His principles, his philosophy and positive identity

Vassilis Spanoulis left Peristeri Bvin after two successful years, and Stephanos Makris provides Larisa technician jobs and days with the help of Hudl Instat. The team’s ceiling he broke, his philosophy, and his adjustment to his style of play after his freshman season.

The Vasilis Spanoulis The closing credits were dropped in his presence Pigeon bivindeclares He left after two years with the team.

The coach from Larissa, Stoiximan, established the “Prince” as the third force in the elite of the Basket League, winning the 3rd place for two consecutive years.

At the same time, he has made one more appearance in the last eight of the OPAP Hellenic Cup (in the 2022/23 season, where he was defeated by Olympiakos) and one appearance in the final four this year. Basketball Champions LeagueWhere actually Named Coach of the Year.

It’s clear that Pigeon Bivin has broken through its roof. Since they had one of the two biggest budgets behind Olympiakos and Panathinaikos AKTOR in the Stoiximan Basket League, it is easy to say that the team will finish 3rd, although it is not as easy as it seems.

At the same time, this year’s course at BCL could be the biggest prize for the “Princes” as they made successive attempts to achieve it.

Forming the team from scratch and the first principles he imposed

In the 2022/23 season, Vasilis Spanoulis made a new roster when he sat on the team’s bench. From the 2021/22 season, only Dimitris Moraidis and (then a teenager and in a minor role) Vangelis Dzoukris remained. The Larissa coach then decided to build a deep roster, relying on Sylvain Francisco, Markus Denmon on the perimeter, Leonidas Kaselakis as a link and Miro Pilan as the point of reference in the post. The Croatian was actually his first transfer.

Bivin Dove for the 2022/23 season was a team that relied on the talent of Francisco and Denman. According to Hudl Instat, both guards accounted for 67.5% of the team’s pick-and-rolls. Team B’s plan was also clear: the ball would be passed to Bilan near the basket. The experienced center has been one of the best post-up tackles on second-quick teams in Europe for years, but is also an excellent passer. A lot started with the ability to create in post.

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Coach Spanoulis liked to have tall formations, which is why he often sat the tall trio (Radanov, Kaselakis) on the floor. But he often played with two ball handlers, moving Denman to a small forward position. The reason is clear: He wanted to have as many players on the floor as possible with the ability to read the game.

On defense, Peristeri Bivin started with its guards. Players like Francisco, Moraitis, Poulianitis, Coleman are players who pressure the ball and can break screens in the pick and roll.

At the mercy of Bilan, Bivin Pigeon often decided to play hedge out, which changed when the athlete Shakur Juston crossed the floor (and then he played high, that is, he rose to the height of the screen). The approach didn’t change when Justen was replaced by Ian Hamer, with the former AEK player playing the same role. In general, the Peristeri of the 2022/23 season was a team that pressed hard on Bvin’s defense, but wanted to “hide” Bilan.

A facelift in the roster and a change in philosophy

At the start of this season, coach Spanoulis was asked to rebuild the team from scratch, with some players either at a higher level or a better contract (Francisco to Bayern, Moraidis to Panathinaikos Aktor, Denman to Tofas) or there is a change of personnel due to selection. From the 2022/23 season, only Kaselakis, Poulianitis, Zougris and Hougaz remained in the squad (he was bought on loan from Panathinaikos AKTOR in the middle of the season).

Coach Spanoulis decided to build his roster differently, taking players with different characteristics. The start came with the arrival of Joe Ragland, a player he liked last season as well. The American is clearly a better player than Francisco and Bivin Dow will back up, with Ragland taking the reigns and breaking into the BCL’s top five with an impressive season.

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Peristeri Bvin continued to “shop” from the Greek League. But he changed his approach to the style of players he was looking for. He got a goalscorer (Denman was replaced by Hontz, ex-PAOK player Love) and a Serbian combo forward (Dangubic instead of Radano), but then things changed. Kenny Williams from AEK came to the team, providing something that was missing a year ago (off screen play), but also two athletic centers (Thompson and Renfro).

Peristeri Bwin changed his philosophy on offense and moved to the perimeter. With the pick-and-roll trio of Rockland (13.6 points and 8.3 assists avg. in 29 minutes of action), Love (11 points and 2.2 rebounds avg. in 22 minutes of action) and Elijah Mittrew-Long (9.5 points and 2.3 assists avg.) nearly everything started at Thompson/Renfroe. With one, that means two centers rely on their defenders to score.

The team’s three guards ran 78% of the team’s pick-and-rolls, with 44% coming from classic setup man Ragland. The post up game was almost abandoned because of Bilon’s exit. Coach Spanoulis put more off screen plays (sets where a player comes off a screen) for Williams to get the offense moving.

But the biggest change was in defense. Bivin’s dove hurt on the back of the floor a year ago due to Philan’s inability to mark the pick and roll. The addition of Thompson and Renfro changed the approach of the “Princes.” They no longer play hedge out from the center position (meaning the tall player doesn’t come out dynamically), but high flat or level (the tall player comes out at the height of the screen, sometimes giving away the shot). In fact, changes may have played out at certain moments (mainly with Renfro).

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The difference was immediately apparent. Ever since Peristeri Bwin decided to defend more in “2 vs. 2” situations on the pick-and-roll, he stopped leaking 3-pointers on defense. According to Hudl Instat, in the 2022/23 season “Prince” made 13.7 three-pointers in a catch-and-shoot situation (shooting from a stop – the 4th lowest efficiency in the Greek league). In the 2023/24 season this number dropped to 11.7 three-pointers (the lowest performance in the Stoiximan Basketball League). Revenue decreased, security closed. In the 2022/23 season, coach Spanoulis’ team conceded 0.93 points per possession. He allowed 0.91 points per possession this season.

A successful two years and his philosophy

One cannot examine Vassilis Spanoulis’ two years at Peristeri Bvin without realizing that it was considered a success. Larisa the coach is not perfect. He made his own mistakes and he had to adapt. But he showed adaptability, which is no mean feat for a coach.

It’s clear that in coach Spanoulis’ teams everything started with his guards, although within two years he had commanders with different styles (Francisco in the first season, Ragland in the second). Two point guard schemes are part of his philosophy. Having a striker with a good shot is essential. At the center position, he started his freshman year with a tall post up, but switched to two classic rim runners (tallers who play the pick and roll) in his sophomore year. On defense, pressure was put on the ball.

The 2022-2024 two years were a big school for coach Spanoulis, in a team with dynamics and history like Peristeri Bivin, he did everything that was asked, while returning from his brilliance to the limelight.

Now, Spanoulis is focusing his full attention on the Greek National Team and the SEF Pre-Olympic Tournament (2-7/7), hoping to lead our country to the Paris Olympics. What happens after that remains to be seen. The only certainty is that his circle at Peristeri has come to an end.

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