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  • Originally posted by boatcapt View Post
    This team is just soooo hot and cold. And there doesn't seem to be any rime or reason to it. Would it surprise anyone if they lost to Frostburg 71-68 and then beat Fairmont 110-85??
    Last night didn't surprise me one bit. May always comes in with a lane-clogging plan against WLU. It only works if the players get dribble-happy instead of moving the ball. Well, turns out that some of WLU's players got a bit dribbly, and played right into May's plan (it isn't the first time that's happened against May's teams). WLU's players simply have to play a bit smarter, recognize what Concord wants to do, and avoid falling into the trap.

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    • Originally posted by Scrub View Post

      Last night didn't surprise me one bit. May always comes in with a lane-clogging plan against WLU. It only works if the players get dribble-happy instead of moving the ball. Well, turns out that some of WLU's players got a bit dribbly, and played right into May's plan (it isn't the first time that's happened against May's teams). WLU's players simply have to play a bit smarter, recognize what Concord wants to do, and avoid falling into the trap.
      Good points. We took the bait instead of making the extra pass. If Concord had more depth, the outcome could have been diiferent.

      Comment


      • Originally posted by Scrub View Post

        Last night didn't surprise me one bit. May always comes in with a lane-clogging plan against WLU. It only works if the players get dribble-happy instead of moving the ball. Well, turns out that some of WLU's players got a bit dribbly, and played right into May's plan (it isn't the first time that's happened against May's teams). WLU's players simply have to play a bit smarter, recognize what Concord wants to do, and avoid falling into the trap.
        Dribble happy seems to be a common theme with this Topper team. They need to figure it out before the NCAA Tourney or it will be an early defeat. Beating Willmington, Bowie and Concord is one thing...beating eight NCAA Tourney caliber teams in a row doing it is quite a different proposition.

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        • Originally posted by boatcapt View Post

          Dribble happy seems to be a common theme with this Topper team. They need to figure it out before the NCAA Tourney or it will be an early defeat. Beating Willmington, Bowie and Concord is one thing...beating eight NCAA Tourney caliber teams in a row doing it is quite a different proposition.
          So true. Ironically, making the extra pass actually leads to more points for our talented one-on-one scorers because it distorts the defense and Ieaves bigger openings for rim runs with no help defense, resulting in easier shots and more and-one chances. Also accelerates defensive fatigue due to ball movement.

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          • Originally posted by Columbuseer View Post

            So true. Ironically, making the extra pass actually leads to more points for our talented one-on-one scorers because it distorts the defense and Ieaves bigger openings for rim runs with no help defense, resulting in easier shots and more and-one chances. Also accelerates defensive fatigue due to ball movement.
            For the most part, they don't seem overly interested in fatiguing rhe other team. When was the last time we had a true "black out?" WLU is good enough to beat many teams playing dribble drive but when competition ramps up in the NCAA Tourney, I fear they will be found lacking when opposing defenses are able to match their athletic ability.

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            • FYI
              West Liberty National Ranking after Concord Game as of Jan 7, 2022
              Here are stats where WLU is above 90th percentile.
              Turnovers forced is one of the keys to victory on off-shooting nights – WLU is #3. Also #4 in turnover margin (Nova Se is #1).
              Notes:
              Season FT percentage has improved from 66.7 to 70.5 over last month
              Season Offensive rebounding per game has increased by 6% to over 14
              Season 3 pt% holding steady at around 38%
              Nova SE #1 in Scoring Offense, with WLU #2.
              Turnover Forced – #1 Nova SE, #2 Bluefield State, #3 West Liberty – all playing the same style
              Date National Ranking West Liberty rank Value
              1/7/2021 Scoring Offense 2 95.90
              1/7/2021 Steals Per Game 3 12.60
              1/7/2021 Turnovers Forced 3 20.64
              1/7/2021 Assists Per Game 4 19.80
              1/7/2021 Turnover Margin 4 7.60
              1/7/2021 Scoring Margin 8 19.00
              1/7/2021 Offensive Rebounds per game 11 14.15
              1/7/2021 Assist Turnover Ratio 16 1.52
              1/7/2021 Free-Throw Attempts 16 290.00
              1/7/2021 Three-Point Field Goals Per Game 16 10.70
              1/7/2021 Free-Throw Made 17 218.00
              1/7/2021 Three-Point Attempts 18 369.00

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              • Turnover Forced – #1 Nova SE, #2 Bluefield State, #3 West Liberty – all playing the same style
                All playing the same style yes. But maybe more importantly, all coached from the Crutchfield Coaching Tree. There are certainly variations on that style throughout the country (even in our own region at places like ESU, Glenville, etc.). But it only seems to work to a national level of prominence when executed by St. Crutch or one of the disciples. It'd be interesting to see if/when Brandon Smith takes over a team (at Glenville or elsewhere) if he can execute it to the level that both Howlett and Hearn have so far.

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                • Wlu 2022 signee luke denbow became leading scorer in ashland hs history on dec 28 at 1,316 points.
                  Great player. Here is a video of him in action.
                  https://twitter.com/i/status/1473843148782804992

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                  • 9:26 left
                    west liberty 97 frostburg 53

                    Great sharing of ball and pressure speeding up bobcats.

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                    • WLU Observations: Frostburg State
                      Since the Concord game, the team has greatly improved movement without the ball. Also, the ball is not sticking in a player’s hands on offense.
                      • Everyone is making the extra pass, giving up a good shot for a wide-open great shot for a teammate
                      • Because of the dribble drive skills of WLU, opponents were sagging, resulting in late close-outs on our 3-point shooters and wide-open looks from 3 for WLU. The result is higher shooting %.
                      • WLU is getting over 20 assists per game.
                      • In the first half, WLU had 23 made FGs. There were 12 assists. More importantly, on the remaining 11 FGs, there were zero forced shots or missed opportunities for assists. This is a result of the sharing the ball, which leaves wide open opportunities for easy scores on the rim run because opponents are spread to defend the three.
                      • Players are taking the easy 10 ft. jumper rather than attempting a contested finish at the rim. This avoids charges, blocks, and reduces missed shots.
                      • WLU had 8 players in double figures.
                      • WLU is doing a great job of forcing steals (35% of all turnovers), which results in a live ball turnover and fast break opportunities.
                      • Because they are sharing the ball, the points per possession the last two games exceeds 1.3, which is incredible. When the ball was sticking against Concord, the pts per possession was a 1.06, which is a consistent stat for high-ball screen, dribble drive teams.
                      • The new, less experienced players are getting more and more comfortable in all aspects of the game and playing more effectively.
                      • Because WLU plays 12 players, normal game stat comparisons are misleading, unless you extrapolate the stats to 40 minutes of play. Using this approach, WLU has 10 players who would average over 16 points over 40 mins.
                      • 5 players have an effective FG % that exceeds 60% (accounts for 3-point shots). Most traditional teams would expect these stats mainly from their big, dominant, inside player. WLU has the equivalent of 5 big men in terms of this stat.
                      • 3 players have an assist to Turnover ratio of > 2.5, which is outstanding.
                      • Although turnovers could be reduced, most are coming from inexperienced players after the game is out of hand. In addition, they are typically unforced turnovers, resulting from a player trying to make an extra pass for an assist.


                      Opponent CONCORD at Glenville St. at Frostburg St.
                      Date 01/05/22 01/08/22 01/12/22
                      Score 85-67 101-90 124-84
                      w/l W W W
                      FG 31 38 48
                      FGA 71 63 82
                      Pct 44% 60% 59%
                      3 FG 7 9 12
                      3 FGA 26 24 31
                      3 FG PCT 27% 38% 39%
                      FT 16 16 16
                      FTA 22 19 28
                      FT PCT 73% 84% 57%
                      Off Reb 18 8 13
                      Def Reb 31 24 36
                      Tot Reb 49 32 49
                      Reb Per Game 39.2 38.6 39.3
                      PF 17 21 26
                      Assist 15 22 24
                      Turnovers 17 14 13
                      Blk 1 2 5
                      Steal 5 6 6
                      Pts 85 101 124
                      Avg Pts Per Game 95.9 96.3 98.1
                      Steals per Forced Turnover 29% 38% 35%
                      Assist to TO Ratio 0.88 1.57 1.85
                      Assist per FG 48% 58% 50%
                      Points Per FGA 1.20 1.60 1.51
                      Points Per Possession 1.06 1.31 1.32
                      Num Possessions 80 77 94
                      OppDefReb 23 19 24
                      Off Reb Efficiency 44% 30% 35%
                      Forced Turnover 17 16 17
                      Game num 13 14 15

                      Comment


                      • FYI
                        West Liberty National Rankings in 90th percentile as of games completed 1/13/2022 (after Frostburg)
                        • Scoring per game is steadily climbing, despite some teams’ attempts to slow the pace (except Frostburg – what were they thinking?)
                        • More rapid passing and and movement without ball are resulting in FG % climbing from 47% to over 50%.
                        • Assists per game are steadily climbing.
                        • Turnover margin and assist to turnover ratio are deceptively low, as many WLU turnovers are unforced and due to playing new combinations of players for extended minutes after the outcome has been decided. However, this playing time for younger players will pay dividends in March.
                        Date National Ranking West Liberty rank Value
                        1/13/2022 Scoring Offense 2 98.10
                        1/13/2022 Steals Per Game 3 11.70
                        1/13/2022 Turnovers Forced 3 20.40
                        1/13/2022 Assists Per Game 4 20.20
                        1/13/2022 Turnover Margin 4 7.30
                        1/13/2022 Scoring Margin 6 19.00
                        1/13/2022 Free-Throw Attempts 10 337.00
                        1/13/2022 Free-Throw Made 12 234.00
                        1/13/2022 Assist Turnover Ratio 14 1.55
                        1/13/2022 Three-Point Attempts 14 424.00
                        1/13/2022 Offensive Rebounds per game 16 13.67
                        1/13/2022 Three-Point Field Goals Per Game 17 10.70
                        1/13/2022 Field-Goal Percentage 19 50.09

                        Comment


                        • That's a very bad--potentially season altering--loss. Up 15 at home, you have to close that out. They simply stopped sharing the ball and stopped playing Hilltopper basketball in the second half. They got dribble-happy in the second half and paid the price for it against a very good Fairmont team. Gotta learn from that. But the damage is done. Now, you have to go into Retton Arena and win the second match-up against the Falcons, and that's an incredibly tough place to win a road game. And now there's no room for a hiccup (such as, say, a loss at Concord--and make no mistake, Athens is a very tough place to emerge with a win). Really disappointing second half performance after an almost perfect first half. Gotta put two good halves together to beat good teams.

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                          • Wowzer, I was shocked at the final score after seeing what it was in the second half

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                            • Was anyone at the game to see what happened after the handshakes? On the feed, it looked like a Fairmont bench player (in a full warm-up suit) got in Sarson's face after the handshakes as Sarson and McKinney made their way toward the locker room. The camera never panned to the "action," but the announcer did make a cryptic reference to the AD having to go down to the floor to clear up a situation. So, I'm wondering if a little scuffle ensued. Anyone have any intel?

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                              • Originally posted by Scrub View Post
                                That's a very bad--potentially season altering--loss. Up 15 at home, you have to close that out. They simply stopped sharing the ball and stopped playing Hilltopper basketball in the second half. They got dribble-happy in the second half and paid the price for it against a very good Fairmont team. Gotta learn from that. But the damage is done. Now, you have to go into Retton Arena and win the second match-up against the Falcons, and that's an incredibly tough place to win a road game. And now there's no room for a hiccup (such as, say, a loss at Concord--and make no mistake, Athens is a very tough place to emerge with a win). Really disappointing second half performance after an almost perfect first half. Gotta put two good halves together to beat good teams.
                                Once again our players took the bait and went one on one. On many occasions, all 5 fsu players had at least one foot in the lane in a pack line defense. Also teammates quit moving without the ball, leaving no one to kickout the ball to in 2nd half.

                                When will our players learn that one on one is not a winning strategy against good teams? The system, not the players' individual skills, is what make wlu hard to beat

                                Fsu chose to leave our best rebounder open outside and take their chances with his open three; if he misses, he is no rebound threat. Many shots were taken with no one under to rebound. Losing viktor with 4 fouls really hurt the team as no one could guard him.

                                I have no patience with players getting technicals by mouthing off to the ref. It is childish, self centered and fruitless. No ref ever changed a call. Let the coaches do the talking.
                                Last edited by Columbuseer; 01-16-2022, 12:45 PM.

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