BS in Statistics
The initial goal of my senior project was to find some way to help the Cal Poly women’s basketball team score more efficiently. The first idea that came to my mind on how I could accomplish this goal was to look at the most important thing when it comes to scoring more points, the shot itself. I went with my initial idea and recorded each shot that a player took during the 2013-2014 season and categorized each shot by the distance it was taken (close, medium, long, or three), and whether the shot was open or guarded for a total of eight shots. I could now provide each player with a summary of how many field goals they made, how many field goals they attempted, and how many times they got fouled when taking each of these eight shots. These summary statistics themselves would be helpful insight because they will paint an overall picture of a player’s shooting ability from different spots on the floor. I wanted to provide more insight on shot selection that could help the team so I quantified each specific shot by calculating what the points expected are for the entire possession for each specific shot. This will allow comparison between different types of shots and also the team overall average. Shots that have an expected point total above team average should be theoretically taken, while shots below team average should be theoretically passed up because the team is expected to score more points if the player does not shoot. The finished product for summarizing each player’s shooting ability will consist of a shooting summary along with a colored coordinated shooting chart that contains the expected points per possession for each of the eight shot possibilities. I additionally constructed overall team shooting charts which had close two pointers and three pointers as the best shot options, but each player shoots well from different spots on the floor. Making individual shooting charts the most insightful and useful for accomplishing the main goal of this project, scoring more efficiently.