Viterbi Ball

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Two researchers from the USC Viterbi School of Engineering are using advanced technology and statistics to create a new version of "Moneyball" for the NBA.  Computer scientists Rajiv Maheswaran and Yu-Han Chang are sifting through more than one million data records per game, the largest collection ever, looking for statistical patterns and insights.

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USC's Viterbi team is the only school in the country with complete access to SportVU optical tracking data, which uses video cameras installed in participating basketball arenas to capture real-time video footage, as many as 25 frames per second.

"What [Rajiv and Yu-Han] can do with the data is far beyond what we or any NBA team can do with the data," said Brian Kopp, vice president of strategy and development at STATS, owners of the SportVU technology.

As an example, the research proves statistically that the mid-range jumper is the worst shot in basketball because it yields only a two-point reward at a low percentage and rarely gets offensive rebounded. 

No word yet on who will play Rajiv and Yu-Han when Aaron Sorkin inevitably writes the movie, but here is a cool video which better explains the theory.

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