Field goal percentage is pretty simple to understand: how well are you shooting buckets? When you make more threes than twos, you’re dealing more damage than if you just shot mid-ranges and layups. That’s where effective field goal percentage comes in: how much damage are you dealing, points-wise?

Effective field goal percentage effectively (haw haw) answers the question:

If each two is 1.0 baskets and each three is 1.5 baskets, how many baskets are you making per attempt?

We’ll be looking at all 47 U Sports men’s basketball teams to see how they stack up against each other. However, teams play almost exclusively within their own conferences, so we’ll try to make comparisons across conferences as well as we can with this caveat in mind.

Team Offence/Defence Using eFG

To add meaning to eFG, I’ve colour coded each team based on their winning percentage. That way it’s easier to compare eFG to wins.

  • Orange: Winning percentage of .700 or more
  • Brown: Winning percentage of .300 or less
  • Blue: Everyone else
Lower eFG Against means a team is better at defending.

Relative eFG

If we want to adjust each team relative to its own conference, we can do a scatter plot of relative eFG using t-scores.

eFG relative to teams’ own leagues. Positive Relative eFG Against means a team is better at defending.

The drawback of this second graph is, obviously, that no two conferences are equal.


  • Ryerson, Ottawa, Alberta, Carleton, Calgary, and McGill are in a class of their own. UBC and Acadia aren’t far behind. Acadia is the only team in this list not ranked in the Top 10; in fact, they haven’t received a vote all year.
  • Purely based on eFG alone, Dalhousie is a candidate for regressing to the mean. However, they’re ahead of Acadia in the standings in part because of rebounding. Acadia is 43th of 47 teams in offensive rebounding. Dalhousie is 1st in the country in preventing offensive rebounds.
  • Don’t be surprised if York rebounds in the final stretch of the season towards at least the .400 mark.
  • On the other hand, eFG predicts a further drop for UPEI and Concordia. Maybe even Thompson Rivers and Laurentian, purely based on their eFG defence relative to their own leagues.
  • Lakehead and Waterloo aren’t actually as bad on the defensive end as their standings suggest. To better reflect their eFG peripherals, they either need to create better looks on offensive possessions or finish better. Sounds pretty obvious, but execution is everything.
  • I was secretly hoping there’d be a team that scored really, really high on relative eFG for and really, really low on relative eFG against — literally, a team that’d basically be the U Sports version of the run-and-gun “seven seconds or less” Phoenix Suns. But alas.

Originally posted to my website: — (link to post)

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In-Ting Ho is a multi-sport writer whose familiarity with U Sports comes mostly from talking to people and reading lots of roster sheets. He is a graduate of Waterloo, Western, and McGill, and currently studying Sport & Event Marketing at George Brown College. On the side, he is a PA announcer at Waterloo for basketball and women’s hockey, but sometimes fills in for volleyball and men’s hockey. His written work can be found on Medium here:


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