This is a Kristen Sharkey post, so first, a Jaws .gif
There aren't enough Jaws .gifs in the world, and we have so few opportunities to use them between now and
senior day the end of the MAC tournament the end of the NCAA tournament the end of Sharkey's WNBA career.
Allow me that fun.
This post originally started as a response to Paige's excellent comment on this week's big WBB questions. To summarize, UB doesn't shoot particularly well from distance. Paige doesn't like that, and he also isn't a huge fan of how many three-point attempts come from forwards.
This is a wholly sane and agreeable position, and I should make it clear that I do agree completely.
BUT. One of the forwards explicitly named in Paige's comment is Kristen Sharkey, who I very much feel has become an effective threat from distance in MAC play. So I present to you: STATS.
I'd argue that many of the senior's looks from beyond the arc have been particularly wide-open lately. Extending to the start of MAC play, Sharkey is 26-60 for 52 points from inside the arc and 10-35 for 30 from outside.
I find effective FG% (a measure of points per shot) one of the most useful basketball stats, along with points per possession. Here I'm using both true eFG% and points per shot, which is related.
Sharkey from 2, in MAC play: .86* points per shot, .428 eFG%
Sharkey from 3, in MAC play: .85 points per shot, .433 eFG%
*repeating, of course
To me, those numbers are similar enough to justify Sharkey continuing this shot distribution, especially considering she's a smarter players who doesn't get more aggressive after a few made shots, and frequently pulls down open looks to work the ball further inside.
There are two big reasons that this shouldn't be justified, though:
1) It does not consider the additional points gained from the foul line, either from and-one opportunities or from missed field goals when the senior was fouled
2) It ignores the benefits of having Sharkey down low during UB shot attempts, where she's more likely to get a rebound.
I don't really have a solid case to make in support of #2, other than that it's pretty common sense. For #1, there's a stat very similar to eFG% called True Shooting Percentage, which in addition to points from the floor accounts for points from the line. When I talk about 'taking a lot of shots to get that many points,' I'm working on the same line of thought that TS% embodies.
Anyway, accounting for free throws:
Sharkey all shots, MAC play: 1.14 points/shot, .57 TS%
Sharkey from inside the arc, MAC play: 1.31 points/shot, .65 TS%
If I had time, I'd dig up play by play data and see UB's rebounding rates after Sharkey 2s vs Sharkey 3s, but that's not happening now.
I never really meant to come to a conclusion here, other than to investigate Sharkey's shooting from distance lately. Of late, she's been the best UB has to offer, better than you'd think, but probably not good enough to justify making this a permanent thing.