Art and Science
Basketball is poetry in motion... an art form. There are so many different moves, skill sets, and actions. There are so many different ways to win and so many different styles of coaching and playing.
It can be overwhelming as a player, parent, coach, or trainer, especially if you don't know what to focus on. What is good? What is useful? What is a waste of time?
I believe the best coaches and trainers understand BOTH the art and the science of the game. The science can bring clarity to all the grey areas of basketball. And in order to be good at the science, you have to dive into the data.
As a player development coach, I get asked lots of questions like:
"I'm not scoring a lot, what can I do?"
"I want to play in college. What should I work on?"
"There are soo many different moves to work on... What should I focus on?"
One obvious way to answer this question is to look at what college players do in order to score. And that is exactly what I did!
I went back and watched every made field goal from the last 4 NCAA National Title games:
2023: UCONN vs San Diego State
2022: Kansas vs UNC
2021: Baylor vs Gonzaga
2019: Virginia vs Texas Tech
The stat I tracked was: how many dribbles do scorers take in order to score?
Don't understand? Watch this quick video to see what I mean.
Here are the results:
Some key stats:
85% of all shots made were on 0-3 dribbles
45% of all shots made were with ZERO dribbles
Mean: 1.56 Dribbles
Median: 1 Dribble
Mode: 0 Dribbles
Sample Size: 197 made FG's
If you want to play and score at a high level, you better be able to catch and shoot. This will also force defenders to close out hard and make driving a lot easier.
If you want to play and score at a high level, you better be able to move without the ball in a productive way (cutting, screening, offensive rebounds, relocating.) Very, very few players have the freedom to dribble a lot as playmakers.
Most dribbles used to score are off of closeout situations or post ups within the flow of an offense.
Some Questions To Consider
-What does your training look like?
-Do your skillsets align with the players at the highest level who are living your dream?
-Can you contribute to your team without the ball in your hands?
I'm not saying ball handling should be overlooked. It is very important! BUT when working on scoring, you can never be too good at making "simple" plays at a high rate.
Let me know what you think!
-Coach Nick Kinzel