Dan D'Antoni ready for Herd Basketball business - Beckley, Bluefield & Lewisburg News, Weather, Sports

Dan D'Antoni ready for Herd Basketball business

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"He wanted to come home, and he's home, and that's where he belongs," said Marshall fan Mary Stinson.

Marshall's new men's head basketball coach Dan D'Antoni was in Princeton this week and after years as an assistant coach to brother Mike D'Antoni in the NBA, the West Virginia native is happy to return to the Mountain State.
"Close to my dad, he still is in Mullens and my sister and brother live here, left Mike in L.A. but I enjoy coming back," D'Antoni said with a smile.
The Marshall University coaches caravan stopped in Mercer County, and alongside D'Antoni was Herd football coach Doc Holliday.
Holliday has been very supportive of the new hire.  "He hasn't been involved in the college game in a long time so I try to help him anytime I can, and try to pick his brain too as far as different philosophies of what he's doing."
A philosophy D'Antoni plans to implement is one that dates back to his playing days at Marshall.   One made famous by him and his brother Mike in the NBA, the 7 second offense.
"The ball will move a lot faster than it moved in the past," he explained.  "It will be shared more frequently among players, I think shots will be taken quicker, it'll be a fast paced game."
The beginning of the D'Antoni era in Huntington has the Marshall faithful revitalized.

That has energized the fan base, if it hasn't already by the fact that we had a great 2013 football season," said Justin Hamm who helped plan the event.
As for the universities facilities, Holliday said they're only getting better.
"If you look around our campus and our athletic facilities, we are building $38 million worth of football facilities.  We're building $150 million worth of academic facilities."
As D'Antoni basks in the green and white spotlight, he emotionally spoke about one of the first people who believed he'd one day lead Marshall's basketball team. 
"Ray Hagley was a big part of my experience here and at Marshall.  He passed away on the plane crash, but one of his biggest dreams was me to be the head coach.  So, I always told him I say 'here I am Doc, it took a while but here I am.' "