Free Throw Rate

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RhowdyRam02
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Re: Free Throw Rate

Unread postby RhowdyRam02 » 10 months ago

So would some kind of plus/minus percentage be a more accurate way to judge than just what ours is and what the opponent's is in a vacuum?
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RoadyJay
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Re: Free Throw Rate

Unread postby RoadyJay » 10 months ago

Actually, I have looked at a plus/minus for FT Rate and interestingly I really didn't see much correlation. What I do see, is that it appears it's slightly more important for us to attack the basket and get to the FT line than it is to be concerned about our fouling on defense.
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Re: Free Throw Rate

Unread postby RoadyJay » 10 months ago

UCH21377 requested so I will deliver....

Fordham shot 25 FTs on 43 FGs for a FT Rate of 58.1%. We are now 2-6 when our opponent has a FT Rate over 49%. 1-5 when it's over 56%

URI shot 15 FTs on 56 FGs for a FT Rate of 26.8%. We are now 1-7 when our FT Rate is below 32%.

FT Rate don't lie...
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UCH21377
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Re: Free Throw Rate

Unread postby UCH21377 » 10 months ago

Thanks Jay! Like the stat; last night's results, well, they speak for themselves
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theblueram
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Re: Free Throw Rate

Unread postby theblueram » 10 months ago

it really doesn't matter at this point. We averaged less than 10 FG's per half. Who cares about fouls when you have a stat like that.
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RoadyJay
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Re: Free Throw Rate

Unread postby RoadyJay » 1 month ago

We currently have the highest defensive Free Throw Rate (FTR) in the country. Yes, we are #1 in the country in fouling. This means we foul… A lot! Remember that FTR is Free Throws Attempted (FTA) / Field Goals Attempted (FGA).

After two games this season we are allowing our opponents just over 89 free throw attempts per every 100 field goal attempts. The current average FTR in D1 is 36.7%, which means our defense allows our opponents to attempt over 50 more free throws per 100 field goals attempted than the average D1 defense.

Our opponents are scoring over 36% of their points from the free throw line. The current D1 average for % of points from the free throw line is 20.3%.

It's not only the extra points we are giving our opponents, but this also has the obvious negative side effect of getting us in foul trouble and keeping our best players off the floor. We have depth at the guard position but we can’t afford the foul trouble with our interior players, specifically Langevine.

Nevada had the right game plan against us Monday night... They attacked the rim! You know that other teams are going to replicate this approach against us.

We have to find a way to play elite level defense without fouling so much

Yes, there are other teams that play elite level defense and foul often. South Carolina and West Virginia were two examples from last season, but they are exceptions to the rule as the majority of elite defenses have a defensive Free Throw Rate below the D1 average. Gonzaga, Virginia, Florida, Georgia Tech, Kentucky, Wisconsin were all top-10 rated defenses that fouled at a rate below the D1 average.

Ok, enough about the fouling on defense.

How about on offense? At what rate do we get fouled?

Right now we rank 244th in the country with an offensive FTR of 29%. As most fouls occur in the paint, our low offensive FTR may indicate that we are not getting the ball in the paint enough and our guards are not taking it to the rack. I don’t have the stats to back this up but I know paint touches is a stat this coaching staff looks at. A higher offensive FTR also means you are getting the opponent into foul trouble and we all know this is a good thing.

I realize that Free Throw Rate is not the end all be all stat, but consider the following for last season:
• We were 21-3 when our defensive Free Throw Rate was under 50%. We were 4-7 when it was above 50%.
• We were 20-2 last season when our offensive Free Throw Rate was above 30%. We were 5-8 when it was below 30%.
• In games where our offensive Free Throw Rate was above 30% and our defensive Free Throw Rate was below 50% we were a perfect 16-0!
• In games where our offensive Free Throw Rate was below 30% and our defensive Free Throw Rate was above 50% we were 0-5.

There are so many factors that go into winning basketball games, and FTR is just one stat. However it seems to be a very meaningful stat for our team. If we can show improvement in both our defensive and offensive FTR it will directly impact our wins and losses in a positive way.
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rambone 78
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Re: Free Throw Rate

Unread postby rambone 78 » 1 month ago

Good post RJ.....we have to stop with the "hands" approach to defense.

You would think the staff is trying to teach players to use their bodies and footwork to avoid fouling.

We have 2 guys that "get it"......Stan and Terrell....but even they are guilty of it at times....
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section(105)
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Re: Free Throw Rate

Unread postby section(105) » 1 month ago

......I can almost here the calls now for the increase in zone defense......maybe justified......not in the DH DNA......?.
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Re: Free Throw Rate

Unread postby RoadyJay » 1 month ago

section(105) wrote:......I can almost here the calls now for the increase in zone defense......maybe justified......not in the DH DNA......?.


I don't think an increase in zone has to be or should be the answer. Plenty of the elite defenses I mentioned above play mostly man and do not foul at a high rate.
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Billyboy78
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Re: Free Throw Rate

Unread postby Billyboy78 » 1 month ago

When we've got players fouling out in 15 minutes of play(Cyril) or even 5 minutes of play (Nicola), switching it up occasionally wouldn't be a bad idea.
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Rhody Guy
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Re: Free Throw Rate

Unread postby Rhody Guy » 1 month ago

Zone with Tertsea in the middle ;)
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rambone 78
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Re: Free Throw Rate

Unread postby rambone 78 » 1 month ago

We don't need to foul so much!

Bottom line....play smarter defense!

Like was said....play tough defense without fouling, it can be done!

Or are we not capable of doing so? If not, we don't have it...simple as that.
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Tom98
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Re: Free Throw Rate

Unread postby Tom98 » 1 month ago

Excellent post Rhody Jay. Our constant fouling needs to stop....its been rediculous the last two games. Cyril has to be leading the team in fouls. We all felt his inexperience on how to defend would be a problem and it clearly has. I assume coach is all over teaching him the fundamentals on how to defend.
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Rhody83
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Re: Free Throw Rate

Unread postby Rhody83 » 1 month ago

RoadyJay wrote:We currently have the highest defensive Free Throw Rate (FTR) in the country. Yes, we are #1 in the country in fouling. This means we foul… A lot! Remember that FTR is Free Throws Attempted (FTA) / Field Goals Attempted (FGA).

After two games this season we are allowing our opponents just over 89 free throw attempts per every 100 field goal attempts. The current average FTR in D1 is 36.7%, which means our defense allows our opponents to attempt over 50 more free throws per 100 field goals attempted than the average D1 defense.

Our opponents are scoring over 36% of their points from the free throw line. The current D1 average for % of points from the free throw line is 20%

Yes, there are other teams that play elite level defense and foul often. South Carolina and West Virginia were two examples from last season, but they are exceptions to the rule as the majority of elite defenses have a defensive Free Throw Rate below the D1 average. Gonzaga, Virginia, Florida, Georgia Tech, Kentucky, Wisconsin were all top-10 rated defenses that fouled at a rate below the D1 average.

Ok, enough about the fouling on defense.

How about on offense? At what rate do we get fouled?

Right now we rank 244th in the country with an offensive FTR of 29%. As most fouls occur in the paint, our low offensive FTR may indicate that we are not getting the ball in the paint enough and our guards are not taking it to the rack. I don’t have the stats to back this up but I know paint touches is a stat this coaching staff looks at. A higher offensive FTR also means you are getting the opponent into foul trouble and we all know this is a good thing.

I realize that Free Throw Rate is not the end all be all stat, but consider the following for last season:
• We were 21-3 when our defensive Free Throw Rate was under 50%. We were 4-7 when it was above 50%.
• We were 20-2 last season when our offensive Free Throw Rate was above 30%. We were 5-8 when it was below 30%.
• In games where our offensive Free Throw Rate was above 30% and our defensive Free Throw Rate was below 50% we were a perfect 16-0!
• In games where our offensive Free Throw Rate was below 30% and our defensive Free Throw Rate was above 50% we were 0-5.


RoadyJay was URI’s FTR last year and where did that rank? I recall that they had this problem last year too. I think URI’s defense was good without fouling 2 & 3 years ago but not last year.
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TruePoint
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Re: Free Throw Rate

Unread postby TruePoint » 1 month ago

Aggression is a double edged sword. Controlled aggression is a valuable asset; uncontrolled aggression is a dangerous habit. Our first identity as a basketball program is to play aggressive defense, but there has to be some measure of control in how we use that aggression.

A 90% defensive FTR is not sustainable throughout the season. It is an indication of the talent on this team (and the utility of an aggressive defensive approach) that we blew out a good team and lost a close game to a really good team while allowing such a staggering number of FTs. But as RoadyJay demonstrated above, our target is about a third of the rate we've been at through two games.

Some of this can be fixed just by the players being cognizant of the issue and playing smarter, but I wonder how much it would impact our overall defensive effectiveness to take a slightly different approach - how much benefit do the coaches believe we gain from defending the ball handler all over the court (and not just token pressure, but in-your-shorts type of defense even in areas of the court where the opponent is not a threat to score), and are they right in that assessment? I assume they think the primary benefit of that kind of pressure is to just wear down the opponent mentally and physically, with the occasional turnover that results being a sort of derivative benefit. What would the tradeoff be if you picked up fewer fouls both on the ball and on the penetration into the lane that sometimes results from this kind of pressure (and therefore had less team and player foul trouble, less forced time on the bench for players and less time in the bonus for the team)? You don't want to compromise too much on your identity, but is it possible to play tough-as-hell defense only in areas of the court where the player with the ball could feasibly score and still be an aggressive defensive basketball team?

The defensive approach used by coach Hurley and core to what his teams have been has obviously yielded some good results. I do believe that if it ain't broke, don't fix it. But is the worst DFTR in the country - double the average rate and triple the rate where you've had the most success - evidence that something is broke and needs some refinement? We shouldn't abandon our entire philosophy, but can we make it more effective by working in some restraint?
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section(105)
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Re: Free Throw Rate

Unread postby section(105) » 4 weeks ago

......The when and where to turn on/off the controlled aggression is difficult, I think, when a team focus seems to all out pressure on and off the ball as a way to disrupt the opponents offense to create steals......I do think it will evolve as the season progresses.....what concerns me is the fouls by our guys on the perimeter where scoring threat is minimal.....those fouls where the refs are left with no choice other than calling the overly aggressive defensive contact as a foul.....sometimes from my seats I see the refs looking to Dan with a look of “I have to call that”......and some times our player looking at Dan with a look of “that’s how you want us to play, right?......
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RoadyJay
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Re: Free Throw Rate

Unread postby RoadyJay » 4 weeks ago

TruePoint wrote:Aggression is a double edged sword. Controlled aggression is a valuable asset; uncontrolled aggression is a dangerous habit. Our first identity as a basketball program is to play aggressive defense, but there has to be some measure of control in how we use that aggression.

A 90% defensive FTR is not sustainable throughout the season. It is an indication of the talent on this team (and the utility of an aggressive defensive approach) that we blew out a good team and lost a close game to a really good team while allowing such a staggering number of FTs. But as RoadyJay demonstrated above, our target is about a third of the rate we've been at through two games.

Some of this can be fixed just by the players being cognizant of the issue and playing smarter, but I wonder how much it would impact our overall defensive effectiveness to take a slightly different approach - how much benefit do the coaches believe we gain from defending the ball handler all over the court (and not just token pressure, but in-your-shorts type of defense even in areas of the court where the opponent is not a threat to score), and are they right in that assessment? I assume they think the primary benefit of that kind of pressure is to just wear down the opponent mentally and physically, with the occasional turnover that results being a sort of derivative benefit. What would the tradeoff be if you picked up fewer fouls both on the ball and on the penetration into the lane that sometimes results from this kind of pressure (and therefore had less team and player foul trouble, less forced time on the bench for players and less time in the bonus for the team)? You don't want to compromise too much on your identity, but is it possible to play tough-as-hell defense only in areas of the court where the player with the ball could feasibly score and still be an aggressive defensive basketball team?

The defensive approach used by coach Hurley and core to what his teams have been has obviously yielded some good results. I do believe that if it ain't broke, don't fix it. But is the worst DFTR in the country - double the average rate and triple the rate where you've had the most success - evidence that something is broke and needs some refinement? We shouldn't abandon our entire philosophy, but can we make it more effective by working in some restraint?


TP, I think you describe the situation well. Everything Dan and this coaching staff does is calculated so I'm sure they are well aware that they foul at a high rate. I believe Dan is willing to accept the higher rate of fouling because he believes the benefits outweigh the negatives..... we wear down opponents, turn our opponents over at a high rate, and don't allow any easy baskets (everything contested).

In the first post of this thread I described what's called the "Four Factors of Basketball Success." Dean Oliver, considered the godfather of basketball analytics, invented this. Ken Pomeroy prominently uses these stats on his site.

The four factors are:
-Effective Field Goal %
-Turnover %
-Rebounding
-Free Throws per Field Goal Attempt (Free Throw Rate)

The elite defensive teams are very good in at least one or more of these factors. Our defense fouls at a very high rate so we must be very good in the other factors.

In 2015, we had the 13th best defense in the country, per kenpom. Defensively we ranked 323rd out of 351 D1 teams in Free Throw Rate (aka we fouled a lot!). However, we ranked 8th in Effective Field Goal %, 24th in Turnover %, and 87th in our Opponents Offensive Rebounding %.

This demonstrates that it is possible to foul at a high rate and still be an elite defense. From what I can see however, this is not the most common way.

So far this season we have fouled at a high rate in both games. We blew out UNC-Asheville because we turned them over 27 times. In the Nevada game we fouled at a high rate AND were not very good in any of the other four factors defensively.

After the two games here is where we rank overall in the four factors defensively:
-Effective Field Goal % - 55.3% - 265th
-Turnover % - 27.7 - 13th
-Rebounding % - 30.9 - 206th
-Free Throws per Field Goal Attempt (Free Throw Rate) - 343rd

Overall kenpom has us as the 50th best defense in the country. I think we definitely have the ability to be in the top 20-25 defensive teams so we must focus improving our effective field goal % and the free throw rate on defense. We probably are never going to be an elite rebounding team since we play small. The effective field goal % is very concerning because while we foul at a high rate it appears we are still giving up easy baskets.
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Re: Free Throw Rate

Unread postby hrstrat57 » 4 weeks ago

Great posts by RJ and TP

Sure basketball ain’t rocket science we all know that... but often teams execute strategy that is a bit complex.

As I said in the gamethread despite our inability to contain Caroline and the twins it became clear to me that our plan was to wear them down and cruise by at the end.

I believe if EC hadn’t gone down we would have won that game. Staff certainly did not plan on all the missed layups ( which drove me as a coach much more nuts than missed foul shots)

Essentially I guess I am saying the plan for the Nevada game worked.

So my glass remains more than half full.
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Re: Free Throw Rate

Unread postby RoadyJay » 3 weeks ago

We are officially no longer the foulingest in the country. After today's defensive performance where Holy Cross only had 12 Free Throw Attempts on 53 Field Goal Attempts we move into 349th position out of 351 D1 teams. Now James Madison and Sam Houston St. foul more than us.

I like the phrase that Chris DiSano uses. He says we need to be "responsibly aggressive." He used it in a recent article referring to Terrell and Robinson stepping up in a responsibly aggressive way on offense with EC being out. I think it also applies with our defense.

We were responsibly aggressive on defense today. We were able to turn them over 17 times, including 13 steals, while only committing 14 fouls. Tough for teams to beat us turning it over nearly 20 times even if they shoot it well, which Holy Cross did today.
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section(105)
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Re: Free Throw Rate

Unread postby section(105) » 3 weeks ago

......there was no where to go but up.....Go Rhody....
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