Play It Again, CSAM

by minton on April 18, 2019

It was a weekend of comebacks in sports: Tiger Woods winning the Masters, the Clippers erasing a 31-point deficit against the Warriors, and CSAM returning to Furman. The last item made few headlines, but the Carolina Sports Analytics Meeting at Furman University is a highlight of the year for myself and several students.

Roanoke College had a large presence at this year’s CSAM (other schools well represented included Furman and Davidson). Senior Physics major David Moreau gave an excellent talk on golf analytics, one that prompted a follow-up conversation with ESPN writer Peter Keating. Sophomore Sport Management major Megan Wheeler presented a poster on shot probabilities in Division III women’s basketball. In a different form of comeback, alum Taylor Ferebee (RC ’17) returned to the meeting with an outline of genetic work being done at Clemson University and other research labs. Seniors Emma Blair and Lexi Denning would have also presented posters but they and their posters were at the NCUR meeting in Atlanta. Math professor Roland Minton led the group, which also included sophomore Stat Crew member Jessica Louros and freshman Stat Crew member and Math major Jake Beardsley, who has worked on analyzing March Madness upsets this semester.

The CSAM meeting itself represented a comeback of sorts. Hosted by Furman for four years 2013-2016, this highly successful conference was on hiatus for two years. Roanoke College held the substitute VSAM in 2017; VSAM was also successful, but we are glad that Furman has resumed its leadership. The conference has a great culture of openness to students and researchers at all levels. RC students have taken advantage to gain some great experiences!