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  • Re: Surprise player next year Interesting question Boat about breakout player for next year. Difficult question, too. Owen could be a big surprise as his body matures, for he is not yet 19 years old. With hard work on his lateral movement and explosion off the floor, he has the potential to be WLU’s rare physical big defender who can run and shoot the three. His basketball IQ is really high. He already had the quickest and most aggressive outlet passes of anyone on the team following a defensive rebound.

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    • Agreed, Columbus. I look for Hazelbaker to take a big step forward. There's a reason Shifflett was red-shirted and Hazel wasn't if I had to guess. Ben likely saw something in Hazel, and I do think he showed flashes of usefulness this year that suggest he's primed to take a big step forward. He could be one of those Keene Cockburn or Eric Meininger type players who take a year or two for it all to click, but once he does, it could be big.

      Comment


      • It will be interesting to see the size change in Hazelbaker between this year and next. 6'7", 210 is a nice foundation but I'd like him to be 220 next year (minimum 215). If he could be 225 heading into his Junior campaign, that would be good too provided it does not effect his quickness.

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        • Latrobe High School in PA and McDonald High School in Ohio both play the West Lib style. Next year we will have two players from these schools in Bryce Butler and Zach Rasile, both of whom are a coach's son.

          Zach averaged 38 points a game, with 4 assists, 3 steals and 5 rebounds.
          Based on a news article from mid-February, Zach was averaging 43.3% from three while scoring 38 points a game. In the district final he scored 50 points. Anywhere over the mid-court line is in range for him. I saw 3 videos where he made threes from approximately 38-42 ft (I did the math based on the angle of the shot).

          It is going to be hard to keep him off the floor. If opponents go zone on us, I would not be surprised to see him at the scorer's table waiting to check in, as you have to guard him at half court, which opens the zone wide for his teammates. He is West Lib's Death Star against zone defenses.

          If I were a WL guard, I would be working really, really hard this summer, for there is a guy putting up 70,000 shots a summer who is coming to the hilltop. No one is going to out-work this guy.
          .

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          • Dalton Bolon
            NABC all American
            1st team academic all American

            WL has had 10 consecutive years of all americans
            WL has had 8 consecutive years is academic all americans

            So happy WL emphasizes academics when recruiting athletes.
            Last edited by Columbuseer; 03-27-2020, 01:28 PM.

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            • Luke Dyer – West Liberty’s Secret Weapon
              What? The casual fan might scoff at the suggestion: “A 5-11 guy who averages 5.7 points a game is a secret weapon?”

              One has to look beyond the scoring average to find the truth. In the 2019-2020 season, he had elite statistics in the following areas:
              • #1 nationally in Assist to Turnover Ratio at 5.90. To put this into perspective:
              o Coaches consider 3.0 as an elite ratio for a PG
              o He greatly surpassed the highest D1 Assist to Turnover Ratio in history (5.17)!
              o It is 2nd all-time in a D2 season for players who have played more than 5 games. The highest was 5.96. Late in the season, Luke was over 6.0!

              • Shot 44.4 percent from the 3-point arc. If he had enough attempts, he would rank #25 nationally (and 4th on the WL team!)
              • 4.0 assists per game in just 25 minutes of play (6.4 assists per 40 minutes)
              • 1.1 turnovers per 40 minutes of play.
              • Offensive rebound efficiency per 40 minutes of play - 5.38%
              • Steals per 40 minutes of play – 3.1
              • Risk Taking per 40 minutes – 2.06 (Steals minus turnovers)

              Luke is a disruptor on defense and has excellent footwork and incredibly quick hands to deflect and steal balls. Before Malik arrived, Luke had to defend the opponent’s best guard/forward, regardless of the height disparity.

              One typical example: At Fairmont State, Dale Bonner (MEC Freshman of the Year) bore down on Luke in transition from the wing. He looked at Luke as a wolf would look at a sheep who had wandered from the flock. He chose to go to the rim to dunk over Luke.

              He chose… poorly. As he sailed over the rim for the dunk, a vital element was absent. The ball. Luke had stripped him of the ball and was heading down the court.
              This is a typical event. IMHO, Luke will be a key factor in WL’s attempt to make a deep run in the NCAA next year.

              For more information, read on…
              Outside of north central WV,
              few realized that Luke was a two-time AA All-State PG who averaged 18.2 points per game in high school. Coaches at WL are open and honest with prospective recruits with their assessments. Despite being a great shooting and unselfish, team-first PG, when Luke came to the hilltop, coaches told him that he probably would not play much during his career.

              They were to discover that it is presumptuous to assume there are limits with Luke Dyer, for no one will outwork Luke. After redshirting his freshman year, tragic events thrust Luke into a major role in his first year, when starting point guard and senior leader Brady Arnold had to spend the year battling leukemia. Luke stepped up as a starter in 29 games, playing 20 minutes and averaging 3.5 points per game

              • Ranked No. 15 nationally with a 2.97 Assist/Turnover Ratio.
              • Averaged 3.1 assists per game • Shot 38% from three-point line
              • 3.1 rebound per game in 20 minutes of play, which is incredible for a PG!

              In his sophomore year, he started all 33 games, averaging 25 minutes a game and 5.0 points per game.
              • Ranked No. 2 nationally with a 4.43 Assist/Turnover Ratio
              • Averaged 4.0 assists per game • Shot 41 percent from the 3-point arc
              • 3.2 rebounds per game in just 25 minutes as a PG

              In his junior year in 2019-2020, opposing coaches as well as broadcasters were starting to appreciate Luke’s significant role in WL’s success. He started all 31 games and averaged 5.7 points per game in 25 minutes per game.

              • Ranked No. 1 nationally with a 5.90 Assist/Turnover Ratio
              • Averaged 4.0 assists per game
              • Shot 44.4 percent from the 3-point arc. If he had enough attempts, he would rank #25 nationally (and 4th on the WL team!)
              Last edited by Columbuseer; 03-27-2020, 08:26 PM.

              Comment


              • That's a great post, Columbus. Luke is an easy guy to cheer for--an absolute joy to watch. And I, too, have heard the story about the Arnold illness opening the way for "walk-on" Luke to get minutes. But don't forget that Dave Dennis heading south also played a role in that. Dennis would have been the starter as a Soph had he stayed. Arnold would have likely played the 2 or captained the second team. But it was the combo of Arnold getting ill AND Dennis following St. Crutch that allowed the "depth guy" Dyer to step in and become a Sophomore starter. And the rest is history.

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                • True on Dennis departure opening the starting PG door. But Luke put himself in position to be MUCH more than just the next man up. Think the players who transfer looking for more minutes would be wise to look at Luke's career arc.

                  Comment


                  • Originally posted by Scrub View Post
                    That's a great post, Columbus. Luke is an easy guy to cheer for--an absolute joy to watch. And I, too, have heard the story about the Arnold illness opening the way for "walk-on" Luke to get minutes. But don't forget that Dave Dennis heading south also played a role in that. Dennis would have been the starter as a Soph had he stayed. Arnold would have likely played the 2 or captained the second team. But it was the combo of Arnold getting ill AND Dennis following St. Crutch that allowed the "depth guy" Dyer to step in and become a Sophomore starter. And the rest is history.
                    Thanks for adding info about Dennis. I had forgotten about him. Scuttlebutt in Columbus was that he was thinking about leaving even after his freshman year for a d1 gig. He left after his sophomore year if memory serves me. Nice guy though. Worked out well for him.
                    It forced Luke to start as a redshirt freshman.

                    Also, Luke's basketball iq is incredibly high which makes him a joy to watch!
                    Last edited by Columbuseer; 03-27-2020, 08:22 PM.

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                    • Originally posted by boatcapt View Post
                      True on Dennis departure opening the starting PG door. But Luke put himself in position to be MUCH more than just the next man up. Think the players who transfer looking for more minutes would be wise to look at Luke's career arc.
                      He epitomizes the phrase "Luck is when preparation meets opportunity" .

                      Comment


                      • As we hunker down, here is a little trivia.

                        High efficiency three-point shooters at WL 2019-2020

                        Here are the number of players that are shooting over 37%, which is very efficient shooting from three-point range. Which names do you think go with each 3pt %?
                        1. 51.2%
                        2. 50.4%
                        3. 44.5%
                        4. 44.4%
                        5. 42.1%
                        6. 41.9%
                        7. 38.9%
                        8. 37.5%

                        Here are the members of the team as of Jan 1, 2020. Note that not all players have percentages in the list above (they are lower).

                        Bryce Butler
                        Dalton Bolon
                        Jon Alessandro
                        Luke Dyer
                        Malik McKinney
                        Marlon Moore Jr.
                        Owen Hazelbaker
                        Pat Robinson III
                        Preston Boswell
                        Quinn Hiles
                        Will Yoakum
                        Last edited by Columbuseer; 04-01-2020, 02:23 PM.

                        Comment


                        • I'll give it a shot!

                          High efficiency three-point shooters at WL 2019-2020

                          Here are the number of players that are shooting over 37%, which is very efficient shooting from three-point range. Which names do you think go with each 3pt %?
                          1. 51.2% Dyer
                          2. 50.4% Yoakum
                          3. 44.5% Boswell
                          4. 44.4% Robinson
                          5. 42.1% Bolon
                          6. 41.9% Moore
                          7. 38.9% Butler
                          8. 37.5% McKinney



                          Comment


                          • Originally posted by Scrub View Post
                            I'll give it a shot!

                            High efficiency three-point shooters at WL 2019-2020

                            Here are the number of players that are shooting over 37%, which is very efficient shooting from three-point range. Which names do you think go with each 3pt %?
                            1. 51.2% Dyer
                            2. 50.4% Yoakum
                            3. 44.5% Boswell
                            4. 44.4% Robinson
                            5. 42.1% Bolon
                            6. 41.9% Moore
                            7. 38.9% Butler
                            8. 37.5% McKinney


                            Yoakum is correct at #2 and 50.4%. #1 would be a surprise to most fans.
                            You have identified all but one of the players, but they are in the wrong order. One person needs to be removed and one needs to be added. Then you will have all the shooters. Then the order needs to change (except for Will at #2).

                            Hint 1: once you swap in the missing player,he goes into #8 position. Bob Dylan wrote a song using his name.and a Brit rock band in the 60s took it to #1 in UK;
                            Hint 2: Youth often needs time to improve their accuracy.
                            Last edited by Columbuseer; 04-01-2020, 09:27 PM.

                            Comment


                            • I'm gonna give someone else a shot at answering--if anyone else is even still reading the board--before I take a second try. I was pretty sure I was right on the first two. I'm surprised Dyer isn't #1. He picks his spots when he shoots, but, man, it just feels like it always goes in when he does. I'll check back in a day or two with my second guess if no one else is playing.

                              Oh, and, I definitely toyed with the idea of including "Mighty Quinn" in my list. His low number of attempts could make it a touch easier to hit for a high percentage. But it's a total crap shoot on where to place him. Similar issue with McKinney. Fewer attempts makes it harder to guess efficiency.

                              I'll check back in a day or two after giving others a chance to play.

                              Comment


                              • Thanks for playing, Scrub.
                                Here are some clues to the names of each player.


                                1 You might have found him and his friend Stella hanging out with Mario Puzo on the waterfront 51.2%
                                2 Where there is this person, there is always a way 50.4%
                                3 This King was protagonist in one of William Shakespeare's history plays 44.5%
                                4 “What we have here is a failure… to communicate. you just got to get your mind right.” 44.4%
                                5. Kids in the 50s listened to this radio drama, starring this Sergeant in the RCMP up north with his heroic Alaska Malamute dog "King" 42.1%
                                6. Name means ruler or chief 41.9%
                                7. Ohio village and famous outlaw gang 38.9%
                                8. Song made famous by Manfred Mann and sung at Grateful Dead encores – we need to play/sing this when he reports to the scorer’s table! 37.5%

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