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West Liberty Hilltopper Basketball

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  • Wlu 22 recruit Luke Denbow gets more awards...


    Ashland's Luke Denbow was named Division I District 6 Player of the Year for the third consecutive season. Through 19 games, Denbow is averaging 28.5 points, 6.4 rebounds, 6.1 assists and 2.4 steals.
    Last edited by Columbuseer; 02-17-2022, 06:04 AM.

    Comment


    • West Liberty National Ranking including games through 2/6/22
      • West Liberty is in the top 5 nationally in 8 categories!
      • West Liberty is in the top 10 nationally in 11 categories!
      • 90th percentile in 14 categories!
      • Assists are #2, at 20.5 a game, which is an indicator of how much they share the ball, especially when one considers the scoop and scores on steals, which are generally not applicable for assists
      • Assist to turnover ratio is an amazing 1.69, considering the rapid pace of play and the increased number of possessions in a game.
      Date National Ranking West Liberty rank Value
      2/16/2022 Scoring Offense 1 100.00
      2/16/2022 Scoring Margin 1 21.00
      2/16/2022 Assists Per Game 2 20.50
      2/16/2022 Steals Per Game 3 11.30
      2/16/2022 Turnover Margin 3 7.40
      2/16/2022 Turnovers Forced 3 19.52
      2/16/2022 Assist Turnover Ratio 3 1.69
      2/16/2022 Three-Point Field Goals Per Game 5 11.30
      2/16/2022 Three-Point Attempts 8 725.00
      2/16/2022 Field-Goal Percentage 9 50.80
      2/16/2022 Offensive Rebounds per game 10 13.64
      2/16/2022 Free-Throw Attempts 15 528.00
      2/16/2022 Free-Throw Made 17 383.00
      2/16/2022 Three-Point Field-Goal Percentage 23 38.90
      2/16/2022 Total Rebounds per game 38 38.96
      2/16/2022 Rebound Margin 40 4.00
      2/16/2022 Blocked Shots Per Game 58 3.70
      2/16/2022 Free-Throw Percentage 117 72.54
      2/16/2022 Defensive Rebounds per game 168 25.32
      2/16/2022 Field-Goal Percentage Defense 209 45.84

      Comment




      • Frostburg Strategy:
        • Minimize turnovers
        • Keep WLU offensive rebounds to a minimum
        • Hit the boards hard
        • Leverage their talented one-on-one athletes whenever possible
        • At least make an effort to pass the ball to teammates.
        Frostburg scored first, jumping out to a 2-0 lead and appear to at least be making an effort to pass the ball. The lead lasted for 27 seconds. Three minutes and 5 FSU turnovers later, the score stood at 18-4. At the ten-minute mark, the score stood at 32-13.
        Frostburg, to their credit kept playing. At this point, their strategy had been discarded.

        Frostburg made a run of their own, aided by:
        • WLU went soft on defense. They were allowing players to get to the rim with their strong hand, where they could finish with their shooting hand farthest away from the defender.
        • FSU was on fire finishing at the rim and hitting threes, many of which were difficult, contested shots. They were feeling it!
        • In 4 minutes, Frostburg was only down by 8 at 36-28.

        In about 2.5 minutes, WLU had doubled the lead to 16 with 3:51 left in the half at 44-28.
        The half ended with WLU leading 51-36, a 15-point lead.
        There was concern because Frostburg was hitting incredibly difficult, contested shots. If WLU went cold again, things could get interesting (as in WV Wesleyan hit 90% from three a few years ago in the second half to pull a major upset after being 18 down).
        However, on the plus side, WLU had the following advantages:
        • Superior, quality depth
        • Frostburg was getting tired and getting a step slow on defense.
        • The concept of team play is a foreign one for Frostburg, which results in me-first, heat-check shots and bad possessions. They are also not used to playing as a team against pressure, trapping defense. One player got trapped in the corner on a missed WLU FT, picked up the ball and then jumped up and came down with the ball 94 feet from basket! Rarely seen type of turnover!
        • One could argue that they have negative synergy, where the total team talent is LESS than the sum of the individual talents of the players.

        WLU started getting uncontested drives to the rim and were drilling wide-open threes. At 14:27, the lead had reached 21 points. The lead bounced around between 21 and 29 points until 5:46 mark, when it reached 30 points. Only incredible, difficult, playground shots from Frostburg were preventing a total collapse.

        At 4:28, WLU put in their younger players. The trouble was that Frostburg did not have the legs to defend and run with these new, fresh players who were anxious to prove they could play the WLU style. No garbage time, just half-court pressure and ball movement. The lead reached 40 points at 1:19 left in the game with young players in the game.
        Keys to Victory
        • Frostburg has some very gifted athletes. But a one-on-one game without sharing the ball is a recipe for disaster against WLU. They appear to be incapable to playing against full-court, trapping pressure. One just does not see it growing up playing AAU and pickup games.
        • WLU pressure overcame a horrendous first half shooting performance, by enabling them to make 76% of their two-point FG attempts
        • WLU stole the ball on 70% of the forced turnovers, which is incredibly high %.
        • After a horrendous first half, WLU shot 45% from three in the second half, finishing at 33%.
        • WLU shared the ball for 27 assists against only 8 turnovers and an incredible 3.30 assist-to-turnover ratio. By comparison, Frostburg had 7 assists and 23 turnovers for a dismal 0.3 assist-to-turnover ratio.
        Team West Liberty Frostburg State Advantage to:
        Date 2/16/2022 2/16/2022
        Score 114-76 WLU
        w/l W WLU
        FG 45 30 WLU
        FGA 82 65 WLU
        FG Pct 55% 46% WLU
        3FG 13 6 WLU
        3 FGA 40 22 WLU
        3 FG PCT 33% 27% WLU
        FT 11 10 =
        FTA 16 15 =
        FT PCT 69% 67% =
        Off Reb 13 13 =
        Def Reb 24 25 FSU
        Tot Reb 37 38 FSU
        PF 16 15 =
        Assist 27 7 WLU
        Turnover 8 23 WLU
        Block 5 1 WLU
        Steal 16 5 WLU
        Pts 114 76 WLU
        Avg Pts Per Game 100 78.2 WLU
        Steals per Forced TO 70% 63% WLU
        Assist to TO Ratio 3.38 0.30 WLU
        Assist per FG 60% 23% wlu
        Points Per FGA 1.39 1.17 WLU
        Points Per Possession 1.36 0.93 WLU
        Num Possessions 84 82 =
        OppDefReb 25 24 FSU
        Off Reb Effic 34% 35% =
        Forced Turnovers 23 8 WLU
        Game num 25 28 FSU
        Two Pt FG % 76.2% 55.8% WLU
        Effective Shooting % 62.80% 50.77% WLU
        Last edited by Columbuseer; 02-18-2022, 01:01 AM. Reason: C9rrected typos

        Comment


        • Not the prettiest but a HUGE win. So many costly FT misses

          Comment


          • Originally posted by Layton View Post
            Not the prettiest but a HUGE win. So many costly FT misses
            Did u lose video for nearly all of second half from Fairmont broadcast?

            Incredible win. Still inconsistent with FTs. Amazing to avoid loss down 1 with shot clock off. Mec tourney is going to be amazingly high level basketball. Several teams could win it.

            Comment


            • Originally posted by Columbuseer View Post

              Did u lose video for nearly all of second half from Fairmont broadcast?

              Incredible win. Still inconsistent with FTs. Amazing to avoid loss down 1 with shot clock off. Mec tourney is going to be amazingly high level basketball. Several teams could win it.

              Comment


              • You are likely right about tired legs. For the season no one averaged over 28 min (patrick). Today:

                bryce 39
                Patrick 37
                Cmont 34
                malik 29
                viktor 23
                Ben 19
                Marlon 16 (foul trouble)

                We had to keep our strongest, most athletic, defensive team on the court who are also strong scorers. Good strategy imho as fairmont has several great scorers who can get hot.
                we wore them out on the OT but they still nearly hit the last shot of game.

                Comment


                • Originally posted by Columbuseer View Post

                  Did u lose video for nearly all of second half from Fairmont broadcast?

                  Incredible win. Still inconsistent with FTs. Amazing to avoid loss down 1 with shot clock off. Mec tourney is going to be amazingly high level basketball. Several teams could win it.
                  The livestream feed was a debacle for Fairmont yesterday.

                  -- The first half played without audio.
                  -- The feed froze (permanently) with 6 minutes to go in the first half.
                  -- They actually stopped the broadcast and re-opened an entirely new video for the start of the second half.
                  -- The first 10 minutes of the second half played seamlessly--this time with audio.
                  -- Of course, the audio featured the worst "homer" calls I've heard from a non-student broadcaster (at least when the kids on the Clarion broadcast act like fans you can kinda excuse it because they're kids)
                  -- Then second half video goes away as well.

                  The women's game feed played start to finish with no issues. Not sure what the issue was with the men's game feed, but it was thoroughly unwatchable for a wide variety of reasons (not the least of which was WLU's absolutely horrendous free throw display!).

                  The game write-up mentioned that when Robinson was fouled after a rebound with less than a second on the clock at the end of regulation (essentially ending the game), a WLU player thought the game was already over and charged the court earning a T for leaving the bench area during play. I'd love to have seen what happened there. But at that point, all I knew was that the livestats were taking a long time to reload (apparently while the refs sorted out the issue at the scorer's table).

                  Of note: early in the second half (when video was still a thing), when Fairmont was making their run to get back in it, a fan on the baseline under the WLU hoop entered the court and play had to be stopped. I always thought that a home team was penalized in some way (like a team Technical) when the home fans misbehave in that kind of way. But even though WLU was in the offensive end before the kid had stopped celebrating the Fairmont bucket that happened on the other end of the floor, the only recourse was a whistle and a side out for WLU.

                  Weird game all the way around.

                  Comment





                  • Fairmont Strategy Imaginings:
                    • Minimize turnovers against WLU pressure
                    • Attack offensively to draw fouls
                    • Shoot better than WLU, especially from three-point range
                    • Aggressively rebound and keep WLU offensive rebounds to a minimum
                    • Leverage their talented high basketball IQ and talented athletes whenever possible, who are comparable in these traits with WLU. Fairmont has several such athletes who can really hurt you, such as Sanders, Von Handorf, and Parris. Dobbs is also a talented inside-outside scorer.
                    If one looked only at the stats, most would say Fairmont was victorious.
                    • Made 30 FTs to 12 for WLU
                    • Shot 50% from three on 9-18, comparted to 30% on 6-20 for WLU
                    • Led in offensive rebounds 12 to 8; held WLU to only 28% in offensive rebounding efficiency
                    • Had superlative assist to turnover ratio of 1.64. Their active hands lowered WLU to 1.43, far below their average of 1.69
                    • WLU even had two technical fouls, which is unacceptable.


                    So how in the world did WLU manage to win the game?
                    • WLU 2-point shooting % was 69% to only 43% for Fairmont. Bryce Butler is getting almost unstoppable with his back to the basket inside; his footwork is a work of art at only 6-5. Patrick was converting contested drives to the rim, as Fairmont had to respect the outside shot, which left openings for him and late closeouts by Fairmont.
                    • Although WLU as shooting poorly from three (0-7 in second half), their 2-point shooting carried them to a 63% to 51% advantage in effective shooting %
                    • Fairmont missed a shot and Patrick got the rebound, getting fouled with 0.5 seconds left. Unfortunately, players on the WLU bench did not stay focused on the game and ran onto the court to celebrate, think the game was over. The resulting two-shot team technical gave Fairmont the lead at 96-95. Fortunately, the double bonus gave Patrick, an 79% FT shooter, two shots. After missing the first, he sank the second to force OT.
                    • I was desperately hoping that WLU would win in OT, for the sake of the WLU bench, whose lack of focus might have cost WLU any chance of hosting the regional and put the MEC season championship at risk. Thankfully, Fairmont was running out of energy in the OT and the shots were not falling and they were a step slow on defense.
                    Points per possession were essentially = 1.18 for Fairmont and 1.17 for WLU. It was very high-level basketball by both teams. Classic game.
                    Team West Liberty Fairmont State Advantage to:
                    Date 2/19/2022 2/19/2022
                    Score 110-107 WLU
                    w/l Wot WLU
                    FG 46 34 WLU
                    FGA 78 76 =
                    FG Pct 59% 45% WLU
                    3FG 6 9 FSU
                    3 FGA 20 18 =
                    3 FG PCT 30% 50% FSU
                    FT 12 30 FSU
                    FTA 23 37 FSU
                    FT PCT 52% 81% FSU
                    Off Reb 8 12 FSU
                    Def Reb 26 21 WLU
                    Tot Reb 34 33 =
                    PF 24 18 FSU
                    Assist 20 18 =
                    TO 14 11 FSU
                    Blk 9 3 WLU
                    Stl 5 7 FSU
                    Pts 110 107 WLU
                    Avg Pts Per Game 100.3 79.3 WLU
                    Steals per Forced TO 45% 50% FSU
                    Assist to TO Ratio 1.43 1.64 FSU
                    Assist per FG 43% 53% FSU
                    Points Per FGA 1.41 1.41 =
                    Points Per Possession 1.17 1.18 =
                    Num Possessions 94 91 =
                    OppDefReb 21 26 FSU
                    Off Reb Effic 28% 32%
                    Forced TO 11 14
                    Game num 26 29
                    Two Pt FG % 69.0% 43.1% WLU
                    Effective Shooting % 62.82% 50.66% WLU

                    Comment


                    • I know West Lib had their foul shooting issues but all in all that was a HUGE win! They take the MEC regular season title and I suspect will now be number one when the regional rankings are released. Is it me or does Marlon Moore Jr. seem to come up big in these late season and tournament games? Thank goodness he came back for another season. Speaking of coming up big, Bryce Butler is much better then I ever thought he would be when he originally signed with WLU. This guy is difficult to guard as he plays point guard on certain sets and center on others, that is tough!

                      Comment


                      • Wlu signee Luke Denbow leads his shorthanded ashland arrows to conference championship, 79-74 over Mansfield Senior. When Dante and Luke are on the floor next year, it will be showtime in terms of assists and open court magic!

                        The Arrows just absolutely refused to lose tonight & came away OCC CHAMPS! On his last night in Arrow Arena senior Luke Denbow
                        shot 87% from the free throw line, sinking 26 of his 30 FTs! Yes, You read that right. He led all scoring w/ 38, grabbed 12 boards, & had 6 assists.

                        Comment


                        • West Liberty Shooting is Elite
                          Abstract
                          • Some teams tout their great 3-point shooter.
                          • Since everyone has West Liberty shares the ball and has the green light to shoot the open three, it is rare that just one player can average 5 threes a game for a season.
                          • WLU has one player averaging 53%, which would place him at #1, two more over 46% which would place them in the top 10, and another over 40%.
                          • WLU has one player ranked 18th in overall FG % at 62.26% and another at 107th place at 51.34%.
                          • Overall, WLU is just under 39% and is ranked 24th in the nation in 3-point percentage (as of 2/2022). They are ranked #8 in overall FG % at over 51% (as of 2/20/22).
                          • WLU has to become more consistent in FT %, as it has already cost them some games.


                          Top Individual Three-point shooting %. Main point is that WLU is loaded with elite shooters in both 1st platoon and 2nd platoon. In fact, the platoon lines are not clear cut, as after the first shift of each half, WLU is mixing players from both platoons for the rest of the game to take advantage of their particular skills.
                            • 53% on 51 attempts
                            • 50% on 6 attempts (too small a sample size)
                            • 47% on 110 attempts
                            • 46% on 94 attempts
                            • 40% on 48 attempts
                            • Team Average is 39% on 725 attempts
                          Top individual overall FG %
                            • 62% on 299 attempts
                            • 55% on 31 attempts
                            • 53% on 141 attempts
                            • 52% on 163 attempts
                            • 51% on 150 attempts
                            • 51% on 356 attempts
                            • Team average is 51% on 1805 attempts
                          Offensive Efficiency
                            • 68% on 146 attempts
                            • 65% on 299 attempts
                            • 64% on 121 attempts
                            • 61% on 141 attempts
                            • 60% on 150 attempts
                            • 60% on 31 attempts
                            • Team average 59% on 1805 attempts

                          Free Throw Shooting
                            • 83% on 6 attempts
                            • 76% on 21 attempts
                            • 75% on 65 attempts
                            • 75% on 4 attempts
                            • 73% on 56 attempts
                            • Team average 72.5% on 528 attempts

                          Comment


                            • Decreases in stats are to be expected when you play a top 20 team.
                            • West Liberty is in the top 3 nationally in 7 categories!
                            • West Liberty is in the top 10 nationally in 10 categories!
                            • 90th percentile in 13 categories!
                            • Assists are #2, at 20.5 a game, which is an indicator of how much they share the ball, especially when one considers the scoop and scores on steals, which are generally not applicable for assists
                            • Assist to turnover ratio is an amazing 1.68, considering the rapid pace of play and the increased number of possessions in a game. Against Fairmont, there were 94 possessions!


                            Date National Ranking West Liberty rank Value
                            2/20/2022 Scoring Offense 1 100.30
                            2/20/2022 Scoring Margin 1 21.00
                            2/20/2022 Assists Per Game 2 20.50
                            2/20/2022 Steals Per Game 3 11.00
                            2/20/2022 Turnover Margin 3 7.00
                            2/20/2022 Turnovers Forced 3 19.19
                            2/20/2022 Assist Turnover Ratio 3 1.68
                            2/20/2022 Three-Point Field Goals Per Game 6 11.10
                            2/20/2022 Field-Goal Percentage 8 51.14
                            2/20/2022 Three-Point Attempts 9 745.00
                            2/20/2022 Offensive Rebounds per game 11 13.42
                            2/20/2022 Free-Throw Attempts 20 551.00
                            2/20/2022 Free-Throw Made 23 395.00
                            2/20/2022 Three-Point Field-Goal Percentage 24 38.66
                            2/20/2022 Blocked Shots Per Game 39 3.90
                            2/20/2022 Rebound Margin 41 4.70
                            2/20/2022 Total Rebounds per game 43 38.77
                            2/20/2022 Free-Throw Percentage 139 71.69
                            2/20/2022 Defensive Rebounds per game 165 25.35
                            2/20/2022 Field-Goal Percentage Defense 210 45.79

                            Comment


                            • Hilltopper fans might remember this name: Sincere Carry dropped 42 points in a D1 game last night. What if, what if, what if!

                              Comment


                              • Just saw in the game notes for tonight's game that it's senior night on the hilltop. They're planning to honor 3 players: Viktor, Marlon Moore, and . . . Will Yoakum. Will is only listed as a Junior (due to the COVID freebie year), and he's obviously already been on the hilltop for 4 years, so it's not noteworthy that he's finished his degree. But it is noteworthy that he's apparently choosing not to pursue a Master's and play that last year (like Bolon did last year, or like Audrey Tingle is doing this year for the women's team).

                                Any speculation? Is his knee just shot at this point and he knows he needs to hang it up? Do we not have the Master's program he would want, and he'll use one more year of eligibility elsewhere (again like Bolon did)? Does he want to try his hand at a low D1 instead?

                                Dang shame that we never got to see the heights of Will's ability here. The greatness we saw in the two healthy years he did play was absolutely awesome. And I know I was dreaming of what heights he might be able to reach as he continued to develop over his final two years (until those final two were marred by injury).

                                [The analog for any IUP readers might be that Yoakum, and his neon bright future that never fully materialized, is a bit like the Demo situation up in Indiana.]

                                Comment

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