I thankwe all know sort of what that is. My question is constitutes an official assist for the stat book? In hockey, it can go back 3 passes. In Bball, a rebound and good, quick outlet to side center court, then inside with a kickout for a 3 all are key to the shooter being open. I just wonder exactly what is an assist?

I looked it up to see if the definition has changed since I was on the stat crew many moons ago. It hasn’t:

A player is credited with an assist when the player makes, in
the judgment of the statistician, the principal pass contributing directly to a field goal (or an awarded score of two or three
points). Only one assist is to be credited on any field goal and
only when the pass was a major part of the play

A lot of it is a judgment call. Say Desi passes to Moody who is (a) wide open and scores, (b) closely guarded and has to make a move to get open and score; ( c) guarded but has no problem getting the shot off and scoring. A is an assist, B is not an assist, C is up to the scorer to decide. Or say Desi gets it to Moses 21 feet out, he jumps up and hits a trey. If Moses is unguarded, Desi gets the assist. If the ball is just being worked around the perimeter and Moses decides to shoot, no assist.

I would say that most stat crews give the benefit of the doubt to the passer on assist calls. But last year our assist totals were way down because of the way Mason held on to the ball and then took it to the hole. We averaged less than 12 assists per game. This year we’re averaging 15+, and that’s with a couple of games that we couldn’t even make a layup (no basket, no assist).

Does one dribble by the shooter always kill an assist? For instance, a fast break, 3 on 2, where a second great pass enables a one dribble open basket.

No limit on dribbles as long as the pass directly affects the scoring.

Then the passer should get the assist with any pass direct to another player that scores in any way except FT’s from a foul or if the pass is tipped/deflected by defensive player first.
Without the pass no score.

Nope. If you pass it to Devo, he dribbles for five seconds then drives to the basket for a layup, no assist. The pass did not lead directly to the basket. Outlet pass on a fast break to half court, dribbles in for a dunk – assist.

Who determines the official assist stats for each team, the team statistician or a neutral one?
To avoid assist stat padding.

Home team provides the stat crew. I guess the host school does it for tournament games. No idea who for Final Four.

The stat crews are all really good these days. They take pride in NOT padding assists for either side. I have sometimes kept assists myself and my numbers will match the official scorer almost exactly the same.

I see the same thing for tackle charts in SEC football. I do not argue with them anymore. The guys doing the numbers are looking at replay – its there for almost every play – to double check what they saw from different angles. So I don’t worry about Catalon/Morgan getting inflated numbers. It’s just not done any more. And, some of their big numbers were on the road.

There was a lot of talk that Mike Singletary’s numbers were inflated in Baylor home games. Replay wasn’t a common part of the game in the press box at that time. You just had a hard time checking unless you wanted to record a game and check the next day.

I have been helping my sons High School basketball team(s) with stats done on the website HUDL. It is one of the coolest thing I have ever seen. The coach uploads the game video and the HUDL Assist Staff tags the video with the plays which embeds the stats to the video. (I tagged the stats myself when my son was playing JR High.)

I go on the site and re-watch the game with the stats tagged to correct anything they missed (like getting jersey numbers wrong, since the person doing the tags might not have ever seen our team play before). They are usually very good with the assist stats, although I have corrected a few when they were way too generous.

The Website will automatically make highlight reels for the team (individual players can create their own), then it will log all of the stats into an interactive report. You can look at the stats for each game, for the whole season or just conference games. You can also filter it for the whole team, just some players, and even view the opposition. Then if you click on a number in the stat report, it will immediately take you to the video clip associated with the stat. If a player shoot 6 times and you click on the 6, it will pull up all 6 video clips and play them in succession. So the stat is reviewable for accuracy within seconds. You can also view the shot charts for each player and each game, and the +/- etc.

Another thing I found last week is that it can automatically generate a stat line for each line-up that has ever been on the floor together. Our team has up to 17 guys that see some decent playing time, so we have about 40 or more combinations that have played together during the season. And you can rank them according to a Value Points System, that puts them in order of their line-up efficiency.

Analytics overload! I love it!

Data is cool. You can overload with it like anything else. As my dad once told me, most things are okay in moderation.

Data can be very helpful in business. When I retired in 2017 we had amazing folks who analyzed data to help us with sales calls. Many of the marketing folks argued that data won out over relationships. Most of those never sat foot in from of buyers from Walmart, Kroger, Dollar General or any of the thousands of retailers who sold our products. In the day relationships carried the day but now data is huge but it’s on par with relationships when selling. Retailers respect honestly even when it’s not what they want to hear. I’ll speculate that in coaching data helps a ton but relationships have the edge.

When I was in college, I helped keep stats at UCA home games. I was on a “golf scholarship” but I was told by the athletic director and golf coach (Cliff Horton) that I had to do other things because it was a work study deal (tuition and $125 a month). He knew I had a background in stats (working for my father) and would be able to handle it. I never kept assists. I only kept steals in that one year. I didn’t mind doing the night gig at basketball games. I was probably going to attend them anyway. It was a better deal than another option for work study aid in the athletic department, cleaning the football stadium on Sunday mornings after home football games. I think the track team was mainly responsible for that. Coach Horton told me that if I ever went once to clean up the stadium, I’d have to go every time. I thought about that for a few seconds and finally figured out the translation: don’t go once.

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