Thursday, November 14, 2013

Fun with small sample sizes: Daniel Ochefu

It's baseball, but it's relevant

Early in seasons of any sport, it's fun to look at cumulative season stats to find statistical anomalies that will almost surely correct themselves. An example of such would be the popular narrative that James Bell was a "clutch" three point shooter last season.

Today, I was grousing over Villanova's stat sheet for the first two games and found that Daniel Ochefu, who shot less than 46% from the line last season actually leads the team in free throw percentage after two games, making all four of his attempts. On the converse, Ochefu is dead last on the team in field goal percentage, having hitting on only one of his six attempts, and that one make happened to be a dunk on his first attempt of the season.

This is my attempt to keep you skeptical and keep you from believing that Ochefu has become a good free throw shooter until he demonstrates it over a larger sample. Also, it should be noted, that the 60 attempts he took last season are not adequately representative of his overall free throw shooting skills, as he could be far better than the 45.9% number, and his overall line was dragged down by a short but statistically significant period where he shot poorly.

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