Went to the BYU Father/Sons camp. A few thoughts:
- Love Pope's energy and excitement. You can't help but like the guy when you're around him. Extremely engaging and thrilled about his new role. Incredibly impressed.
- Spent about an hour with Burgess and Fueger talking basketball, analytics and the approach of the new staff.
- The staff is EXTREMELY data driven. For example, the PPP (Points Per Possession) metric. They use this HEAVILY for each player. For instance, TJ Haws was in the top 1% nationally in PPP when he is the ball handler on a ball screen. However last year BYU only ran ball screens with TJ a couple dozen times (I can't remember the exact number Burgess shared). Gavin Baxter was top 5% in the country PPP on ball screens when he was the screener and yet he only was the screener 16 times on ball screens total last year (I think my number is right). Point is: I think we'll see Baxter setting a lot of ball screens for Haws this year 🙂 Also, that's just an example of the way this staff is going to approach the game: with data.
- They're showing PPP and other advanced analytics data to high school kids and pointing out that they will maximize it. Said it helps with recruiting smart kids who want to improve.
- Toolson - Extremely impressed with him personally and as a player. The advanced metrics are amazing.
- Players - Met basically all the players. Reminds me why I cheer for BYU. Remarkable and great guys.
- Shot mix - Coaches want us to look like the Rockets/Bucks in terms of shot mix (3s and layups not iso ball). I expect our shot mix to look noticeably different this year compared to last. Threes or layups is all they want the guys to shoot. (btw, that's really the most substantial reason the Bucks were so much better this year than last...their shot mix consisted of far fewer two point jump shots and far more threes or layups). It would not shock me if we hoisted 25-30 threes a game, which is tough in 40 minutes.
- They believe they are one of the best staffs in the country at using data. Their goal is to be the most data-driven staff in America. They want each player to know their PPP for each element of their game (post ups, ball screens, isos, drives, etc.). And then play to those strengths. Same with defense. For instance, Seljaas said that his defensive PPP (which you want to be low rather than high), was extremely high for spot-up shots of his man. Which means he sucks at close outs and getting back to his man after helping. So guess, what he's doing this Summer: working on close outs and help D.
- I expect the team to switch screens 1-4 always and to never/rarely play zone.
- Maybe the most impressive guy on the staff is Cody Fueger - https://byucougars.com/staff/m-basketball/101730/Cody-Fueger
- He'll be a head coach if he wants to be.
- Saw Yoeli at the practice facility.
- The staff is also VERY aware of lineup use and efficiency numbers. In other words, which 5 players should play together etc. To quote one of the coaches: 'There's no 'tinkering' with lineups' when you're data driven. You know which groups should play together and which shouldn't after gathering data for a few games'
- They were never negative about Rose (obviously they love him), but talking with the players and with the staff two things were clear: 1) it was time for a change 2) this staff is FAR more data-driven. Players are expected to know their PPP, their efficiency numbers, and playcalling/system will be built around data-based strength.
I was extremely impressed.