# Want A Quality Shot? Ditch The Trey! Here's SI's theory on which style of offense might give teams the best chance to advance

March 22, 2004

Once viewed as a ticket to NCAA tournament success, the
three-point shot may now be a trap. Advancing out to the
perimeter, quick, agile defenses are harassing trey shooters into
increasingly tougher attempts. Our suggestion for these besieged
offenses is elementary: Work to get a shot closer to the
basket--what we call a Quality Shot. Such shots are conversions
in or around the paint, or dunks and layups in transition. (We'll
agree that some two-point attempts are bad shots, just as an open
three is often a good one.)

To recognize which teams are most adept at getting such Quality
Shots, SI has devised a Quality Shot Rating. We use the following
calculation: (percentage of team field goal attempts that are
two-pointers + percentage of field goals made that are
two-pointers) - (percentage of field goal attempts that are
three-pointers - percentage of field goals made that are threes) =
Quality Shot Rating.

Put simply: A team is rewarded for taking twos and further
rewarded for making them; it is penalized for taking threes, but
the penalty is mitigated by making them.

Does the QSR correlate with tournament advancement? It did last
year. We calculated the regular-season QSRs for the pretournament
Top 25. Each of the Final Four finished no lower than sixth: NCAA
runner-up Kansas (1.548, the No. 1 rating); champion Syracuse
(1.490, No. 3); Texas (1.462, No. 5); and Marquette (1.458, No.
6). Further down in the field a couple of Cinderellas scored
first-round upsets that might have been predicted by the teams'
QSRs: Tulsa (1.358), a No. 13 seed, dispatched No. 4 Dayton
(1.230), and No. 11 Central Michigan (1.326) knocked off No. 6
Creighton (1.287). The system wasn't foolproof, as evidenced by
the victory of No. 12 Butler (1.146) over No. 5 Mississippi State
(1.419).

Below are the QSRs for this season's tournament field.
--John O'Keefe

TEAM PCT. FGA/2PTS PCT. FGM/2PTS QSR

1. Texas Tech .814 .864 1.628
2. Boston College .780 .845 1.560
3. Oklahoma State .776 .832 1.554
4. Syracuse .768 .844 1.536
5. Maryland .759 .817 1.518
7. Pittsburgh .746 .835 1.492
8. Connecticut .745 .785 1.490
9. DePaul .742 .801 1.484
10. Stanford .741 .804 1.482
11. Gonzaga .720 .773 1.440
12. East Tennessee State .719 .787 1.437
13. Manhattan .716 .768 1.436
14. North Carolina .714 .781 1.428
15. UTEP .707 .761 1.414
16. Seton Hall .707 .775 1.414
17. Arizona .705 .765 1.410
18. Kansas .703 .786 1.406
19. Washington .730 .772 1.405
20. Texas .699 .754 1.398
21. Valparaiso .695 .787 1.390
22. BYU .695 .782 1.389
23. Kentucky .693 .768 1.387
24. Southern Illinois .693 .773 1.386
25. Utah .691 .742 1.382
26. VCU .691 .748 1.382
27. Eastern Washington .690 .758 1.380
28. Mississippi State .688 .764 1.376
29. Michigan State .687 .764 1.374
30. UAB .684 .765 1.368
31. Cincinnati .682 .732 1.364
32. Western Michigan .681 .739 1.362
33. Illinois-Chicago .674 .744 1.348
34. Murray State .674 .779 1.347
35. Lehigh .672 .730 1.344
36. Wisconsin .668 .764 1.341
37. Wake Forest .670 .732 1.340
38. Georgia Tech .668 .764 1.336
39. Duke .666 .739 1.331
40. Pacific .665 .745 1.330
41. Alabama State .661 .731 1.322
42. Alabama .661 .713 1.321
43. Richmond .659 .744 1.318
44. Texas-San Antonio .655 .709 1.309
45. Vermont .651 .731 1.308
46. Liberty .651 .749 1.302
47. Illinois .646 .743 1.294
48. South Carolina .644 .730 1.286
49. UNC Charlotte .646 .713 1.269
50. Xavier .630 .690 1.261
51. Louisiana-Lafayette .630 .730 1.260
52. Monmouth .630 .691 1.259
53. Princeton .628 .743 1.252
54. Dayton .625 .729 1.251
55. Vanderbilt .623 .734 1.246
56. Central Florida .621 .707 1.242
57. Northern Iowa .621 .696 1.241
58. Providence .606 .680 1.212
59. Louisville .598 .676 1.196
60. Florida .587 .648 1.194
61. Memphis .587 .641 1.174
62. Saint Joseph's .578 .648 1.156
63. Florida A&M .556 .633 1.118
64. N.C. State .554 .662 1.108
65. Air Force .472 .583 .944

COLOR PHOTO: MANNY MILLAN (TOP) Andre Emmett, Texas Tech COLOR PHOTO: AL TIELEMANS Hakim Warrick, Syracuse

HOLE YARDS PAR R1 R2 R3 R4
OUT
HOLE YARDS PAR R1 R2 R3 R4
IN
Eagle (-2)
Birdie (-1)
Bogey (+1)
Double Bogey (+2)