# Hogs must be better defensively. And they have the pieces to be.

Fairly long read about defensive issues from last year, how the roster changes should help the defense to improve and how Moses can improve on what was a very impressive defensive performance a year ago to become an even better anchor on that end of the court.

Comments : I agree, this article is extremely long. Regardless, I believe this 2016-17 team will exceed all of those with modest expectations. I for one have all along advocated these hawgballers will experience a highly successful season that includes the pre-conf, conf, and post conf play. Every member associated with this team have skin in game from players to coaches. CMA clearly understands relationships matters between a player and his coach however there are those players that see money first hence you better be the means to their end winning consistently on the national level will address those interest as well.

That 68% figure for FG % defense “at the rim” is worthy of scrutiny. According to Hoop-Math, 32.2% of opponents’ shots were at the rim, and they made 68.4% of those.

Arkansas’s opponents attempted 1,844 field goals last season. And 32.2% of those would be 594. Take 68.4% of those = 406.

Arkansas’s opponents attempted exactly 1,200 2-point field goals last season, making 572.

We are supposed to believe that the Hogs allowed opponents to make 68% “at the rim,” but 27% of their other 606 2-point attempts. Riiiight. That statistic seems…problematic.

Arkansas is supposed to be the NUMBER ONE team in the country for defense against 2-point jumpers. But horrible in the paint. I thought the Hogs gave up too many easy deuces, but hell these numbers do not seem accurate. I bet Hoop-Math has a data quality problem.

The play-by-play box scores are still available on Arkansas’s website. I’m not about to go through them and check numbers. The scoring is detailed, careful to classify all made and missed shots.

It’s simply hard to believe that Arkansas would be best in the nation at defense against 2-point jump shots. That’s the part that really strains credulity. More likely that Hoop-Math has unreliable data.

The % of opponents’ total shots classified as 2-point jumpers ranges from 46% of all shots (Murray State) to 18% (Rider). The % of total FGAs termed “at the rim” ranged from less than 19% (BYU and Southern Miss) to 49% (St. Francis).

Some of those numbers have to be wildly wrong. BYU plays in a conference with Gonzaga and Saint Mary’s. If only 19% of the shots attempted against them were at the rim, they all must have been in the five games they played against Gonzaga and Saint Mary’s.

Somehow, BYU’s opponents averaged 47% 2-point shooting. They didn’t do that by taking 1,100 2-point jumpers (which is how the numbers would work out).

I bet there are some scoring inconsistencies from school to school. How far away from the basket do you have to be, before your shot is called a “jumper,” for example? I bet a lot of made shots in the paint are classified as layups in box scores, when a similar distance shot that’s missed is called a jumper. Can’t be a layup if they missed it, right?

Arkansas had some glaring weaknesses on defense last season, but those stats are fouled up.

The data is gleaned from play-by-play, so, whoever is scoring the game.

It’d be great if SportVu or Shot Analytics didn’t cost \$100,000 and were readily available, but unfortunately they’re not. There are several analytical basketball publications I read that cite Hoop-Math. They acknowledge that sometimes stuff like a floater gets qualified differently depending on the scorer. But overall it’s a good gauge.

Nice piece Zach Lowe

Appreciate that! Did my best homeless man’s Lowe impersonation.