Friday, May 18, 2012

High school basketball coaches taking scouting to a new level

The use of detailed statistics to analyze athletes was made popular recently after audiences flooded theaters to see the movie "Moneyball." The film was based on the Michael Lewis book that explored how the Oakland Athletics transcended Major League Baseball scouting by using a complicated system of statistical analysis called sabermetrics.

This data isn't just readily available to any team though. With a combination of technology and innovative baseball minds, the A's and other MLB teams compile their own advanced scouting reports of their opponents, their players and others that they may be interested in signing or trading for. This type of analysis would seem to be incredibly pricey, and consequently, only collected and utilized by professional organizations.

That isn't the case anymore, however, with as many as 475 high schools across the United States taking advantage of a new scouting platform that is accessible from iPads, according to the Wall Street Journal. One coach that has actively utilized the service is Keith Guy, head basketball coach of the Muskegon Heights Tigers.

While he was on the sidelines for the Michigan high-school basketball playoffs last month, Guy used his Apple tablet to get detailed information about his opponent's shot location and scoring pace, as well as his team's efficiency when certain players were on the court and how well they performed from different locations.

The program was designed by Vasu Kulkarni, who combined his passion for computers and basketball to make a high level of scouting easy and relatively affordable. Teams send game films to Kulkarni's company, which then extracts data and puts it together for the iPad software.

While this type of analysis may benefit teams at most levels, that much detail might be overdoing it. It is important, however, that every team is equipped with a basketball coaches board and other basketball coaching aids.

Coaches can turn to for more basketball drills and plays that can help their team.

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