Analyzing Shot Charts for Arkansas


The North Carolina Tar Heels will face the Arkansas Razorbacks on the hardwood tomorrow night in the Round of 32. The Razorbacks are fresh off a close win against the Wofford Terriers on Thursday night. While there isn’t a whole lot of time to scout Arkansas before the Heels play their next opponent, taking a look at a few shot charts of Arkansas players will give fans a good idea of what Arkansas is bringing to the table both offensively and defensively. Let’s take a look at a few of these shot charts, all from

The image above is the Razorbacks’ shot chart on offense all season long. As you can see, they are fairly pedestrian in all areas of the court. They take a lot of mid range jump shots, especially at the left elbow. In fact, Arkansas ranks tied for first among teams in the database in percentage of field goals coming from the left elbow.

Arkansas doesn’t shoot a ton of threes, ranking 252 in the country, per, in percentage of total points coming from three pointers. That isn’t where the Razorbacks butter their bread. Instead, they put together an efficient offense by limiting turnovers and attacking the offensive glass.

Let’s take a look at a few players on Arkansas…

Rashad Madden is the third member of Arkansas’ big three, if you will. Madden averages 9.5 points per game, third most on the team. He only takes 6.5 field goals a game, but he is a very efficient offensive player, ranking fifth in the SEC in true shooting percentage, per He is an above average three-point shooter, hitting 37.6% of his threes. As you can see from the shot chart above, Madden excels at hitting shots from the top of the key. He shoots poorly around the basket, but also doesn’t attempt a lot of shots from in the paint.

Marcus Paige will likely draw the assignment on Madden. He has to be sure that he runs Madden off the three-point line and shouldn’t worry about letting Madden drive because he will likely have help and because Madden isn’t a great finisher at the hoop.

Next up, Michael Qualls.

Right off the bat, you can see Qualls has attempted a lot more shots than Madden this season — 11.3 field goals per game for the junior. He isn’t an above average shooter at one specific spot, however, he is a good, not great, finisher at the rim and can shoot the corner three pretty well. It’s interesting that Qualls shoots 14 percentage points better on left corner threes compared to right corner threes, though.

Qualls is a quasi-stretch four, which has given UNC some trouble in the past. We will have to wait and see who defends Qualls. It could be Brice Johnson or maybe Justin Jackson for stretches if Qualls starts to hang out around the three-point arc.

Next up, Bobby Portis.

Bobby Portis is widely regarded as Arkansas’ best player, and this shot chart shows part of the reason why. There is a lot of red on the chart for Portis, including right around the rim. Portis is an elite player at the rim. He has scored 282 points at the rim this season, tied for second with Louisville’s Montrezl Harrell among players in’s database. Portis is also a great player from the left elbow and even not a bad shooter from around the top of the key.

I think UNC will try to throw a big body, like a Joel James or Kennedy Meeks, at Portis and try to limit his numbers in the paint. However, Portis is so good the task for UNC will not be stopping him but just slowing him down.

Finally, let’s look at Arkansas’s team defense.

Key takeaway — Arkansas protects the rim and the paint pretty well. The best team in the database is Texas, holding opponents to 44% field goal shooting, and Arkansas isn’t too far behind them. A bit part of their rim protection is Portis and Alandis Harris, both of whom average over a block a game.

Stay tuned to Keeping It Heel throughout March Madness for more UNC Basketball coverage!

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