Here, we’ll have a glossary of the terms we use on this page to discuss basketball. If you see something you don’t understand and would like it added, let us know and we’ll make sure to do so.
Also, most of the stuff we do borrows heavily from the work of Dean Oliver, Ken Pomeroy (www.kenpom.com) and the staff at BBState.com, among other places. They can help where this doesn’t, and they are great places to satiate your appetite for more advanced statistics in college basketball.
2P or 2PM – two-point shots made: made two-point field goals.
2PA – two-point shots attempted: the number of two-point shots attempted by the player or team.
2P% – two-point shooting percentage: the percentage of two-point shots made by the player or team, calculated as 2PM/2PA. This blog considers it fact that offenses and defenses impact the ultimate 2P% of each team.
2PA% – two-point shot attempt percentage: the percentage of two-point shots attempted by the team, calculated as 2PA/FGA.
3P or 3PM – three-point shots made: made three-point field goals.
3PA – three-point shots attempted: the number of three-point shots attempted by the player or team.
3P% – three-point shooting percentage: the percentage of three-point shots made by the player or team, calculated as 3PM/3PA. This blog assumes that only offenses control a team’s 3P%, and that defenses cannot impact this number.
3PA% – three-point shot attempt percentage: the percentage of three-point shots attempted by the team, calculated as 3PA/FGA. This blog assumes that both the offense and the opposition defense determine the offensive team’s 3PA%.
eFG% – effective field goal percentage: computed as (FGM+(.5*3PM))/FGA. The purpose of this is to give three-point shots the extra credit they deserve, as they are worth more points than a 2PA.
FTAvg. – free throw average: this number is similar to FTR, but only rewards a team for made free throws. As such, it is calculated as FTM/FGA.
FTR – free throw rate: this number shows how frequently a team gets to the free throw line relative to the number of field goals it takes. Again, we use a ratio so we do not unjustly punish or reward teams for playing faster or slower paces. It is calculated as FTA/FGA.
Four Factors – as identified initially by Dean Oliver, these are eFG, TO%, rebounding, and free throws. Oliver weighted the importance of these as:
Shooting (eFG%) – 40%
Turnovers (TO%) – 25%
Rebounding (OReb%) – 20%
Free throws (FTR or FTAvg.) – 15%
OReb% – offensive rebounding percentage: the percent of offensive rebounds a team grabs. This is done as a percentage, rather than in raw terms, to show how many they grab relative to how many are available. If we used raw numbers, some teams numbers would be artificially low (if they shot very well and rarely missed shots) or high (the opposite). Simply, OR/(OR+OppDR).
Pace or tempo: the number of possessions a team has in a basketball game. For our purposes, we calculate this number for each team as FGA – OR + TO + (0.475 * FTA). We then add the two numbers and divide by two to determine the total number of possessions in the game.
Possessions: the number of times a team possesses the ball. These typically end with turnovers, missed shots rebounded by the other team, and made baskets. They do not end with missed shots rebounded by the offense.
TO% – turnover percentage: The percent of possessions a team has that end in a turnover. Very easily computed as TO/possessions. Again, this number is more valuable than the raw turnover data because it does not penalize (or reward) teams for playing at a faster (or slower) pace.