Beyond the Scouting Report, an exclusive look at Oregon men’s basketball preparation

     Errrr. The final horn sounds as the Oregon Ducks pulled off their marquee victory defeating the then No. 4 Arizona Wildcats at Matthew Knight Arena. While the team celebrates the momentous victory, Eddie Kirk, the team’s video coordinator who is in charge of pre- and post-game basketball operations, was already looking ahead to their match-up against UCLA two weeks down the schedule.

     Games come quick. As soon as the Arizona game ends, Kirk heads to his office in the Casanova Center and loads the Duck’s game onto the PAC-12 server. He then downloads other games from the conference that have been played that day so that he can distribute it to the coaches. Before practice the next day, Kirk and Coach Altman sit down together and analyze the game played.

     “We’ll break down and make the 15 to 20 minute video of stuff coach wants to show the players from the game,” Kirk said.

     “Coach will show [the players] what he liked, what he didn’t like. I just watch the game through with him, and I go and edit it myself.

     “I take notes with him and make an edit of what he wants to see. I’ll end up watching the game four to six times.”

     With programs  like Final Cut and Adobe Premier, Kirk is able to cut up and edit the film.

     For the University of Oregon men’s basketball team, games may be played on back-to-back nights.

     “It’s like finals week, every game is a test,” Kirk said. Everyone is getting ready for a different class.”

     If that’s so, then Kirk is the guy who gives out the study guides and the class notes to the team.

     “It’s not like football where you only have one game a week and the whole staff can focus on the upcoming game,” Kirk said.

     In the PAC-12 tournament, teams play three to four games in a row depending on how far they advance. With Kirk’s help, the Ducks are tactically prepared to face any advancing team.
During the off-season, film exchange is coordinated between all 12 conference teams. Every team uploads tapes of their squad onto the PAC-12 server. The uploaded tapes include recorded games from the past season.

     “The closest example would be Blackboard where you load a post and then you can read everyone’ else’s post,” Kirk said.

     Any team can download the shared files only after they have uploaded their files onto the server.

     At the beginning of the season the coaching staff splits the schedule and determines which games they will be the lead scout for. The lead scout is in charge of watching all the games of a particular team for the season, while the other coaches, including Kirk, will watch the five or six most recent games. The lead scout analyzes his assigned team’s tendencies and plays.

     Since UCLA was next on the Duck’s schedule, the assistant coaches compared notes about the UCLA games weeks before playing Oregon.

     The lead scout assigned to UCLA will prepare a detailed scouting report on their players and offensive and defensive sets.

     Two days before to the game, the report is handed to the Duck’s basketball players. Before practice the team watches a 15-minute, scouting video on the opponent which Kirk edited. The night before, or the day of the game, the team practices the opponent’s plays during a walk-through practice so the players can better understand what UCLA likes to do.

     Kirk is just one of those guys that contributed to the University of Oregon men’s basketball 2013 PAC-12 Championship and appearance in the NCAA’s Sweet-16.

     “It’s just a big business,” Kirk said. “[There are] a lot of moving parts that make it successful.”

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3 Responses to Beyond the Scouting Report, an exclusive look at Oregon men’s basketball preparation

  1. cecilyfernandes says:

    I really like this story because I felt like I learned a lot that I didn’t know about the preparation for a basketball game. This story flows nicely as well but it would have been nice to have quotes or first hand speaking from Kirk to make the story flow better.

  2. mallorypd says:

    I really enjoyed this story and I think you did a nice job answering all of a reader’s potential questions about the process. I also liked how you weaved quotes in throughout the story instead of just including one long chunk of dialogue. One thing that threw me off a bit was how you kept switching between the past, present, and future tenses but overall it was really good!

  3. mdoughe3 says:

    I really liked the lead. It was a great set-up for the rest of the story.

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