The secret weapon of the Alabama Crimson Tide: Michael Schwimer and the power of analytics

The NBA-style offense of the Alabama Crimson Tide, which has reached its first Final Four this year, has been bolstered by a 38-year-old consultant dubbed a "beautiful mind" by coach Nate Oats. "We do, literally, everything," says Schwimmer, the CEO of sports analytics firm Big League Advantage, who works closely with Oats and his staff on everything from player skills development to recruiting to in-game strategy. Schwimmer, who has a degree in economics and psychology, claims to have video of "every shot every player has taken" since age 15, assists with transfers and the transfer portal, and even offers psychological insight to players. "I figure out motivational factors for players," he says. With a majority of the roster being comprised of mid-major transfers, the team has rallied around the slogan "Not finished," and Schwimmer, who has a career ERA of 4.62, smiled when asked if he had ever heard the phrase "reverting to the mean" used in a basketball context. "I think Jon Scheyer and Nate Oats are the two best coaches in the country," he says.

Read more