McDaniel College Men’s Basketball Canadian Journey with President Jim Walker

Friday October 13th

An excited McDaniel College Men’s Basketball team departed from the front of Gill Gymnasium in Westminster, MD, around 3:00 p.m. for their charter bus ride to Niagara Falls, Canada. They met their Sports Journeys International tour manager, Tracy Tripucka, at the Buffalo Airport before crossing the border into Canada. The group then went to the Hampton Inn in nearby St. Catharines for a good night’s rest.

Saturday October 14th

Following breakfast at the hotel, the team boarded the bus and headed toward their Niagara Falls cruise straight into the mist under the Canadian Falls. Riding into the mist was indeed a breathtaking experience, like being in a torrential downpour. Despite the ponchos everyone wore, they were still soaked at the end of the cruise. After taking some team pictures, it was on to the impressive White Water Walk, a boardwalk along the Niagara River rapids where the swift and loud river travels at up to 50 km/hour, and the waves are as high as 5 meters. Everyone was in awe of the powerful rapids. Then it was time for a pregame dinner at the popular and stunning Mandarin Buffet and a gourmet all-you-can-eat experience, which everyone enjoyed immensely. The team was then back on the bus to the Welland Canal Center in St. Catharines. They arrived in time to observe several large ships on their journey to and from Lake Ontario and Lake Erie. Watching how the locks worked proved to be very interesting. The next stop was Redeemer University College in Ancaster, Ontario, for the team’s first game. The Green Terrors played well and won the game 69-61. Afterwards, they enjoyed pizza before heading to Toronto and check-in at the Hampton Inn Brampton, their hotel for the next three nights.

Sunday October 15th

After a late breakfast at the hotel, the team headed into Toronto. They stopped first at the CN Tower for a trip to the top and spectacular views of the city and Lake Ontario. One of the Seven Wonders of the World and, until 2007, the tallest free-standing structure in the world, the Tower provides an excellent overview of Toronto and the lake. Next, they had lunch at the St. Lawrence Market, called by many “the World’s best food market.” With hundreds of vendors and just about everything, including nonfood items for sale, the Market provides a tapestry of Toronto. After eating and roaming the Market, the team boarded their bus for a guided city tour. They managed to dodge the Toronto Marathon runners and see some of the many city neighborhoods and universities. After taking a picture at the City Center Toronto sign, the team made its way on foot to their pregame dinner at Moxies, one of Ontario’s best steakhouses. The next stop was at Sheridan College for the second game of the tour. Despite leading 41-40 at halftime, the Green Terror fell victim to numerous turnovers and lost the game 97-78. A trip to Popeyes for a post-game meal finished a long day.

Monday October 16th

After breakfast at the hotel, the team headed to Toronto for a Graffiti Walking Tour of Toronto. Combining several planned graffiti neighborhoods in downtown Toronto, their guide, Jason, was able to give the Green Terror a good understanding of the development of Toronto into a major world city. They stopped for lunch in the Big Smoke Burger, one of Toronto’s best specialty burger joints. Next up was one of the highlights of the tour, the Leaside Curling Club and everyone’s first encounter with the Olympic Sport of Curling. After an hour of instruction, the Green Terror formed teams, including coaches and players, for enthusiastic competition. After a short drive, the team enjoyed pregame dinner at Piasano’s, a popular Italian family restaurant in York, a Toronto suburb. Next, it was on to the third game against the Centennial College Colts. Playing their best game of the tour, the Green Terror came from behind to lead 68-66 with 9.7 seconds on the clock, only to have the Colts hit a buzzer-beater 3-point shot to defeat them 69-68. After driving back to the hotel, the team enjoyed a pizza party before calling it a night.

Tuesday October 17th

After an early morning breakfast, the team checked out of the hotel for the long ride home to Westminster. Stopping halfway for lunch, the Green Terror arrived back at school with many wonderful memories of their great experiences.

Ithaca College Men’s Basketball Canadian Journey with President Jim Walker

Wednesday October 11th

An excited Ithaca College Bombers Men’s Basketball team departed from the front of Ben Light Gymnasium around 3:00 p.m. for their charter bus ride to Niagara Falls, Canada. They arrived for dinner at the 520-foot-high Skylon Tower Summit Buffet overlooking the Falls, lit spectacularly with colored spotlights. They were joined there by Jim Walker, their tour manager and President of Sports Journeys International. After dining and viewing the falls and a 360-degree view of the surrounding area, the team went to the nearby St. Catharines Hampton Inn for a good night’s rest.

Thursday October 12th

Following breakfast at the hotel, the team boarded the bus and headed toward their Niagara Falls cruise to the Canadian Falls. Riding into the mist was indeed a breathtaking experience, like being in a torrential downpour. Despite wearing ponchos at the end of the cruise, everyone was still soaked. After some team picture-taking and picking up sandwiches for lunch, the group continued to the Welland Canal Center in St. Catharines. They arrived in time for a picnic lunch and a chance to observe several large ships on their journey to and from Lake Ontario and Lake Erie. Watching how the locks worked proved to be very interesting. Then it was on to the impressive White Water Walk, a boardwalk along the Niagara River rapids where the swift and loud river travels at up to 50 km/hour with waves as high as 5 meters. Everyone was in awe of the powerful rapids. After a short ride, it was time to enjoy a pregame team dinner at Lina Linguin’s Italian restaurant in St. Catharines. The team was back on the bus headed to their first game at Redeemer University College in Ancaster, Ontario. After a slow start, the Bombers played well and won the game 87-80. Following the game, they shared pizza with Redeemer before heading to the Hampton Inn in Brampton for check-in to their hotel, their home for the next three nights.

Friday October 13th

After breakfast at the hotel, the team headed into Toronto for a full day of sightseeing and a day off from playing. They first stopped at the CN Tower for a trip to the top and some spectacular views of the city and Lake Ontario. One of the Seven Wonders of the World, the Tower, which until 2007 was the tallest free-standing structure in the world, provides a scenic overview of Toronto and the lake. Afterward, the team boarded their bus for a guided tour of the city and its many neighborhoods. They stopped for lunch in the Big Smoke Burger, one of Toronto’s best specialty burger joints. Then it was on to the highlight of the day, the Leaside Curling Club and everyone’s first encounter with the Olympic Sport of Curling. After an hour of instruction, the Bombers formed teams, including coaches and players, for some enthusiastic competition. With many great memories of Toronto, the team headed to an impressive dining experience at the Mandarin, a buffet-style restaurant in Brampton. With full stomachs and many great memories they drove to the hotel for a good night’s rest.

Saturday October 14th

Following breakfast, the team headed back to Toronto, where Jason, their guide, joined them for a walking tour of the sights of the “Old Town.” They ended at the iconic St. Lawrence Market, called by many “the World’s best food market.” With hundreds of vendors and just about everything, including nonfood items for sale, the Market provides a tapestry of Toronto. After a couple of hours of eating and roaming the Market, the team boarded their bus to return to Brampton. After a pregame dinner at Moxies in Brampton, one of Toronto’s best steak houses, the Bombers took on the Sheridan College Bruins. Ithaca jumped off to a good start and never trailed. Sheridan narrowed the deficit midway through the game, but the Bombers responded by closing the game strong, scoring 100 points and winning by 20. A trip to Popeyes for a post-game meal finished a great day.

Sunday October 15th

The team slept in on Sunday morning and ate a late breakfast before leaving the hotel. They made the short drive to Humber College for their third and final game of the tour. Playing their best game of the tour, the Bombers beat one of the Ontario Colleges Athletic Association’s (OCAA) best teams, 88-77. After picking up subs for the return home, it was time to say goodbye to Canada. They arrived back at school with many wonderful memories of their great experiences.

The College of Wooster Men’s Basketball French Journey with Managing Director Jeremy Walker

Saturday October 8th

After their overnight flight the group arrived at Paris CDG airport full of excitement for the next 8 days journeying through France. Myself and our partners in France were ready and waiting when they arrived at the airport. Some delays at the airport due to computers being down at customs didn’t dampen spirits as the group caught their first glimpse of Paris driving in from the airport. A quick drop of bags at their hotel and everyone gathered back on the bus to head into the city for the first time. France had been experiencing a fuel shortage recently due to strikes at refineries and on the way into Paris the group got to experience the queues that this was causing at some stations. With only so much time before dinner I shared some local knowledge of the area around The Louvre, where we parked the bus, and sent the group off to explore. Many made their way into Jardin Tuileries, while others ventured into the 1st Arrondissement and explored rue de Rivoli. After returning to the hotel to get settled in it was time for dinner. Just a short walk down the street was Restaurant l’Adresse where everyone shared an excellent meal and a true welcome to France. A welcome bedtime waited after the meal as everyone was excited for their first full day in Paris tomorrow.

Sunday October 9th

Sleeping in a little this morning was a welcome start to an exciting day. After breakfast at the hotel everyone boarded the bus for the first stop of the day, La Tour Eiffel! After a brief history by yours truly, and some photos, the group prepared for their climb up to the second floor. Yes you read that right the CLIMB up, because did you even go to the Eiffel Tower if you didn’t take the stairs? After climbing to the second level most of the group made the decision to continue all the way to the top. Fortunately the only way up to the top is by elevator. Once at the top the incredible views of the city continued to awe everyone on this picture perfect blue skied day. Once back on solid ground it was time for lunch. As we were in my neck of the woods so to speak (while living in Paris from 2016-2020 we lived just across the river from the Eiffel Tower) I walked the group through the winding streets of the 16th Arrondissement to where we were having lunch. The staff at Le Rallye Passy treated everyone to a wonderful classic French lunch before it was time to head back out for our next activity of the day. After a short bus ride it was time for a ride on the famous Bateaux Mouches Seine river cruise. These cruises take you on a ride up and down the river allowing you to see all the famous sites and providing wonderful historic knowledge along the way. After the cruise the remainder of the day/evening was free to explore the City of Lights. Many of the group made their way to the Champs Elysees for some shopping, while others took the time to explore other parts of the city.

Monday October 10th

From the beginning of planning for this trip today was the day I think most people were waiting for. Today the group headed north to explore the D-day beaches of Normandy. An early morning meant some sleep for most of the bus ride, but for those who didn’t take the opportunity to sleep they enjoyed the rolling hills and farmland of northern France as we drove. Our first stop of the day was the Utah Beach Landing Museum. In my opinion the best of the Normandy museums in terms of learning about the entire D-day operation. After taking some time to explore and learn in the museum a local guide joined us on the bus to drive through Normandy. The next stop along the way was The American Cemetery. Some took the time to walk through the museum for a bit, while others wandered through the cemetery itself in what can only be explained as an awe inspiring experience. If you ever find yourself in Normandy and have the opportunity to be at the American Cemetery at 4pm you will be able to experience the lowering of the flags, an experience you will never forget. After the lowering of the flags our guide walked us down towards Omaha beach while trying to help everyone understand what it would have looked like nearly 80 years ago. Back on the bus for one last stop of the day in Arromanches. Arromanches is where the Allies built one of the most amazing modern engineering feats in the world, a floating harbor. It was low tide when we arrived so it allowed not only for a walk on the beach, but also it allowed you to see some of the sunken pieces that allowed the harbor to be built all those years ago. After saying goodbye to our guide we had dinner at a typical Normandy restaurant, Bar du Six Juin. The long ride back meant a late arrival at the hotel, but a day that I don’t think will be forgotten in a long time.

Tuesday October 11th

After a long day on the road yesterday today was a day spent in and around Paris. It started with a trip to Musée d’Orsay, a museum famous for its impressionist art and the fact that it was built in a former train station. Its famous clocks on the upper level look out over the river Seine and parts of the city to the north and are enjoyed by millions yearly. After grabbing a quick lunch wandering through the streets of the 7th Arrondissement the group gathered again on the bus for the short drive out to Versailles. At just 12 miles outside of the city the Palace of Versailles was built as a residence for Louis XIV where he even moved the seat of government to eventually after completion. Today its lush gardens and incredibly kept rooms and halls are one of the most popular places to visit in France. The group split up and took their time roaming the grounds until it was time to depart and head back into the city for their first pre-game meal. The Monte-Carlo restaurant was not far from the location of the game and provided an excellent meal for the group. Now it was time for what The Scots came for, basketball. Tonight’s opponent, Metropolitans 92, has recently become a big name throughout the world of basketball due to their likely 2023 #1 NBA draft pick Victor Wembanyama. Upon arrival to the gym their top level pro team was practicing and the group was allowed to watch Wembanyama and his teammates finish up. The Scots fought hard in their first game in which they cut it to 4 in the second half, but ended up coming away with the loss in the end. After the game was over everyone headed back to the hotel and tucked in after another long and exciting day.

Wednesday October 12th

Today is the last full day in Paris and the morning started with another trip to a museum, but this time it was one of the most famous in the world, The Louvre! Seeing the Mona Lisa, Venus de Milo and many other world famous paintings was an incredible morning for everyone. Afterwards everyone met at Enza Famiglia Trattoria for a wonderful lunch before again hoping on the bus for a guided tour of the city. We met our guide who took us all throughout the most famous sights of Paris and provided everyone with an incredible amount of historical information. After dropping the guide off we made our way back to the hotel for a bit of resting time before another game in the Paris region tonight. Tonight’s matchup was against AS Meudon Basket, in the southwest of the capital region. The Scots came out fighting this evening and were relentless in their defending all the way through coming out with a great win. After returning to the hotel most called it a night to get ready to head to Lyon tomorrow, while some explored the area around the hotel for some food and everything else.

Thursday October 13th

After an amazing and jam packed 5 days in Paris the group got to sleep in a bit this morning as we did not have to depart for the train station until mid-morning. For many this was their first time on a high speed train as they made their way to Gare de Lyon for their TGV ride south through the French countryside to Lyon. What makes travel on TGV trains through France so great is that you can make the trip between these two great cities in just under two hours. Upon arrival in Lyon we made our way to meet the bus before driving to the top of the hill of Old Town and to La Basilique Notre Dame de Fourvière perched high above the city. Here we met our local tour guide who provided the group with an overview of Lyon and the cathedral. After walking through the cathedral it was time to head back down the hill on the bus as we learned a bit more about different parts of the city before hoping off in the center of Old Town. This area of Vieux Lyon is an area which can only be explored on foot as you wind your way through the historic streets, as well as one of Lyon’s most notable features, its hidden passageways “Traboules”. These passageways were originally created for residents to more directly travel from one side of town to the river instead of having to go around all of the buildings, but more modernly became popular for their role in helping local residents fight off the attempt of German occupation during WWII. Once the tour was completed we bid farewell to our guide and made our way to our hotel for the next two nights. With some time to settle in the group re-gathered again for our bus ride to the next game to the north of Lyon. Tonight’s matchup was in the town of Le Coteau near Roanne against Le Coteau Basketball. Upon arrival we found out that they had essentially invited the entire town to come as the game was after their youth practices. The packed crowd did not disappoint, and neither did The Scots defense yet again from the start. Le Coteau did fight back in the second half to make it close, but The Scots pulled away again at the end for another victory.

Friday October 14th

Today was another exciting day in the itinerary as we were headed to the foothills of The Alps and the town of Annecy. Annecy is known for not only its lake and canals running through old town, but also known as an adrenaline sports mecca thanks to its vast amounts of hiking trails, bike paths and perfect paragliding winds. Upon arrival the group went off in their separate ways exploring the winding streets and enjoying some of the local cuisine, most notably a warming and tasty tartiflette. After lunch we met up with our local guide who took us on a tour through old town, then up to the chateau for some incredible views. After the walking tour most went off to find some gelato and/or waffles, while others did some shopping before returning to the bus and returning to Lyon. A wonderful team dinner at the hotel was enjoyed by all before the remainder of the evening was free to enjoy on their own.

Saturday October 15th

As the trip winded down, and we closed the book on our last day in Lyon, the group had a free day to explore the city. Many took the morning to relax and walk along the river, while others went into the city to explore areas and see museums that we hadn’t seen on Thursday. Personally I went for a wonderful run along the river as Lyon is one of the best towns I have had the joy of running in. We all met up for a typical Lyonnaise lunch at Le Condé in the heart of the city. Lyon is certainly a “foody” city in my opinion and with open minds, and hungry stomachs, everyone got to enjoy something they have never had before. After lunch we all went our separate ways to continue to explore Lyon. By the looks of the number of bags returning to the hotel later in the afternoon there was a good amount of shopping done. Unfortunately it was now time to say goodbye to Lyon, and in fact almost to France itself. An evening TGV back towards Paris was in the cards for the group, and although it was a bit hectic boarding the train everyone settled in for the two hour trip back. Since the group had a flight early tomorrow morning we took the train directly back to CDG airport in order to be closer in the morning. With such a late evening arrival we made sure everyone was checked in and then I gathered everyone in the lobby for a quick yet fond farewell.

Sunday October 16th

As I stated it was quite the early morning, even with staying out at the airport, but after such a wonderful trip everyone was eager to get home after 8 incredible days. Although there was a slight delay in their flight the remainder of the trip home went as planned and they arrived back at school ready to tackle the upcoming season. I wish The Scots a great season, and consider myself lucky to have met all involved with this journey. Until next time!

York College of Pennsylvania Men’s Basketball Canadian Journey with President Jim Walker

Friday October 7th

It was an exciting day for the York College Spartans. Following classes, the players, coaches, and staff, joined by SJI President Jim Walker, gathered in front of the Charles Wolf Gym for a lunchtime departure towards Montreal, Canada. On the drive, there was one rest stop and lots of time to enjoy an exciting Phillies come-from-behind victory in the MLB Playoffs. We had some great views of the St. Lawrence River and the lighted skyline of Montreal as we passed through the border crossing and into Canada. From that point, it was only a short drive to the Hotel Faubourg for check-in.

Saturday October 8th

Following breakfast at the hotel, the group boarded the bus with their guide, John, for a Montreal city overview tour and a ride up to the top of Mount Royal. In addition to learning much about the city and that Montreal was named after the “mountain,” everyone was able to take some great pictures of Quebec Province’s largest city. After it was on to Deli Planet, one of Montreal’s most popular lunch spots, for a delicious pre-game meal. After resting at the hotel, the team boarded their bus for a ride to St. Lambert and a game with the University of Montreal at Quebec, one of the Province’s best University teams. Although the Spartans were defeated 92-68, they learned much from the loss. After a slow start, the Spartans battled back gamely to play the UQAM Citadins evenly over the final three periods. After the game they went back to the hotel for a post-game meal and some much-needed rest.

Sunday October 9th

Today the Spartans began the day with a visit to the Montreal Olympic Park, home of the 1976 Olympic Games. The Olympic Stadium, home to the former MLB team the Montreal Expos, was of particular interest. The beautiful domed structure is still one of the most photographed sites in Montreal. Canada has made good use of the Olympic site. Each of the other buildings is either in use as it was initially purposed or has been remodeled for different use. Following a roast chicken lunch at the hotel, the team traveled to the Montreal Curling Club for two hours of intra-team competition. First, there was some much-needed instruction, as everyone was a “rookie.” There was lots of enthusiasm as the players demonstrated their newly learned skills and spiritedly competed against each other. Afterward, everyone enjoyed a sit-down dinner of ribs and fries at the Baton Rouge Restaurant before returning to the hotel for some rest at the end of a full day.

Monday October 10th

After breakfast at the hotel, local tour manager John met the team for a bus ride up Mount Royal to Saint Joseph’s Oratory, Canada’s largest church, with one of the largest domes in the world. Brought alive by the life work of Saint Andre, a local monk, Montreal’s tallest building dominates the city’s landscape and can be seen for miles around. Using their excellent footwork, the team toured the Oratory in awe of its magnificence. The team then headed south to their second game at Champlain College. Getting off to a good start and playing solid defense, the Spartans led Champlain the entire game and finished with a 66-52 victory. After the game the hungry players and staff devoured their pizzas while driving to Old Montreal. Everyone enjoyed the experience of exploring the narrow cobblestone streets, lively plazas, and interesting shops. They then took advantage of a beautiful day by walking along the St. Lawrence River walkway with the hundreds of locals. The day was topped off with a great Greek dinner at Marathon Souvlaki. It was back to the hotel for the happy but tired group.

Tuesday October 11th

After breakfast at the hotel this morning, it was off to St. Catherine Street, the primary shopping artery of downtown Montreal. Everyone had a chance to wander into the many shops looking for gifts for their families and friends. They then said goodbye to Montreal, with thanks to John, their guide and friend, and boarded the bus with their box lunches for the trip back to York. They arrived back at school that night with many unforgettable memories and great experiences.

A Great Game by Game Tool for Evaluating the Four Factors of Basketball Success

Do you want an easy way to evaluate the “Four Factors” in each game you play?

This #SJICoachesCorner post is a follow up to the previous ones that dealt with each of the “Four Factors of Basketball Success” separately.

There has been a wealth of information to help you analyze each factor, however like many coaches you likely want to use your analytics in a wider scope than statistic by statistic. With that in mind here is an Excel document that we hope makes it easy to evaluate all “Four Factors” for you and your opponents, game-by-game in one document. Of course this tool can be used in your current season, or you can even look back at past season’s to see trends.

Simply enter 7 stats for each team and it will automatically compute each factor, giving you a comparison of how you did compared to your opponents for each of the factors every game. It can be a good way to look at why you may have won or lost each game. For example, if a team’s eFG% and turnover rate is consistently better than their opponents, but their offensive rebounding % and free throw rate is consistently below their opponents, a coach can focus the team’s efforts in practice on improving the team’s rebounding skills and drawing more fouls.

As a reminder, listed below are Dean Oliver’s “Four Factors” and what he computes as the relative percentage of importance of each factor.

Four Factors of Basketball Success

  1. Shooting (40%) – Effective field goal %   eFG%
  2. Turnovers (25%) – Turnover rate   TR 
  3. Rebounding (20%) – Offensive rebounding %   OR%
  4. Free Throws (15%) – Free throw rate   FTR

Sports Journeys International hopes you find this, as well as all of our blogs, useful. Some of this information have you interested? Keep an eye on our blog as we continue to talk about things that have helped us over the years. Let us know at if there is a specific topic you are interested in.

Free Throw Rate – The Fourth Most Important Factor of Basketball Success

In our final #SJICoachesCorner mini-series post, based on analytics guru Dean Oliver’s four factors of basketball success, we consider the fourth, and final factor, free throw rate, the rate at which a team gets to the free throw line.

Is your team getting to the free throw line often enough?

Some coaches will argue that the most important free throw statistic is the percentage of free throws made. While that is certainly an important statistic, a strong argument can be made for the importance of the rate at which a team gets to the line. Drawing fouls on an opponent creates two significant problems for teams, foul trouble and bonus free throws. A team that shoots a high percentage from the free throw line but does not shoot many free throws will not create those problems for teams. Oliver assigns a percentage of importance to this factor of 15%.

The rate at which a team gets to the free throw lane is calculated by dividing the number of free throws attempted by the number of field goals attempted.

Helpful formulas:

  • Regular Free Throw Rate
    • FTR = FTA/FGA 
  • If you want to take into account pace, calculate the rate this way.  
    • FTR = 100*FTA/FGA 

Free throw rate lends itself well to evaluate individual player success at getting to the free throw line. You can use the same formulas while plugging in the individual statistics allowing you to compare how effective your players are at drawing fouls. Here is a chart to get you started.

For example:

X University  523FTA/1726FGA = .31   

Opponents  465FTA/1805FGA = .26

The team has a 5% free throw rate advantage over its opponents which is very good. Although the average rate will vary from level to level, .25 or 25% is a fair average to use.

PlayerA: 133FTA/427FGA = .31      

PlayerB: 65FTA/307 = .21      

PlayerC: 99FTA/134FGA = .74

Players A, B, and C are teammates on X University, A is above average on that team and B is below average and C is outstanding.

We hope you have enjoyed our mini-series on the Four Factors of Basketball success. Although these posts have come to an end, our blog posts certainly haven’t. Stay tuned for more exciting posts throughout the winter and into next year!

Offensive Rebounding Percentage – The Third Most Important Factor of Basketball Success

How does a team know whether it is a good rebounding team?

Most teams simply look at the rebounding totals for both teams, and the rebounding margin between them and their opponents. However, rebounding totals alone can be deceiving. By using rebounding percentage you can take into account pace and field goal percentage which can differ widely by team and season.

Additionally, focusing on offensive rebounds considers their importance in the game. They can demoralize a defense by extending possessions and creating easy put-back scoring opportunities or open kick-out jump shots. A good way to look at this is to compare your offensive rebounding percentage with your opponents offensive rebounding percentage and the margin, positive or negative, that is created. You can do this game by game and compare how it affects your wins and losses. You can also do this season by season comparing your seasonal success, or you can do it with all of the teams in your conference and see how it compares to the success of teams in the conference.

Helpful formulas:

  • Your offensive rebounding percentage:
    • Your ORB% = OffReb / (OffReb + Opp DefReb)
  • Your opponent’s offensive rebounding percentage is:
    • Opp ORB% = Opp OffReb / (Opp OffReb + Your DefReb)

For example:

            2018-19 OFF REB % = 28 % vs OPP OFF REB % = 27 %   + 1% 

            2019-20 OFF REB % = 24 % vs OPP OFF REB % = 29 %   – 5%  

Using rebounding percentages, you can see that rebounding fell off significantly from one season to the other. Now you have another statistic to use in comparing the two season’s results. Here is a chart to get you started.

Stay Tuned for the next coaches corner blog, and the final post of the Factors of Basketball Success – Free Throw Rate.

Turnover Percentage – The Second Most Important Factor of Basketball Success

Turnover percentage is defined as, “The percentage of offensive possessions that end in a turnover”. It is considered by many to be a better indicator than the two most commonly used turnover statistics, the total number of turnovers, for comparing opponents in the same game assuming a similar number of possessions, and assist-to-turnover ratios, for comparing individual players.  However, these commonly used statistics do not consider pace of the game and do not help you look at comparisons of turnovers on a game to game, team to team, and year to year basis.

Why is this important? Over the course of a season, where a team plays against every other team in the league, larger trends play out, including differences in pace. Turnover percentage or rate allows you to compare, in one season as well as multiple seasons, to other teams in your league, region, or in the country.

Using per-possession turnover stats also allows you to measure the game at its smallest possible unit of measurement that takes both teams in a particular game into account. By normalizing stats to a per-possession basis, we take out the differences in pace of play and in doing so can get closer to crafting real comparisons. A possession in 1999 is the same as a possession in 2019. If you take this one step further and break it down to per-100 possessions, you have a number not a percentage. For example, if a team has a turnover percentage by possession of .194, they have a turnover rate per 100 possessions of 19.4.

The end of a possession is when:

  1. A field goal is attempted that is not rebounded by the offense. Offensive rebounds are treated as continued possessions, and by subtracting them from the field goal attempts it ensures that both teams have almost the same number of possessions in each game.
  2. A team commits a turnover.
  3. A team goes to the free throw line and does not get the ball back. There are some catches here that you need to account for: technical free throws, and 1’s, missed 1 and 1’s, 3 shots, and lane violations. .475 is a good determination that 47.5% of all free throws take up possessions.

Helpful formulas:

  • Possession = (FGA-OR) + TO + (.475 X FTA)
  • Turnover percentage per possession: TO/(FGA-OR) + TO + (.475 X FTA)
  • Turnover Rate per 100 possessions: TO X 100/(FGA-OR) + TO + (.475 X FTA)

For Example:

Team A has 17 turnovers, 81 field goal attempts, 10 offensive rebounds, and 21 free throw attempts.

17 /71+17+(.475*21) = .175% turnover percentage

100*17 /71+17+(.475*21)+17) = 17.5% turnover rate.

This team turned the ball over about 17 and a half times of every 100 possessions. This is good as an average turnover rate would be around 20.

To help you get started we have created a spreadsheet for team turnover rate per 100 possessions. Feel free to use this however you see fit for your specific team. You could enter the statistics for each game, up to 33. Use every other row for you and your opponents. Or you could use eight rows for the eight teams in the conference. As you enter the relative information in the first four (A-D green labeled) columns the formulas in the last three (E-G red labeled) columns will start to calculate and give you the information you desire.


Using turnover percentage, or rate, for individuals is a bit more complicated because if you wanted to do it by possessions you would have to calculate the number of possessions a player is on the floor. The easiest way to look at the individual percentage is to take the percentage of minutes a player is in the game and divide that into the number of possessions. 20 minutes of play would be ½ of the game or ½ of the possessions. While not 100% accurate, it provides a good baseline for your individual statistics.

Turnovers are like most stats, in that what matters most is the comparison of what you are trying to do on offense and what you are trying to do on defense. During the down time this off season you could insert the season turnover stats for every team in your conference, offensively and defensively, and see how they compare. You could also do the same thing with every game on your schedule. Compare the game to game gaps in turnover rates and see if the gap correlates to wins and losses.

Stay Tuned for the next coaches corner blog – Offensive Rebounding %.

Effective Field Goal Percentage-eFG% – The Most Important Factor of Basketball Success

The summer is a great time to look at your past seasons statistics as an evaluation tool. Therefore, the newest edition of our coaches corner summer series is focused on basketball statistical analysis.

In our most recent blog, Coaches Summer Reading List, we referenced fifty books that could be of interest to coaches. One of those books was “Basketball on Paper” by Dean Oliver. He has an excellent chapter in which he does a statistical analysis of what he calls the “Four Factors of Basketball Success”. Below is his list and what he computes as the relative percentage of importance of each factor. He recommends that coaches chart these for their own team, as well as their opponents, creating eight factors, and use the results for analysis. The first post of the series discusses the use of Effective Field Goal Percentage to evaluate your team and players’ shooting. Enjoy!

Four Factors of Basketball Success

  1. Shooting (40%)-Effective field goal %
  2. Turnovers (25%)-Turnover %
  3. Rebounding (20%)-Offensive rebounding %
  4. Free Throws (15%)-Free throw rate

We will focus on each each of his factors in separate posts during this mini-series in order to allow the proper amount of time for each. In keeping with his rating, the first factor discusses the use of Effective Field Goal Percentage to evaluate your team and player shooting. Enjoy!

Effective Field Goal Percentage-eFG% – The Most Important Factor of Basketball Success

eFG% is the measurement of your team or player success from the field. It is calculated by assigning a worth of 1.5 for made three-point shots. While this may seem obvious, field goal percentages are not calculated this way but are instead calculated separately for 3-point and total attempts. Looking at field goal % this way allows you to account for 3pt% and 2pt % with one statistic. The formula for calculating the eFG% is (2pt FGM + 1.5 * 3pt FGM) / FGA.

This site provides a simple eFG% calculator to help you so that you will not have to subtract the 3pt FGM from the total FGM since the calculator does that for you.  

There are many ways to use eFG%. Here are a couple of thoughts. As with all stats it is important to look at what you are trying to do both offensively and defensively. A hypothetical team had a 53.27% eFG% while their opponents had an eFG% of 46.34%. The second figure would be your eFG% defense. The gap between the two is almost 7%, very good for any team. Any positive gap is good and the greater the positive margin between your team and your opponents the better. Coaches can look at ways to improve both their teams offensive and defensive efficiency, both on 2-point and 3-point field goal attempts, especially if the gap is a small positive one or negative. Coaches can also look at changes from season to season to analyze reasons for those changes. For comparison purposes, college teams generally have an offensive eFG% range of 60%-40%, and players generally have a range of 75%-40%.

Another way to use the eFG% is to look at individual players and their effectiveness offensively. This is the easiest of the four stats to do that with. Let us take for example a young player who is inconsistent offensively but was a highly effective rebounder and defender and played many minutes as a starter. The player had an eFG% of 50.20%, rather good for a young player. When you separate out the 2-point FG% (51.9%) and 3-point FG% (28.6%), it is tempting to coach the player to eliminate 3-point shots. However, any improvement this player makes from 3-point range will have a greater effect than improvement from 2-point range, and it would be easier to do if the player were already highly effective from 2-point range. Another way to use eFG% is to look at your entire team’s individual eFG%. If one player is at the top and is a good defensive player, wouldn’t it make sense to have that player in the game as much as possible? Just a couple of thoughts about using eFG%, and you can probably think of many more.

Stay tuned for the next blog, Turnover %!

Coaches Summer Reading List

There are lots of ways for coaches to learn and grow in the summer and especially this summer with most coaches sheltered in place for the foreseeable future. One of the best ways is to through reading so we have put together our summer reading list of 50 books for you to consider. Many of the books are available as audio books and e-books if you prefer either of those formats to actually having the book in your hand. Those who prefer to have the book may be surprised to find how inexpensive they are through Amazon, Ebay and other booksellers. You can shop online and have them delivered to the door quickly. Why not get started today and take another step towards personal growth. Happy reading!

Name of BookAuthor
Relentless: From Good to Great to UnstoppableTim Grover
Measure What Matters: Objective Key ResultsJohn Doerr
Why the Best are the Best: 25 Powerful WordsKevin Eastman
Eleven Rings: The Soul of SuccessPhil Jackson
Toughness: Developing True StrengthJay Bilas
Sum It Up: A Life in PerspectivePat Summit
Getting to Us: How Great Coaches Make Great TeamsSeth Davis
Geno: In Pursuit of PerfectionGeno Auriemma
The Wisdom of Wooden: A century of Family, Faith, and FriendsJohn Wooden
Players First: Coaching from the Inside OutJohn Calipari
The Energy Bus: 10 Rules to Fuel Your Life, Work, and Team with Positive EnergyJon Gordon
Coach Wooden’s Pyramid of Success: Building Blocks for a Better LifeJohn Wooden
Conscious Coaching: the Art & Science of Building Buy-InBrett Bartholomew
The Culture Code: The Secrets of Highly Successful GroupsDaniel Coyle
The Score Takes Care of Itself: My Philosphy of LeadershipBill Walsh
The Power of a Positive Team: Proven Principles and Practices That Make Great Teams GreatJohn Gordon
Attitude: Develop a Winning Mindset On and Off the CourtJay Wright
Quiet Strength: The Principles, Practices, and Priorities of a Winning LifeTony Dungy
The Talent Code: Greatness isn’t Born. It’s Grown. Here’s How.Daniel Coyle
Drive: The Surprising Truth About What Motivates UsDaniel H. Pink
The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People: Powerful Lessons in Personal ChangeStephen R. Covey
Good To Great: Why Some Companies Make the Leap … and Others Don’tJim Collins
Inside Out Coaching: How Sports Can Transform LivesJoe Ehrmann
Chasing Perfect: The Will to Win In Basketball and LifeBob Hurley
Outliers: The Story of SuccessMalcom Gladwell
The Tipping Point: How Little Things Can Make a Big DifferenceMalcom Gladwell
Basketball on Paper:Rules and Tools For Performance AnalysisDean Oliver
The Inner Game of Tennis: The Classical Guide to the Mental Side of Peak PerformanceW. Timothy Gallwey
Coaching Your Kids To Be Leaders: The Keys to Unlocking Their PotentialPat Williams
The Rules of Management: A Definitive Code For Managerial SuccessRichard Templar
Beyond Basketball: Coach K’s Keywords For SuccessMike Kryzyewski
The Gold Standard: Building a World Class teamMike Kryzyewski
Leading with the Heart: Coach K’s Successful Strategies for Basketball, Business, and LifeMike Kryzyewski
The Little Red Book of Selling: 12.5 Principles of Sales GreatnessJeffrey Gitomer
Coach: Lessons on the Game of LifeMichael Lewis
Coach: Reflections on People Who Made a DifferenceAndrew Blauner
Brad Stevens: The Inspiring Life and Leadership Lessons of One of Basketball’s Greatest Young  CoachesClayton Geoffreys
Old School Grit: Times May Change But the Rules For Success Never DoDarrin Donnelly
Steve Kerr: The Inspiring Life and Leadership Lessons of One of Basketball’s Greatest CoachesClayton Geoffreys
Lead With Love: How Steve Kerr Turned the Golden State Warriors Into the NBA’s Most Dominant TeamJackson Carter
Win Forever: Live, Work, and Play Like a ChampionPete Carroll
Stuff Good Players Should Know: Intelligent Basketball from A to ZDick DeVenzio
Lead Like Butler: Six Priciples for Values-Based LeadersJudith Cebula
Training Camp: What the Best Do Better Than Everyone ElseJon Gordon
Tribes: We Need You To Lead UsSeth Godin
The Winner Within: A Life Plan For Team PlayersPat Riley
A Passion to Lead: Seven Leadership Secrets for Success in Business, Sports, and LifeJim Calhoun
Wooden on Leadership: How to Create a Winning OrganizationJohn Wooden
The Basketball Encyclopedia of PlaysVonn Read
Five-Star Basketball Coaches’ PlaybookMultiple

We hope you can find something in this blog to help you for this off-season as well as for future seasons. Please feel free to contact us with any questions you may have.

Some of this information have you interested? Keep an eye on our blog for more thoughts throughout the summer as we continue this series of comments from our Owner and President Jim Walker. Let us know at if there is a specific topic you are interested in.

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