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  • Great start to the 2022 recruiting campaign. L Denbow is an electric scoring, high motor guy who fits the mold of the "classic" WLU player. He has all the tools necessary to be highly productive on the Hilltop...Exactly how productive will depend on his work ethic and ability to fit in to the rotation.

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    • FYI
      west liberty has longest active streak of consecutive d2 basketball tourney appearances at 12 years!

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      • The style of wlu often evokes strange happenings on the basketball court. Not exactly X-Files stuff, but unusual nevertheless.

        Hope you can share your stories.

        To start, here is one unusual event.
        1. Missing in action: It is halftime in Frostburg on 2/19/20. WLU leads 59-43.
        • WLU returns to the court to warm up.
        • No Frostburg.
        • Warmups complete
        • No Frostburg
        • Buzzer sounds to start play.WLU is standing with refs at center court, making small talk.
        • No Frostburg
        • They wait 3 or 4 minutes.
        • Finally, players coming running out helter shelter, some still adjusting their uniforms. But no coaches. Announcers were flabbergasted.
        • Finally, coaches come out with some stragglers and attempt to call time out before start of play!
        • Refs call admin technical on team for delay of game, making score 60-43 before the second half even begins!
        • With no warmup, things did not go well for Frostburg. Whatever the coach told them during his extended halftime speech, it just did not take. WLU won 117-74, despite taking off the press.
        Last edited by Columbuseer; 10-06-2021, 11:01 AM.

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        • The style of wlu often evokes strange happenings on the basketball court. Not exactly X-Files stuff, but unusual nevertheless.

          Hope you can share your stories.

          Here is unusual event #2

          2. "Fourplay": WV Wesleyan (WVW) at WLU 2/7/21
          • WLU is leading 18-10 at 14:33 of first half.
          • WLU pressure forces a turnover when WVW cannot inbound the ball within 5 seconds.
          • Ref calls the media timeout, which WVW wisely uses to regroup, as the pressure is disrupting them.
          • WLU inbounds ball under their offensive goal, due to the turnover.
          • Apparently, the timeout helped, for WVW blocks WLU’S shot and starts up the court in transition.
          • At the 14:19 mark, as WVW is setting up to run their offense, the WVW coach, visibly upset, frantically calls timeout!
          • What did he see that would force a timeout, only 14 seconds after the media timeout? A fleeting teaching moment opportunity? A brilliant insight?
          • Nope. WVW has been playing since the last media timeout with only FOUR PLAYERS!
          • I don't know why they changed. They had blocked a shot playing 4 on 5! They definitely had the advantage of confusion!
          • Guess it was a harbinger of disappointment. WLU won 111-64.
          Last edited by Columbuseer; 10-08-2021, 09:01 AM.

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          • The style of wlu often evokes strange happenings on the basketball court. Not quite X-Files or Twilight Zone stuff, but unusual nevertheless.

            Hope you can share your stories.

            Here is unusual event #3. Since it evoked images of Clint Eastwood's spaghetti westerns, it is titled:

            3. "The man with no name": Frostburg at WLU 1/7/20
            • WLU leads Frostburg 26-9 with 11:09 remaining in the first half.
            • Hazelbaker dives on the floor for a loose ball.
            • #22 for Frostburg dives onto him, like a linebacker going after an onside kick.
            • It was a hard, dangerous foul, which the officials rightly call against #22.
            • Before WLU can inbound the ball, the scorekeepers get the attention of the official.
            • After a brief discussion, they are joined by the Frostburg coach, who carefully peruses the scorebook.
            • #22 IS NOT IN THE SCOREBOOK!
            • Officials assess a one-shot technical foul against Frostburg.
            • Fortunately for Frostburg, it did not cost them a victory, as WLU wins 125-77.

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            • The style of wlu often evokes strange happenings on the basketball court. Not quite X-Files or Twilight Zone stuff, but unusual nevertheless.

              Hope you can share your stories.

              Here is unusual event #4. Since it evoked memories of a song by the Guess Who, it is titled:

              4. "No time left for you": Glenville at WLU 2/1/21
              • After 3 straight losses, wlu hosted an undefeated Glenville team that was fresh from victories over Charleston and wv state.
              • Glenville has had success implementing the wlu style, so a high scoring game was expected.
              • The wlu pressure forced Glenville to take time outs, either to avoid 5 second inbounds call or to regroup. They called two timeouts in the first half only 6 seconds apart!
              • Glenville used all but 1 timeout in the 1st half.
              • At the 8:43 mark of the second half, wlu was leading 92-66 after a Bolon three. WLU trapped a Glenville player deep in the backcourt. To avoid the 10 second call, the player called timeout.
              • Unfortunately, glenville had no timeouts. The officials assessed a technical foul and granted them the timeout, per rule. Dalton Bolon made both shots so the score was now 94-66.
              • I had not seen this since the Michigan Fab 5 did it in the national title game.
              It illustrates the cumulative effect of wlu pressure in accelerating mental fatigue in opponents.
              Last edited by Columbuseer; 10-18-2021, 09:19 AM.

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              • The style of WLU often evokes strange happenings on the basketball court. Not quite X-Files or Twilight Zone stuff, but unusual nevertheless.

                Hope you can share your stories.

                Here is unusual event #5. The title reuses a line from boxing as well as a line from an oldie by Gary Lewis and the Playboys "Count Me In".
                (An aside: By the way, all their songs were recorded by those incredible LA studio musicians known as "The Wrecking Crew", who also recorded the hits of Beach Boys, Simon and Garfunkel, Mamas and Papas, Carpenters, Monkees, Neil Diamond, etc. At least 40 #1s. "The Wrecking Crew" movie was made about them. They and the Funk Brothers of Motown [movie "Standing in the Shadows of Motown"] are the unsung heroes of popular music, but never got any credit on albums)

                5. "Count me out": Various WLU games

                IMHO, one of the hardest plays to achieve in basketball is the 10-second call, where the opponent cannot get the ball across mid court line in 10 seconds. Players are fast, with good ball skills and can cover that space in very little time, and in even less time if they pass the ball.

                It just does not occur much in most college games... Except at WLU

                I am amazed how many times WLU has accomplished this feat during last season. Sometimes more than once in a single game!

                In addition, although it occurs more frequently than a 10-second call, the 5-second call is where the opponent cannot get the ball inbounds within 5 seconds. WLU generates even more of these 5 second calls, or forces a time out by the opponent to avoid the turnover! Sometimes, the inbounds pass is a desperate heave that goes out of bounds in order to avoid the 5 second call!

                For example:
                • WLU played Notre Dame College on 1/7/21. They forced 18 NDC turnovers.
                • Of these 7, or 39%, occurred in the backcourt due to pressure.
                • WLU forced 2 ten second calls
                • WLU forced 3 turnovers due to bad inbounds passes.
                Another example:
                • WLU played at AB on 1/10/2021. They forced 23 AB turnovers.
                • Of these 13, or 57%, occurred in the backcourt due to pressure.
                • Of these 8, or 35% of the total turnovers, occurred on the initial inbounds pass, which included one 5-second call.
                I would really like the box score to show 10 second, 5 second call stats, as well as turnovers off the in bounds pass. Probably only relevant for pressing teams, though.

                To have a chance to be successful, a team must limit backcourt turnovers against WLU.

                However, that is a necessary, but not a sufficient condition for a victory against WLU.

                WLU is now playing much better half court defense, as demonstrated in the regional games against Charleston and Hillsdale.



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                • FYI
                  Hoops across mountain state has mec podcasts with mec coaches. Thanks to jdonab92 for the link.

                  Episode 71 has Fairmont, wlu and charleston.
                  At 21:40 is the start of Coach Howlett interview and ends at 39:20.

                  Key points:
                  - been battling injuries. Were down to 9 players at one point in practice.
                  - 40% of roster is new. They are all trying, but inconsistent. high schoolers are being freshmen, making mistakes which is expected.
                  - stepped up as leaders: Pat Robinson III, Bryce Butler, Marlon Moore Jr.
                  - Aiden getting stronger, doing fine.
                  - our team will be as good as will yoakum wants it to be. Will has a chance to be one of best ever.
                  - wants to play 10 deep.
                  - Malik has had a great fall.
                  - not much difference in teams in elite 8. All are good.
                  - nwmsu was a phenomenal team.
                  - miss intensity of Dalton bolon, who breaks his nose, pops it back in and keeps practicing. Needs players to play and practice as hard as possible all the time.
                  - been in top 10 in rebounding. Rebounding is about desire not ability or height.
                  - rasile is putting ball on floor in addition to 42% threes. High basketball iq

                  https://podcasts.apple.com/us/podcas...e/id1575655583

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                  • FYI
                    sr highlights of Dalton Bolon.
                    Wish one could bottle his drive and determination in both academics and athletics.

                    Nov 16 college of charleston plays UNC Tarheels in Charleston SC.
                    Wishing him the best!

                    https://youtu.be/uuYDXqU61p0

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                    • I know Viktor Kovacevic is not well known to wlu fans. However, I think he may surprise fans with his understanding of the team game. He is unselfish, sees the whole floor, great passer, great shooter and makes good decisions in real time, and equally adept defensively. It is the completeness of these skills that separate Eastern European players from usa players. I hope that we can start a pipeline to wlu from Europe. Quincy games highlight these skills, albeit at a slower pace.

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                      • Any guesses on first platoon at start of season?
                        Here is my guess:

                        Patrick Robinson III
                        Bryce Butler
                        Malik McKinney
                        Cmont Montague
                        Viktor Kovacevic`

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                        • Platoon 1:
                          Robinson
                          Butler
                          Yoakum
                          Moore
                          Kovacevic

                          Platoon 2:
                          McKinney
                          Montague
                          Watson
                          Rasile
                          Sarson

                          (I have a sneaking suspicion that Howlett was really impressed with Sarson's drive and grit down the stretch last year and I expect to see him given some time early this season to see what he can make of it)

                          (Also, tempted to put Satterfield in the 2nd Platoon, but I'm hesitant, as Howlett does love to redshirt even very talented players).

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                          • Originally posted by Scrub View Post
                            Platoon 1:
                            Robinson
                            Butler
                            Yoakum
                            Moore
                            Kovacevic

                            Platoon 2:
                            McKinney
                            Montague
                            Watson
                            Rasile
                            Sarson

                            (I have a sneaking suspicion that Howlett was really impressed with Sarson's drive and grit down the stretch last year and I expect to see him given some time early this season to see what he can make of it)

                            (Also, tempted to put Satterfield in the 2nd Platoon, but I'm hesitant, as Howlett does love to redshirt even very talented players).
                            I like your lineups!
                            Sarson is very athletic and moves very well at 6-7. Very high motor. He can guard any position. I wonder if his rising star could have been a factor in a big's transfer in the off season.

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                            • Who will replace the contributions of Dalton Bolon?
                              His scoring was a very efficient at a high 1.47 total points per field goal attempt.

                              However, scoring may be less difficult to replace than his rebounding and all out effort.

                              He was especially effective at offensive rebounding. He often crashed the board before his teammate released the shot, which allowed him to get inside position. That, along with his effort, resulted in many second shots for wlu. Therefore his advantage was both mental and physical.
                              I am not sure one person can replace him. It may be by committee.
                              Some possible candidates are Marlon, Bryce, Malik, Ben, Garrett and Viktor.

                              Who do you think will step up?

                              Comment


                              • Originally posted by Columbuseer View Post
                                Who will replace the contributions of Dalton Bolon?
                                His scoring was a very efficient at a high 1.47 total points per field goal attempt.

                                However, scoring may be less difficult to replace than his rebounding and all out effort.

                                He was especially effective at offensive rebounding. He often crashed the board before his teammate released the shot, which allowed him to get inside position. That, along with his effort, resulted in many second shots for wlu. Therefore his advantage was both mental and physical.
                                I am not sure one person can replace him. It may be by committee.
                                Some possible candidates are Marlon, Bryce, Malik, Ben, Garrett and Viktor.

                                Who do you think will step up?
                                You are correct that no one player will replace Bolon's production (or even heart and hustle). But if I had to guess, I'd say that Butler will don the mantle of "heart guy" in the absence of Bolon. There are just elements to Butler's game that remind me of a young Bonifant. Granted, I don't think Butler's talent ceiling is anywhere near as high as Bonifant's talent ceiling was. But just in terms of the intangibles--gym rat, coach's son, wants it more than anyone on the floor, etc.--he carries himself on the court like Bonifant did as a Freshman and Sophomore. And with Bolon leaving a gaping hole in the heart of the team, I'd bet anything it's Butler that steps into that gap (just like Seger did when guys like Falk & Cedric Harris left). My two cents.

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