The Division III Grinnell College Pioneers have become well known for their high-scoring offensive attack, and that system will now apparently get tested at a higher level. The Sacramento Kings have hired Grinnell assistant David Arseneault Jr. as the head coach of their NBA Development League affiliate the Reno Bighorns, according to Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo! Sports.
The move to implement a unique offensive system at the D-League level is not new. The Houston Rockets hired Nevada Smith to run the Rio Grande Valley Vipers and implement a offense based heavily on three-point shooting. Arseneault, the son of Grinnell head coach David Arseneault, will test the Grinnell system with Sacramento. The system is a high-paced attack focused on getting quick possessions while substituting heavily and in groups to keep five fresh players on the floor at all times. The younger Arseneault played in the system and coached in it. Grinnell averaged 116 points per game last season.
If the Bighorns run a system close to what Grinnell strives for, they may threaten NBA D-League scoring records. Grinnell attempted to get at least 94 shots per game, playing at a rampant pace. Here is what the new Bighorns head coach said of the system in 2012, via the Boston Globe:
"We try to get a shot off every 12 seconds and get the ball back every 10 seconds," Arseneault Jr. said. "We sub the first whistle after 35 seconds of game time. We use different subbing combinations every game, but 15 different guys get on the court within the first three minutes."
Whether the Bighorns can run the system to its full capacity remains to be seen. The hiring is a sign the Kings are willing to experiment at the Development League level to see how some tactics translate to a higher level of basketball. The frequent substitutions would also allow more players to play significant minutes, possibly a benefit to their development as well.