Head Coach: Dimitris Itoudis, CSKA Moscow

May 01, 2015 by Euroleague.net Print
Head Coach: Dimitris Itoudis, CSKA Moscow

CSKA Moscow's Dimitris Itoudis may be in his first season as a Euroleague head coach, but he is no rookie. Itoudis spent 13 seasons as an assistant coach at Panathinaikos Athens, from 1999 through 2012, and helped that club win five Euroleague championships, 11 Greek League titles and seven Greek Cups during that span. In his first season with CSKA, he has done nothing less than lead the Russian juggernaut to the best record, 25-3, in the Turkish Airlines Euroleague this season. There was little doubt that Itoudis had tremendous ability as a basketball tactician, gleaned from his years of partnership as the lead assistant to the Euroleague's winningest coach, Zeljko Obradovic. But Itoudis has handled easily the trials of roster management, too. CSKA hardly skipped a beat despite starting the season without Nando De Colo, missing All-Euroleague forward Victor Khryapa until March and welcoming former MVP Andrei Kirilenko to the roster midway through the Top 16.

Under his leadership, CSKA has put together one of the best offensive seasons in Euroleague history. The team’s 106.9 average performance index rating ranks second all-time. It has made the second-most threes in a single season (276) and ranks among the top five teams ever in single-season assists (second, 20.9), points per game (fifth, 87.8), three-point accuracy (fifth, 41.6%) and assist-to-turnover ratio (fifth, 1.59).

Itoudis could rightfully be called a doctor of sports; he has a postgraduate degree in physical education from the University of Zagreb. He started coaching in the youth ranks at Mladost Zagreb and KK Zagreb while at university before Bosko Bozic gave him a chance as an assistant coach on KK Zagreb's senior team. Itoudis returned to his native Greece and served as head coach at PAOK and Phillipos Thessaloniki, but did not become a household name until he teamed up with Obradovic at Panathinaikos. He helped lead the Greens to their golden age as Obradovic's right-hand man. After the duo left Panathinaikos together in 2012, Itoudis waited for one season before taking the reins at Banvit Bandirma, which he led to a historic first-place finish in the Turkish League regular season in 2013-14, his only season there. Now with CSKA, he aims to capture his first Euroleague crown as a head coach.