Before analytics entered sports, coaches had to evaluate players based on some basic statistical reporting and, of course, the eyeball test.
If you’re reading this and have at any point in your life been a basketball coach, then you’ll agree that it’s a near impossibility to track and focus on everything in real time.
That’s why this new approach to data analytics is revolutionizing basketball and is spreading through the world of competitive sports in many different forms.
Coaches can essentially become the biggest beneficiary of analytics. From crafting game plans to analyzing opponent’ strengths and weaknesses, the information provided by analytics is invaluable. Especially when it allows you to provide your players with objective data that allows them to focus on improving specific skill sets, ultimately maximizing their value.
Brandon Dean, current Head of Player Development and Lead Director of combine Events for EPLAY Basketball, shares the journey that brought him close to this new industry.
From a successful top level high School playing career to being a Skill Development Coach for NBA, WNBA and European Players, Brandon is best known for his work during the pre-draft process where he was worked with 38 players who have been drafted or have signed an NBA contract.
We sat down with the newest member of the EPLAY family to discuss what brought him from the basketball court and onto the EPLAY team.
AF: “What brought you close to EPLAY and Analytics and why do you believe in it”?
BD: “From the first moment I heard what it was, EPLAY had me. As soon as I talked to Ryan and the others I was 100% behind what they were doing.
As a trainer I could immediately see the benefit for the coaches.
In the NBA, while going through the pre-draft workout process, you never really know what to believe.
EPLAY showed me the gapper shouldn’t be a lottery pick.
I am a firm believer in production. Production for my team.
I believe that If you’re not helping your team, you’re hurting them.
The main thing I was sold on was their analytics are going strictly off of official boxscores. Those numbers don’t lie!
But the most unique and important thing about EPLAY is the E-SCORE!”
- So let’s talk about the E-SCORE for just a moment. In short, the ESCORE is an impact rating that takes into account multiple factors – such as team stats, individual stats, pace of play, your competition and even the value of the teammates surrounding you.
BD (cont.) : “The crazy thing now is that you can use the E-SCORE to track a workout just like you can a game!
This brings the world of analytics to a completely different level!
Players can finally see what really works for them. They don’t have to keep spending money on $200 workouts to train with somebody who isn’t going to help them.
You can make sure that you’re working out and focusing on the right things, but most importantly you find ways to translate data from your workouts into the games on the court.
You know, at the end of the day. You can take 10 dribbles to get a mid-range pull up or you can just shoot a mid-range pull up off of 1 dribble. If you miss the shot it doesn’t matter if you took 1 or 10 dribbles. You still missed the shot.
That’s where I see EPLAY Analytics.
This person is good at this but he can be great at that. And the numbers will tell you that.
Now analytics and utilizing data to improve your game makes sense”.
AF: “As a coach – why do you think Analytics are so important for your team and how would you apply them”?
BD: “For me – it’s important to get the kids competing day in and day out.
By tracking the data everyday you can check and see where you are on the leader board. It will make them work harder or makes them realize it’s not for them.
It’s a harsh reality but that’s where the industry is.
You can’t just be anybody and be a professional basketball player!
It takes a lot!
When the numbers and analytics can back up your claims on the court, it’s a reality check for everybody!
Even at the NBA level – teams are making decisions on who they will be picking in the draft based off of potential.
The numbers are right there for you”!
AF: “If you had a tool like EPLAY during your most important playing days, do you believe it would’ve provided you with more exposure”?
BD: “For sure! When I was playing in New Jersey there wasn’t really any exposure at all. Not a lot of coaches were coming in there to watch my games.
When I moved to Florida, it was nowhere near the amount of exposure that I thought I was going to be getting.
I was a 4 year varsity player who led my team in scoring and assists, but still there wasn’t many scouts that came to see me.
With EPLAY I could have played my game and leave a mark with my numbers. I might have had a few more folks in the stands for sure.
I would have had that exposure and had a lot more coaches coming to watch me play if I had EPLAY back then.
Honestly, I can see that being the same story for almost anybody”.