Thursday, July 2, 2009

Club 76

Only seven WNBA players belong to the exclusive Club 76. This is the list of players who have made 76 or more three-point field goals in a season.

Club 76
WNBA Players with 76+ 3-Point Goals, Season

1. Diana Taurasi, 2006 Mercury, 121
2. Diana Taurasi, 2007 Mercury, 95
3. Diana Taurasi, 2008 Mercury, 89
4. Katie Smith, 2000 Lynx, 88
4T. Katie Smith, 2001 Lynx, 88
6. Allison Feaster, 2002 Sting, 79
7. Katie Smith, 2003 Lynx, 78
7T. Nicole Powell, 2008 Monarchs, 78
9. Becky Hammon, 2008 Silver Stars, 77
10. Crystal Robinson, 1999 Liberty, 76
10T. Tamika Catchings, 2002 Fever, 76
10T. Katie Smith, 2008 Shock, 76

This post was inspired by a similar post on the blog. Only two WNBA players have multiple seasons in Club 76 - Diana Taurasi and Katie Smith. They have also been able to do it back-to-back, with Taurasi making the club three years in a row. (Maybe four times, if she has a good 2009 season.)

The NBA equivalent is the 220-Three Club - hitting 220 3-pointers in a season. Adjusting for season length and game length, you get 76 3-pointers.

A couple of facts also inspired by the blog post:

1. There is regression to the mean: No player who made the club in successive years ever hit more 3-pointers in the following year - so far when you reach Club 76, there is always a decline in 3-pointers the next year:

2. 3-point field goal percentage in Club 76 seasons: 38.4 percent
3-point field goal percentage in the next season *: 36.4 percent

The (*) indicates that we are not including the 2009 values for the players who made the club in 2008 - Diana Taurasi, Nicole Powell and Becky Hammon. But once again, it seems that we are seeing regression to the mean, which is a fancy of way of saying that players who perform extraordinarly well in one area of their game one year will have seasons that follow that are closer to average.

So we'll make a prediction: Taurasi won't hit 89 3-pointers in 2009, Powell will fall short of 78 and Becky Hammon will have to fight to renew her membership in Club 76. (Her time overseas has most likely doomed her.) On the other hand, if there's one player you can never count out, it's Diana Taurasi.

UPDATE: The ABL members of this club are...Dawn Staley, Crystal Robinson, Teresa Edwards, Niesa Johnson and...Katie Smith. With 44 games in a season, the ABL's club is less exclusive...but Robinson hit 90 3-pointers in the 1996-97 season for the Colorado Xplosion and topped it in the 1997-98 season with 102. She hit 46.6 percent of her 3-point attempts that season.

1 comment:

TJ said...

At the rate Taurasi is shooting the 3 Ball she will surpass 100 3's by the end of August...