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NBA Drafts BYU’s Moneyballers

“There are few institutions that have more than one person that does serious work in this area,” said Ben Alamar, a senior analytics consultant for the Cavaliers. “Wharton is one of them, BYU is one of them, and I think I might be hard-pressed to name more schools that have multiple people working on sports analytics issues.”

In the movie “Moneyball,” Brad Pitt is cast as the man who revolutionized professional baseball with modern statistical analysis.

A similar storyline is playing out in the NBA — and two teams have drafted a pair of BYU statistics students in the effort.

Nick Martineau spent the summer crunching numbers for the Cleveland Cavaliers. Martineau is a former point guard for the BYU basketball team and a current grad student in the BYU statistics department.

As Martineau finishes his degree this year, he will continue to provide various analytics for the Cavaliers, such as player evaluation, team strategy and draft preparation.

“Nick is going to continue to work with us and he’s doing a great job,” said Ben Alamar, a senior analytics consultant for the Cavaliers. “We’re lucky to have him.”

Zach Bradshaw just wrapped up an 8-month internship for the Charlotte Bobcats, a team owned by Hall of Famer Michael Jordan. The Bobcats sent Bradshaw to Las Vegas this summer to observe the NBA summer league. At the conclusion of his internship last month, the team hired Bradshaw as a part-time statistical consultant while he finishes school.

“I loved being in a basketball front office and gaining first-hand experience working with team executives, communicating results to them,” Bradshaw said. “Being close to team executives was a great part of it. The NBA is the NBA.”

Martineau and Bradshaw are just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to sports analytics at BYU. In the field of sports analytics, BYU professor Gil Fellingham is a pioneer and his colleague Shane Reese is a rising star.

For the rest of the story, see BYU News.