SportVU is a player tracking camera system that has revolutionized the way that some data is analyzed by NBA teams.
What is SportVU?
It’s a system that records the coordinates of the players, the refs and the ball 25 times per second to spit out data on things as simple as the exact number of touches a player gets and how many potential assists he has to things as complicated as how quickly he accelerates and how fast he can change direction.
Simply put: SportVU spits out massive amounts of data that adds another layer to the analysis of stat-junkies.
The system is currently in every NBA arena, but this season, SportVU will be making the jump to the college level for the first time.
And as you might have guessed, it’s the Duke Blue Devils who are paving the way. From the Wall Street Journal:
Duke was intrigued by SportVU last spring, when a former team manager who works at Stats showed off some of Duke’s geo-spatial statistics from its 2013 NCAA tournament games in Philadelphia, and Stats senior vice president Brian Kopp pitched Duke’s staff at a June meeting in Durham, N.C., that included Blue Devils coach Mike Krzyzewski. The only difference between the six SportVU cameras installed last month in Cameron and those in NBA venues is that Duke’s tiny arena required smaller lenses with wider angles.
Limited by opportunities to collect game data—NBA teams play 82 regular-season games, while Duke has 17 home games against teams of varying quality—Duke also outfitted its practice courts adjacent to Cameron. “You add 75 or 100 practices when the quality of your opponent is the same every day, and you can get a much better picture of who a player is,” said Kevin Cullen, Duke’s director of information technology. With its emphasis on practice data, Duke hopes that SportVU is as much a tool for its training and medical staff as it is for the basketball coaches, Cullen said.
The system will be used for the first time in a collegiate arena when Duke opens up their season at home on November 8th. It won’t be the first college game that’s been logged, however; the Big Ten tournament, which was played at the United Center last year, had the system in place then.
(UPDATE: According to Marquette’s AD, the Golden Eagles began implementing this technology over the summer as well.)
GAME OF THE NIGHT: Syracuse vs. No. 18 UConn, 3:30 p.m.
For the first time since the Orange departed the Big East, the two former rivals will square off. Today’s battle will take place at the Battle 4 Atlantis, as the Orange knocked off Charlotte yesterday and the Huskies dispatched Michigan. To get ready for this battle, I’d suggest ready through the conversation @NoEscalators had with himself last night.
THIS ONE’S GOOD, TOO: No. 25 Texas A&M vs. No. 10 Gonzaga, 1:00 p.m.
The other semifinal in the Battle 4 Atlantis could end up being just as good, as the Aggies — who might be the second best team in the SEC — square off with a Gonzaga team that has one of the best front lines in the country. This will be a good test to figure out just how good both of these teams are.
FIVE THINGS TO WATCH FOR
1. No. 20 Wichita State vs. USC, 2:00 p.m.: The Shockers will be without Fred VanVleet for this event. It will also be a chance for us to gauge just how good this 4-0 USC team is.
2. No. 23 Xavier vs. Alabama, 12:00 p.m: The Musketeers should have no problems dispatching Alabama.
3. No. 8 Villanova vs. Stanford, 4:30 p.m.: The Wildcats are, once again, as good as any team in the country. Josh Hart might be the nation’s most underrated star.
4. No. 14 Cal vs. San Diego State, 12:00 a.m.: Tyrone Wallace and company have been awesome this season. They get their first real test of the season tonight.
5. Providence vs. Evansville, 7:00 p.m.: Evansville is one of the nation’s best mid-majors, good enough to give the likes of Wichita State and Northern Iowa a fight in the Missouri Valley. And Providence? They got a kid named Kris Dunn. Heard of him?
THE REST OF THE TOP 25
- No. 3 Michigan State vs. Boston College, 6:30 p.m.
- No. 11 Arizona vs. Santa Clara, 11:30 p.m.
- No. 17 Notre Dame vs. Monmouth, 6:30 p.m.
No. 2 Maryland finally found their rhythm on Wednesday night, blowing out a good Rhode Island team, 86-63, in the finals of the Cancun Challenge.
Melo Trimble and Rasheed Sulaimon combined for 34 points and eight assists on 13-for-14 shooting and Robert Carter added 15 points, nine boards, three assists and three blocks. Peak Maryland, which is what we saw tonight, is really dangerous.
But Peak Maryland wasn’t the story after the game, as tempers flared in the waning minutes.
It started when Maryland coach Mark Turgeon called a timeout with less than two minutes remaining. Jake Layman had just hit a three to put Maryland up by 24 points and Turgeon wanted to get his walk-ons in the game. Hurley said to the Maryland bench, “We’ll see you again, boy,” according to Inside Maryland Sports, which prompted this reaction from Turgeon:
After the game, the two teams had to be separated in layup lines. According to reports from IMS and from the Baltimore Sun, Hurley was cursing at Maryland players as he was shaking their hands after the game. According Doug Gottlieb, who called the game for CBS Sports Network, Trimble said that the Rhode Island team wanted to “fight us”: