Simon Gerszberg: Basketball Analyst of the Future

Cooper Lowell, Staff Writer

Senior Simon Gerszberg is the CEO and founder of the fast growing basketball website ShotQuality, which gives college coaches data to improve shot selection. Since the website’s inception two years ago, Gerszberg has transformed ShotQuality into a real business ready for the professional world. 

“I worked for the Colgate basketball team my freshman and sophomore year, and I was basically doing what I’m doing now except just for Colgate. So, I was behind the bench for the clipboard, grading the quality of shots that each player was getting on each play,” Gerszberg said.

Gerszberg talked about how he has always been interested in basketball statistics, going all the way back to his first year of high school. But in joining the Colgate Men’s Basketball team as their data analyst, Gerszberg started the journey toward creating ShotQuality.

 “So when [senior player] Tucker Richardson took an off the dribble three that was semi contested, I would be like, that’s a 36% shot. When [graduated player] Jordan Burns took a floater in the lane that was semi contested, that’s 42%. I basically just spit out numbers on a clipboard. It became such a monotonous tedious process. I couldn’t really continue it, it was just so frustrating. So then I found a way to automate it [the] December break of my sophomore year,” Gerszberg said.

From there, Gerszberg’s way of automating shot statistics grew into what is now ShotQuality. Even with little marketing, ShotQuality started to become known amongst coaches.

“I actually started getting clients just by posting different statistics on Twitter,” said Gerszberg. “So last year, we signed 25 NCAA division teams, and this year up to 60.”

Before working as the data analyst for the Colgate Men’s Basketball team, Gerszberg’s early Colgate experiences were of seemingly divine intervention. 

“I’ve just always been passionate about it. Once I got to school, luckily enough, my random roommate freshman year was the star of the team now, Tucker Richardson. It was kind of like the perfect pairing. And very lucky honestly, I don’t know if all this happens without [Tucker],” Gerszberg said.

Richardson and Gerszberg also host a podcast together called The ShotQuality Podcast, where they will occasionally bring in guests to further their conversations on the concept of basketball. 

“It’s interesting because [Richardson] and I have basketball philosophical conversations all the time. So it was just putting a mic in front of us and recording it compared to just having that [conversation] on the couch while we’re playing 2K or something,”  Gerszberg said.

Beyond just being a tool for college coaches, ShotQuality can be used for sport bettors. 

“We actually have a separate website now, for ShotQuality Bets, which is basically using the same data. But instead of applying it to help coaches, [it’s] applying it to help better figure out which play to make,” said Gerzberg. 

ShotQuality Bets has started to become an almost second business to ShotQuality. The website has over 200 betting customers right now and continues to grow. 

Gerszberg believes that ShotQuality has the potential to help coaches improve their teams.

“[ShotQuality] offers an objective outlook into their process. So a lot of what coaches have to differentiate is the difference between process and result. You can have a game where you miss 20 open threes, but if you’re consistently getting a good process, it doesn’t really matter … because in the long run, those 20 open threes for the good shooters are going to fall. That’s what we provide coaches – insight into who’s taking good shots, who’s taking bad shots and where their shot selections should move towards or move away from,” said Gerszberg.

When asked about how his overall experience at Colgate, beyond just the courts, has shaped ShotQuality, Gerszberg identified Thought Into Action (TIA). 

“TIA has been, like, one of the bigger ways that Colgate has helped me. Just getting advice from all these trusted advisors that are veterans in the industry. That’s been a major, major way that Colgate has helped me,” said Gerszberg.

Going forward, Gerszberg is planning to continue to further both ShotQuality and ShotQuality Bets as legitimate businesses. With all of his progress and experience so far, it’s hard to see him failing in his mission.