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  • Originally posted by Scrub View Post
    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.]
    Will redshirted his first year so this is his 5th year. He was freshman of year in mec and all conference last year even though he was injured after 12 games. I have no information on his intentions. I admire him for working so hard in rehab just so he can contribute in any role to the team. Right now, his mind knows what to do but his body can't catch up (players over 40 can relate lol). If it is just rust, watch out! His shot is still there.

    IMHO one needs 3 d1 level players for a decent chance at a national title. After Will got hurt, we only had two.
    This year Nova SE has 3 Bevo Francis top 50 players to two for WLU.

    Comment


    • Observations on West Liberty Versus Notre Dame College Won 105-88 2/23/22


      Notre Dame Collage (NDC) Strategy
      • They have recruited very good one-on-one players who can also shoot the three. They have 4 players who shoot over 38% from three.
      • When they break the press in transition, they will attack the rim or shoot the open three-point shot, if available.
      • They move the ball well on offense, attacking their opponent with drives, trying to draw additional help defense, so that they can kick out for three.
      • If they get a mismatch on a defensive switch, they will attack this mismatch and try to score or draw a foul
      • They want to limit turnovers and win the rebounding battle.
      • Because they move the ball so well, if they are hitting their threes, they can be a dangerous team.

      NDC had success with their strategy, for the most part. They shot very well from three-point range. However, they had a flurry of turnovers at the beginning of the game and also at times in the second half.
      WLU Keys to Victory
      • Sharing the ball and making the extra pass. There was some beautiful team basketball by WLU at the ASRC last night. IMHO, it is much more demoralizing to opposing teams when a great player gives up the ball to a teammate for an easy shot, more than dunks or great individual plays, as it is always exploiting the weak link in the opponent’s defense for that specific possession. Even though the opponent had great defense on the player with the ball, WLU still got an easy basket. WLU had assists on 65% of their made FGs!
      • Viktor made some incredible passes for assists, along with others. He was dissecting the NDC defense.
      • Marlon was getting incredible rebounds and was a defensive force!
      • Will Yoakum’s minutes increased and he is starting to shed some of the rust from being sidelined with injury. Deadly shooter.
      • NDC had no one who could stop Bryce, Patrick, or Malik. To their credit, WLU did not take forced shots and shared the ball.
      • WLU had an amazing 1.86 assist to turnover ratio.
      • WLU pressure was intense and relentless, resulting in live ball turnovers and scores. They started to wear down NDC in the last 8 minutes of the game, expanding the lead to 27 points with 3 minutes remaining.
      • WLU was shooting 2-pt goals at an incredibly high 73%, with Patrick, Bryce, Malik and others scoring inside. This high % offset excellent three-point shooting of NDC (47%). WLU was averaging 1.57 points per FGA, which is more indicative of a red-hot three-point shooting team than one that shot a mediocre 36%.
      • WLU’s effective shooting % was 66%, compared to only 50% for NDC, despite the hot three-point shooting of NDC. It is rare that the effective shooting % is less than the 2-point shooting %. It creates big problems for opponents, who generally only consider WLU as just a three-point reliant team.
      Statistic WLU Opponent Advantage To:
      Team WLU NOTRE DAME (OH)
      Date 2/23/22 2/23/2022
      Score 105-88 WLU
      w/l W L WLU
      FG 40 29 WLU
      FGA 67 67 =
      FG Pct 60% 43% WLU
      3FG 9 9 =
      3 FGA 25 19 WLU
      3 FG PCT 36% 47% NDC
      FT 16 21 NDC
      FTA 22 28 NDC
      FT PCT 73% 75% NDC
      Off Reb 9 15 NDC
      Def Reb 26 21 WLU
      Tot Reb 35 36 =
      Reb Per Game 38.6 34.1 WLU
      PF 22 16 NDC
      Assist 26 12 WLU
      TO 14 22 WLU
      Blk 5 2 WLU
      Stl 11 8 WLU
      Pts 105 88 WLU
      Avg Pts Per Game 100.5 79.6 WLU
      Steals per Forced TO 50% 57% NDC
      Assist to TO Ratio 1.86 0.55 WLU
      Assist per FG 65% 41% WLU
      Points Per FGA 1.57 1.31 WLU
      Points Per Possession 1.28 1.02 WLU
      Num Possessions 82 86 =
      OppDefReb 21 26 NDC
      Off Reb Effic 30% 37% NDC
      Forced TO 22 14 WLU
      Game num 27 27 =
      Two Pt FG % 73.8% 41.7% WLU
      Effective Shooting % 66.4% 50.0% WLU
      Last edited by Columbuseer; 02-24-2022, 08:34 AM.

      Comment


      • Interesting to note that once Sarson went down with what looked like a pretty serious ankle sprain (left the floor via a crutch at the end of the game), Yoakum spent the second half running with the first 5 in Sarson's spot (and Webb slotted back into the second 5). So perhaps Yoakum's getting back up to speed will be timed well for him to step in and give Howlett the minutes he'll be losing if Sarson is shelved for longer than a game or two.

        Comment


        • Bad News for WLU Opponents - Another deadly shooter joins the Hilltoppers next year

          FYI Luke Denbow joins WLU next year.

          With their strong center lost for the season, Ashland is playing with a small guard lineup.

          Situation: With the conference title on the line, Ashland is down 3, with about 10 seconds left. Mansfield misses a FT, and Denbow rebounds. Great coaching move by Ashland NOT to call time out as Mansfield would have probably intentionally fouled Denbow following the time out to seal the victory.

          Denbow brings the ball down the court with the defense retreating and retreating. He calmly shoots a contested deep NBA three point jump shot with 1 second left and drains it to force OT. Subsequently, Ashland won in OT to clinch their conference title. He took the shot, despite have an off FG shooting night (most of his points came on FTs.).
          His 27 FTs ties for 6th in Ohio history for number of FTs made by player in a game. Also, his 20 FTs in a row is 6th all time.

          Here is the video of the sequence. Ice water in his veins.

          https://twitter.com/i/status/1494924264541204481

          Comment


          • Originally posted by Columbuseer View Post
            Bad News for WLU Opponents - Another deadly shooter joins the Hilltoppers next year

            FYI Luke Denbow joins WLU next year.

            With their strong center lost for the season, Ashland is playing with a small guard lineup.

            Situation: With the conference title on the line, Ashland is down 3, with about 10 seconds left. Mansfield misses a FT, and Denbow rebounds. Great coaching move by Ashland NOT to call time out as Mansfield would have probably intentionally fouled Denbow following the time out to seal the victory.

            Denbow brings the ball down the court with the defense retreating and retreating. He calmly shoots a contested deep NBA three point jump shot with 1 second left and drains it to force OT. Subsequently, Ashland won in OT to clinch their conference title. He took the shot, despite have an off FG shooting night (most of his points came on FTs.).
            His 27 FTs ties for 6th in Ohio history for number of FTs made by player in a game. Also, his 20 FTs in a row is 6th all time.

            Here is the video of the sequence. Ice water in his veins.

            https://twitter.com/i/status/1494924264541204481
            Yep, West Liberty wins another National Championship!

            Comment


            • Originally posted by IUPalum View Post

              Yep, West Liberty wins another National Championship!
              I wish that I were as confident as you. IMHO, we need to replace Marlon Moore (Mr. March), Viktor and Will Yoakum with comparable bigs. A very tall order.
              Playing for national title depends so much on matchups and who is hot and who is cold on a given night.

              Not to mention there is always that huge barrier to the Elite 8 in that well-coached power in the PSAC.... Mercyhurst.

              Comment


              • Originally posted by Columbuseer View Post

                I wish that I were as confident as you. IMHO, we need to replace Marlon Moore (Mr. March), Viktor and Will Yoakum with comparable bigs. A very tall order.
                Playing for national title depends so much on matchups and who is hot and who is cold on a given night.

                Not to mention there is always that huge barrier to the Elite 8 in that well-coached power in the PSAC.... Mercyhurst.
                Manchel does own West Liberty!

                Comment


                • Originally posted by IUPalum View Post

                  Manchel does own West Liberty!
                  Yep. Hillsdale did us a favor by eliminating them last year. Hillsdale did not match up well with west liberty. Having a 6-8 guy guard Patrick at the top of the key did not end well for hillsdale.

                  Comment


                  • Originally posted by IUPalum View Post

                    Manchel does own West Liberty!
                    I'd be hard pressed to call 1-0 "owning" a team...Now 3-1? THAT'S owning!!!!

                    Comment


                    • Originally posted by boatcapt View Post

                      I'd be hard pressed to call 1-0 "owning" a team...Now 3-1? THAT'S owning!!!!
                      Go win another National Championship!

                      Comment


                      • Originally posted by IUPalum View Post

                        Go win another National Championship!
                        You guys should just be focused on MAKING the Regional Championship game!!

                        Comment


                        • Originally posted by boatcapt View Post

                          You guys should just be focused on MAKING the Regional Championship game!!
                          As should you! You had an easy path missing Hurst and IUP last year. You're sinking ship hasn't played anyone tough this year other than Fairmont, Good luck!

                          Comment


                          • This team is way ahead of schedule imo. Next year should be a big run

                            Comment


                            • Originally posted by IUPalum View Post

                              As should you! You had an easy path missing Hurst and IUP last year. You're sinking ship hasn't played anyone tough this year other than Fairmont, Good luck!
                              You say the same thing every year...and we almost always go further than you!

                              Comment


                              • FYI
                                West Liberty National Statistical Ranking D2 – 2/25/22
                                • West Liberty’s stats were mostly stable, with FG% continuing to increase.
                                • Nation-leading scoring increased to 100.5, as WLU scored 105 against Notre Dame on only 82 possession for 1.28 points per possession.
                                • 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 14 categories!
                                • WLU season FG shooting continues to improve – now 6th in nation at FG 51.44%
                                • 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.
                                • Turnover margin at #3, could improve even more, as most of WLU’s turnovers are well intentioned passes to a cutter for an easy layup that just went slightly awry.
                                Date National Ranking West Liberty rank Value
                                2/25/2022 Scoring Offense 1 100.50
                                2/25/2022 Scoring Margin 1 20.00
                                2/25/2022 Assists Per Game 2 20.70
                                2/25/2022 Steals Per Game 3 11.00
                                2/25/2022 Turnover Margin 3 7.00
                                2/25/2022 Turnovers Forced 3 19.30
                                2/25/2022 Assist Turnover Ratio 3 1.69
                                2/25/2022 Three-Point Field Goals Per Game 6 11.00
                                2/25/2022 Field-Goal Percentage 6 51.44
                                2/25/2022 Three-Point Attempts 8 770.00
                                2/25/2022 Offensive Rebounds per game 12 13.26
                                2/25/2022 Free-Throw Made 19 411.00
                                2/25/2022 Free-Throw Attempts 21 573.00
                                2/25/2022 Three-Point Field-Goal Percentage 25 38.57
                                2/25/2022 Blocked Shots Per Game 41 3.90
                                2/25/2022 Rebound Margin 45 4.00
                                2/25/2022 Total Rebounds per game 47 38.63
                                2/25/2022 Free-Throw Percentage 139 71.73
                                2/25/2022 Defensive Rebounds per game 161 25.37
                                2/25/2022 Field-Goal Percentage Defense 209 45.68

                                Comment

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