Home → Competitive → Basketball → Opponent Scouting Basketball Assist Hudl Opponent Scouting Training and Drills Coaching Four Factors: Go Deeper Than Your Traditional Counting Stats Nov 01, 2019 4 Min Read These four stats help coaches adjust for pace of play to get a more accurate view of their team. A quick math lesson. Player A shot a sterling 58 percent this season. On the whole, that was a higher percentage of shots made than teammate Player B, who shot 51.6 percent. However, Player B shot 4.3 3-pointers a game, canning 43.4 percent of them. Considering how much more valuable a made three is compared to a two, Player B’s shots are typically more valuable than Player A’s—an effective field goal percentage of 60.8 percent, compared to 57.9 percent for Player A, proves it. That’s just one example of how traditional counting stats often fail to tell the true value of a player. They don’t account for pace of play, different shot types or playing time. They’re useful, but ultimately flawed. Dean Oliver set out to fix this issue in his 2004 book, “Basketball on Paper”. In it, he unveiled how coaches can more definitively gauge performance—the Four Factors. Oliver highlighted four main traits that help define winning teams: accurate shooting, strong rebounding, being turnover-averse and getting to the free-throw line. He then created statistics that show teams how they’re doing in these areas. How can you take full advantage of this new school of thought? Here’s how each stat is calculated and why it’s important. Effective Field Goal Percentage Field goal percentage alone is a useful stat, but it doesn’t take into account the added benefit of that extra point from a three. Oliver’s first stat makes it easy to balance the value a 3-pointer provides. How It Works This stat adds a weighted value on made three-pointers in a traditional field goal percentage. In the run-and-gun, pace-and-space ethos of the modern game, high school coaches take tremendous value in winning the effective field goal percentage battle on a nightly basis. Some even consider this the most important factor in how you win high school games. Read more about effective field goal percentage > Turnover Percentage Avoiding turnovers is obviously critical to winning, but simply counting them doesn’t take pace of play into account. A team that walks the ball up the floor is likely going to have fewer miscues than one that fast breaks at every opportunity—but they’re also using far fewer possessions. Turnover percentage factors in how many possessions each team has, painting a more accurate representation of ball security. How It Works This stat factors pace of play into typical turnover stats. If you believe effective field goal percentage is the most important battle to win in high school hoops, turnover percentage has to be firmly in second place. Turnover percentages can tell you so much more than a traditional assist-to-turnover ratio. When paired with lineup data, it can give you some ideas about how to better utilize your players’ minutes and minimize their mistakes. Read more about turnover percentage > Offensive Rebound Percentage The more opportunities a team has to score, the more likely they are to do so. Gobbling up offensive rebounds creates more possessions and can demoralize a defense that worked hard to get a stop. Once again, pace of play is a factor here. A team that takes more shots is going to get more chances at offensive boards. How It Works This stat adjusts rebounding rate by accounting for pace. Sometimes the best transition defense is an offensive rebound. Winning the percentage battle on offensive boards can influence how well you do in effective field percentage that night. It can also inspire new strategies about how to hit the glass. Read more about offensive rebounding percentage > Free Throw Factor Oliver defines free throw rate as more important than free-throw percentage. Sure, it’s great to make most of your free throws. But if you’re not getting to the line often enough, it’s not very useful. Teams and players that shoot more free throws earn more opportunities at easy points while getting the opposition into foul trouble. How It Works This stat measures how often a team or player gets to the foul line. This is arguably the most misunderstood of the Four Factors. But there’s huge benefits to measuring this on both ends of the court. For offenses that like to get downhill, drawing a lot of contact on drives can make a difference in the score by the end of the game. For teams that take pride in their defense, this is a good way to measure how disciplined you’re playing. Read more about free throw factor > ** It’s important to remember that succeeding in just one or two of these areas probably won’t be enough to get your team over the top. Use the Goals report on Hudl to track your progress in all four. There’s tremendous value in these numbers. And when you add Hudl Assist to your subscription, you’ll get all of them (for both your team and your opponents) done for you. Learn More | Get a Demo Already have Assist and want to get more out of it? Learn all the best tips and tricks with Hudl Academy.