What we already understand about Division I shooting accuracy for
John Gasaway, ESPN InsiderJun 2, 2023, 09:30 AM ET Close ESPN Insider college basketball contributor First started
- covering college hoops in 2004
- Has written for Basketball Prospectus and the Wall Street Journal
Kyle Filipowski raised some eyebrows in April when the reigning ACC Novice of the Year announced he would go back to Duke for his sophomore season. At 15 points per game, the 7-footer was the leading scorer in a Blue Devils rotation that included the likes of forecasted 2023 first-round NBA draft picks Dereck Lively II and Dariq Whitehead.Conventional wisdom quickly picked 3 contributing factors for Filipowski’s choice. Initially, there’s “incomplete organization “staying for the increasing sophomore. Jon Scheyer’s team lost by 13 to Tennessee in the round of 32. Second, prominent athletes at blue-chip programs are extremely well-positioned to reap the rewards of name, image and likeness(NIL)chances.(While the above two factors plainly didn’t encourage Dynamic and Whitehead to remain at Duke, such considerations might have held more weight for their schoolmate.)Third, Filipowski will now strive to enhance his draft stock. Particularly, his boundary shot, as the saying goes, needs work. Filipowski projects as a stretch-4 in the NBA, yet last season, he converted simply 28.2% of his 3-point try out 3.4 efforts per game.To be sure, even this third aspect need not be latest thing. Noah Clowney, for one, is practically Filipowski’s 3-point twin (28.3 %on 3.3 tries per trip at Alabama last season ). Clocking in at 8 months more youthful than Filipowski, the 6-foot-10 Clowney is nonetheless projected as a mid-first-round pick.But what might next season look like for Filipowski? Kyle Filipowski,
the reigning ACC tournament MVP, had 16 doubles-doubles last season, five more than any other Division I freshman. David Jensen/Icon Sportswire Foreseeable, albeit collective, enhancement No doubt Filipowski is purposefully working on
his shot in the offseason. Fortunately for Duke’s featured scorer is that his work may well yield the wanted outcomes, sooner or later.For if there’s one thing we can anticipate to see throughout Division I as a whole in 2023-24, it’s that players like Filipowski will, as a group, enhance significantly on their 3-point precision. This doesn’t indicate better shooting is a certaintyfor Filipowski individually, but the trend line for players in his classification is certainly positive.Editor’s Picks 2 Related This trend is substantiated by 3 years of player information at sports-reference. com. Utilizing the irresistible limits used by numbers divisible by 5, we can make
some categorical declarations. Our classification of interest is major-conference players in their first or second years of eligibility that shot below 30 %while trying a minimum of 100 3-pointers in a season.Since 1992-93 there have been 205 circumstances where a player hit all of the above metrics. This group shot a cumulative 27.8 %on its 3s. If we then stick to the 171 players that returned for a subsequent D-I season, the 3-point accuracy for the group as an entire jumped to 34.6%the following year.An improvement of nearly seven complete percentage points in 3-point accuracy is significant, to state the least. This particular modification for the much better appears to be driven not only by “regular “player development but also by simple regression to the mean. While this specific group of players enhanced somewhat at the complimentary toss line from year to year (from 72 to 74 %), that development was a trifle compared to the considerable rise in accuracy from beyond the arc. play 1:45 Roach, Filipowski lead Duke past Virginia to win ACC tourney Jeremy Roach and Kyle Filipowski combine for 43 points in Duke’s win.Some huge names as soon as missed their reasonable share of threes There are, of
course, exceptions to this rule of general year-to-year improvement in perimeter accuracy. Just ask Marcus Smart.Top stories of the week from Get unique access to countless premium posts a year from leading authors. – MLB mock draft: Who will go No. 1?”- Can the
Celtics afford to keep Brown?”- Ranking NFL offseasons from 1 to 32″More ESPN+content”The onetime Oklahoma State star came in listed below 30%on a minimum of
100 efforts from beyond the arc as a first-or second-year player in 2 consecutive seasons with the Cowboys. However, Smart soldiered on and developed himself at the next level as, well, Marcus Smart.In fact,
an all-star team made up of alumni from our 205 player-seasons would consist of not just Smart but also Allen Iverson, Tayshaun Prince, Gilbert Arenas, Randy Foye, Isaiah Thomas, Jaylen Brown, Anthony Edwards, Tyrese Maxey, Dejounte Murray, T.J. Warren and Dorian Finney-Smith. None of which suggests Filipowski will take his place alongside such names or perhaps that he’ll shoot better on his threes in 2023-24. What we can say with some degree of confidence is he’s likely to improve from beyond the arc, provided sufficient time, After all, it was simply 4 brief years ago that Duke’s Tre Jones was also struggling from the perimeter(26% ).
In a tense round-of-32 game against the Blue Devils that year, UCF wasn’t satisfied to simply sag off of Jones. The Knights supposedly screamed”Shoot it! “and “Hell, nah!”at Mike Krzyzewski’s point guard. Duke nonetheless dominated 77-76 prior to falling to Michigan State in the Elite Eight.Jones returned for his sophomore season and struck 36% of his tries from beyond the arc. If in 2022-23 he was again being available in below 30%on his 3s, he at least was doing so in the NBA as a starter for the San Antonio Spurs.In short, one sensible projection for 2023-24 is that young players who missed out on a high number of threes last season will tend to shoot more precisely in the coming project.
If that projection is substantiated by Filipowski’s sophomore season in specific, it won’t be the first time a player improved his draft stock by “dealing with his shot. “