Basketball

Hudl Assist Propels Wisc. Team to State Appearance

<p>Xavier head coach A.C. Clouthier says Assist played a pivotal role in helping Xavier extend its postseason.</p>

By its own coach’s account, the Xavier High School (Wisc.) girls’ basketball team had no business going to the state tournament last season.

The Hawks were facing Wrightstown, a team that averaged more than 60 points per game, with a bid to the tournament on the line. However, coach A.C. Clouthier came prepared - through studying six different Wrightstown games and examining the statistics, he devised a matchup zone that took away the Tigers’ top scorer and dared the others to beat him.

The strategy paid off as Xavier won 64-56, becoming the only squad to hold Wrightstown under 60 points during the season.

“If you would’ve told me our best player wasn’t going to make a 3-pointer in this game, I would’ve said we’d lose by 20 points probably,” Clouthier said. “They didn’t have an answer for our defense.”

Clouthier isn’t insulting his players with this statement. But he readily acknowledges the advantages he was granted by Hudl Assist, which he used for the first time last season.

“We wouldn’t have gone to state if it wasn’t for (Hudl Assist). We won a lot of basketball games because of it." A.C. Clouthier, Xavier High School head coach

"I think our kids were always ready and prepared for the next game. We beat two teams in the sectional semis and the sectional championship that should have beat us nine out of 10 times.

“But I knew everything they were going to do and everything they were going to counter. I firmly believe throughout the season the amount of time I saved and being able to practice plan and scouting other teams certainly gave me the advantage."

That changed when Xavier added Assist last season. While Hudl tagged his game, Clouthier was able to start scouting the next opponent or plan practice.

“I can only imagine what it’s like to have a wife and a child or two and try to fit in filming and stuff,” he said. “The biggest thing you can get out of it is time management and efficiency. I can tell each player individually what to watch."

Clouthier goes deep on his breakdowns, searching for any miniscule edge he can find. This includes examining where his own players most often miss free throws, which can be easily filtered into one playlist for quick viewing. For example, if most of a certain player’s misses are off to the right, he’ll instruct the girl on the right block to set a screen across the lane for the girl on the left, freeing up the latter for an easy put-back.

But breakdowns don’t need to be that intense. Clouthier also designs new shooting routines in practice based off of the shot charts and breaks down his team’s miscues with just a few clicks.

“After each game I’ll just go watch our turnovers,” he said. “How can we get better? What decisions are we making and aren’t they making? What kind of situations can I put them in in practice? If we’re playing a zone team, I have four different zone packages that we’re going to practice."

Clouthier clearly found an edge with Hudl Assist. Want to see what it can do for you? Get started by clicking here.