Before I get to some spring football links, Ken filed this note about Tech’s women’s basketball team, which plays Iowa in the NCAA tournament Sunday night:
I was curious about how Tech’s women do their scouting for the NCAA tournament, when they’re playing an opponent with which they have little familiarity.
Tech basketball video coordinator Sam Purcell gave me the low-down on how he and the coaching staff found video on Iowa, which will play Tech in a first-round game Sunday at 9:30 on ESPN2.
First, Tech has eight or nine DirecTV recorders that are pulling down college games all season long, men’s and women’s. It has that many because one machine can only record one game at a time and, obviously, there are often several games going on at once. Second, Tech shares its game film with all of the teams in the conference. Purcell basically shoots out an e-mail with the game film after every game, and the league uses a company that stores the video until someone needs it. In this case, Iowa played Duke earlier this season, so Purcell was able to access that.
Third, the coaches used their contacts around the country to find teams that had played Iowa and ask if they can mail them video.
Said Purcell: “FedEx definitely makes a lot of money off of college athletics in the month of March.”
The ACC is like many conferences that have a policy that prevents them from giving up tape of a league member to a team out of the conference. So, for instance, even though coach MaChelle Joseph played and coached at Purdue, coaches there would likely not be able to give up their video of games against Iowa.
But she could ask coaches at Kansas, which played Iowa in November, for their film. “In the coaching profession, somebody knows somebody,” Purcell said.
Purcell said he left Tech’s announcement party Monday night as soon as the pairing was announced to find what Iowa game film was on the recorders and to burn DVD’s for Joseph.
He said all told, Tech got about 10 different Iowa games, mostly either from DirecTV or from coaching colleagues. The Big Ten Network helped in having more televised games.
When coaches look at film, they watch on computer and use editing software to mark different segments on film to sort them appropriately — inbounds plays, offensive tendencies, defensive tendencies, etc. That allows them to review all of Iowa’s sideline inbounds plays at once, for instance, or what plays they run when using certain offensive sets.
They also look for player tendencies — does a player only go to the right? What are another player’s favorite post moves? The coaches only show players about 10 minutes of video at a time, Purcell said, because “after 10 minutes, everything starts sounding the same.”
The hope is those 10-minute sessions make a difference in helping players recognize and anticipate.
“It’s a pretty interesting process,” Purcell said. “Obviously, as coaches you can get excited about it and feel good, but ultimately it comes down to players.”
As you all know, Tech opens spring practice Monday (without center Dan Voss, who’s recovering from shoulder surgery).
Here are spring practice reports from five of Tech’s 2009 opponents:
At Miami, fumbles were a problem in an open scrimmage.
At Clemson, QB Willy Korn has changed his throwing motion.
At North Carolina, there’s a depth issue on the O-line. And the Ohio State coaching staff paid a visit.
At Florida State, Christian Ponder is the only scholarship QB practicing.
At Duke, coach David Cutcliffe says his team’s conditioning is “way beyond” where it was a year ago.