Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Tracking a team's effort

Last night, the Big Ten Network had a story on the University of Minnesota's "Hustle Chart."

I emailed Ryan Saunders, a graduate manager on Tubby Smith's staff at UM, asking about the chart. He was nice enough to email me back with some details.

During every game, the UM staff charts steals, blocks, charges, deflections, and hustle plays.

According to Coach Saunders, it's "not uncommon for Coach Smith (pictured above) to ask during timeouts how many deflections we have" as it serves as a tool for gauging the team's overall effort. Not surprisingly, "much of the time, [deflections] coincide with the score."

To hold players accountable, the team posts the "Hustle Chart" in its film room that lists the best offensive rebounder, screener, player who took a charge, hustle player of the game, defensive player of the game, deflections, assist/TO ratio, and blocks leader. [They also maintain an updated cumulative deflection chart in the locker room that highlights numbers from the last game and season totals.]

"Players always are aware when they do not make the board, and we are sure to point it out when somebody is dominating the hustle chart or if their name is missing."