Shot Chart Studies: Joel Berry II


During the months of May and June, we here at Keeping it Heel will be going in-depth to preview the 2015-2016 North Carolina basketball team.  We will be spending one day each on all twelve players, profiling each man on the Heels’ roster. Part of the series will be taking a look at all the shot charts of the Tar Heels from the past season. Today, we take a look at Joel Berry II’s shot chart.

Joel Berry II averaged 4.2 points per game last season in limited minutes. The freshman got off to a slow start to the season and missed a good chunk of the middle of the season due to injury. However, the freshman really played well down the stretch run of the season and has set himself up well for a breakout sophomore campaign.

Let’s take a look at Berry’s shot chart and some of his advanced stats to look back on his freshman season and see how Mr. Berry II did.

A quick note about the shot charts — as the key explains, the biggest the hexagons, the more shots were taken at those locations. The shades of colors correspond to the field goal percentage at those locations. Red, orange and yellow colors are good, while blue hues are bad. 

First thing you probably notice is that there isn’t a lot of dots on Berry II’s chart. Per, Berry played just 25.9% of his team’s minutes and used just 16.6% of possessions when he was on the floor, so it makes sense that his shot chart is light on shots. Compared to Marcus Paige and others, Berry II’s chart is really light, so there isn’t a lot that can be taken away from this chart because of the lack of shots.

North Carolina Tar Heels
North Carolina Tar Heels /

North Carolina Tar Heels

There are a few key insights though. First, you can see Berry II’s favorite shot locations. He likes three-pointers on the wings, and seemed to be pretty good at draining those shots. Berry II hit 43% of his threes on the right wing, which is actually pretty good. That is definitely a good sign for Berry II’s prospects.

One not so good sign is how poorly Berry II did at finishing at the rim. Berry did take a significant amount of shots at the rim last season and finished with a field goal percentage of just 45% there. A good mark for guards is 10 or 12 percentage points higher.

The low field goal percentage at the rim is concerning. Berry II was willing to attack but struggled to finish. He also didn’t do a great job getting fouled, drawing just 3.2 per 40 minutes per Berry II probably struggled to adjust to the size and length of NCAA defenses in year one, and hopefully in year two he can work on finishing better at the basket or getting fouled and going to the line more often.

It’s hard to project what Berry II’s shot chart will look like next year, but I imagine Berry II will improve at the rim and take a lot more shots at the elbows and on the wings. Berry II is a good shooter — his true shooting percentage was 53.6%, per, and he did shoot a respectable 35.4% from beyond the arc. Therefore, I expect a good amount of red and orange across the board, even as Berry II takes more shots.

Berry II is still a ways away from having a shot chart and an offensive game that looks like Marcus Paige or another scoring first point guard. However, the pieces of a good offensive player — lots of attempts at the rim and from beyond the arc, efficiency from the wings and from three — are there. Berry II just has to get his chance next season to take advantage of more opportunities and shine.

Shot charts from