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Sports Analytics in the Statistics GIDP

The University of Arizona Sports Analytics program allows students to become directly involved in analyzing athletic team data at the University of Arizona. Under the guidance of Statistics graduate students, undergraduates are introduced to current applications of sports analytics, and then apply their knowledge in statistics, computer programming or sports to complete a specific sports analytics project. In partnership with University of Arizona coaches, students identify areas of statistical interest that have real life applications to the athletic teams that become the focus of the projects.

Currently, the Sports Analytics program is partnering with Men’s Golf, Women’s Soccer, Men’s Basketball, and Strength and Conditioning, to provide statistical analysis that can lead to actionable information to help the teams excel.  Below is a list of current projects:

  • Men’s Golf
    • Providing automated and detailed tournament scouting reports to help inform hole by hole strategy for upcoming tournaments.
    • Future projects may include recruiting models and analysis of advanced golf metrics to determine what is most important to improving.
  • Women’s Soccer
    • Analysis of game film, specifically pass, shot and turnover data to try to identify what is most important to winning for our team.
  • Men’s Basketball
    • Building a model for high school recruiting, to determine not only how much of an individual impact a player will have on our program, but also how likely that player is to leave after one year.
    • Continuation of our shot chart program that can plot all the shots for Arizona and their opponents based on data that has been collected from a student built web crawler. The shot chart has multiple filters and could be a valuable tool for game planning.
    • Automated game film image processing, where our goal will be to build a program that can analyze game film to identify player and ball location.
  • Strength and Conditioning
    • Analysis of biometric measurements to determine if they impact performance in the weight room.

This program has experienced rapid growth. If you are a graduate mathematics or statistics student with an interest in sports analytics, please contact Joe Watkins at for more information.

Last updated 9 Jun 2017