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  • Observations from a dummy on WLU 111-64 victory over WV Wesleyan
    1. WL brand of basketball continues for 3rd game with predictable results:
    a. Outstanding 1.19 points per possession. Would have been higher except for missed FT and 16 turnovers
    b. Outstanding 31 assists per 100 possessions - anything over 20 is elite.
    c. Outstanding Offensive Rebounding got 39% of the total rebounds off of WL goal
    d. Generated 5 second calls and a 10 second call on defense (IMHO, hardest defensive play for team to make) and forced 21 turnovers.
    2. Folks are making the extra pass for an open look for a teammate. If not for cold shooting, 130+ points could have been scored. In the second half, the WVW defense had to remain spread to defend the three and it left wide open drives to the rim.
    3. Great movement without the ball on offense.
    4. Freshmen continue to improve and get more comfortable. Great learning experience.
    5. Three point shooting, despite some cold shooting individual performances, was an outstanding 41%, Given our shooters, if we are sharing the ball, the 3 pt % will be high, even if a couple of guys are having cold shooting nights.
    6.Effective FG% (which accounts for 3 point shots and is a better metric than FG%) was outstanding 59%

    Areas for improvement
    - Some FTs need more arc and more backspin on the ball. The backspin gives the "shooter's bounce" because it allows the ball to lose more energy when it hits the rim, resulting in more errant shots going in.
    - Thought some threes were a little flat and need more arc (that also helps in accuracy and %)


    Statistic West Liberty W.VA. WESLEYAN
    POINTS 111 64
    FGM 41 26
    FGA 83 79
    FGPCT 49.4% 32.9%
    3FGM 16 5
    3FGA 39 31
    3FGPCT 41.0% 16.1%
    FTM 13 7
    FTA 23 12
    FTPCT 56.5% 58.3%
    REBOUND OFFENSIVE 16 16
    REBOUND DEFENSIVE 42 25
    REBOUND TOTAL 58 41
    ASSISTS 29 11
    TURNOVERS 16 21
    BLOCKS 6 3
    STEALS 12 8
    Num Possessions 93 89
    Points per Possession 1.19 0.72
    Assists per 100 Possessions 31.2 12.4
    Assists to FG Made ratio 70.7% 42.3%
    Assist to Turnover Ratio 1.81 0.52
    Turnovers per 100 Possessions
    (< better)
    17.2 23.6
    WL Opponent Defensive Rebounds 25 42
    Offensive Rebound Efficiency % 39.0% 27.6%
    Effective FG % 59.0% 36.1%
    Effective FG% Difference (team-Opp) 23.0% -23.0%
    FGA % Diff ((team FGA-Opp.FGA)/Opp FGA) 5.1% -4.8%

    Comment


    • Columbus, how dare you post something relevant and interrupt the oh-so-compelling pissing contest I was in the midst of reading on this board!

      Comment


      • How long does it take for WLU to get a good shot?

        Some teams (like D3 Grinnell) play run and gun.
        But the WL style actually seeks to get a good, on-balance, open shot in a short amount of time.
        As one example, against WVWU, WLU was very effective in rotating the ball to get an open look on almost every possession.

        But just how fast?
        The average time of possession against WVWU was 12.3 seconds. But the duration has wide variation, from as little as 4 seconds to as long as 34 seconds. So the median is a more meaningful stat (median = half of samples above and half of samples below the value). The median was 11 seconds! Impressive! Especially when you consider that some of the longer duration possessions were due to offensive rebounds or deflections out of play, which resets shot clock to 20 seconds and that there were often 3 or 4 passes prior to the shot attempt.

        Playing WLU basketball is to learning basketball as language immersion is to learning a foreign language. One gets far more experience in a single game and at a rapid pace and gets rapid, real-time exposure to many different situations. For young players, it can mean more turnovers and mistakes, until they adjust.












        Comment


        • Wonder if new assistant coach Da'Sean Butler will be on the bench Wed. Just don't let him suit up LOL!
          https://wucardinals.com/news/2021/2/...all-coach.aspx

          Comment


          • West Liberty University Hilltopper stats

            FYI national d2 stat ranking, (through midnight Feb 7 unless otherwise noted)

            Since WLU has reverted to playing the WLU brand of basketball the last 3 games, many of the stats have improved.

            NCAA ranks the 312 D2 schools in 31 national statistics. WLU ranks in:
            • top 50 in 24 categories
            • top 20 in 18 categories
            • top 10 in 11 categories
            • top 5 in 9 categories


            # 2
            Scoring 104.9 (St. Thomas Aquinas is #1 at 105.5)

            Total Rebounds per game 46.4
            Turnovers forced per game 19.9

            #3
            Assists per game 20.9

            #4
            Scoring margin 22
            Rebound Margin 10

            Steals per Game 10.5
            Turnover margin 5.6

            #5
            Offensive rebounds per game 16.30


            #8
            Defensive Rebounds per game 30.1


            #10
            Blocked shots per game 4.3


            #11
            Assist to turnover ratio 1.46


            #13
            3 point FG defense 28.1%


            #15
            Free Throw % 77.91


            #17
            Total steals 105

            #18
            Total Assists 209
            Three-point FG per game 10.8

            #19
            Total Assists 209

            #26
            FT Made 201

            #28
            Total Blocks 43

            #33
            FG percentage 48.18%


            #36
            FT Attempts 258

            #42
            Total Rebounds 464

            #45
            Total three-point FG Made 108

            Comment


            • FYI
              Views from a Dummy: Anatomy of a West Liberty "Blackout"


              Introduction
              Blackout is the term used by WLU to describe a period in a game, where the lead increases dramatically, often forcing the opponent to change their game plan and resort to trying to catch up quickly. A blackout is different than a normal scoring run by its intensity (average points scored per possession) and its duration (number of consecutive possessions).

              We know a blackout when we see it, but can we visually capture it in a graph over the course of a game?

              It appears that by calculating the difference in average points per possession between WLU and its opponent over an arbitrary number of contiguous possessions. one can visually describe a blackout.

              Example of Observations on WVWU game
              -The first blackout occurred in minute 10, where WLU was scoring 1.4 more points per possession than WVWU. During that period WLU out-scored WVWU by 7 (1.4*5) points. It was a brief blackout, only lasting 2 possession windows.

              -Two massive blackouts occurred in a four-minute stretch between minutes 27 through 31 of the game (around mid-way through the second half). The highest peak was an incredible 2.8 more points per possession, which is out-scoring WVWU by 2.8*5 = 14 points.

              In summary, it appears that one can quantitatively represent a blackout using the points per possession as the basis for more advanced calculations.
              I have an excel graph that shows it quite clearly, but my attachment quota of 500K bytes has been exceeded so I cannot attach the 80k jpg of the graph (I must have filled up their floppy drive storage LOL).

              Comment


              • Observations from a dummy on WLU 119-76 victory over Wheeling University
                1. The intensity from the tip to the final buzzer was off the charts. Wheeling was holding the ball deep in the shot clock and hitting 63% from 3 (7-11) and WLU was cold from three in the first half, which resulted in a WLU lead of only 51-46 at half. To their credit, Wheeling was rotating the ball and making the extra pass, just as they did Monday night against Charleston in a close 81-79 loss. Wheeling has some players. The open question was whether they would withstand this pressure and pace and maintain their shooting % for a whole game.

                2. Then, in the second half, as chef Emeril Lagasse would say, "Let's kick it up a notch.... BAM!"
                WL unleashed the shock and awe of elite athletes playing the WLU brand of basketball. Incredibly fast, high level basketball, with no respite, regardless of the combination of WL players in the game. I don't think Da'Sean Butler suiting up would have saved them.

                In the second half, WL averaged:
                - 1.70 points per possession (PPP)
                - 8.5 assist to turnover ratio
                - 5 turnovers per 100 possessions
                - 42.5 assists per 100 possessions
                - 50% Offensive rebounding efficiency
                - 71.8% Effective FG %
                - 53.3% 3-pt made

                For the entire game:
                a. Unbelievable 1.47 points per possession for the game on 81 possessions. I can't imagine the PPP if WL had not been cold in the first half.
                b. It is amazing that they can play at this pace and commit so few turnovers, at a rate of only 8.6 per 100 possessions
                c. Unbelievable 37 assists per 100 possessions - anything over 20 is elite.
                d. Insane Offensive Rebounding got 47.5% of the total rebounds off of WL goal
                e. Generated 5 second calls/forced timeouts on inbounds and a 10 second call on defense (IMHO, hardest defensive play for team to make) and forced 18 turnovers against a team with very good ball handlers and passers.

                3. Folks are making the extra pass for an open look for a teammate. If not for cold shooting in first half, 135+ points could have been scored. Over 65% of the FG made were from assists. By the second half, the combination of ball movement, pace, and opponent fatigue was resulting in open drives for layups with no help defense.

                4. Three point shooting was an outstanding 46.4%, Given our shooters, if we are sharing the ball, the 3 pt % will be high, even if a couple of guys are having cold shooting nights.

                5.Effective FG% (which accounts for 3 point shots and is a better metric than FG%) was outstanding 61%

                6. 10 players played 14 minutes for more, with a max of 28 minutes. One can see the young players getting more comfortable playing at this pace with each game. WL is playing myriad combinations of players with no drop off in performance. They increased the lead to 45 at one point.

                7. The rapidity of the transition from defense <-> offense is amazing. Guys are rebounding the ball and getting the outlet pass to nearly half court within a second or two. Wears opponents out.

                Areas for improvement
                - The team made a huge jump this game in playing the WL brand of ball. However, I don't think they have approached their ceiling yet. They could be scary good if they keep improving in playing WL ball.
                Statistic West Liberty WHEELING UNIVERSITY
                POINTS 119 76
                FGM 46 26
                FGA 85 58
                FGPCT 54.1% 44.8%
                3FGM 13 9
                3FGA 28 23
                3FGPCT 46.4% 39.1%
                FTM 14 15
                FTA 18 22
                FTPCT 77.8% 68.2%
                REBOUND OFFENSIVE 19 7
                REBOUND DEFENSIVE 29 21
                REBOUND TOTAL 48 28
                ASSISTS 30 15
                TURNOVERS 7 18
                BLOCKS 3 2
                STEALS 14 3
                Num Possessions 81 79
                Points per Possession 1.47 0.96
                Assists per 100 Possessions 37.0 19.0
                Assists to FG Made ratio 65.2% 57.7%
                Assist to Turnover Ratio 4.29 0.83
                Turnovers per 100 Possessions
                (< better)
                8.6 22.8
                WL Opponent Defensive Rebounds 21 29
                Offensive Rebound Efficiency % 47.5% 19.4%
                Effective FG % 61.8% 52.6%
                Effective FG% Difference (team-Opp) 9.2% -9.2%
                FGA % Diff ((team FGA-Opp.FGA)/Opp FGA) 46.6% -31.8%

                Comment


                • While Wheeling took it on the chin and lost big to WLU, i was really impressed by their effort. They are a good team that is going to be dangerous come tourney time (depending on their seeding). They are not yet in toe top tier of the MEC but they are solidly in the upper middle.

                  It is amazing how Wheeling can bring in a new coach year after year who is able to recruit almost an entire team and end up putting a very good team on the court. Makes you wonder what these coaches who year after year trot out BAD teams are doing?

                  Comment


                  • Originally posted by boatcapt View Post
                    While Wheeling took it on the chin and lost big to WLU, i was really impressed by their effort. They are a good team that is going to be dangerous come tourney time (depending on their seeding). They are not yet in toe top tier of the MEC but they are solidly in the upper middle.

                    It is amazing how Wheeling can bring in a new coach year after year who is able to recruit almost an entire team and end up putting a very good team on the court. Makes you wonder what these coaches who year after year trot out BAD teams are doing?
                    Just have to find a way to keep one of them.

                    I'd still love to know why Sancomb really got fired down there. I believe he filed a lawsuit over it but I don't recall seeing how far it went.

                    Comment


                    • Originally posted by IUPbigINDIANS View Post

                      Just have to find a way to keep one of them.

                      I'd still love to know why Sancomb really got fired down there. I believe he filed a lawsuit over it but I don't recall seeing how far it went.
                      We'll probably never know the reason Sancomb was fired. Clearly both sides think they were right in what they did. If I had to guess, I'd say it centered on the bank account while he was the AD and how he distributed the funds in the account.

                      Comment


                      • FYI WLU national d2 stat ranking, (through midnight Feb 10 unless otherwise noted)

                        NCAA ranks the 312 D2 schools in 31 national statistics, of which only 26 are relevant to the WLU style (See note below)

                        WLU ranks in:
                        · top 50 in 24 categories, which is over 92% of the relevant 26 stats
                        · top 20 in 17 categories
                        · top 10 in 13 categories
                        · top 5 in 10 categories

                        Date Stat Rank Value
                        2/10/2021 Rebound Margin 1 11
                        2/10/2021 Scoring 1 106.2
                        2/10/2021 Assists per game 2 21.7
                        2/10/2021 Scoring margin 2 26
                        2/10/2021 Steals per Game 2 10.8
                        2/10/2021 Total Rebounds per game 2 46.55
                        2/10/2021 Turnover margin 3 6.1
                        2/10/2021 Turnovers forced per game 3 19.73
                        2/10/2021 Offensive rebounds per game 4 16.55
                        2/10/2021 Assist to turnover ratio 5 1.59
                        2/10/2021 Defensive Rebounds per game 6 30
                        2/10/2021 Total Assists 239 8 239
                        2/10/2021 Total steals 9 119
                        2/10/2021 Three-point FG per game 11 11
                        2/10/2021 Blocked shots per game 13 4.2
                        2/10/2021 3 point FG defense 16 29.20%
                        2/10/2021 Free Throw % 16 77.90%
                        2/10/2021 Total Blocks 23 46
                        2/10/2021 FG percentage 24 48.77%
                        2/10/2021 FT Made 25 215
                        2/10/2021 Total three-point FG Made 28 121
                        2/10/2021 FT Attempts 32 276
                        2/10/2021 Total Rebounds 32 512
                        2/10/2021 3-point FG attempts 36 331
                        Note: The WL style is incongruous with some statistics, such as fewest fouls, personal fouls per game, fewest turnovers, turnovers per game, scoring defense, etc., which leaves only 26 relevant stats for WLU.

                        Comment


                        • FYI
                          Former Hilltopper Mason Shifflett was named Montevallo Player of the Week for leading them to victory over Valdosta State.
                          Congrats Mason!

                          https://montevallofalcons.com/sports/mens-basketball

                          Comment


                          • A Dummy’s Observations: The Pack line Defense – the Venus Flytrap for Elite Players (Or why the WLU kick out pass is so effective)

                            I have been hearing the term “pack line defense” during many games, so I wanted to learn more about it. I will not go into detail on the nuances. Briefly, imagine an arc that parallels the 3-point line; but it is about 2 feet closer to the goal. Every defender plays behind this line, except for the defender guarding the person with the ball, who plays the ball handler very closely. It is a popular man-to-man defense to counteract the commonly used high ball screen and dribble offense. The goal is to lure dribble drive players into the lane and then ambush them.

                            For elite players who like to dribble drive, it must be enticing, to see inferior players opposite them that they can take to the rim at will. It is like a fly smelling the sweet nectar of the open Venus flytrap. The player gets the angle on the drive and heads toward the lane, anticipating the and-one. However, some of the four other players collapse from different angles, while covering any players who might be open for an interior pass. The flytrap has closed with the fly (ball handler) inside, who has already decided to shoot this shot. But instead of an easy and-one, this shot is very difficult. Not only does the shot often miss, but the defenders are in great position to the get the rebound. Just as the Venus flytrap has consumed the fly, this defense has consumed the possession without giving up a score.

                            In addition, defenders are getting adept at bumping shooters with their lower body only, which is rarely noticed (look at Dalton missing a layup contested by Reid from Wheeling in the open court and crashing into the basket support. If you look closely, Reid keeps his arms away from Dalton and bumps him by thrusting out his hips. A missed call by the official and a great play by Reid).

                            In the past, WLU rarely fell into the trap, because we did not have a plethora of dribble drive players. However, because of the skills of its players, this team is vulnerable, as demonstrated in our 3 losses, when we fell into the trap.

                            The pack line defense is vulnerable to the “non-obvious” pass, which is a kick out to the open teammate in the corner, wing, or point for an open three. It seems counter-intuitive, to give up a close range shot for a 21-foot shot. However, the open three (for WLU) is a better percentage shot; but the players must be aware of their teammates’ positions on the court.

                            Following the three losses (where we were playing like the flies in the analogy), WLU started passing from the lane to the open man for three-point shots. Teams had to give up the pack line or risk getting blown out. However, when the defense is spread, there is no help defense, back door cuts are available and offensive rebounding gets much easier (which also puts them at risk of getting blown out).

                            In summary, the pack line defense is designed to lure dribble drivers into the lane, just as a Venus flytrap entices a fly. Consequently, a dribble drive and contested shot from the lane is often a very low percentage shot and reduces the points per possession for good teams to around 1.0. To exploit its vulnerability, the ball handler entering the lane must think kick out pass first and not shot first.

                            Comment


                            • This is great stuff, Columbus. I am more a run-of-the-mill fan than an actual student of the game as you are. Now that you describe what was happening, I can recognize that that's what I saw. But I had no idea it was a specific trap laid by the defense. Thanks for the illuminating info--you're helping this run-of-the-mill fan become just a little less dumb about what he sees!

                              Comment


                              • Dante Spadafora Sighting #2
                                At the end of the 1st quarter of a game, Dante beats his man off the dribble from the left wing and goes up for a layup with his opponent, who is a half-step behind, trying his best to contest the shot. The shot rolls off the rim just as the quarter ends. Dante, who is clearly upset with himself, runs over to the sideline. Before joining the huddle, Dante suddenly drops down and rips off 10 pushups! Then gets up and calmly joins the huddle. Guess that is his way of chastising himself for missing the shot.

                                Heck, if our elite players would have done that after ill-advised shots during our three losses, they would have had arms like Arnold Schwarzenegger by now!

                                Comment

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