2024 Player Profile - Johnny Furphy

(February 14th) Johnny Furphy’s player profile shows a guy who is phenomenal at putting the ball in the basket efficiently.  He ranks in the 98th percentile of two point percentage and the 64th percentile of three point percentage.  Both of those are excellent marks, but they also both understate his true ability.  

Furphy’s 98th percentile efficiency from two is an example of something called Simpson’s Paradox, where he’s getting penalized for the fact that that overall two-point percentage is a weighted average of his efficiency at the rim, 82.5%, and his efficiency from midrange, 44.4%, both of which are absolutely best-of-the-best numbers on their own, but he’s being forced to compare to guys who purely take shots at the rim and looks “worse” as though the 98th percentile isn’t already an elite number.  

As for the three point percentage, 64th percentile seems like far too low a number for a guy who has been one of the best shooters in college basketball.  The reason that happens is that our numbers are sample-size stabilized, which means that Furphy’s true result gets pulled back to the mean in order to reduce the possibility of extreme outliers. As he gets more and more time, having come on strong in recent weeks, that already good number will come to reflect his actual ability more and more.