Kansas Basketball: Are The Low-% Runner/Floater/Layups Really "Bad Shots"?

Really solid Fanpost from SagehenMacGyver47 yesterday. This definitely earned some extra run on FRONT PAGE FRIDAY!!! Good cannon fodder for a Friday before playing Oklahoma. - Owen

A lot of times people think those are bad shots when guards drive in there and shoot the floaters. They probably have a 20 percent chance to go in, but you have a 60 percent chance to rebound behind it, so those aren’t bad shots.

- Bill Self

After initially reading the quote from Bill Self, I was skeptical - I mean, he can't be happy with running floaters at 20%, can he? And could he really expect a rebounding rate of 60% when the team's overall offensive rebounding rate is about 35%?

I was more skeptical than most, I think, but after some discussion I figured if we assumed that Self was ballparking it or exaggerating a bit--maybe he was fudging from 30% and 50%, or thereabouts--he might actually be right, or at least close. (Note: Self didn't mention fouls, so that muddies the water a little bit.)

So what happened against Kansas State?

I define a "bad runner/floater/layup" as a close shot that's more likely to miss than go in. I know it's subjective, but when my feeling was "you shouldn't have shot that" if the expectation was to score on the shot itself, then I recorded it as taking a bad shot. The possible results are a made shot, an offensive rebound, a defensive rebound, or a foul on the shot.

I counted 14 "bad runner/floater/layup" shots. 2 of those resulted in fouls by KSU. Only 3 went in, for a FG% of 25% (21% if you count all 14); if you'd told me that only 3 of 12 shots went in from around the rim, I'd say "Why are we forcing these ill-advised shots?"; although this is apparently what Bill Self expected and approved of.

Now for the offensive rebounds. If you read the semi-stat recap, you know that KU's O rebound rate for the game was crazy high overall and that KSU's defensive rebounding rate for the season is very poor, so keep that in mind. KU rebounded 7 of these 9 misses. 78%. (Note: Two of them were scrambles where the ball went out of bounds off KSU and a third was a half rebound/steal where TRob took the ball out of the defender's hands right after he secured the rebound, so maybe there was some chaos/luck involved, but still: 78%.)

Points per possession (please check my math/approach/estimations):

14 possessions; 1.4 points from the fouls; 6 points from the makes; 8 points from 4 putbacks; 3 points for 3 additional rebounds at an estimated 1 PPP. That gives 18.4 for 14 possessions for a PPP of 1.3. I'll request that I re-read Bill's comment: "so those aren’t bad shots".

One last bit on missed layups. These were shots where a player had basically a very makeable shot from close range (as opposed to the 14 "bad" shots) and missed. One was blocked and two were just missed (I think). Of those 3 missed layups, 2 were rebounded by KU, for 67%. SSS is especially true for this, but it jives with the 60+% rate claimed by Self.

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