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Ten Stats that Every Basketball Coach Should Track

Ten Stats that Every Basketball Coach Should Track

This basketball coaching article was written by Oral Roberts University Assistant Coach Sam Patterson.


Before I talk about some useful basketball statistics that all college and high school coaches should track, I wanted to give a little background on myself. I have had the privilege of spending a good portion of my life involved in college basketball. The last 13 years I spent on staff at Baylor University, working for Coach Scott Drew.

I most recently took an assistant job at Oral Roberts University, joining former Baylor assistant coach Paul Mills in his first year as head basketball coach. During my tenure at Baylor, I spent four years as an undergraduate manager, two years as a Graduate Assistant, and the last seven years as the Video Coordinator/Director of Video Operations. I had the rare opportunity of serving under just one head coach, Scott Drew, for which I got to understand and know quite well.

Understanding your head coach and knowing what he or she values from his or her staff is an integral part of being an effective assistant basketball coach. There is usually a give-and-take when talking analytics within coaching staffs across the country.

Understanding what your head coach values will help determine which statistics are worth tracking and which statistics are a waste of time. Finding ways to effectively utilize my time and develop a workflow to save precious hours was one of the most valuable lessons I learned.

We took the time to chart all of these statistics during basketball practices and games. Naturally, the sooner you can communicate the results to your basketball players, the quicker and more effective their buy-in will be. Coach Drew always believed that if he could emphasize a teaching point and have a statistic to back up his claim, the easier it would be to get his message across to his players.



Offensive Basketball Stats you Should Track


Land on Two Feet

  • For every jump-shot (outside the paint), chart the FG% for shots when the shooter lands on two feet versus shots when the shooter lands on one foot.
  • Usually, over time, there is a considerable discrepancy in the FG% for 2-footed shots versus 1-footed shots.
  • Preach being on balance and “Fighting for your feet.”
  • During practice, to break bad habits, punish players for 1-footed shots, or don’t count baskets that are scored if the shooter lands on 1 foot.


Paint Touches

  • For half-court possessions, we charted every time the ball touched the paint.
  • This could be on dribble penetration, a pass to the paint, or a pass through the paint (skip pass).
  • We wanted 70% of our half-court possessions to include a paint touch before a shot attempt.
  • We communicated the percentage of successful possessions with a paint touch versus the percentage of successful possessions without a paint touch to our players during each timeout.
  • Typically, we were above the 65% range with a paint touch and under the 30% range without a paint touch.
  • If we had not touched the paint in 3 consecutive possessions, we made sure to call a basketball play that got the ball to the paint.


Ball Reversals

  • We tracked this basketball stat after the game was over. Too difficult to track “live.”
  • As a staff, we compared half-court possessions with a ball reversal to those without.
  • We knew which basketball sets we had that included at least one ball reversal within the set.
  • The entire concept is based on getting the defense to rotate and play out of closeouts and rotations.


Potential Assists

  • We considered a potential assist to be any shot attempt that, if converted, would be considered an assisted score.
  • We found that FG% was much higher from potential assists than from any attempt that was basically a 1-on-1 play.
  • Late clock, we stressed to our players to make a play for a teammate. We tracked the possessions under 10-seconds with a potential assist versus possessions without a potential assist.
  • We scored at a much higher rate when the possession included a potential assist.



Defensive Basketball Stats you Should Track


Contested Shots

  • We charted opponents FG% on contested shots versus uncontested shots.
  • We also charted “correct hand” contests versus “incorrect hand” contests. A “correct hand” contest would be a left-handed contest by the defender on a right-handed shooter and vice versa for a left-handed shooter.
  • We found that contesting with the correct hand impacted the FG% more than contesting with the wrong hand.


Consecutive Scores by an Opponent

  • We would chart every one of our opponent’s possessions during the game.
  • If an opponent scored three consecutive possessions, we would typically change up our defense.
  • These possessions were typically half-court possessions, and free throws would be included.



  • We communicated the Defensive FG% to our players at every media timeout.
  • This basketball stat was taken straight from the box score.
  • We found that players can more easily understand the FG% of the opponent, rather than the “Point Per Possession” of the opponent.
  • It’s easier to tell your basketball players, “The other team is shooting 55% from the field,” rather than tell them, “The opponent is scoring 1.25 points per possession.”
  • We would look at the previous season’s leaders in FG% Defense and Point Per Possession Defense and determine a team goal based on what would earn us Top 10 in the country in that particular basketball stat.



Basketball Rebounding Stats you Should Track


Offensive Rebound Attempt

  • After each game or practice, we would rate each individual’s attempt every time a shot went up on offense.
  • We would chart how often they made a positive move towards the basket for the three players that we required to attack the offensive glass.
  • For the two players that we required to get back on every shot attempt, we would chart how often and how quickly they made a positive step towards the other end of the court.
  • We required 80% or better for each game, or we would run individually.


Defensive Block Outs

  • After each basketball game or practice, we would rate each individual’s block out attempt every time a shot went up by the opponent.
  • We required all five players to first check to see if anyone was coming and then block out any player who attempted to rebound.
  • We required 80% or better for each game, or we would run individually.



Miscellaneous Basketball Stats you Should Track


3+ Players to Help Up a Teammate

  • When one of our teammates was on the ground during any stoppage of play, we had at least three players run and help our fallen teammate up.
  • If our players did not run over to the player, we would run lines as a team.
  • If we did not get at least 3 of our players involved in helping our teammate up, we would run lines as a team.



Ten Stats that Every Basketball Coach Should Track Conclusion

Tracking basketball stats may not always be the most fun job in the world, but it can add real value to your team. It will allow you to emphasize better what is important to your team and promote better buy-in from your players. So make sure that you take advantage of tracking these ten stats in this basketball coaching article and begin to see a marked improvement within your program.




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