Monday, April 03, 2017

Dan D'Antoni

Most people would wonder what the The Denver Nuggets, Phoenix Suns, Houston Rockets have in common with the basketball programs at Loyola Marymount University, Grinnell College and Marshall University.  One word.  ANALYTICS.

Towards the end of 2016, Dan D'Antoni - the Head Coach of The Marshall Herd - went "viral" with his press conference where he made reference to his use of analytics and the state of today's basketball.  During the video he "crunched" the numbers and shocked the establishment with his data based theory, however his style of basketball is not new to basketball.

For those that watched college basketball in the early 90's you may remember the Hank Gathers / Bo Kimble lead Loyola Marymount University's team that, at it's height of success, advanced to the NCAA Elite 8 where they lost to the eventual NCAA champions the UNLV Runnin Rebels.   Their style of basketball lacked D'Antoni's in depth analytical skills however Paul Westhead's team averaged a NCAA all time best 122 points per game. REPEAT 122 points per GAME. Coach Westhead led the 1980 LA Lakers to a NBA championship with a young point named Earvin 'MAGIC" Johnson and an "old head" named Kareem Abdul Jabber in the precursor to the LAKERS' "SHOWTIME" style of basketball.  While at LMU his teams emphasized scoring "in less than 7 seconds" and ushered in the importance of speed and 3point shooting.

So the question remains - Can the Marshall basketball team be successful with D'Antoni's data infused brand of basketball?  The answer is debatable however his brother Mike D'Antoni - the Head Coach of the NBA's Houston Rockets, like Dan believes in the number based system as well and to date his James Harden led team is 2nd in the NBA in scoring average behind the Golden State Warriors.

What are your thoughts on today's data based offenses and can this style win in the long run?

See below Dan D'Antoni's Press Conference

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