Project Samson

In fall 2021, Samford will launch an innovative new initiative, Project Samson. In partnership with Samford University Athletics, Center for Sports Analytics, American Sports Medicine Institute (ASMI), and Andrews Sports Medicine & Orthopaedic Center, Project Samson seeks to provide enhanced opportunities for Samford students across both athletics and academic programs, including internships, clinical placements, and extracurricular learning. This initiative will bring the latest technology, data analysis, and sports medicine practices together to enhance student learning in this program.

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Sports Analytics Research

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Using Decision Tree Algorithms to Test the Accuracy of NBA Playoff Predictions
In this project, I explore how data mining and decision tree algorithms can be used to model the predictive power of team performance metrics and to predict NBA playoff teams. I construct a decision tree model using three different basketball team statistics and calculate the Gini Coefficient for each variable to measure information gain and determine the split order.  
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Hank Aaron Award Winner Analysis
This article breaks down the nominees and winners of the Hank Aaron Award using statistical analysis. The analysis provided support for why players were nominated, why certain players won, and offers arguments for why other players could have received nominations. It is summarized by qualitative takeaways from the quantitative analysis.  
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The Slow Growth of Data Analytics in the Football
Data usage in football is growing, though not as quickly as it has in other sports. Teams who don’t use analytics are now likely at a disadvantage to those who do. Samford Football is investing in data analytics, largely due to Project Samson.  
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Defying All Odds: The Story of the 2021 Atlanta Braves
It’s July 10th. The Atlanta Braves are in Miami facing off against a young Marlins team. It’s the bottom of the fifth inning. Promising star Jazz Chisholm of the Marlins steps up to the plate and hits a fly ball to right field. The team’s MVP Ronald Acuña Jr. runs to track it down and jumps to attempt the catch. All comes crashing down. This is the story of the 2021 Atlanta Braves. 
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Cracking the Code: Does Path to the Pros Affect NFL Quarterback Success?
Every NFL player takes a unique route to the pro ranks, and quarterbacks are no different. Yet, every year, fans and teams see a passing prospect that has a red flag due to their path to the pros. Is this concern justified? 
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The 90-Point Ride
Professional Bull Riders (PBR) was founded in 1992. It is one of the world’s most dangerous sports as there is no telling what the bulls will do. This sport takes high concentration, skill, strength, and toughness both physically and mentally. In the PBR, the highest possible score that can be achieved is 100 points, yet, after almost 30 years, no one has accomplished this feat. Because of this, success of a bull rider can be measured in the number of rides they have over 90 points in their career.