Championships aren’t won without hard work, good thing the defending NCAA National Champions aren’t sleeping in the off-season. Noah Basketball sat down with Virginia Men’s Basketball Head Coach Tony Bennett last week to discuss his program’s accomplishments, from player improvement and shooting success to installing Noah Basketball in John Paul Jones Arena.
“Last season for Virginia Basketball was a remarkable year, winning the National Championship,” Bennett said. “We had some terrific shooters if you just look at the percentages of our guys and how they improved over the years, it’s a credit to their hard work, their technique, their footwork, but Noah absolutely plays a part in that. I believe that.”
Kyle Guy was named MVP of the 2019 NCAA Tournament, shooting 53.3% from the field and 44.4% from deep in the final game of the tournament. Guy was accompanied by shooters like Ty Jerome and De’Andre Hunter, who, according to Bennett, had drastically improved his shot over the season. With all three players now in the NBA, Bennett has to think of ways to challenge his current players, and that’s where Noah and the real-time feedback technology comes into play.
“This group of guys I have shooting needs to be even more consistent with their alignment, left/right,” Bennett said. “A made basket only counts if you’re within our parameters. If they’re making it and it’s off five inches to the left but it’s still going in, it doesn’t count. So you’re just narrowing their focus, it’s like shooting on a smaller rim or putting on a smaller hole, but it just adds that element - it’s gotta be more of that perfect shot.”
Bennett uses that focus on all three shot metrics tracked by our technology -- shot arc, depth, and left/right position. If a player needs to focus on their arc, the made basket only counts when it falls within 43 and 47 degrees.
“Players like that and you see them getting competitive,” Bennett said. “A lot of our shooters have been helped with their arc, some with their alignment and then some with depth. There’s such good feedback after the workout, but during the workout audibly, which I love.”
Virginia Men’s Basketball has been a user of Noah since 2016, using the technology in their practice facility. Starting this season, Virginia will now be utilizing Noah’s shooting sensors and data analyses in John Paul Jones Arena, the arena that hosts their home games.
“Sometimes in practice you shoot a certain way, and then you add the pressure of the game, now there’s 15,000 people here and [with the sensors] we get a little feel for what individuals are doing [come game time] and how their shots are affected,” Bennett said. “You know, in an NCAA tournament you have to be able to win it, you better be able to shoot.”
To listen to Bennett’s full interview, watch the video below.