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What’s up with Quentin Goodin’s shooting percentage?

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Let’s look inside the numbers to see why Xavier fans shouldn’t be worried about Q’s stroke.

NCAA Basketball: Baylor at Xavier
A coin toss, statistically.
Frank Victores-USA TODAY Sports

We’re not going to discuss Quentin’s three-point percentage. I know it’s not good, but it’s also not somewhere he derives his value to the team. Xavier isn’t built to have him lifting from deep, which is why he is averaging less than one attempt per game from there.

That leaves us everything inside the arc, which - with the help of the data from hoop-math.com - we’re going to break into shots at the rim and mid-range shots. Quentin is currently shooting 12 percentage points lower than the team average, which is drawing a lot of attention among Xavier fans.

Goodin has shot 40 times are the rim and made 22 of them, for a 55% shooting percentage. The Uncle Ricos among our readership are right now imagining themselves heading out to the driveway to shoot 100 layups and making way more than 55 of them. Slow your respective rolls.

Consider that NCAA average shooting percentage at the rim is somewhere in the 61% range. Most of these shots are not under ideal circumstances - a player might be shooting with his weak hand, tipping the ball up, or having his shot contested by a fearsome opponent like Octavius Ellis. Maybe that’s a bad example, but you get my point. NCAA layups aren’t easy, but Q comes in just a tick below average.

What about jumpers? Goodin has taken 11 two-point shots that weren’t classified as layups/dunks and made 3 of them. That’s 27%, which isn’t ideal. NCAA average is about 37%, so Q is more than a hair off the pace here.

He’s only taking 18% of his shot attempts from the mid-range though. To his credit, Goodin seems to know that the team isn’t best-served by his pulling up and letting it go.

For all the angst on Twitter about Goodin’s shooting, it’s a non-issue to me. He has a shots percentage of just 16.3%, ahead of only Paul Scruggs and Elias Harden among scholarship players. Most of the time, he’s just not lifting.

The other part of the punch line is that Xavier is the third-best team in the nation at two-point shooting right now. While Goodin’s 49% from two-point range is trailing the team’s 61.9%, national average is 50%. He’s also hitting 90% of his free throws, which is a pretty big asset coming from your point guard. He’s an average shooter with great touch from the line on an excellent shooting team. If you’re cringing when he puts it up, consider the idea that maybe you shouldn’t be.