Melilli uses Knight’s mobile offense to lead FAU to Final Four
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Melilli uses Knight’s mobile offense to lead FAU to Final Four

Florida Atlantic head coach Dusty May, a former assistant to Bob Knight, is using the fundamentals he learned from Knight to lead the Owls to success.

May is considered one of the top young coaches in the country, having led Florida to its first Final Four appearance in 2023. He uses a modified version of Knight’s dynamic offense that emphasizes passing, cutting and coverage.

“Keep your eye on the ball on offense and control the ball on defense, that’s our basic philosophy,” May said after the 2023 NCAA Tournament.” We combine how we read screens, how we read defenders and many of the same principles. But we don’t play the same dynamic offense.”

Melilli uses Knight’s mobile offense to lead FAU to Final Four

When Knight introduced the dynamic offense at Indiana in the 1970s, it was a revolutionary concept. It was complex and took time to learn, but it was also very effective.

Knight’s offense became so popular that other coaches began to follow suit. But May believes Knight’s legacy goes beyond the offense.

“He really changed college basketball,” May said.” You look at the motion offense, and people all over the world were using it. Then they started dropping it, and now it’s coming back.”

May said everything he does at FAU, from training to academics to community service, has been shaped by Knight’s influence. He occasionally gets advice from other Knight students, such as Mike Davis and Tom Abernethy.

May has had success with FAU’s improved version of the Knight motion offense. He said his players would make reads, not just read patterns, which created a more chaotic and unpredictable offense.

May’s success is a testament to the lasting impact of Bob Knight’s coaching philosophy. Knight’s dynamic offense may have evolved over time, but it remains one of the most effective offenses in college basketball.

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