Texas A&M Aggies coach Buzz Williams thinks using analytics is a delicate balance
Texas A&M basketball coach Buzz Williams is big on analytics in college basketball, but he also understands that sometimes there’s more to winning than just the numbers.
Williams is set for his first season in College Station, and he’ll undoubtedly dive into certain stats to look at potential areas of improvement for the team.
But while analytics do play a role in Williams’ coaching philosophy, he has no intention of letting it be the only deciding factor when it comes to approaching the game in an effective manner.
“I try not to ever let the numbers infect what my eyes see,” Williams said last week at SEC Media Day in Birmingham. “I probably don’t study specifically the analytics that most people do. Over the last couple of decades I’ve kind of figured out what I think is important to winning, and those are the numbers that I study. I never want to get so lost in the numbers that I allow the numbers to replace my eyes.”
Using both the numbers and his eyes will continue to be a huge part of his coaching journey. With analytics playing a larger role each season, coaches who are able to decipher which are the most important will likely experience the most success.
Williams mentioned that there were nine different categories that he studies, but that it would continue to be all about balancing the numbers with his own instinct.
“I think it’s a balance of both, and I think it’s a delicate balance,” he said. “Because sometimes when you’re watching, sometimes your heart or brain wants it to be something other than what the numbers say. So I do think it’s a delicate balance. You can use those numbers because they’re factual to help teach your team, and we use those numbers to help teach maybe as much as we do to make decisions.”
Williams and company will try to help Texas A&M get back on track after a 14-18 campaign a season ago.
However, the program has reached the Sweet 16 twice in the past five seasons, and Williams’ goal will be making that a more frequent possibility after leading Virginia Tech to its first-ever Sweet 16 last season.
The Aggies will start their new season on Nov. 6 against Northwestern State.
Blake Lovell is a national college basketball writer for ClutchPoints. He’s also a contributor for the Blue Ribbon College Basketball Yearbook and Athlon Sports College Basketball Preview magazine. He hosts two podcasts: Marching to Madness (CBB) and Establish the Pass (NFL).