In the final installment of Useful Basketball Stats, I want to discuss 'Assist Percentage' (AST%). This stat as you can tell by the formula below estimates for the minutes played by an individual, what percentage of the teams FG's come from that player's direct assists. The formula is as follows:
Assist Percentage=100*Assists/(((Minutes Played /(Team Minutes/5)) * Team Field Goals Made) – Field Goals Made)
As you can tell by reading into the formula it takes the minutes played over the total possible minutes played which in FIBA would be 40, and then accounts for the teams total field goals that game minus the individual player's field goals, which obviously they could not assist on. The painstakingly 100% accurate way to calculate this would be to go through the tape or play-by-play stats and see when the player is on the floor of the teams field goals which were assisted by that player and then divide it into a total percentage. Therefore this stat is an estimate, but it's a pretty good one. In 1990-1991, John Stockton had an AST% of 57.5%. On my college team, my 4th year point guard has an AST% of 30.2% with no one else on the team being over 20%. This makes it very clear from a play-making and distributing perspective we will have a big gap to fill next year
The best thing about the analytics I've discussed over the past few weeks is that they help to tell a better story of the game, your players, and your team as a whole. The standard box score is too limited an explanation of what is really taking place on the court. I hope this has at least opened some eyes to the analytics side of basketball stats and perhaps shown they are quite accessible and should not be intimidating. Leave any questions or points of discussion in the comments below!
Coach Matt - Father, Coach, Life Long Learner, Basketball Addict