My kingdom for a foul shot

Rob Kinnan-USA TODAY Sports

All stats taken from statsheet.com

After Buckets performance against Wake (15-26 FG, 1-2 FT), mplode and I were discussing how one could shoot that many times and only get 2 free throw opportunities. This season, I have had the impression that TJ Warren does not get to the line as often as I would expect for a prolific scorer who uses such a high percentage of the team's possessions (31.4%). In order to determine if my perception and reality agreed, I did some math! Ok, ok, EVERYONE SETTLE DOWN!

I calculated the free throw attempt rate, FTAR, for every player in the NCAA who averages 20+ points per game.

FTAR = (FTA/(FGA+TO+(0.44*FTA)

Buckets averages 23.3 points/game, and I figure this is roughly his peer group.

After calculating that, I made a graph! PUT YOUR PANTS BACK ON! Below is a graph showing a distribution of the FTAR for this group of players with mean and standard deviations marked.

That red dot is Warren's FTAR for all games played, oof. You can see he is between 1 and 2 standard deviations below the mean, and the only player with a lower FTAR obtains 40% of his scoring from 3 pointers. So it does appear that Warren is getting to the line at a lower rate than the majority of his national peers. This made me wonder how he stacked up against the other top scorers in the ACC.

This graph takes all the ACC players who have scored 15+ points/game in conference play (Buckets leads by a wide margin at 22.1). You can see he Warren's FTAR is slightly higher in conference and is largely in line with the other ACC leading scorers. Can you guys guess who the 3 players are that are more than 1 SD above the mean?

These data raise a few questions for me:

1. What about Warren's game lends itself to less foul calls on the defense?

Warren is definitely not a guy that scores primarily from drives or post moves. Maybe the expert mid-range game, and his quick release let him escape the possession without a lot of contact. He also seems to be much more focused on making buckets than drawing contact. But he does get lots of offensive rebounds and I think he has increased his drive game this year. Plus he scores A LOT.

2. Is this even an issue?

Since Warren's ACC numbers seem to be in line with some other players, I guess not. Although his FTAR pales in comparison to guys, nationally, who actually score as many points per game as he does.

3. What would Warren's FTAR be if there were not a widespread bias by the refereeing community against NC State?

By my calculations, it would be in the 0.55 range

4. Why has the media not publicized this grand conspiracy?

You mean, the unc controlled, librul media?

In closing, ALL HAIL TJ BUCKETS, he doesn't need free throws to score on your head all day!

I will post the answer to my trivia question later in the comments.

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