BBALLBREAKDOWN: Chartier Breaks Down Sports Stats with ‘Coach Nick’

Show host "Coach Nick" conducted a 50-minute conversation with Davidson's sports analytics guru Prof. Tim Chartier on the podcast BBALLBREAKDOWN. Coach Nick talked about his own experiences with analytics in the NBA, while Chartier explained how Davidson's "CatStats" crew of student analysts has employed data collection and analysis to give the Wildcat men's basketball team an edge over opponents.

The CatStats crew works closely with the team coaches, and are continually developing new measures for analysis. They have become such a valued part of the game experience that they are now assigned a courtside station on press row for their work.

Coach Nick said there is more skepticism about data analysis in the NBA by coaches and players who feel like the numbers don't add anything to an "eyeball" analysis of the game. Chartier agreed that stats have their limits, but reported that coaches say it jump starts their video analysis of games, and helps make practices more efficient because the numbers reveal things they need to practice most. Chartier admitted the system isn't perfect.

"Regression is an amazing tool, but it has its limits," he said.

Listen to the podcast.


  • February 12, 2016