St Andrew’s College Bring Their Basketball Program into Focus with Hudl

St Andrew’s College Bring Their Basketball Program into Focus with Hudl

St Andrew’s College are look­ing for an edge on the com­pe­ti­tion by using the lat­est Hudl cam­era tech­nol­o­gy. Learn how Hudl Focus and its inte­gra­tion with the Hudl online plat­form is pro­vid­ing a full-ser­vice of analy­sis to a lead­ing school in the country.


For St Andrew’s College Teacher in Charge of Basketball Ben Eves, there is a very clear roadmap as to where he wants the pro­gram to be in terms of success.

My vision for the bas­ket­ball pro­gram is that we’re aim­ing to be the best co-edu­ca­tion­al school in New Zealand,” said Eves. We have a flour­ish­ing boys and girls bas­ket­ball pro­gram where we have high par­tic­i­pa­tion rates, high amounts of progress for the stu­dents and obvi­ous­ly hav­ing results that back that up as well.”

Eves goes on to explain how tech­nol­o­gy clear­ly ties in close­ly with this over­all roadmap for success.

Technology has already become ben­e­fi­cial in get­ting feed­back to the play­ers and back to the coach­es, par­tic­u­lar­ly from break­ing down game footage to see where defi­cien­cies are and what we need to work on,” explained Eves. It’s been mas­sive hav­ing our film­ing cam­era already built in on site so that we can get footage straight back after the games, and this makes our jobs a lit­tle bit eas­i­er when it comes to break­ing down games.”

St Andrew's College are one of the top high school basketball programs in New Zealand.

Hudl Focus is the tool St Andrew’s have cho­sen to ampli­fy and stream­line their bas­ket­ball analy­sis. Hudl Focus allows record­ing, upload­ing and live stream­ing of games — all auto­mat­i­cal­ly through a smart cam­era that tracks the game action in live match and prac­tice environments.

Focus has allowed Eves and his coach­ing staff the oppor­tu­ni­ty to improve their video cap­ture and analy­sis work­flow from man­u­al, to auto­mat­ic. A huge time saver for the team.

Previously when we were break­ing down film, we had a lit­tle cam­corder on the side­line which was manned by a cam­era­man,” said Eves. We then used our Hudl account, but first we had to take the film out of the cam­era, upload the footage to a com­put­er, then upload to Hudl, and obvi­ous­ly exe­cute the film break­down from there. 

An example of the view provided by the Hudl Focus camera.

Whereas, now we have cut two of those steps out with Focus mean­ing we no longer need a cam­era­man and we have the footage on Hudl auto­mat­i­cal­ly already after the game is fin­ished. After our post-game team talk, about half an hour to 45 min­utes, the footage is there and ready to look at direct­ly after the game. So it’s been a big time saver in that regard.”

Focus has live-stream­ing capa­bil­i­ties to a num­ber of plat­forms — St Andrew’s use YouTube — and this has been a key asset in allow­ing sup­port­ers the chance to see their team in action dur­ing this time of pan­dem­ic when fans are not allowed to watch in person.

Focus has been mas­sive in hav­ing some­thing where we can stream out con­tent, and obvi­ous­ly being in a COVID year, it’s been fan­tas­tic for par­ents to still be able to see their sons and daugh­ters play on a reg­u­lar basis,” said Eves. As an addi­tion to the coach­es being able to ana­lyze footage, we also have fam­i­lies still being able to inter­act with the pro­gram from a dis­tance. It’s made them feel more con­nect­ed to the bas­ket­ball pro­gram even though they couldn’t be phys­i­cal­ly there sup­port­ing their kids.”

It’s been mas­sive hav­ing our film­ing cam­era already built in on site so that we can get footage straight back after the games, and this makes our jobs a lit­tle bit eas­i­er when it comes to break­ing down game footage.”

Recently St Andrew’s used their YouTube chan­nel linked with Focus to stream a tour­na­ment they host­ed where 24 games were streamed over a three day peri­od. This was a seam­less process for Eves and his team.

Focus live stream is incred­i­bly quick, in terms of get­ting the actu­al games pre­loaded, it’s just a mat­ter of sched­ul­ing it and essen­tial­ly push­ing a switch to start the stream to YouTube,” said Eves. Once the YouTube plat­form is ready, it’s just push­ing one but­ton and it’s auto­mat­i­cal­ly pushed out to the wider com­mu­ni­ty. The video qual­i­ty itself has been very good and we’ve heard com­ments from par­ents that they can track the action effec­tive­ly while watch­ing, which shows the accu­ra­cy of the camera.”

Although there are incred­i­ble ben­e­fits to hav­ing live games acces­si­ble across the coun­try and the globe, Eves recog­nis­es that hav­ing highlights/​lowlights avail­able at the click of a but­ton opens up some poten­tial­ly chal­leng­ing impli­ca­tions; and is work­ing close­ly with the stu­dents, par­ents, school lead­er­ship, and Hudl to ensure that the wel­fare of our ran­gatahi (chil­dren) remains our num­ber one priority.

The good thing is with the Focus cam­era and the linked Hudl account is that we can break advanced stats such as which areas of the court we are get­ting high per­cent­age shots from and where our defi­cien­cies are in terms of our shoot­ing zones.”

Focus allows not only games to be ana­lyzed, but also train­ing sce­nar­ios, with a mul­ti­tude of sta­tis­tics that can be derived through the auto­mat­i­cal­ly pro­vid­ed footage to the Hudl online platform.

We have got an incred­i­ble assis­tant coach who actu­al­ly uses Hudl as part of his sports coach­ing degree and he pumps out a whole pile of stats,” said Eves. Some are the bog stan­dard ones where you’ve got plus/​minuses, impact on court and shoot­ing per­cent­age charts. But now, the good thing is with the Focus cam­era and the linked Hudl account is that we can cre­ate advanced stats such as which areas of the court we are get­ting high per­cent­age shots from and where our defi­cien­cies are in terms of our shoot­ing zones. There’s obvi­ous­ly the basics as well like turnovers and fouls — what we would call the con­trol­lables’ — these are going to be acces­si­ble through any video plat­form, but the Focus sys­tem makes the whole process much easier.” 

An example of a heat map generated from performance analysis statistics that helps inform decision making for coaches and players.

Opposition analy­sis is also a key facet that has now improved the play­ers’ abil­i­ty to ana­lyze their upcom­ing challenges.

The stu­dents get access to a whole range of stats, and then from that point onwards they get to focus on how they’re approach­ing the next game,” said Eves. We use our Hudl online account for break­ing down game film of the oppo­si­tion, so we will upload videos from the oth­er schools and get the play­ers to watch seg­ments on what their offense looks like and how we can take away some of their pri­ma­ry threats. The whole Hudl plat­form allows us to deliv­er a real us vs them’ analy­sis, pri­or to us tak­ing on the next team.”

Focus is dri­ving bas­ket­ball for­ward at St Andrew’s and now the tech­nol­o­gy is begin­ning to be imple­ment­ed in addi­tion­al sport­ing codes as well as the school’s Physical Education department.

Obviously bas­ket­ball is tak­ing the lead in using Focus effec­tive­ly with­in our sport­ing pro­gram, but after this ini­tial suc­cess we have now start­ed using it across five dif­fer­ent sports with­in our school,” said Eves. For exam­ple we can use the cam­era for net­ball, vol­ley­ball and also Physical Education, as my main role at the school is actu­al­ly being in charge of Physical Education, so we use it for stu­dent mod­er­a­tion pur­pos­es with­in the depart­ment this year as well. In gen­er­al, Focus cuts out those cou­ple of time con­sum­ing steps in the video process. It records high qual­i­ty video and is quite easy to store, so we are try­ing to uti­lize it across as many sport­ing codes and plat­forms as possible.”

Record, upload, livestream — all auto­mat­i­cal­ly. Learn more about how Hudl Focus by click­ing here.