Big Ten Wonk
Tuesday, November 01, 2005
Scoring efficiency: PPWS (points per weighted shot--scroll down for 2005 figures)
PPWS = PTS/(FGA + (0.475 x FTA))

About this stat....
Points per weighted shot (PPWS) is an odd name that I coined last season and applied to a handy stat created by John Hollinger (The Basketball Prospectus). In effect, PPWS measures how efficiently a player translates field goal attempts and free throw attempts into points:

PPWS = PTS/(FGA + (0.475 x FTA))

(Note the new improved free throw multiplier, courtesy of Ken Pomeroy. Last year I used a different FTA multiplier. So if you’re looking in the archives at last year’s posts, the PPWS numbers will be slightly higher than what you see this year.)

For instance: last season Carl Landry not only scored a lot of points (18.2 per game), he also did so very efficiently:

456/(259 + (0.475 x 195) = 456/(259 + 92.6) = 456/351.6 = 1.30 PPWS

Bracey Wright, on the other hand, edged Landry for the Big Ten scoring title (18.3 per game) but he was nowhere near Landry in terms of efficiency:

476/(363 + (0.475 x 161) = 476/(363 + 76.5) = 476/439.5 = 1.08 PPWS

In other words, if Landry had shot as many field goals (104 more) and free throws (34 fewer) as Wright, the erstwhile Boilermaker would likely have averaged about 22.9 points a game.

This is a much better gauge of how proficient someone really is at scoring. Points-per-game, conversely, relies far too much on simply how many shots a player jacks up.

(Nor is PPWS biased in favor of low-post scorers and against three-point shooters. Illinois' Dee Brown posted a stellar 1.31 PPWS last year. Northwestern's Mike Thompson, almost a foot taller than Brown, posted a disastrous 0.95—in part because he shot just .468 on his free throws. In fact, Arizona’s three-point master, Salim Stoudamire, had the best PPWS in the nation last season: 1.38.)

Word of caution: PPWS is a more reliable tool for criticism than for praise. A low PPWS, given enough games, will always serve as a reliable indicator that, for whatever reason, a player is not scoring efficiently. A high PPWS, on the other hand, can be misleading. Players who average single digits in points-per-game can post very nice PPWS numbers—a situation which may mean said player is a budding star waiting to be discovered but which may also mean said player is terrified of shooting and attempts a field goal only when they are wide open for a dunk or a three. The trick, of course, is to score a lot of points (e.g., Landry, Wright) and to do so efficiently (Landry).

2005, all games (8+ min. per game, returning players only)
1. James Augustine, Illinois (1.32)
2. Matt Trannon, Michigan State (1.32)
3. Dee Brown, Illinois (1.31)
4. Carl Landry, Purdue (1.30)
5. Courtney Sims, Michigan (1.24)
6. A.J. Ratliff, Indiana (1.24)
7. Adam Haluska, Iowa (1.23)
8. Maurice Ager, Michigan State (1.22)
9. D.J. White, Indiana (1.22)
10. Je'Kel Foster, Ohio State (1.20)
11. J.J. Sullinger, Ohio State (1.20)
12. Ivan Harris, Ohio State (1.19)
13. Brent Petway, Michigan (1.18)
14. Terence Dials, Ohio State (1.18)
15. Vedran Vukusic, Northwestern (1.18)
16. Chris Hunter, Michigan (1.17)
17. Graham Brown, Michigan (1.15)
18. Greg Brunner, Iowa (1.15)
19. Paul Davis, Michigan State (1.14)
20. Travis Parker, Penn State (1.14)
21. Jeff Horner, Iowa (1.13)
22. Alando Tucker, Wisconsin (1.12)
23. Doug Thomas, Iowa (1.11)
24. Shannon Brown, Michigan State (1.11)
25. Matt Sylvester, Ohio State (1.09)
26. Vince Scott, Northwestern (1.09)
27. Vincent Grier, Minnesota (1.09)
28. Gary Ware, Purdue (1.06)
29. Danny Morrissey, Penn State (1.05)
30. Carlton Reed, Iowa (1.03)
31. Mohamed Hachad, Northwestern (1.03)
32. Matt Kiefer, Purdue (1.03)
33. Kammron Taylor, Wisconsin (1.02)
34. Geary Claxton, Penn State (1.02)
35. Dan Coleman, Minnesota (1.01)
36. J'son Stamper, Minnesota (1.01)
37. Daniel Horton, Michigan (1.01)
38. Erek Hansen, Iowa (1.01)
39. Robert Vaden, Indiana (1.00)
40. Mike Walker, Penn State (0.99)
41. Roderick Wilmont, Indiana (0.99)
42. Marshall Strickland, Indiana (0.98)
43. Ron Coleman, Michigan (0.98)
44. Rico Tucker, Minnesota (0.96)
45. Dion Harris, Michigan (0.96)
46. Rich McBride, Illinois (0.96)
47. Michael Thompson, Northwestern (0.95)
48. Mike Henderson, Iowa (0.94)
49. Tim Doyle, Northwestern (0.94)
50. Drew Neitzel, Michigan State (0.94)
51. David Teague, Purdue (0.93)
52. Jamar Butler, Ohio State (0.93)
53. Spencer Tollackson, Minnesota (0.89)
54. Ben Luber, Penn State (0.88)


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