Spence’s memorial stats show tourney scoring has decreased

My good friend Bill Spence, who died last year, kept the shooting percentages for all the Eastern Maine B, C, and D tournament games at the Bangor Auditorium for the Maine Principals’ Association.
With the current Auditorium being torn down in May after 57 years of tournament basketball, I am calling the shooting statistics that I have compiled for 42 tourney games at the Auditorium, the Bill Spence Memorial Bangor Auditorium Tourney Shooting Percentages.
In his memory, I have been undertaking his former task. He did it by attending and charting every shot at the Auditorium. I took the box scores totals from the BDN for this tourney.
Bill would give me all the shooting statistics and percentages so that I could use them in my BDN column and blog.
I have not attended a tournament game at the Auditorium since his passing. Instead, I watched the semifinals and finals on the TV and listened to the quarterfinals on the radio. It would be tough to see Bill’s seat at the table vacant or filled by somebody else.
Bill was a great guy and devoted to high school basketball, especially in doing all the shooting statistics for the Auditorium tourney.
Bill and I would spend hours talking about basketball shooting percentages. I miss him and the time we spent together. It is with a heavy heart that I will give you the final Eastern Maine tourney stats.
— Field goal shooting percentages: boys 43, girls 37, combined 40.
— Foul shooting percentages: boys 64, girls 57, combined 60.5.
— Three-point shooting percentages: boys 36, girls 25, combined 31.
This year’s stats were just about the same as last year’s of field goal percentage overall (39), foul shooting (59), and 3-pointers (30).
The average combined points scored per game, boys and girls, was 93 this year compared to 103 last year. So while the percentages stayed about the same the scoring was down by 10 points per game.
Here are some possible reasons why the scoring was down.
1. Fewer field goal, 3-point attempts and foul shot attempts were taken this year.
2. More turnovers and perhaps better defense.
3. Poorer shot selection.
4. Teams more patient on offense
5. Different shooting background at the Auditorium.
Now you have to remember that these were the top eight teams in each class so their shooting percentages should be better than the teams that did not make it to the Auditorium.
The shooting percentages that I thought were acceptable to have a successful season were 45 percent from the floor, 40 from 3-point land and 70 from the foul line. The current tourney statistics are way below the percentages I think above-average shooting teams should show.
Did we always achieve these shooting percentage goals? Of course not, but we never shot below 40 percent from the floor, 65 percent from the line or 33 percent from beyond the arc. These are still ahead of the tourney results for this year and last year.
We really strived for very good shot selection. We did not throw up prayers, hoping they would be answered. We were very patient on offense, yet we still averaged 50 points per game every season.
Comparing our shot selection to the shot selection I saw for the past two tourneys, the reason that teams do not shoot for acceptable percentages is because the players are allowed to take poor shots and then stay in the game.
Players should know what good shot selection is and if coaches want better shooting percentages from the floor, they have to demand that their players take good shots.
My players knew what was acceptable and they knew if they took a poor shot then there would be a substitute at the table waiting for the next whistle.
As UCLA coach John Wooden once said at a coaching clinic, “A coach’s best friend is the bench.”
Also, there is no question that poor shooting fundamentals and techniques also enter into the problem of low shooting percentages. Poor shooting techniques and fundamentals should be corrected if a team really wants to have a chance to win a championship at any level.