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Do teams shoot better from the floor against Buffalo?

Mark Zerof-USA TODAY Sports

Simple post here, one that has been bouncing around our comments sections for a while. The question at hand is: Do opposing teams consistently shoot better than average against Buffalo, or does it just feel that way?

Here's a table. Three columns, nothing too fancy:

Team FG% vs UB 14-15 FG%
SDSU 40% 46%
UK 41% 46%
UTA 38% 43%
GCU 32% 45%
CAN 32% 40%
BONA 46% 42%
RMU 48% 44%
DREX 44% 39%
NIAG 35% 39%
WISC 42% 48%
BING 34% 39%
CORN 43% 39%
MIA 45% 44%
WMU 46% 46%
NIU 38% 41%
MIA 37% 44%
CMU 53% 47%
OHIO 41% 43%
WMU 49% 46%
KENT 34% 42%
BALL 43% 42%
AKR 46% 41%
TOL 63% 47%
CMU 50% 47%
EMU 36% 40%
BG 40% 42%
AKR 43% 41%

A few more numbers you should know:

On the season against UB, opponents are shooting 42% on roughly 57 shots from the floor per game. So one missed shot is a difference of about 1.7%


Given that, I've italicized in the table games that featured a 5% or more swing in FG% from the UB game to the season average. Over the whole year, that's a difference of three shots in any one game, but in faster-paced games like CMU and Toledo, it's closer to or a touch above four.

Using a 5% swing as the demarcation line, UB has held opponents to bad shooting days nine times, including the first five games of the season and both games against nationally elite teams. Only thrice: two contests in the recent losing streak and the bananas Cornell game, has a team shot markedly better than their season average against UB.

Some lines that stand out to me:

WMU actually shot better in the loss at Alumni Arena than in beating the Bulls in Kalamazoo, but has matched or exceeded their already-high season average in both games.

Akron actually topped their average last night, even as many felt it was a sloppy game at both ends.

CMU's numbers look less egregious when you compare them to how they shoot against everyone. I think part of this perception comes specifically from the four CMU and WMU games.

UB only lost to Toledo by four. Even a merely very good game from the Rockets could have been a UB win.

Lowering the threshhold significantly, only Akron, Toledo, CMU, and WMU have even shot more than one shot better than their season average when playing UB.


I don't think this means the defense is good -- though the last three games have been the strongest stretch in MAC play by a wide margin -- but rather that other than two incredible games from the current 1-2 in the MAC, nobody's really shooting the lights out for a full 40.

I won't add much more. What do you think? Want to ask for a different game-by-game breakdown?