This past season was a memorable one for the FDU Knights basketball program, as they capped off a strong campaign with a March Madness appearance – just the sixth in school history. The Knights won their last eight games of the season and a Northeast Conference title along the way.
It was also the program’s first season equipped with PlaySight’s SmartCourt technology. The Knights utilized PlaySight’s connected camera and automated AI system to enable easy recording of all game and practice video, to break down video with players, and take their on and off-court performance analysis to the next level. PlaySight technology is also used by several NBA teams – the Golden State Warriors, Boston Celtics and Detroit Pistons, among others – and many across the NCAA, including North Carolina, Oklahoma and Wake Forest. PlaySight’s SmartTracking AI software gives FDU and other schools the ability to capture and follow all on-court player and ball action without the need for a cameraman or operator.
We recently caught up with Darius Stokes, Director of Basketball Operations, as well as Associate Head Coach Bruce Hamburger.
How has your first year with PlaySight been?
Stokes: Our first year with PlaySight has been tremendous. I think it made a huge impact on our program with player development.
Hamburger: Our first year with PlaySight was great. The transition to a new video system was seamless. PlaySight provided great training and customer support.
What role does video play for you as a coach?
Stokes: Video plays a huge role for our coaching staff. The fastest way to improve on our play is to break down film of things that we did wrong and learn from it.
Hamburger: Video is a huge component of our opponent scouting and our own self-evaluation of our team. We use video on a daily basis in order to show our team what is happening on the court. It’s one thing to talk to your players about what they are doing, but to show them video from multiple angles allows them to see what we are telling them.
What has been your favorite part about PlaySight?
Stokes: My favorite part of PlaySight is having film readily available right after a game or practice and not having to worry about setting up cameras. I press record and do not have to worry about anything else. PlaySight does all of the work.
Hamburger: Off the court, at home on my iPad and watching practice and pulling clips out for specific players and being able to text it to the player is a huge advantage. It really helped enable me to create a basketball dialogue with players. Kids were really receptive to 1-1 video.
How did your team incorporate PlaySight into practices? Game film?
Stokes: This year our team watched hours of film from practice using PlaySight. Our coaching staff would break down film from practice and send directly to our players who have the PlaySight app on their phone.
Hamburger: We used PlaySight every day with our practices. We made offensive & defensive videos for teaching with our offensive sets & defensive concepts.
What would you say to a program that is looking at a video technology like PlaySight?
Stokes: I would definitely recommend using a video technology system like PlaySight. I believe it can have a huge impact on player development.
Hamburger: PlaySight will take your use of video to another level. The ease of using the system is outstanding. The multiple angles provides you and your players with different looks to learn from.
How was PlaySight and the video received by your players?
Stokes: Our players loved having PlaySight. They were able to watch film from practice and games right on their phone following the practice or game.
Hamburger: Terrific – kids love to watch themselves play, and the feedback/communication you can have with a player is an amazing feature. The video never lies – and the ability to see it on a daily basis enables them to learn better and be better players. With PlaySight the players have the ability to go back to their dorms after practice and watch practice on their cell, tablet or laptop.
How do you plan to utilize PlaySight in the summer?
Stokes: We will use PlaySight through the summer with our individual skill workouts. We will be able to break down clips of each player individual showing things that they can work on: footwork, positioning, shooting form, etc.
Hamburger: When our players are in summer school we will use PlaySight to help the incoming freshman learn our system of play. We will teach them how to watch video as they watch themselves in practice and skill work sessions.
Does PlaySight play a role in recruiting?
Stokes: PlaySight plays a huge role in recruiting. We showcase it to incoming recruits and show that we have one the best video systems in the country.
Hamburger: We use PlaySight in the recruiting process as we watch video with our recruits and show them how we play and how they will fit into our style.