True run and gun

A long time ago, I wrote about Grinnell College's Division III basketball team which plays runs an innovative offense which coach Dave Arseneault calls The System:

94S + 47 3's + 33%OR + 25SD + 32 TO's = W

The ‘Formula for Success’ has withstood the test of time. Since 1996, whenever the Pioneers have attempted 94 shots, with half of those shots from behind the arc, offensive rebounded 33% of their missed shot attempts, taken 25 more shots than their opponent and forced the opposition into committing 32 turnovers, they have won at nearly a 95% clip. Grinnell accomplishes all five of these goals in slightly over one-third of their contests.

While the ‘formula’ has been consistent through the years, the strategies employed to achieve these goals have been altered. During the early years, a new group of five players usually stayed on the court for 2 ½ minutes at a time. The length of playing shifts has been reduced considerably during the last few years and it is now a regular practice to replace all five players on the first whistle after 35 seconds have elapsed off the game clock. Also, in those early years, it was customary practice to rotate three groups of five players. Currently, Coach Arseneault uses two playing groups- each incorporating a total of eight players.

Regardless of the length of shifts or number of groups used, there is still only one way to accomplish all five of the aforementioned goals: Your team must be committed to getting a shot off and getting the ball back every 12 seconds.

Grinnell is still at it, leading all of Division III basketball in scoring per game. Tonight, Grinnell player Jack Taylor scored 109 points in a 173-123 victory over Crossroads. Last year he scored 138 points in a game.