with, "I think I'd take Zion but RJ would really be tempting". I then went on to explain that I really think RJ's game is going to translate almost right away to the NBA whereas I think Zion will have a little more work to do. This answer came on the heels of the UVA game and what RJ did without Tre was really eye opening to me and showed that he very well could become a point guard in the NBA with the current way the game is trending.

uh_no
01-30-2019, 02:27 PM
Love me some RJ, for sure. He's going to be a fabulous pro and he is one of the best slashers I've ever seen wear a Duke uniform.

But "more shots" may not be the best thing to wish for when it comes to RJ. He's averaging 19.5 FGA per game. I am not sure what the all-time record is at Duke, but I suspect he is going to own it when the season is done. I went back over many years and the only guy who comes anywhere close to 19.5 FGA per game is JJ's senior season when he averaged 17.9 FGA. His EffFG% of 50.5 is fine, but not great, and he has not been the most efficient guy this season. The prospect of him shooting even more is not something that seems like it would lead to more success by the team.


Especially when the guy playing opposite him is the most efficient player in the country with usage > 24%.....by a huge margin.....the margin over players with >28% usage is even hugerer.

TeacherTom
01-30-2019, 02:28 PM
Plus, we still have lots of games to watch the young man's excellence. We are all so fortunate!

jimsumner
01-30-2019, 02:48 PM
Love me some RJ, for sure. He's going to be a fabulous pro and he is one of the best slashers I've ever seen wear a Duke uniform.

But "more shots" may not be the best thing to wish for when it comes to RJ. He's averaging 19.5 FGA per game. I am not sure what the all-time record is at Duke, but I suspect he is going to own it when the season is done. eam.

Dick Groat averaged 23.3 FGA/G in 1952. He also averaged 9.4 FT/G.

roywhite
01-30-2019, 02:55 PM
Dick Groat averaged 23.3 FGA/G in 1952. He also averaged 9.4 FT/G.

Art Heyman was another high volume shooter. Averaged 20.0 FGA/G over his career. Details here:

https://www.sports-reference.com/cbb/players/art-heyman-1.html

kako
01-30-2019, 03:00 PM
But "more shots" may not be the best thing to wish for when it comes to RJ.

Not saying he should shoot more, I don't *wish* for more shots from Barrett. Just saying that if Zion wasn't on the team, his scoring average would probably be higher since there would be more to go around. Admittedly not reality, but it came to mind.

9F

jimsumner
01-30-2019, 03:05 PM
Not saying he should shoot more, I don't *wish* for more shots from Barrett. Just saying that if Zion wasn't on the team, his scoring average would probably be higher since there would be more to go around. Admittedly not reality, but it came to mind.

9F

I suspect Reddish is the player whose usage rate would be much higher in Williamson's absence.

cato
01-30-2019, 03:05 PM
Love me some RJ, for sure. He's going to be a fabulous pro and he is one of the best slashers I've ever seen wear a Duke uniform.

But "more shots" may not be the best thing to wish for when it comes to RJ. He's averaging 19.5 FGA per game. I am not sure what the all-time record is at Duke, but I suspect he is going to own it when the season is done. I went back over many years and the only guy who comes anywhere close to 19.5 FGA per game is JJ's senior season when he averaged 17.9 FGA. His EffFG% of 50.5 is fine, but not great, and he has not been the most efficient guy this season. The prospect of him shooting even more is not something that seems like it would lead to more success by the team.

I have always wondered what Grant Hill would have been like if he had been “more selfish” in hunting his own shot. I feel like RJ is the best view of that to date. FWIW, here are Grant’s senior numbers, when he and Capel were leading the team in assists:

17.4 points (13.9 FGA), 6.9 rebounds, 5.2 assists. EffFG% of 50.3.

What is my takeaway? I bet the current trend holds, with RJ taking slightly fewer shots per game, Zion taking more and me being amazed that these two kids are producing at the level of the very best Duke players of the past, even my personal nominee for best Blue Devil: Grant Hill.

kako
01-30-2019, 03:12 PM
A buddy of mine and fellow Duke fan were having a couple beers the other night and talking about the current Duke team and he asked me if I thought Zion should be the #1 pick in the draft.

I started to answer "yes" without much thought. I paused and I replied with, "I think I'd take Zion but RJ would really be tempting". I then went on to explain that I really think RJ's game is going to translate almost right away to the NBA whereas I think Zion will have a little more work to do. This answer came on the heels of the UVA game and what RJ did without Tre was really eye opening to me and showed that he very well could become a point guard in the NBA with the current way the game is trending.

I tend to agree. Zion will put butts in seats, but the size, speed and quickness in the NBA is much higher than college. I'd be (pleasantly) surprised if Zion can dominate in the Association like he can in the NCAAs. He also needs a more reliable outside shot to compete in today's NBA. I hope he's the 2nd coming of LeBron (certainly the Cavs might, as they are in the lottery lead), but that's not a given. Barrett already plays a NBA game, his ability to get buckets in traffic without bullying his way to the hoop is more NBA ready. He also has the ball-handling skills as you mentioned. Plus, Zion's size ratio (bulk to height) may eventually be an injury issue with all the power moves he does (knock on wood for the kid). All that being said, I think there's little way a GM for one of the worst teams in the NBA can pass on Zion without a riot from their fan base. Assuming he stays healthy, he's going #1.

9F

HereBeforeCoachK
01-30-2019, 03:19 PM
Zion is listed as #1, RJ is listed as #2. Cam is listed as #4.

We all get gaga over Zion (rightfully so). But if Zion wasn't a Devil, we'd be going crazy over RJ day-in, day-out. He'd probably be scoring even more, given the additional shots that would be available.

9F

I don't think he'd be scoring more without Zion. I think he scores a little better when he shoots a little less and Zion is more of a focus. One case in point is the 3 on 1 break Tre led against Tech....Zion on the left, RJ on the right....before Tre even did anything, the Tech defender had shifted way over to Zion's side...it gave Tre an easy assist and RJ an easy slam...the Tech guy cheated so far over he couldn't even pretend to contest RJ. To me, that's the Duke season in a microcosm....Zion attracts all eyes all the time....makes life easier for everybody else.

But even in a Clemson uniform, any true to themselves basketball fan would be going crazy over Zion. I mean, we're SOOOO fortunate he's wearing Duke blue....but even the normal haters are loving to watch Zion.

DukieInBrasil
01-30-2019, 04:44 PM
I tend to agree. Zion will put butts in seats, but the size, speed and quickness in the NBA is much higher than college. I'd be (pleasantly) surprised if Zion can dominate in the Association like he can in the NCAAs. He also needs a more reliable outside shot to compete in today's NBA. I hope he's the 2nd coming of LeBron (certainly the Cavs might, as they are in the lottery lead), but that's not a given. Barrett already plays a NBA game, his ability to get buckets in traffic without bullying his way to the hoop is more NBA ready. He also has the ball-handling skills as you mentioned. Plus, Zion's size ratio (bulk to height) may eventually be an injury issue with all the power moves he does (knock on wood for the kid). All that being said, I think there's little way a GM for one of the worst teams in the NBA can pass on Zion without a riot from their fan base. Assuming he stays healthy, he's going #1.

9F

I don't get this. RJ is not quicker nor does he jump higher than Zion. His handle isn't appreciably better, and he gets stripped on his drives as frequently or moreso than Zion. If you remove Zion's 1-11 start from 3FGs, he is shooting 10-27 since then, which is better than RJ's season average. Then again, if you remove RJ's worst stretch he'd probably be shooting better than his current average.
As for size, there is nobody except one enormous leadfooted C in the NBA bigger than Zion, and nobody anywhere near his size has the speed, quickness, agility or leaping ability he has. If anything, i would say Zion's game translates to the NBA as well or better than RJ.
One thing that RJ does appreciably better than Zion is deliver assists, but Zion's game of attacking is unparalleled. Why would you ask a guy who shoots 10-12 from the field to pass more?
I certainly think RJ has the potential to have a fine, maybe even excellent pro career. Zion's ceiling (which is certainly well beyond the roof) seems higher than RJ's though.

dukelifer
01-30-2019, 04:46 PM
I think the stats like "nobody has averaged THESE specific amounts of these specific stats" are somewhat overvalued, since at some point, every player is unique...so the more qualifiers you add, the less useful it becomes...it's kind of like filing patents...everything is novel to some degree, it's just whether the novelty is also general enough to be useful IP.

anyway

he's a fantastic player, and I didn't realize his assist count was so high. With his consistency on the pull up 15' jumper, this guy is going to do well. He clearly has spurts of inconsistency in his efficiency, but he also has games where he can be highly efficient...and he'll just get better at his decision making.

I do go crazy over him. he's a fantastic player, and we're lucky that we get to see these guys on the floor at the same time.

I wish he would fall more deeply in love with his 15 ft jumper and forget his fling with the 23 ft jumper. The 15 ft jumper, while not flashy, is very dependable.

Steven43
01-30-2019, 04:53 PM
I don't get this. RJ is not quicker nor does he jump higher than Zion. His handle isn't appreciably better, and he gets stripped on his drives as frequently or moreso than Zion. If you remove Zion's 1-11 start from 3FGs, he is shooting 10-27 since then, which is better than RJ's season average. Then again, if you remove RJ's worst stretch he'd probably be shooting better than his current average.
As for size, there is nobody except one enormous leadfooted C in the NBA bigger than Zion, and nobody anywhere near his size has the speed, quickness, agility or leaping ability he has. If anything, i would say Zion's game translates to the NBA as well or better than RJ.
One thing that RJ does appreciably better than Zion is deliver assists, but Zion's game of attacking is unparalleled. Why would you ask a guy who shoots 10-12 from the field to pass more?
I certainly think RJ has the potential to have a fine, maybe even excellent pro career. Zion's ceiling (which is certainly well beyond the roof) seems higher than RJ's though.

Yes, yes, and yes again. Zion is a significantly better player than RJ and I think it will remain thus in the NBA.

nmduke2001
01-30-2019, 05:40 PM
Please don't flame me, but I have never yelled "pass the ball! He's wide open!" more than I have this season. RJ might average double digit assists if he simply passed to open teammates rather than put his head down and go to the rim.

Troublemaker
01-30-2019, 05:47 PM
Zion's ceiling (which is certainly well beyond the roof) seems higher than RJ's though.

There's no doubt. RJ's ceiling is Jimmy Butler. (No shame in that obviously). Zion can be an MVP candidate like Giannis.


I wish he would fall more deeply in love with his 15 ft jumper and forget his fling with the 23 ft jumper. The 15 ft jumper, while not flashy, is very dependable.

RJ's three-ball is almost certainly more efficient than his 15-footer. We might vaguely remember him hitting some midrange or long 2s recently, but almost nobody shoots those shots more efficiently. For the season, RJ is only hitting 2-pt jumpers at 34.7% according to hoop-math: https://hoop-math.com/Duke2019.php


Yes, yes, and yes again. Zion is a significantly better player than RJ and I think it will remain thus in the NBA.

There's no doubt. Any time the competition level increases, the separation between talents becomes greater.

For example, if Zion and I both played against 5-year-olds, I would be just as good a player as him. I might be better actually because he seems like a good guy that would take it easy on them and buy them ice cream or something. But once you get to just a middle school level, it probably becomes obvious that he's better than me.

Troublemaker
01-30-2019, 05:58 PM
Now, with all that said, I think the point was to have a pro-RJ thread unencumbered by his detractors or comparisons to Zion.

RJ probably doesn't get enough praise around here for his status as the 2nd-best freshman in the country.

NSDukeFan
01-30-2019, 06:00 PM
There's no doubt. RJ's ceiling is Jimmy Butler. (No shame in that obviously). Zion can be an MVP candidate like Giannis.



RJ's three-ball is almost certainly more efficient than his 15-footer. We might vaguely remember him hitting some midrange or long 2s recently, but almost nobody shoots those shots more efficiently. For the season, RJ is only hitting 2-pt jumpers at 34.7% according to hoop-math: https://hoop-math.com/Duke2019.php



There's no doubt. Any time the competition level increases, the separation between talents becomes greater.

For example, if Zion and I both played against 5-year-olds, I would be just as good a player as him. I might be better actually because he seems like a good guy that would take it easy on them and buy them ice cream or something. But once you get to just a middle school level, it probably becomes obvious that he's better than me.

I hope R.J.’s ceiling is higher than Butler, who has made two 3rd team all-NBA teams, but that would certainly be a very solid NBA career if he could achieve that. He is a bit taller, I believe and a stronger player at this point in their respective careers.

Steven43
01-30-2019, 06:04 PM
Now, with all that said, I think the point was to have a pro-RJ thread unencumbered by his detractors or comparisons to Zion.

RJ probably doesn't get enough praise around here for his status as the 2nd-best freshman in the country.

Point taken. But I don’t think it makes one an RJ “detractor” to offer the opinion that Zion is simply better at basketball. RJ is really good, no doubt.

luvdahops
01-30-2019, 06:14 PM
Point taken. But I don’t think it makes one an RJ “detractor” to offer the opinion that Zion is simply better at basketball. RJ is really good, no doubt.

RJ is also the alpha dog of this group (upperclassmen included), and sets the tone for the rest of the team with his relentlessness at both ends. His shot selection has been discussed ad nauseum, but I do think it is improving. And he is a strong defender and excellent rebounder for a wing player, and a very good passer both on the run and in half court settings. Does his game still have weaknesses? Of course. Will he continue to work his butt off to improve? It sure seems that way. But we're very, very fortunate to have RJ, too.

Phredd3
01-30-2019, 06:32 PM
Having both RJ and Zion on the same team is very nearly magical. They complement (and compliment) each other in all the right ways.

uh_no
01-30-2019, 06:33 PM
RJ's three-ball is almost certainly more efficient than his 15-footer. We might vaguely remember him hitting some midrange or long 2s recently, but almost nobody shoots those shots more efficiently. For the season, RJ is only hitting 2-pt jumpers at 34.7% according to hoop-math: https://hoop-math.com/Duke2019.php



It's reaaalllllyyy hard to say precisely without shot location data...BUT

RJ shoots 32% from 3 (19/59 in ACC play), so needs to shoot 48% on his mid-range to be as efficient. In ACC play, RJ has shot 48/97 from 2 good for 49%. So even IF we only look at his 2 point shots in totality, he is slightly more efficient from 2 than from 3. HOWEVER, one can anecdotally say most of his misses come from poor shots close to the basket, which might explain why he appears to be such a hot shot from mid-range. Fortunately, I did some leg-work so we don't have to be anecdotal. Using ESPN play by play "layup" as a proxy for shots in close, RJ is 21/43. This means he is 27/54 = 50% on mid-range shots.

So not only is RJ more efficient from mid-range than he is from 3 in league play, he is more efficient from mid-range than he is close to the basket. It should be noted that all these effective percentages are super close...but it serves as an effective counter to your point that there is no way he could be as efficient on those long 2's.

ACC play was used because I was too lazy to go through all the game data. per-game stats on layups in reverse chronological order:

1-4
3-6
3-5
5-7
2-6
1-5
5-8
1-2

EDIT: don't know why the stats differ so much on hoops-math, as they're almost assuredly using the same data stream. Only guess is the difference lies in league play vs whole season. Either way, in league play, RJ has been incredibly efficient from mid-range.

CDu
01-30-2019, 06:47 PM
It's reaaalllllyyy hard to say precisely without shot location data...BUT

RJ shoots 32% from 3 (19/59 in ACC play), so needs to shoot 48% on his mid-range to be as efficient. In ACC play, RJ has shot 48/97 from 2 good for 49%. So even IF we only look at his 2 point shots in totality, he is slightly more efficient from 2 than from 3. HOWEVER, one can anecdotally say most of his misses come from poor shots close to the basket, which might explain why he appears to be such a hot shot from mid-range. Fortunately, I did some leg-work so we don't have to be anecdotal. Using ESPN play by play "layup" as a proxy for shots in close, RJ is 21/43. This means he is 27/54 = 50% on mid-range shots.

So not only is RJ more efficient from mid-range than he is from 3 in league play, he is more efficient from mid-range than he is close to the basket. It should be noted that all these effective percentages are super close...but it serves as an effective counter to your point that there is no way he could be as efficient on those long 2's.

ACC play was used because I was too lazy to go through all the game data. per-game stats on layups in reverse chronological order:

1-4
3-6
3-5
5-7
2-6
1-5
5-8
1-2

EDIT: don't know why the stats differ so much on hoops-math, as they're almost assuredly using the same data stream. Only guess is the difference lies in league play vs whole season. Either way, in league play, RJ has been incredibly efficient from mid-range.

Yeah, Hoop Math says Barrett is shooting 34.7% on 2pt jumpers, which is decidedly inefficient and also much less efficient than his somewhat inefficient 3pt shooting.

uh_no
01-30-2019, 06:53 PM
Yeah, Hoop Math says Barrett is shooting 34.7% on 2pt jumpers, which is decidedly inefficient and also much less efficient than his somewhat inefficient 3pt shooting.

see my edit. seems he's been phenomenally more efficient in league play. (unless hoops math has a way to split on league play and that's what you're looking at)

CDu
01-30-2019, 07:09 PM
see my edit. seems he's been phenomenally more efficient in league play. (unless hoops math has a way to split on league play and that's what you're looking at)

Hoop Math has him at 34/98 on the season on “2pt jumpers.” That would suggest he went 13/55 in the preconference schedule. If both sub samples are accurate, I would suggest that this is random variation over a small sample size. I don’t see a reason to think he magically got less inefficient instantaneously at the start of ACC play. I am more inclined to believe that he is a 35% shooter on 2pt jumpers than that he is a 49% shooter or a 24% shooter.

Note: While 49% (21/43) on “2pt jumpers” is better than his pre-conference numbers, it is still inefficient overall. Also, I think “2pt jumpers includes everything that isn’t a layup/dunk or 3pt shot, which seems a bit broad to be defined as mid-range in my opinion. It would appear that some 5-6 footers are getting lumped into jumpers based on a look at ESPN’s shot charts, and I wouldn’t call those midrange.

CDu
01-30-2019, 07:56 PM
Hoop Math has him at 34/98 on the season on “2pt jumpers.” That would suggest he went 13/55 in the preconference schedule. If both sub samples are accurate, I would suggest that this is random variation over a small sample size. I don’t see a reason to think he magically got less inefficient instantaneously at the start of ACC play. I am more inclined to believe that he is a 35% shooter on 2pt jumpers than that he is a 49% shooter or a 24% shooter.

Note: While 49% (21/43) on “2pt jumpers” is better than his pre-conference numbers, it is still inefficient overall. Also, I think “2pt jumpers includes everything that isn’t a layup/dunk or 3pt shot, which seems a bit broad to be defined as mid-range in my opinion. It would appear that some 5-6 footers are getting lumped into jumpers based on a look at ESPN’s shot charts, and I wouldn’t call those midrange.

Also, I did a quick perusal of the play-by-plays and find Barrett to be 17-44 (38.6%) on 2pt jumpers in ACC play. That is roughly consistent with his 34.7% on the season. Was your 21-43 actually layups and not 2pt jumpers? That would sound about right: 10-10 on dunks, 21-43 on layups, 17-44 on 2pt jumpers.

Regardless, it definitely doesn’t look like Barrett is more efficient on midrange shots than on 3s.

uh_no
01-30-2019, 08:06 PM
Hoop Math has him at 34/98 on the season on “2pt jumpers.” That would suggest he went 13/55 in the preconference schedule. If both sub samples are accurate, I would suggest that this is random variation over a small sample size. I don’t see a reason to think he magically got less inefficient instantaneously at the start of ACC play. I am more inclined to believe that he is a 35% shooter on 2pt jumpers than that he is a 49% shooter or a 24% shooter.

Note: While 49% (21/43) on “2pt jumpers” is better than his pre-conference numbers, it is still inefficient overall. Also, I think “2pt jumpers includes everything that isn’t a layup/dunk or 3pt shot, which seems a bit broad to be defined as mid-range in my opinion. It would appear that some 5-6 footers are getting lumped into jumpers based on a look at ESPN’s shot charts, and I wouldn’t call those midrange.

I don't mean to pretend that the sample size isn't small. I would hop on and say that IF he is hitting 50% and IS actually a 50% shooter from there of his mid-range shots, then his 32% on 3 pointers is awful relative to where it ought be. So why might that be the case? We often anecdotally (without as much evidence as I would like :( ) say that the quality of the three point shot matters...and were he shooting 32%, one might argue that he isn't taking enough good three pointers relative to his bad ones (dribble->shoot, moving sideways, closely guarded, etc.).

So if I had to draw an ultimatle conclusion based ONLY on league play, it would be that his 3 point % is not as high as it ought be relative to his 2 point %. There is no reason a player like RJ shouldn't have, as was suggested, a higher efficiency from 3 than 2. So one of a few things has to happen:

- we get more samples and one or both numbers regress to the mean
- RJ takes some better 3 point shots and hits them at a mark more in line with the rate in which he's hitting 2's
- his max range is simply around 15'...but i find this unlikely
- he becomes far more efficient close to the bucket, artificially propping his 2pt numbers

A player like RJ ought to be better at 3s or worse at 2s than he has been in league play.


NOW...as I think is an underappreciated point, the highest efficiency option is not ALWAYS the best option. If you took the highest efficiency play every time, the defense would just defend that. If the defense over commits to the high-efficiency option, then the low efficiency option may become more effective. So the defense knowing they have to commit some effort to also defending slightly lower efficiency options ensures that the high efficiency plays STAY highly efficient (wow that was an awful sentence).

CDu
01-30-2019, 08:20 PM
I don't mean to pretend that the sample size isn't small. I would hop on and say that IF he is hitting 50% and IS actually a 50% shooter from there of his mid-range shots, then his 32% on 3 pointers is awful relative to where it ought be. So why might that be the case? We often anecdotally (without as much evidence as I would like :( ) say that the quality of the three point shot matters...and were he shooting 32%, one might argue that he isn't taking enough good three pointers relative to his bad ones (dribble->shoot, moving sideways, closely guarded, etc.).

So if I had to draw an ultimatle conclusion based ONLY on league play, it would be that his 3 point % is not as high as it ought be relative to his 2 point %. There is no reason a player like RJ shouldn't have, as was suggested, a higher efficiency from 3 than 2. So one of a few things has to happen:

- we get more samples and one or both numbers regress to the mean
- RJ takes some better 3 point shots and hits them at a mark more in line with the rate in which he's hitting 2's
- his max range is simply around 15'...but i find this unlikely
- he becomes far more efficient close to the bucket, artificially propping his 2pt numbers

A player like RJ ought to be better at 3s or worse at 2s than he has been in league play.


NOW...as I think is an underappreciated point, the highest efficiency option is not ALWAYS the best option. If you took the highest efficiency play every time, the defense would just defend that. If the defense over commits to the high-efficiency option, then the low efficiency option may become more effective. So the defense knowing they have to commit some effort to also defending slightly lower efficiency options ensures that the high efficiency plays STAY highly efficient (wow that was an awful sentence).

Two things:
1. Why would we assume that the smaller sample is “correct” but the larger one is not?
2 See my other comment above. I think you may have totaled Barrett’s layups and not his 2pt jumpers. I calculated he was 17-44 (38.6%) on 2pt jumpers in ACC play. Which is (a) fairly close to his season average and (b) way less efficient than his 3s.

uh_no
01-30-2019, 08:30 PM
Two things:
1. Why would we assume that the smaller sample is “correct” but the larger one is not?


I don't, which is why i said "if" in big capital letters. That said, I would imagine there is a class of freshman who improves as the year goes on. It's impossible to make such a determination on RJ at this time. MORE DATA!!! yes please.



2 See my other comment above. I think you may have totaled Barrett’s layups and not his 2pt jumpers. I calculated he was 17-44 (38.6%) on 2pt jumpers in ACC play. Which is (a) fairly close to his season average and (b) way less efficient than his 3s.

I totaled his layups and subtracted them from his total 2 point shots.

weezie
01-30-2019, 08:31 PM
...I do go crazy over him. he's a fantastic player, and we're lucky...

Me, too. I've been gaga since that trip up to Canada in August. Best decision I've made this year. RJ has the eye of an assassin.

He's the engine.

CDu
01-30-2019, 09:00 PM
I don't, which is why i said "if" in big capital letters. That said, I would imagine there is a class of freshman who improves as the year goes on. It's impossible to make such a determination on RJ at this time. MORE DATA!!! yes please.



I totaled his layups and subtracted them from his total 2 point shots.

That ignores dunks and tip shots. If you count his jumpers (the approach I took), it comes to 17-44 on 2pt jumpers. So, again, I am pretty sure that the 49% estimate isn’t correct.

uh_no
01-30-2019, 09:10 PM
That ignores dunks and tip shots. If you count his jumpers (the approach I took), it comes to 17-44 on 2pt jumpers. So, again, I am pretty sure that the 49% estimate isn’t correct.

fair enough. I thought ESPN counted pretty much everything in the key (dunk, tip, etc) as "layup" but didn't do much auditing, so I wouldn't be surprised if it is wrong.

That being the case, I'm still less upset with the pull up 15 footer than I am with the dribble-driibble-dribble-jack a 3 play that we saw a couple times. since I highly doubt he's hitting THAT shot at 32%, and as a result, the defense has to do very little to effectively guard it, as opposed to the pull up mid-range

CDu
01-30-2019, 09:25 PM
fair enough. I thought ESPN counted pretty much everything in the key (dunk, tip, etc) as "layup" but didn't do much auditing, so I wouldn't be surprised if it is wrong.

That being the case, I'm still less upset with the pull up 15 footer than I am with the dribble-driibble-dribble-jack a 3 play that we saw a couple times. since I highly doubt he's hitting THAT shot at 32%, and as a result, the defense has to do very little to effectively guard it, as opposed to the pull up mid-range

Yeah, ESPN differentiates layups from dunks and tip shots. Barrett had 10 of those in ACC play.

As for the pull-up midrange jumper vs a 3 off the dribble, I don’t think either is very worthwhile. A 35% or 39% shooting percentage means that is a REALLY inefficient look. I would rather Barrett either go all the way to the rim or pass it instead of shooting a woefully inefficient shots.

niveklaen
01-31-2019, 10:37 AM
Yeah, ESPN differentiates layups from dunks and tip shots. Barrett had 10 of those in ACC play.

As for the pull-up midrange jumper vs a 3 off the dribble, I don’t think either is very worthwhile. A 35% or 39% shooting percentage means that is a REALLY inefficient look. I would rather Barrett either go all the way to the rim or pass it instead of shooting a woefully inefficient shots.

Two benefits of the pull-up mid range shot that wont show up in the shooting percentages are avoiding charge calls and decreasing defensive certainty/drawing the defense away from the rim which makes attacking the rim easier.

(I only remember 1 game where we racked up a ton of charge calls so this problem may be rare or already solved...)

BandAlum83
01-31-2019, 12:38 PM
Two benefits of the pull-up mid range shot that wont show up in the shooting percentages are avoiding charge calls and decreasing defensive certainty/drawing the defense away from the rim which makes attacking the rim easier.

(I only remember 1 game where we racked up a ton of charge calls so this problem may be rare or already solved...)

I don't know if it's solved, or if that was just an officiating anomaly. I just don't see charges called very often any more. I mean, if Battier were in college now, I don't think he would even be getting charge calls.

It wasn't just Battier, Duke made a living collecting charging calls (since they did get all the calls). The changes made with the arc and having to be set before the offensive player leaves the floor has really changed the game.

I know Duke tracks this stat, but are there official stats on this? Has the volume of charges per game really gone down as much as I think, or do my eyes and memory deceive me?

kako
01-31-2019, 02:33 PM
Hey mods, thanks for the Feather! I feel honored, but at the same time I wonder if it was just a slow posting day :)

That being said, yes, my post was intended to simply call out Barrett for his success via an interesting stat. I kind of wish now I hadn't mentioned Zion at all, as my intention was not to compare them in any way. Zion is spectacular. Cam has such potential. How lucky are we to have 3 potential lottery picks this year, and even to discuss which of them should be taken #1 in the draft!

9F

JetpackJesus
01-31-2019, 09:16 PM
I don't get this. RJ is not quicker nor does he jump higher than Zion. His handle isn't appreciably better, and he gets stripped on his drives as frequently or moreso than Zion. If you remove Zion's 1-11 start from 3FGs, he is shooting 10-27 since then, which is better than RJ's season average. Then again, if you remove RJ's worst stretch he'd probably be shooting better than his current average.
As for size, there is nobody except one enormous leadfooted C in the NBA bigger than Zion, and nobody anywhere near his size has the speed, quickness, agility or leaping ability he has. If anything, i would say Zion's game translates to the NBA as well or better than RJ.
One thing that RJ does appreciably better than Zion is deliver assists, but Zion's game of attacking is unparalleled. Why would you ask a guy who shoots 10-12 from the field to pass more?
I certainly think RJ has the potential to have a fine, maybe even excellent pro career. Zion's ceiling (which is certainly well beyond the roof) seems higher than RJ's though.

https://metrouk2.files.wordpress.com/2016/02/giphy-141.gif?w=705&h=402

COYS
01-31-2019, 10:02 PM
Two benefits of the pull-up mid range shot that wont show up in the shooting percentages are avoiding charge calls and decreasing defensive certainty/drawing the defense away from the rim which makes attacking the rim easier.

(I only remember 1 game where we racked up a ton of charge calls so this problem may be rare or already solved...)

These are good points. There is a perfect Nash-equilibrium out there in which RJ takes just enough 2 point jumpers to keep defenses honest enough that his drives to the basket have maximum efficiency.

There is also benefit to having a guy who can make tough shots. There’s a reason that many of the most efficient offensive players also tend to be lower-usage guys. RJ isn’t the most efficient scorer, but very few players can be as efficient as he is and use the same volume of possessions. Sometimes you need someone to score late in the shot clock if the offense has broken down or when the opposition is totally zeroed in on defense.

That said, I still want to see RJ take shots at the rim and beyond the arc, primarily.

CDu
01-31-2019, 10:15 PM
Two benefits of the pull-up mid range shot that wont show up in the shooting percentages are avoiding charge calls and decreasing defensive certainty/drawing the defense away from the rim which makes attacking the rim easier.

(I only remember 1 game where we racked up a ton of charge calls so this problem may be rare or already solved...)


These are good points. There is a perfect Nash-equilibrium out there in which RJ takes just enough 2 point jumpers to keep defenses honest enough that his drives to the basket have maximum efficiency.

There is also benefit to having a guy who can make tough shots. There’s a reason that many of the most efficient offensive players also tend to be lower-usage guys. RJ isn’t the most efficient scorer, but very few players can be as efficient as he is and use the same volume of possessions. Sometimes you need someone to score late in the shot clock if the offense has broken down or when the opposition is totally zeroed in on defense.

That said, I still want to see RJ take shots at the rim and beyond the arc, primarily.

The problem with this theory is that Barrett isn’t shooting nearly a high enough percentage in the midrange to “keep teams honest.” He is shooting 35% on the season and 39% in ACC play. Those are abysmal numbers. Barrett shooting from the midrange is a win for the defense. They have no incentive to be concerned about him taking those shots.

COYS
02-01-2019, 10:39 AM
The problem with this theory is that Barrett isn’t shooting nearly a high enough percentage in the midrange to “keep teams honest.” He is shooting 35% on the season and 39% in ACC play. Those are abysmal numbers. Barrett shooting from the midrange is a win for the defense. They have no incentive to be concerned about him taking those shots.

Hence my emphasis on there being an equilibrium out there at which the shot makes sense. We’re in agreement that 2-point jumpers are generally a suboptimal shot and he should probably reduce the number that he takes. However, he probably shouldn’t be taking zero, either, as pull-ups from 10-15 feet can be effective and the occasional late-in-the-shot-clock 2 is necessary.

Although I could be completely imagining this, the eye test also tells me that his 2pt jumper % is much higher when he is driving straight toward the basket either on the break when he has pulled up at 10-15 feet or on straight line drives to the basket. He is a lot less accurate on fade-aways and long-range floaters/layups that are classified as jump shots. Limiting his 2pt jumpers to higher-percentage chances would help him reduce the total number and increase his percentages, at the same time.

Jeffrey
02-01-2019, 11:05 AM
For example, if Zion and I both played against 5-year-olds, I would be just as good a player as him. I might be better actually because he seems like a good guy that would take it easy on them and buy them ice cream or something. But once you get to just a middle school level, it probably becomes obvious that he's better than me.

You're giving yourself waaaaaaay too much credit! ;)

phaedrus
02-01-2019, 11:32 AM
The problem with this theory is that Barrett isn’t shooting nearly a high enough percentage in the midrange to “keep teams honest.” He is shooting 35% on the season and 39% in ACC play. Those are abysmal numbers. Barrett shooting from the midrange is a win for the defense. They have no incentive to be concerned about him taking those shots.

Those numbers aren't good, but they're not as bad as they look. J.J. Redick shoots around 41% from 10-16 feet (right around his career 3P%); Steph Curry around 45%; Demar DeRozan, known for his midrange game, around 42%. Those are tough and inefficient shots for literally everyone, which is why their frequency should be limited. But I think they're still important for the reasons mentioned - even if you're hitting in the mid-to-high 30s.

CDu
02-01-2019, 11:50 AM
Those numbers aren't good, but they're not as bad as they look. J.J. Redick shoots around 41% from 10-16 feet (right around his career 3P%); Steph Curry around 45%; Demar DeRozan, known for his midrange game, around 42%. Those are tough and inefficient shots for literally everyone, which is why their frequency should be limited. But I think they're still important for the reasons mentioned - even if you're hitting in the mid-to-high 30s.

I wasn't saying Barrett is bad at them relative to other players. I was saying that they are woefully inefficient shots. And I don't think they provide any value. Defenses WANT you to shoot those shots. Aside from taking end of shot-clock shots (and in that case, I'd prefer to just chuck up a 3), there isn't a good reason in my opinion to be taking those shots. Unless the defense is really bad/dumb, they aren't going to be interested in protecting against that shot. And they especially aren't going to be so if they know the shooter is expected to hit less than 40% of them.

There is a reason that the NBA is becoming a "3 or dunk/layup" league. Those are the most efficient ways to score. Teams are trying to minimize the number of shots they take from 10-15 feet because they realize how inefficient it is.

Hence my statement that I'd rather see Barrett eliminate those midrange shots as much as possible and turn them into layup attempts or kickouts.

MChambers
02-01-2019, 12:09 PM
These are good points. There is a perfect Nash-equilibrium out there in which RJ takes just enough 2 point jumpers to keep defenses honest enough that his drives to the basket have maximum efficiency.

There is also benefit to having a guy who can make tough shots. There’s a reason that many of the most efficient offensive players also tend to be lower-usage guys. RJ isn’t the most efficient scorer, but very few players can be as efficient as he is and use the same volume of possessions. Sometimes you need someone to score late in the shot clock if the offense has broken down or when the opposition is totally zeroed in on defense.

That said, I still want to see RJ take shots at the rim and beyond the arc, primarily.

John Nash or Steve Nash?

I really enjoyed my game theory class at Duke!

phaedrus
02-01-2019, 12:18 PM
Aside from taking end of shot-clock shots (and in that case, I'd prefer to just chuck up a 3), there isn't a good reason in my opinion to be taking those shots. Unless the defense is really bad/dumb, they aren't going to be interested in protecting against that shot. And they especially aren't going to be so if they know the shooter is expected to hit less than 40% of them.

There is a reason that the NBA is becoming a "3 or dunk/layup" league. Those are the most efficient ways to score. Teams are trying to minimize the number of shots they take from 10-15 feet because they realize how inefficient it is.



This has become common knowledge. And yet Steph Curry shoots 25% of his shots between 10 feet and the three-point line, DeRozan (probably the high-water mark) over half. (James Harden, you probably won't be surprised to learn, shoots a mere 7.2% of his shots from that range.) So there are some really good, smart offensive players who still see value in these shots.

CDu
02-01-2019, 12:25 PM
This has become common knowledge. And yet Steph Curry shoots 25% of his shots between 10 feet and the three-point line, DeRozan (probably the high-water mark) over half. (James Harden, you probably won't be surprised to learn, shoots a mere 7.2% of his shots from that range.) So there are some really good, smart offensive players who still see value in these shots.

Right, but (a) Curry shoots about 10% better on those shots and (b) NBA defenses are MUCH better than college defenses. The combination of those facts makes it understandable that a decent chunk of shots are midrange (for the record, I wouldn't call DeRozan an overly smart offensive player). I don't think those guys are a compelling argument for a much less efficient shooter to be shooting over 25% of his shots from that distance.

And, to be clear, that's not solely a criticism of Barrett. Tre Jones shoots 38% of his shots from midrange, and connects on just 39% of them. That number should probably go down too.

Steven43
02-01-2019, 12:52 PM
There is a reason that the NBA is becoming a "3 or dunk/layup" league. Those are the most efficient ways to score. Teams are trying to minimize the number of shots they take from 10-15 feet because they realize how inefficient it is.
Oh my GOD, an entire league of James Harden playalikes would be utterly unwatchable.

AZLA
02-01-2019, 04:58 PM
Oh my GOD, an entire league of James Harden playalikes would be utterly unwatchable.

Hah! Well stated and exactly my sentiments.

Someone earlier brought up something about RJ looking for the mid range pull up. It truly is way underutilized by RJ, although the last game, he was using it more and successful out at it. In fact, I think when Tre decides to score his move and pull up in the lane is highly effective and darn near impossible to defend. RJ tries to draw a lot of contact getting to the layup, however, against bigs the refs seem to be reluctant to call the extra contact -- mostly because RJ tends to jump into the defender. I think it should be called, every time -- a foul is a foul -- and it affects his shooting percentage -- so I think the mid range pull up should be used more. Also, it draws the defender away a little more and creates space for Zion to come in and clean up any misses.

This may be out of left field, but remember Roshown Mcleod? I felt he was one of the most effective mid-range/pull up in the paint shooters.