What is Danny D’Antoni doing?
We know that his younger brother Mike is keeping busy.
When he isn’t coaching the Houston Rockets in the NBA playoffs, Mike D’Antoni is ignoring mindless insults about his West Virginia heritage from an ESPN stooge.
So much for him.
As it turns out, big brother Danny D’Antoni also is keeping busy, but below the radar, as Marshall University’s veteran head basketball coach is conducting ongoing workouts.
D’Antoni likes what he sees. Especially from a pair of true freshmen from — where else? — southern West Virginia. Namely, 6-foot-9 Obinna Anochili-Killen from Chapmanville and 6-4 David Early of Logan.
“Obviously, Obinna is athletic as can be and long as hell,” said D’Antoni. “He shoots the ball better than I thought he would. He picks up on things quickly. He’s a quick learner. He’s a real smart kid. He picks up on things really fast. You don’t have to tell him 10 times.
“So that means he’s fitting in real quick with what we do. And he plays hard. That’s a key to anything — playing hard. He gives us versatility, too.”
Does he ever.
Anochili-Killen has the length, agility and athleticism to play all three frontcourt positions — small forward, power forward and center.
Then there’s Early, one of his best friends.
“It’s the same thing with the Early kid,” continued D’Antoni. “First of all, he’s a lot better shooter than I thought he was. He’s smart and picks up things quickly. He’s always under control. And he’s really strong.
“What really surprised me is that at 235 pounds he plays hard, he works hard and he’s in shape. He can stay on the floor endurance-wise with everybody we’ve got. That one really surprised me.”
The bulky-looking Early doesn’t appear to be in shape.
Yet, he is.
“When you are carrying that much weight and you’re still able to do what everybody else does?” said D’Antoni. “That means you are in good shape.
“Usually, when you carry that much weight, you can’t do other things. But he can do it and carry that weight. Most of it is in his hips and down. He looks good from the waist up. His chest is hard. There’s not a lot of extra up top. He also has a big head, so he has to carry weight.”
While the laughter dies down, we’ll continue down the roster.
What about Iran Bennett? Word has it the big center has gained weight again.
“He’s up there,” said D’Antoni. “We’ll see what he does. He’s playing hard. He’s trying hard. We’ll see if he can get [the extra weight] off. But he’s got to get it off.”
If that becomes an issue, there’s still 7-foot sophomore Goran Miladinovic.
“Goran looks good. He looks really good,” said D’Antoni. “He is a little quicker with everything. He’s a lot more confident in what he’s doing. Marko [Sarenac, 6-7 sophomore forward] came for the first time the other day and he looked good.
“I like his weight. It is at 195 pounds and I think that is where he needs to be. He was playing at 210 last season. He was too heavy. At 195, he looks good. I told him I hoped he maintained that weight.”
Finally, there are the senior forwards, 6-8 Jannson Williams and 6-9 Mike Beyers.
“Jannson is playing just like he did at the end of last season — him and Mike,” said D’Antoni. “Hopefully they’ll start that way. Both of them look like they’re coming to get the job done.”
As progress reports go, this sounds very promising.
Now, back to football.