Monday, January 30, 2012

Misperception and Fact!!!

"Women and girls basketball is a more fundamental game". That is the prevailing sentiment in many circles. I detailed an opinion about the lack of teaching and quality development in club, and high school, having a negative impact on the college game. I specifically made the case that the growth of athletic guards is being stunted by "roll the ball out" style of play. Many may disagree so here are some TRUE facts:

Here are the stats for the last four Division 1 Top 25 teams to lose in men and women basketball. I have included field goal percentage and 3 point field goal percentage. These numbers can be found on the NCAA site for both groups:

Last 4 Top 25 Programs to lose:
Men- FG%- 41.25
Women- FG%- 33.5

Men- 3pt%- 29.75
Women-3pt%- 21

Men shot more than 8% better from the field. Men shot more than 8% better from the 3 pt line.
This is obviously a very small sample size so lets continue.

Here are the number of teams shooting above 40% from the 3point line in D1 ball:

Teams shooting 40% from 3pt :
Men- 15 total
Women- 2 total

Here are the number of teams shooting 45% from the field in D1 ball:

Teams shooting 45% from 2pt:
Women-13(total) Not a Typo!

The men have 111 more teams than the women shooting 45% from the field!

I have blogged that the reason for the women shooting less than men CAN be attributed to a couple of factors. Obviously the men are bigger, taller and finish baskets closer to the rim. It should be easier to make shots when you play so close or above the rim.(The argument may not hold up because the defenders TOO play above the rim so their is no physical advantage). The other reason that 3point percentage is higher in men basketball is due to men being stronger. The strength should allow the men to make shots from long distance. So let's look an area that does not inherently factor in size.

Assist to Turnover Ratio truly depicts if better fundamentals are being displayed by women. The following are the number of teams that at least have a 1:1 assist to turnover ratio. In other words, for every turnover, these teams have at least 1 assist.

Teams with at least 1.1 Assist to Turnover Ratio:
Men- 38
Women- 22

Sixteen more men's programs have a 1 to 1 ratio compared to women. Why does this matter or even pertain to the blog I wrote yesterday? These stats are relevant to illustrate that while the girls game is growing and getting better, it still has a long way to go in catching up to the men's game.

The men's game has a lot more negativity due to the competitive nature that money producing sports possess. However, the girls game would benefit from better developers in the formative years. A better understanding of what skills translate to the next level should be taught to parents and their daughters. An emphasis on wins, chasing trophies and fictitious titles blind parents to what is really important. The perception that the women's game is fundamentally more sound is false and it derives from the fact that the girls game is not producing enough skilled players to keep this myth alive.

"The finest system cannot overcome poor execution of the fundamentals....the coach must be certain that he never permits himself to get 'carried away' by a complicated system to the extent that it 'steals' practice time from the fundamentals".

When the gentleman wrote this, he was speaking of too many sets and structure. If Coach John Wooden was to write his book, 'Practical Modern Basketball' today and concentrate on girls basketball, he would would probably replace "system" and "complicated" with full court press and athletic system. 

As in "the full court press cannot overcome poor...fundamentals" and "the coach must be certain that he(she) never permits himself(herself) to get carried away by athleticism to the extent that it steals...from fundamentals".