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cyberdawg Offline
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Post: #1
 
Today's edition of NI Star has three decent articles featuring four NIU HS recruits....2005/06 and beyond look promising....

If you don't have the Star as a favorite bookmarked ...oh well.
02-17-2004 11:18 AM
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NIUFAN84 Offline
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I find it funny that the star mixed up the pictures of Tate and Clair.
02-17-2004 01:15 PM
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niu79 Online
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With these four kids coming next year, there is hope. Just wish our coaches spend the offseason attending some clinics on how to run a motion offense. In 30 years of watching NIU, I have never seen such a poorly executed offense as the one we have now.
02-17-2004 01:28 PM
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If the need arises to get a new coach, please consider the coach of Grinnell college in Iowa. Attached is an article from Sunday's Tribune. I think this kind of offense would put some fannies in the Convo Center seats.



Whew! It's run and stun.

Rick Morrissey
Published February 15, 2004

It's all there on a sheet of paper for assistant coach Emil Malinowski to follow, but that doesn't make it any easier or any less frenetic. The sheet of paper looks like a Union Station train schedule.

Every 50 seconds or so Saturday, Malinowski sends in a fresh group of five Grinnell College basketball players to make life miserable for Lake Forest College. He's keeping track of a track meet.

It's a wonder Malinowski doesn't have some sort of shoulder injury from waving players in and out. Come to think of it, it's a wonder some members of Grinnell's squad don't suffer from repetitive-motion injuries from shooting so much.

On Saturday, the Pioneers shot 18 of 73 from three-point range and lost 109-88. They took 97 shots in all. If there is a shot Grinnell won't take, it has yet to be conceived.

This is a team that, even after Saturday's struggles, leads Division III in scoring at 126.1 points a game. This is a team that tries to get a shot off within 12 seconds on each possession.

"It's like playing three games," said Lake Forest guard Dodd Browning, walking slowly after the game. "I'm going to be so sore in the morning."

Grinnell sometimes plays defense the way Paris Hilton plays hard to get. Lake Forest's Franklyn Beckford scored 41 points on 18-of-18 shooting. It's hard to miss a shot when most of them are open dunks.

Barring an unfortunate lapse into traditional basketball, the Pioneers are well on their way to breaking the NCAA all-division record of 124.9 points a game. That was set by, yes, Grinnell in 2001-02. "The guys wanted to score 130 a game and wanted to come up with a plan to do that," head coach Dave Arseneault said. "The only thing I could come up with was, if we're going to score more, we have to be scored on more quickly. I've kind of tapped out my offensive knowledge. So we've literally tried to find ways that we can get scored on more quickly and get the ball back."

What happened here Saturday is not for everybody. It's not for most coaches because, in many ways, this system marginalizes the coach. You try to imagine Bob Knight directing this run-and-stun attack and all you can come up with is a man eventually going on a homicidal rampage at a salad bar.

"We're the anti-basketball program," Arseneault said. "I don't call timeouts because I want the other team to get tired. When the other team calls a timeout, I must admit I'm not generally overly prepared other than to say, `Let's go.'

"It really isn't a coach's game, it's a player's game. I think the kids love it that way. And I've got to tell you, I love it that way. I didn't know what I was doing at the beginning, but I think I've hit on something here. I think basketball and football coaches in particular tend to be control freaks. And you can't be with this style of play."

Arseneault arrived at Grinnell, a school of 1,420 students, in 1989. The school, about an hour's drive east of Des Moines, had suffered through 25 straight losing seasons. After a few years there, he realized that, on the court, he needed to sequester the players he had recruited from the players who had grown accustomed to losing. He had grown up in hockey country north of Boston and had been enamored of the way that sport relied on short shifts of all-out effort.

Thus was born his platoon system. The older players made up one platoon, and the newer players, mostly freshmen and sophomores, made up the other shifts.

Arseneault also saw that his teams were small and could shoot well. The platoon system soon began using quick substitutions. You've heard of Purdue football being "Basketball on Grass?" This was "Hockey on Hardwood."

Five shifts roll in and out of the game. Seventeen Pioneers played Saturday. They play like maniacs for about 50 seconds, depending on the whistle of the referees, and then go to the bench for a rest. Whoever has the ball after 12 seconds has to shoot. Good shot, bad shot, it doesn't matter. Shoot it, kid, we're in a hurry.

"You're winded after 50 seconds," All-American Steve Wood said.

In a 108-103 Grinnell victory over Knox on Wednesday, Wood had 38 points, including the game-winning three-pointer. He played all of 18 minutes. Doubled-teamed Saturday, he still managed to score 23 points in 18 minutes. This is a kid who averaged about five points a game his senior year at Peoria Richwoods High School. Going into Saturday's game, he was second in the nation in scoring at almost 30 points a game. His high this year is 55. In 21 minutes. Crazy numbers.

The Pioneers beat Beloit 155-138 Jan. 30 and four days later relieved Monmouth of its lungs in a 152-76 victory. Of course it's insane, but it's not criminally insane, as some opposing coaches have implied.

Let the record show Grinnell tries to play defense. Against Lake Forest, it pressed after every basket, ferociously double-teaming whomever had the ball and hoping for a steal but leaving a man open down the floor. That usually was Beckford.

"They play hard," said Lake Forest's Eric McDonald, who was 12 of 14 from the floor. "I don't know if it's defense."

The philosophy is that, eventually, the opposing team will wear down while Arseneault's platooned players will remain relatively fresh. The philosophy is predicated on the idea that the Pioneers will shoot better than they did Saturday.

"At first the defensive approach was tough to deal with it because I was noticing that we were making really tough shots and then giving up easy shots," Wood said. "And that's frustrating for someone who played on a team [at Richwoods] that regularly won games 45-35. That score is like a third of one of our games now.

"You sort of have to trust Coach that in order for this system to work, you have to have pace of play."

It's not just the players and coaches who have to raise their game up for Grinnell's assault.

"There's no other game on the planet like it--Division I, II or III," referee Jim O'Boye said after working Saturday's contest. "You have to keep focused because there are bodies flying around for 40 minutes. You have to be ready right off the bat because they're going 90 miles an hour."

Well, yes, there have been some lowlights over the years. There was the one night the Pioneers shot 8-for-80 from the three-point line. Whatever they do tends to be large, for better or worse. They are 17-5. They have won their conference title three of the last seven years. That will knock the traditionalist out of you in a hurry.

"I'm as conservative as the hills," said Arseneault, 50. "It's hilarious. My old coach is still at Colby College [in Maine], and I was his defensive point guard. My claim to fame was that in my junior year I played six straight games, 40 minutes a game, and was a combined 0-for-0 from the floor. So maybe there is some repressed suffering."

Arseneault has written a book and produced a video about his system, and figures he spends about a third of his time at work answering letters from other coaches. He has time on his hands because he doesn't need to study film of opponents. His team dictates the structure of almost every game. At least two schools--the University of Redlands (Calif.) men's team (averaging 114 points) and the Muhlenberg College (Pa.) women's team (91.3)--run the offense.

"Everything's positive," Arseneault said. "From a sports psychology standpoint, I'm on to something. A better man than me can figure it out, but I know my kids are really positive about not going out and having the pressure. Everything goes so fast, they don't have time to think. Everything's a reaction. Nobody's worrying about failing. Nobody gets pulled for making a turnover. The mistakes we make are generally one of aggression, and that's OK."

In the mid-1990s, Grinnell was playing Northeastern, a now-defunct Division I team. The Pioneers led by six points at halftime, and when Arseneault went to say something to his team in the locker room, he couldn't get a word in because the Northeastern coach was screaming so loud in the next room. Arseneault and his players had a good laugh.

They ended up losing by 15 points, but you couldn't wipe the smiles off their faces.
02-17-2004 01:32 PM
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Dog Fan Offline
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niu79 Wrote:With these four kids coming next year, there is hope.  Just wish our coaches spend the offseason attending some clinics on how to run a motion offense.  In 30 years of watching NIU, I have never seen such a poorly executed offense as the one we have now.
Absolutely true! With the Huskies' offense (and "offensive" it is!), fans can sit in the paint and not get hit by a basketball. We can't get inside to save our souls, we can't pass without turnovers, we can't hit free throws, we can't inbound the ball within 5 seconds, we can't inbound the ball without it getting picked off. What's left? I guess we've been pretty good at jump balls to start the game! Bring on the new kids and November 2004! :crying:
02-17-2004 02:31 PM
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Some poster previously mentioned that Cy Tate will likely be a Prop 48 casualty, which might prompt his decision to go the JUCO route with the hopes of hooking on with a major basketball program after two years. Tate is the biggest prize in Rob Judson's recruiting class and the guy with the highest upside (the next Marcus Smallwood???). Losing him would be a kick in the crotch for a program that, quite frankly, is reeling. Does anybody have factual insight on the Tate situation other than what was briefly stated regarding Tate in the recent Tribune article?

:(
02-17-2004 02:52 PM
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A silver lining has emerged the past few games, that being Michael McKinney and Paige Paulsen getting quality playing time at the expense of Anthony Maestranzi and Todd Peterson. While McKinney isn't the prototypical point guard, he is well capable of playing the position (as proven at Evanston against tough competition) and the only option on the roster beyond the "in over his head" Maestranzi.
02-17-2004 02:57 PM
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cyberdawg Offline
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Post: #8
 
Wasn't there a midmajopr awhile back doing what Grinnell does with playing at a frenetic pace using mass substitutions? How did it work out? Seems like it was Loyola Marymount and a former UCLA player as coach.

Do most better D1 programs have benches too strong to make such a strategy very effective?

BTW: Losing possession of the ball inbounding last five seconds of a close game with several guards on the floor is INEXCUSEABLE.

Last year's success and JUD's emergence among MAC coaches and his honors seems about as far away as the new galaxy discovered recently. How can one lose the ability to teach execution?

signed,
from the penthouse to the outhouse

- Go Huskies beat Bradley.

fo ged aboud remainder of MAC. the next loud and welcomed THUD you'll be hearing will be equipment bags dropped from team bus returning from tourney following game #1.
02-17-2004 04:20 PM
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