January 29, 2004

The Division III Grinnell College Pioneers are well-named, adopting a new style of college basketball in which they substitute in five-player shifts like hockey, press all the time (to the point of never running back on defense), and shoot 100 times a game. The result? A nation-leading 128.9 points per game and a 13-2 record.

posted by rcade to basketball at 11:42 AM - 7 comments

Here's the google news link which doesn't require a login. Interesting story. It sounds like they've been doing this for a while with varying success. I'd love to see 'em play sometime though, but it doesn't look like they're playing around anytime soon. Has anyone here caught a game?

posted by Ufez Jones at 11:55 AM on January 29, 2004

Looks super-cool. I like this: "We're trying to perfect chaos," he said. "We have fun. It's almost a lost art in sports." Indeed. Reminds me of the 1980s UNLV teams -- turned up a notch, even.

posted by jeffmshaw at 11:57 AM on January 29, 2004

Grinnell has always been known as a run-n-gun team. Being an extremely small school they recruit the guys who shoot well, but don't necessarily have the height and strength of the guys the majors recruit. The chaos comment reminds me of a strategy I employ in backgammon occasionally--especially with an oponent I have played often and knows my "style." I play what I call a chaos game. I leave pieces open all over the place, enticing my opponent into "hitting" them. Eventaully more than half my pieces are in my opponents "home" and I play from there. It doesn't always work, but it works often enough. It really makes an opponent wonder what the heck is going on :)

posted by scully at 12:53 PM on January 29, 2004

I would have been interested to hear some more about their offensive scheme (ie. was it anything like the "cycling" numbered fast break that Loyola-Marymount used to employ). If you still a highly-structured system, but have just sped things up a whole bunch, then it ain't chaos (unlike what terrapin tries in backgammon, for example).

posted by smithers at 01:02 PM on January 29, 2004

I would LOVE to see coach Arseneault bring his system to the NBA. He could go head to head with Pat Riley, the architect of the slowest, most boring defensive basketball strategies. I'd bet that Arseneault's team would win, too. What NBA player wouldn't want to play for him? You're guaranteed to play, you don't worry about defense, and you get to shoot threes at will. I think I hear Antoine Walker banging on the door.

posted by dusted at 01:17 PM on January 29, 2004

Terry Glasgow, the coach of a conference rival, Monmouth College, has been quoted as saying that Grinnell "makes a travesty of the game." OUTTA THE WAY grumpy! That sounds great. I mean those players are playing for the love of the game (and maybe to win a div 3 title or something) and i am sure they are having a blast.

posted by gspm at 01:24 PM on January 29, 2004

OT to rcade et al: New York Times Link Generator for those reg-free links (it even works as a bookmarklet.

posted by billsaysthis at 02:03 PM on January 29, 2004

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