(February 9th) Last period, in Reed Sheppard’s profile, we focused primarily on his overall “aggregate” statistics. This week, let’s look at something a little more granular: His : his three point percentage. Sheppard is in the 99th percentile, but that 38.8% number you see might look a little unfamiliar – Sheppard’s raw percentage on the season is 53.7%, after all. The reason for that discrepancy is that all of the numbers we publish are what’s referred to as “sample size stabilized”. Basically, the college season is short, both relative to the NBA and relative to the amount of time these statistics need to capture their true value. As a result, it’s a best practice, at least privately, to pull numbers back towards the average result based on how small the sample size actually is. With Sheppard, that sample size could actually be a mild concern given that he’s playing a limited minutes load and not just shooting in massive volume. It could be a concern, except even once you apply a pretty steep penalty for the sample size, Sheppard still ranks in the 99th percentile for three point accuracy. He is so good a shooter that any concerns of volume should not be considered legitimate.
(January 24th) Anyone who has paid the slightest bit of attention to Reed Sheppard’s advanced statistics so far this season should not have expected anything other than what this shows. The key number we’ll focus on this week is PIPM, in the upper right. PIPM is what we call an aggregate statistic, which means that it’s an estimate for a player’s total contribution. Sheppard’s PIPM is in the 99th percentile. That’s literally as high as a percentile scale goes, and even that doesn’t fully capture how much of an outlier Sheppard is. After all, with nearly 5000 Division 1 players, there are 50 players in the 99th percentile. But Sheppard isn’t just in the 99th percentile – among freshmen, he’s outright #1. He isn’t as extreme an outlier in PIPM – the aggregate we use because it’s the most predictive of future success – as he is in some other statistics, but he’s still clearly the best freshman. But given that Sheppard’s performance in those other statistics is describable as “breaking” the statistic similar to how Russell Westbrook’s MVP season did, we’re fine with just showing a realistic, but still phenomenal picture of an excellent player, and we’re excited to break down in future weeks what components specifically make him so dominant.