The Coach: Dimitris Itoudis, CSKA Moscow

May 03, 2018 by Print
The Coach: Dimitris Itoudis, CSKA Moscow

Since he arrived at CSKA Moscow in 2014, Dimitris Itoudis has not only succeeded in keeping the pride of Russian basketball at the very top of the European elite, but has also put his own stamp on the club's great legacy by creating one of the most productive offensive forces in the EuroLeague history. Itoudis's CSKA teams have accounted for four of the eight highest-scoring seasons achieved by EuroLeague teams this century. CSKA's 88.7-point average since he landed in the Russian capital is the best ever in the competition over the span of any four seasons.

All that scoring has meant non-stop winning, too. CSKA under Itoudis has reached four consecutive Final Fours, has won 12 of 14 playoff games, and has finished first in all but one of the regular season and Top 16 groups to which it has belonged. That achievement is even more impressive when you consider that when he was appointed by CSKA, Itoudis had never been a EuroLeague head coach before, although he had won five EuroLeague titles while an assistant at Panathinaikos Athens between 1999 and 2012.

Itoudis needed only two seasons in Moscow to claim his first EuroLeague crown as a head coach, in 2016, the same year that he was voted the Alexander Gomelskiy EuroLeague Coach of the Year – an award named for CSKA's late, great coaching legend. Recently, Itoudis added another milestone as he tied the record as the fastest coach to record 100 EuroLeague wins, needing only 124 games to do so.

But the accolades that matter most to Itoudis are titles, and the 47-year old will have his players fully prepared to underline their dominance of the long regular season – which CSKA finished three victories clear of all other teams – as they seek another EuroLeague crown at the Final Four in Belgrade. There is no questioning the fact that Itoudis has built a squad with more than enough offensive firepower to overwhelm even the best opponents.