FanPost

Quant Proof That Terps 3Pt Ball is More Valuable Than 2Pt Ball

A few days ago, Turgeon's Army had a fanpost that brought up an interesting question: does our team overvalue the 3ptr and take too many of them? Some good player specific stats were cited and some good arguments were made in the comments. We can evaluate this empirically for the stats geeks out there.

J = 2Pt% (aka Field Goals less 3PT)

T = 3Pt%

R = Offensive Rebound % (Offensive Rebounds / FG attempted)

We can build a math formula for 3PTValue vs 2PTValue

Essentially, it works like this:

We take the points when they score a bucket then value the misses as well by applying the offensive rebound chance and then add the follow-on 2pt value (probability adjusted as well). This assumes all follow-on chances are 2ptrs (which isn't reality, but most likely).

So the math formula for 3PTValue is 3*T + (1-T)*R2J

2PTValue is similarly 2*J + (1-J)*R2J

Plugging in the J(48.7%),T(35.43%), and R(38.5%) based on the terps season up through the UVA game gives us

a 3PTV of 1.3 vs a 2PTV of 1.16. Clearly 3PTV > than 2PTV. So the 3 ball is more valuable.

Also, not factored in the math are fouls and Free Throw Percent. But we are not a strong free throw team, so I can't imagine enhancing the formula in that direction will really help make the case that we should take less 3pointers.

All in all, this proves out that 3pointers are more valuable for this team, given how efficiently we make them and then when we miss our ability to convert follow-on opportunities.


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