Duke Men’s Basketball
A flexible scouting platform
Like many programs, Coach K and his staff begin preparing for their next opponent on the night of their previous game. Duke Men’s Basketball switched to Just Play prior to the 2017-18 season so that they could produce custom scouting materials within very short time frames.
Kevin Cullen, Director of Technology, is tasked with delivering a variety of reports on each opponent, including custom splits such as “last three games”. After a game, Cullen may have only 30 minutes to prepare these unique reports. Just Play’s custom reports and blended box scores save him time and stress.
“Just Play has made my scouting process more efficient without forcing me to change the way we work,” Cullen said. “Just Play has delivered on everything we’ve asked of them time and time again. They make my job easier, and they help us teach our players better. We’re proud to work with them.”
Kevin Cullen, Director of Technology for Duke Men’s Basketball, meets with Just Play’s Austin Barone at their facilities in Durham, NC.
Rice Women’s Basketball
For coaches who love to teach
As the 2018-19 season approached, Tina Langley and her staff at Rice were still looking for new ways to teach their playbook.
“We wanted to provide something more visual for the players,” says Langley. “But we were using a variety of different tools that weren’t very easy to use. Just Play changed everything.”
Langley and her staff picked up Just Play in late September and were able to quickly build out their system to provide the interactive experience they wanted for their team.
“We needed a more dynamic way to reach our players with something they would actually use. Just Play is a platform for coaches who love to teach and helps our program improve on a daily basis.”
The Owls finished 2018-19 with a record of 28-3, capturing the Conference USA regular season and tournament championships.
Tina Langley, 2019 Conference USA Coach of the Year.
Prepare like the pros
Prior to the 2018-19 NBA season, Just Play partnered with the Denver Nuggets to revamp their preparation workflow with a focus on easier, more effective ways to engage with their players. The benefits quickly showed during training camp as the Nuggets used Just Play to present players with a walk through of each day’s offensive and defensive installs.
“Working with Just Play’s flexible platform was very important because we were able to create a system that was best for us,” says Assistant Coach Jordi Fernandez.
As the Nuggets progress through the season, the ability to deliver the right content to the right person is critical. This includes sharing between staff, players, the front office, and even sending video directly to the bench during games.
One of the most important pieces of this workflow is sharing interactive scouting reports to better prepare players during the long grind of the NBA season.
“Paper scouting reports aren’t the most effective way to reach our guys,” says Video Coordinator Andrew Munson. “For them to have easy access on their mobile devices to what we prepare for them has been great for us this season.”
Along with interactive scouting reports, the Nuggets use Just Play to deliver both practice and game film to players. The team has shared over 1.1 terabytes of video through Just Play since the season began.
“Just Play has made it easier to get film to our players, especially on the road,” Munson said. “Our guys have access to all their clips before they get to the bus or plane.”
The improvements to the Nuggets’ workflow has translated to success on the floor. Denver is perhaps the most improved team in the NBA and is battling for the top overall seed in the Western Conference as the regular season winds down.
“This technology helps us take care of the little details,” says Fernandez. “The teams that best utilize technology to prepare at a high level are the ones that will be successful, and this has definitely been a focus for us this season.”
Alabama Men’s Basketball
Teaching with terminology
Prior to making the move to Tuscaloosa to become the new men’s basketball coach at Alabama, Nate Oats had several very successful teams at the University of Buffalo. In his final season with Bulls, Oats lead an experienced roster to one of the best seasons in program history, finishing 32-4 and earning a #6 seed in the NCAA tournament.
With a playbook consisting of over 300 plays, you might think that even a veteran squad would be overwhelmed with the information needed to execute. Not so for the Buffalo Bulls, the 2019 MAC regular season and tournament champions.
Coach Oats’ staff has built a comprehensive system on the Just Play platform, one that they will introduce to the Crimson Tide. Their well-organized playbook allows them to easily expand and tweak what they run from game-to-game.
“We use a lot of terminology and actions to design plays,” says Adam Bauman, Director of Operations for the Bulls. “Our plays sometimes sound like a football call, but it gives us flexibility and keeps our guys on the same page.”
“Finding a platform that could handle our workflow and not slow us down was a challenge,” said Bauman. “We found that in Just Play and it has been a big part of our success over the past few seasons.”
Nate Oats, 2019 MAC Coach of the Year.
Preparing while disconnected
Several WNBA players represented their respective countries in the 2018 World Cup in Spain. This caused a unique challenge for the WNBA, causing them to condense the season into four months instead of five.
The Atlanta Dream used Just Play’s travel mode to work on content, such as scouting reports and video, without wifi.
“Everyone’s schedule was challenging,” said Zach Cooper, the Director of Scouting for the Dream. “With less time to prepare, we relied heavily on Just Play’s travel mode to work on the plane. It was reliable, fast, and a huge asset for us.”
“We were able to scout opponents, watch film, draw plays, and prepare everything to be synced up to the players’ app,” said Assistant Coach Mike Petersen. “Being disconnected didn’t slow us down at all. That was particularly important this year.”
The Dream had a franchise-best 23-11 record in 2018, earning the two-seed in the WNBA Playoffs. In her first season, Head Coach Nicki Collen was named WNBA Coach of the Year.
Atlanta Dream head coach Nicki Collen addresses her team during a timeout. Photo courtesy of the Atlanta Dream.