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Pac-12 Basketball: Who has the clutch gene?

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Big baskets will be made (and missed) in the coming weeks. Who’s going to deliver in the clutch?

NCAA Basketball: Washington at Arizona Casey Sapio-USA TODAY Sports

Just a little bit over a month separates us from March. We can expect to see some huge shots in the coming weeks, which will either make or break the 2016-17 season.

Luckily for us, Jeff Haley (an SB Nation blogger) has developed a site called Hoop-Math.com that has extensive college basketball statistics, including shot selection and percentages based on time remaining on the shot clock.

Using these stats, I was able to discover some interesting findings based on 34 Pac-12 players that have attempted at least 25 field goal attempts with five seconds or less on the shot clock. The sortable table shows effective field goal percentage and shot selection frequency. Column titles are explained below.

  • eFG%: Effective field goal percentage, which is a shooting metric that gives a stronger weight to made three-pointers
  • % of total FGA late: Percentage of total field goal attempts that were attempted in the final five seconds of the shot clock
  • % of FGA at rim: Percentage of late field goal attempts that are layups/dunks
  • % of FGA 2PJ: Percentage of late field goal attempts that are two-point jumpers
  • % of FGA 3PJ: Percentage of late field goal attempts that are three-point jumpers

Pac-12 Shooting Statistics With Five Seconds Or Less On Shot Clock

School Player eFG% % of total FGA late % of FGA at rim % of FGA 2PJ % of FGA 3PJ
School Player eFG% % of total FGA late % of FGA at rim % of FGA 2PJ % of FGA 3PJ
Cal Ivan Rabb 71.7 15.4 46.7 50 3.3
Washington Markelle Fultz 69 7.5 13.8 44.8 41.4
Washington David Crisp 68 10.2 16 20 64
Washington St Malachi Flynn 60 21.9 25 32.5 42.5
Oregon St Drew Eubanks 59.6 25.8 36.8 63.2 0
Utah Devon Daniels 56.9 23.5 44.4 36.1 19.4
Oregon St Jaquori McLaughlin 56.7 22.1 11.1 31.1 57.8
Washington St Josh Hawkinson 56.2 16.7 20 55 25
Oregon Tyler Dorsey 55.1 18.1 15.4 33.3 51.3
Colorado Xavier Johnson 55 13.6 20 30 50
Stanford Reid Travis 53.6 15.8 60.7 39.3 0
Arizona Lauri Markkanen 53.5 20.6 17 29.8 53.2
Washington St Conor Clifford 53.5 28.3 48.8 48.8 2.3
Arizona Dusan Ristic 52.6 20.5 30.8 66.7 2.6
Colorado Derrick White 51.5 13.4 27.3 39.4 33.3
Cal Charlie Moore 51.4 16.1 44.4 27.8 27.8
Utah Lorenzo Bonam 51.2 23 37.5 15 47.5
USC Chimezie Metu 50 12 50 50 0
Arizona St Tra Holder 50 12.8 28.6 40 31.4
Arizona Kadeem Allen 48.6 24.3 10.8 45.9 43.2
Oregon Chris Boucher 48.4 17.5 34.4 15.6 50
USC Jordan McLaughlin 46.9 14 40.6 21.9 37.5
Oregon St Stephen Thompson Jr. 42.7 24.2 29.1 40 30.9
Arizona Kobi Simmons 42.6 16.4 17.6 38.2 44.1
Arizona St Shannon Evans 41.4 13.6 37.1 14.3 48.6
Arizona Rawle Alkins 41.1 14.1 32.1 21.4 46.4
Arizona St Torian Graham 40.9 9.9 15.2 39.4 45.5
Washington St Ike Iroegbu 40.8 19.4 23.7 26.3 50
Oregon Payton Pritchard 36.5 17 3.8 38.5 57.7
USC Elijah Stewart 36 9.8 12 32 56
Cal Jabari Bird 32.9 18.9 17.1 34.3 48.6
Oregon St Kendal Manuel 31.9 31.3 25.5 25.5 48.9
Stanford Robert Cartwright 27.4 20.7 19.4 29 51.6
Utah Kyle Kuzma 22.6 13.2 25.8 48.4 25.8

Because UCLA plays at such a lightning fast pace, no Bruins have attempted more than 25 field goal attempts in the final five seconds of the shot clock. UCLA is the only team in the conference without one player that is qualified.

Cal’s Ivan Rabb leads the conference in effective field goal percentage, a 71.2% mark. Shockingly, his late clock eFG% is actually higher than his standard eFG%, which is 54.4%. The Washington Huskies have two players ranked in the top three in late clock eFG% in Markelle Fultz and David Crisp, but given Washington’s up-tempo attack, both Dawgs rarely attempt late clock field goal attempts.

Stanford’s Reid Travis leads the conference in at-rim field goal attempt frequency with 60.7% of his attempts coming as layups or dunks. Dusan Ristic of Arizona attempts more two-point jumpers than any other Pac-12 player with 13 of his FGA’s coming via the mid-range shot. UW’s David Crisp is the only player in the league that shoots over 60% of his late clock attempts from beyond the arc.

To no surprise, shot clock also has a significant impact on shot selection.

On average, at-rim frequency dipped by 9.1%, mid-range jumper frequency grew by 6.5% and three-point jumper frequency slightly increased by 2.6% when compared to non-late clock opportunities. This is likely due to interior defenses locking up on drives to the hoop, or offenses being forced to reset late in the shot clock and settle for a jump shot.

The graph below indicates the change in type of shot attempt frequency when there are five seconds or less on the shot clock. A positive change in the graph represents that the player attempts more of these types of field goal attempts when the shot clock is at five or less. A negative change represents the opposite.

Xavier Johnson (-22.5 at-rim%/+1.5 2PJ%/+21 3PJ%), Payton Pritchard (-19.7/20.9/-1.1), Ike Iroegbu (-25.3/+2.3/23), Kyle Kuzma (-22.7/21.2/1.5) and Kadeem Allen (-18.8/6.4/12.3) have the largest changes in shot selection when the shot clock is at five or less.

And now, my Pac 12 All-Clutch Lineup:

  • G: Lorenzo Bonam, Utah - Attacking point guards are perfect for the clutch. Bonam is no exception. The Utah floor leader that converts 81.9% of his field goal attempts around the rim. Hard to beat that.
  • G: Markelle Fultz, Washington - You have to include this guy, right? Only 7.5% of his field goal attempts are with five seconds or less on the shot clock, but he produces and can single-handedly put the team on his back. His shot-creating ability is key.
  • F: Ivan Rabb, Cal - Rabb has recorded an astounding 71.7% effective field goal percentage this season, the only Pac-12 player over 70%. He can score underneath or from mid-range, so there are zero versatility questions here.
  • F: Lauri Markkanen, Arizona - One of two seven-footers in this godly lineup, Markkanen (my Pac-12 POY to this point) is ridiculously dangerous with his ability to attack and finish and also drain threes like it’s normal for giants to do so.
  • C: Conor Clifford, Washington State - He’s not the biggest name in the Pac-12 (not even his own team), but he takes as many shots in the clutch as anyone, and has produced fairly well. I’ll go with the experience and size underneath.

Who do you think is the most clutch player in the Pac-12? Leave a comment below or fire a tweet to @boettger_eli or @PacificTakes on Twitter.

(All stats used in this article are courtesy of Hoop-Math.com)