Years ago Josh Eilert and those like him were under the gun when NCAA tournament time came around. Learning of the first round opponent on Sunday night, video and operations directors would begin scouring their libraries for game video, often taped on VHS by any means available. With video exchanges shaky at best, it was often an all-night process to find game tape of the first round foe, get it loaded, edited and cut up into usable form for the coaching staff.
That first rush didn't end the job, either. The same process had to be repeated for two potential foes in the second round, entailing more calls, video location and late night work.
Over the past few years, though, technology has come to the rescue. A product and company called Synergy allows every team in the nation to upload their game video directly to the cloud, where it is cut up according to every sort of situation imaginable and made available to every subscriber. So, instead of beginning the process of finding Stephen F. Austin game tape, Eilert and his staff simply prepared it for the coaching staff's laptops and video systems, and had it available for the players to digest very quickly as well.
Synergy is a wonderland of a system for the basketball junkie. Not only does it collate and collect game video, it also offers stats of every stripe and breakdown. It makes Moneyball look like second grade math. Need to know what a player shoots from the left side of the court instead of the right? Who makes shots with the shot clock winding down? It's all there.
The problem now, according to Eilert, is that there may be too much data to work through. He cites the story of West Virginia's preparation for Duke in the 2010 Final Four as an example.
"The problem there was, I thought, that we had too much time and too much information. There's only so much you can do and work with, and ant some point the kids just have to go play."
In the above feature video, Eilert discusses the improvements in the system, and breaks down the preparation that he and his staff go through with each of the West Virginia coaches