"You have to be careful not to get paralysis by analysis," said Gard. "I can't look at all 31 games."
While Gard will be the one presenting the report on the Grizzlies, and looking to improve his personal record with his opening weekend scouting reports to 10-1, the task of laying the foundation of the scouting work is left to video coordinator Sharif Chambliss.
A former team captain at Wisconsin, Chambliss is in his second season as the Badgers' video coordinator, responsible for burning DVDs of video clips and helping prepare the scouting reports that will impact whether UW will advance or not in the 2012 NCAA Tournament. Chambliss can develop a pretty good pace to his job during the season when the nonconference and Big Ten schedule is set in stone. But on nights like Sunday, Chambliss and UW's managerial team has to burn the midnight oil.
"We have a great set of managers, some of the best in the country," said Chambliss. "By the time I got upstairs (after the selection show), they had all of schedules printed off of the three teams in our pod. We had eight or 10 different computers going (Sunday) night."
Those computers in the Wisconsin nerve center were on Synergy, the main program the Badgers' use to download games and scout opponents.
Synergy Sports Technology, defined on its website, owns and operates the world's premier, high volume video-indexing statistical engine and online retrieval platform. Synergy's professional online/offline products that provide collaborative end-to-end scouting solutions are used by sports teams around the world.
Prior to using Synergy, Chambliss said Wisconsin had ‘four or five' games on Montana. With Synergy, Chambliss got any game he wanted to help Gard and UW coach Bo Ryan with his scouting report Montana, not to mention the scouting reports he had to prepare for assistant coach Gary Close on fifth-seed Vanderbilt and 12th-seed Harvard for assistant coach Lamont Paris should UW advance.
With the Badgers and the Grizzlies having not played a common opponent this season, Chambliss grabbed film of teams that are compared to Wisconsin. Without much trouble, Chambliss grabbed film from a team like Weber State, who finished second to the Grizzlies in both the Big Sky regular season and tournament championship.
"Synergy is my best friend this time of year," Chambliss said. "When it was all said and done, the coaches had more than what they had asked for."
Fast Draw and Fast Scout are also good buddies of the UW staff; programs that allow coaches to download and sort stats in a number of categories - the last five games played, conference games, wins, losses, home games, road games, games played at altitude, games played at sea level, rivalry games, possessions, score differential and more - to make their analysis.
While video is still the main form of breaking down an opponent, Gard said the stats lay the groundwork for a player's tendencies. For example, the stats told Gard that 7-0 senior forward Derek Selvig has attempted 56 of his 127 shot attempts in conference play from 3-point range, signaling he is more than comfortable hoisting shots from the perimeter.
"That's a pretty high ratio for a kid his size," said Gard. "You knew right away what he is like."
With the stats and the film, Gard and Chambliss both are agreement that Montana likes to play an up-tempo style and tries to cause chaos with presses when they can. UW also knows the Grizzlies have four players that average over 9.2 points per game and have a junior guard, Will Cherry, who averages a team-best 16.0 points per game that Gard calls ‘the head of their machine.'
More so that the information put in any scouting report, however, it still boils down to if Wisconsin plays to its identity when it faces a team that the selection committee said was one of the best 68 teams in the country.
"They are 25-6 for a reason," said Gard. "They are a team that has played well recently having won 14 in a row … They are well balanced. They are not just self reliant."