What is a great number for Passes per game to get great shots for your team?
When I was at Seattle Pacific University, we used a variety of stats to help us evaluate our offensive efficiency (shooting %, free throws attempted, offensive rebounds, etc.)…all of which could be found in the box score. However, two stats that I used that weren’t in the box score were passes per game and paint touches. These were both extremely important to our offensive success as we preached excellent ball movement, getting the ball side to side, and playing inside-out basketball. By moving the ball and our bodies, we are causing the defense to step and ultimately either make a mistake or weaken their positioning. There is a chronic issue in basketball of standing and watching players play one vs. one basketball.
While we certainly want our most gifted players to make plays for our team, there are situations in which it will be easier to make plays and be more efficient after the ball has moved and the defense has been moved. It is such a simple concept, yet something that players fight us on all the time. We have all begged our players to “move the ball” or “get the ball side to side” or “play inside-out.” It is something that we have all done. We talk about it all the time. We explain to them it will lead to better shots and more points. With these numbers, we were able to give the proof to our players about passes per game.
The beautiful parts are 1) that game-to-game and year-to-year, the numbers were consistent. Over that time- opponents changed, rules changed, our roster changed (personnel and skill), and yet the numbers stayed pretty much the same. Just take a look and compare the numbers over the year. The numbers that are a result of swinging the ball and the ball touching the paint are staggering in how our offensive efficiency jumps. 2) The numbers play out no matter what you are doing offensively- continuity, motion-based, dribble drive, if you play big, if you play small, etc…you will get the same results.
With these numbers, our guys were able to have a better idea of what we needed to do offensively to get great team shots and shoot a high %. I hope that these numbers can provide some insight to you and your team regarding how efficient they can be if they can get their passes per game up and work to get a high team shot percentage.