Shot SelectionThis method of rating and discussing shot selection was passed down to us from the late founder of PGC Basketball, Dick Devenzio.

Shot selection usually wins or loses most big games.  If we want to win these games, we must fully understand what good shot selection is so we aren’t thinking about it while we are playing. Coaches communicating to their players on a consistent basis is the key to this learning process.

One way to accomplish this is to learn how to grade our shot selection so that we can just play the game and learn from it afterward.  We can do this in a variety of ways: during practice, while watching film, during games, etc.  The players doing the grading are learning as much as the shooter getting feedback because they are forced to constantly assess shot selection.

The grading scale for shot selection looks like this:


90%  Wide open layup


70%  Wide open jumper
(from inside that player’s designated range)


50%  Made in practice

***This category is the key to shot selection, because they will be made about 40% of the time in big games***


30%  Bad shot (coach will correct)
hand in face, fade, off balance runner, etc.

Players can give grades in between these numbers if they feel it is somewhere in the middle of two categories.  For example, if a player shoots a layup that is mildly contested at the last minute, you may give that player an 8 instead of a 9.  There are no 10’s because shots can always be missed!!!

After the grading is done, we can look at the grades and get a feel for a player’s grasp of shot selection.  If one player is shooting and one player is grading, we can get a feel for two players at once!  Averaging the grades gives you an overall look at shot selection over a given time period.

Something to consider:

Think about a game that ends in regulation tied 60-60.

If you could have scored 1 more basket per quarter on offense and held your opponent to 1 less basket per quarter on defense, you could have won something more like 68-52. This can be applied to many phases of the game, but consistently taking better shots than you give your opponents is a great way to increase your margin of victory.

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