1 min read


FiveThirtyEight wrote an article about Roy Williams recently, and it in it discusses how his team’s do not attempt as many three-point shots compared to the rest of college basketball.

Williams has been around a long time. 30 plus years as a head coach. College basketball has changed quite a lot. Williams has not.

This is a line plot showing how free throw rate and three-point attempt rate has changed since 1987. It doesn’t factor in rule changes, only the raw data via kenpom.com.

Teams attempt three-point shots more often than free throws in today’s game.

This riffs on the economist theme and uses ggplot2 package. The tutorials here are handy.

Code is below . . .


charts.data <- read.csv("kpdata.csv")

charts.data <- as.data.frame(charts.data)
charts.data$product <- factor(charts.data$product, levels = c("three","free"),
                              labels = c("Three-Point Attempt Rate","Free Throw Rate"))

p1 <- ggplot() + theme_economist() + scale_colour_economist() +
  geom_line(aes(y = rate, x = year, colour = product), size=1.5, data = charts.data,
            stat="identity") +
  theme(legend.position="bottom", legend.direction="horizontil",
        legend.title = element_blank()) +
  scale_x_continuous(breaks=seq(1988,2020,4)) +
  labs(x="Year", y="Rate", 
title = "Median Division-I Three-Point Attempt Rate and Free Throw Rate Since 1987",
        caption = "Data source: kenpom.com")