Mar 27, 2018Prepared for an Upset
Over the years, many products have been developed to make things easier for coaches. Whether it’s breaking down video, charting plays, scouting opponents, or drawing playbooks, coaches can now do twice as much in half the time.
But for Adam Bauman, Director of Basketball Operations at the University at Buffalo, it’s more important to make things easier for players than coaches, which is why he likes Just Play so much.
“Our players are watching 30 more minutes of video per day since we started using Just Play,” he says. “They can watch it on their phones or tablets in their rooms, in between classes, or whenever they want.”
Since using Just Play, the Bulls have gone 64-39 in three seasons, with a 36-18 record in the Mid-American Conference, while winning two league titles. In 2018, the Bulls beat fourth-seeded Arizona 89-68 in the opening round of the NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament, its first NCAA tournament victory.
“When you feel like you’re prepared for your opponent, you feel confident,” Bauman says. “And we always feel like we’re well-prepared. We certainly felt that way against Arizona, and there’s no doubt in my mind that Just Play is part of the reason.”
Using the Just Play system, Buffalo’s coaches break down and tag video as they always have, but once they’re done, they upload it for the players to access it. “You just drag and drop the files,” Bauman says. “If you can put a picture on Facebook, you can upload videos on Just Play.”
The players can then choose selected clips or watch lists of clips tagged by their coaches. “The players have really bought in to watching video on Just Play,” Bauman says. “We’ve even noticed that they’re starting to pick up things we didn’t. They’ll tell us ‘No. 12 always takes a pop-up jumper when he goes to his right,’ or ‘No. 40 is weak with his right hand near the basket.’”
Bauman says the system came in especially handy when Buffalo had to prep for a second-round NCAA match up against Kentucky two days after beating Arizona. “We had uploaded all the Kentucky video in advance, and then when we got back to the hotel after beating Arizona, we told the players to take a look at the Kentucky video before our scouting meeting the next morning,” Bauman says. “That way they didn’t come into the meeting blind. They had already seen what we would be talking about and that helped greatly with the preparation process.”
In addition to using it for scouting and getting players to watch video, Bauman says Just Play has been invaluable in two other areas. The first is as a digital playbook. “Whenever we introduce a new play, we’ll run it in practice five-on-zero,” he says. “We’ll also have an animated diagram of the play in Just Play for them to review. Then after we practice it, we’ll lay video from practice over the animated diagram so they see what it looks like in real life.”
Another area where Just Play helps is getting new players acclimated to the program. Buffalo coaches load up the system with all the terminology incoming players need to know so that once practice starts they’re ready to hit the ground running. “The way our program works, once you know our terminology, you know everything,” Bauman says. “So the minute a new player comes on campus, we set them up on Just Play and tell them they need to use it to review our terminology. Just like the video, they can do it whenever they want using whatever kind of device they want. We just want them to do it. And it’s been a lot easier to get them to do it with Just Play.”