Sunday, December 03, 2006

It was just a few days ago (see November 30 posting below) that I talked about how extreme patterns can occur when looking at a small number of observations (e.g., several batters hitting above .400 early in the baseball season). But, I warned, it's hard to maintain extremely high (or low) levels of performance over larger numbers of attempts.

Yesterday, however, a Division III men's basketball player did as much as can be done within a single game to contradict my assertions. What happened was that Lincoln University's Sami Wylie shot 51% on three-pointers.

If a player were to have shot (roughly) 50% on 10 three-point attempts, I would find that moderately interesting. In 20 attempts? More impressive. And so on as the number of shots from behind the arc increased.

Well, in Wylie's case, he shot 51% on 41 attempts from three-point land. Yes, he shot 41 times from downtown, making 21 treys! All told, he ended up with 69 points in Lincoln's 201-78 win over Ohio State-Marion.'s article likens the game to a scene from the movie Pleasantville, where "every shot from every conceivable angle goes in."

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