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  • FYI


    A Dummy’s Observations on WLU at NDC 11/18/23 WLU 111- NDC 82

    NDC Game Plan

    NDC is a very athletic team, that is loaded with transfers who are 6-6 or below, with guard skills and excellent
    rebounding ability. They started 4 players 6-4 to 6-6. They have good depth. They are a dangerous team, especially
    against a half-court style opponent They have very good 1-on-1 players and are very strong rebounders. The NDC
    coach has a great eye for talent, as he lost a huge amount of production from last year’s team.
    Their game plan was to spread the floor, attack the rim off the dribble. and dominate the boards. If they break the
    press, they will attack the rim to score or draw fouls. To counter the WLU pressure, NDC used a platoon substitution and played ten guys for substantial minutes.

    First Half
    In foreshadowing of a very athletic game, 6-6 220-lb RJ Ogom won the tip from Sarson, the first tip Ben has lost this year. It was a close game for the first 5 minutes, with WLU leading 13-10 at 14:43 media timeout. NDC chose to play their starters for over 5 minutes. They put in their second unit, just after a rested Alpha platoon had replaced Bravo
    platoon. It was a bad matchup. Alpha dominated, increasing the lead to 29-12, getting 4 steals in about 2.5 minutes.
    WLU pressure was wreaking havoc. Bravo platoon returned and extended the lead to 23 in the next 4 minutes.
    WLU had forced 13 turnovers on 13 steals and the half ended with WLU leading 50-29, despite NDC
    outrebounding WLU and being nearly perfect from the FT line.

    Second Half
    NDC could not cut the deficit, as the lead was 22 at 64-22 at the first media timeout at 14:42. NDC was making valiant efforts to score, but WLU was speeding them up and luring them into a one-on-one playground game, where the NDC players without the ball were standing around watching the dribbler, exhausted. The press led to 10 steals and easy scores for WLU.

    However, when fatigue sets in, the playground shots don’t fall. NDC foul shooting and offensive rebounding was preventing a total collapse. Despite these efforts, the lead grew to 29 in less than 2 minutes at 12:54.
    The game was essentially over at that point, as NDC was out of gas.

    WLU reached its maximum lead of 34 points at 93-59 with 7:39 remaining in the game. The last 5 minutes were a little sloppy for WLU as they took some quick, albeit wide-open shots early in the shot clock, but with no one under to rebound. By that time, WLU had quit trapping in the backcourt.
    The final score was 109-84.

    Keys to the game:
     Fatigue – WLU scored 45 points off turnovers, with 25 fast break points, and 23 steals among 31 forced
    turnovers, which offset NDC rebounding and FT % advantage. I thought NDC played their starters too long before subbing, even though they did platoon.
     WLU forced 74% live ball turnovers, which often led to easy scores for layups.
     NDC three point % was only 12% for the game.
     The Alpha and Bravo Platoons continue to perform at high levels – Alpha was +15 over 6 shifts, Bravo was +13 over 5 shifts, ignoring the last shift that ended the game.
     Quality depth – WLU bench points outscored NDC’s bench 50 to 35, which indicates that NDC has good
    depth.
     WLU only committed 13 turnovers.
     WLU was making their threes – an elite 42 % on 15-36.
     Incredible passing – WLU has elite passers with great vision. There were many assists that made fans go
    WOW!
     WLU has six extremely quick players who can harass opponent’s guards and disrupt their offense.
     WLU shares the ball effectively, compared to NDC’s dribble-dominant offense. WLU had an outstanding 2.31 assist to turnover ratio, compared to a bad 0.42 for NDC.
    *Amazingly, 76% of WLU FGs were a result of assists, compared to only 42% for NDC.
     Despite their fast pace, WLU commits turnovers on only 14% of possessions, compared to 33% for NDC.


    Seven players scored in double figures for WLU. Twelve players saw at least 10 minutes of action, with only 2 players at 20 or more minutes (max of 23 minutes).

    NDC has good, quick athletes, many in 6-4 to 6-6 range, who can all play like guards, but are also very strong rebounders. However, waves of WLU pressure and NDC choosing to run with the Hilltoppers and play an individual 1-on-1 dribble-drive game, resulted in few assists and extreme fatigue for NDC in the second half.

    NDC will be much improved by February, as they are having to blend many new players. But the talent is there.

    WLU offensive rating was 116, which is very good, but somewhat below their typical incredible season average of 125. In addition, they held NDC to 90, which is great defense.

    The effective shooting % as a team was 58%, and they held NDC to 49%.

    Misc. Notes
    There were so many wow moments in this game for WLU, from great passes, to steals in rapid succession, and sheer effort. It is well worth watching the on demand replay on mountaineast.tv.

    Just one example was a sequence beginning at the 10:30 mark in the first half. After Woodward makes a layup to extend the lead to 19, NDC breaks the press and passes to 6-6 Cameron Johnson, who had leaked out and was wide open under the basket. He catches the ball standing on the left side of the rim and goes up for a monster slam.

    Daren Fergus is sprinting past everyone toward the goal. As Johnson starts to throw the ball down from high above the rim, 6-1 Darren meets him above the rim! Darren cleanly blocks the dunk with BOTH hands, snatches the ball from Johnson’s hands while in mid-air and takes off toward the WLU goal. Darren then attacks the paint and makes a beautiful assist to Woodward for a layup. The fans were looking at each other in disbelief, not sure if the sequence
    they just saw was real. For WVU fans, it evoked images of the legendary shot blocker Sagaba Konate from 2019, who amazed fans with two-handed blocks. But Sagaba was 6-7 and Darren is 6-1!

    Effective Shooting %
    The effective shooting % of many WLU players was excellent. This stat weighs the value of the 3-point shot 50% more than a 2-pt shot, which allows more effective comparison with post players, etc. A perfect score for a 2-pt shooter who does not miss is 100%. However, if the shooter only shoots threes and never misses, the maximum possible value is 150%. Here were the top effective shooters:

    Spadafora 125%
    Montague 86%
    Hinds 85%
    Rasile 81%
    Woodward 67%
    ​​​​D'Augustino 58%
    Korte 56%
    Fergus 50%
    Last edited by Columbuseer; 11-28-2023, 07:58 AM.

    Comment


    • Originally posted by Columbuseer View Post
      West Liberty has assembled a Swiss army knife roster.

      The scoring balance of this team is amazing!

      Opponents cannot focus on just one or two players.

      After 5 games:
      - 5 different high point scorers (counting ties) in first 5 games.
      - Only one repeat high point scorer.
      - No player has scored more than 17 pts
      - Avg of 6 double figure scorers per game.
      - 7 players avg between 9.8 and 13.0 ppg
      - 11 of 12 players have scored in double figures at least once.
      I wouldn't call them a Swiss Army knife. Swiss Army knife denotes a number of specialized tools contained in one package. Better definition is a matched set of Ginsu steak knives, all super sharp, all identical to the other.

      Comment


      • Observations on WLU Individual Stats through 5 games
        • Great shooting depth – 9 players over 56% effective FG %
        • Unselfish – 7 players with Assist to Turnover Ratio > 2
        • Quick Hands - 7 players averaging over 3 steals per 40 minutes of play
        • Prolific scorers – 7 players averaging over 20 pts per 40 minutes of play

        Leaders in Effective FG% > 50%
        # Player AVG MINS FTM PTS AVG BLK Effective FG % Pts Per 40Min
        10 Spadafora, Dante 19.6 # 11.2 0 80.8% 22.9
        2 Fergus, Darren 9 7 4.4 1 75.0% 19.6
        5 Korte, John 18.6 # 13 4 65.2% 28.0
        3 Woodward, Finley 18.2 7 10.2 1 64.7% 22.4
        25 Rasile, Zach 20.8 9 11 0 60.5% 21.2
        1 Montague, Christian 22.4 3 11 0 59.1% 19.6
        13 Daugustino, Kyler 20.8 4 9.8 0 57.7% 18.8
        23 West, Alek 18.4 4 8 4 56.3% 17.4
        22 Hinds, Chaz 13.2 5 10.2 1 56.1% 30.9



        Leaders in Assist to Turnover Ratio – ratio over 2 is good
        # Player AVG MINS FTM PTS AVG BLK Assists per 40 min Turnovers Per 40min Assist to TO Ratio per 40 mins
        23 West, Alek 18.4 4 8 4 9.1 1.3 7.0
        11 Barnhart, Grant 5 0 1.6 0 4.8 0.0 4.8
        1 Montague, Christian 22.4 3 11 0 10.7 2.5 4.3
        3 Woodward, Finley 18.2 7 10.2 1 5.3 1.8 3.0
        25 Rasile, Zach 20.8 9 11 0 1.9 0.8 2.5
        10 Spadafora, Dante 19.6 # 11.2 0 4.5 2.0 2.2
        22 Hinds, Chaz 13.2 5 10.2 1 3.6 1.8 2.0
        24 Sarson, Ben 19.6 7 8.6 6 3.3 2.0 1.6
        2 Fergus, Darren 9 7 4.4 1 8.0 5.3 1.5
        5 Korte, John 18.6 # 13 4 5.2 3.4 1.5
        4 Shuler, Lanyc 14.4 5 6.6 0 4.4 3.3 1.3
        13 Daugustino, Kyler 20.8 4 9.8 0 1.9 1.5 1.3

        Leaders in steals per 40 minutes
        # Player AVG MINS Steals Per 40Min Blocks Per 40Min TotalReb Per 40Min OFFReb Per 40Min DEFReb Per 40Min Blocks per 40 min
        10 Spadafora, Dante 19.6 6.9 0.0 6.1 2.0 4.1 0.0
        23 West, Alek 18.4 4.8 1.7 8.7 3.5 5.2 1.7
        1 Montague, Christian 22.4 4.3 0.0 6.4 2.9 3.6 0.0
        2 Fergus, Darren 9 3.6 0.9 6.2 0.0 6.2 0.9
        13 Daugustino, Kyler 20.8 3.5 0.0 3.5 1.5 1.9 0.0
        4 Shuler, Lanyc 14.4 3.3 0.0 7.2 2.8 4.4 0.0
        3 Woodward, Finley 18.2 3.1 0.4 7.0 2.6 4.4 0.4
        22 Hinds, Chaz 13.2 2.4 0.6 9.7 4.8 4.8 0.6
        25 Rasile, Zach 20.8 2.3 0.0 6.2 1.5 4.6 0.0
        5 Korte, John 18.6 2.2 1.7 9.0 1.7 7.3 1.7
        24 Sarson, Ben 19.6 2.0 2.4 7.3 2.0 5.3 2.4
        Last edited by Columbuseer; 11-29-2023, 04:47 PM.

        Comment


        • A Dummy’s Observations on WLU vs WV Wesleyan 11/29/23 WLU 125 - WVWU 69

          WVWU Game Plan
          WVWU has a starting five based on D2 transfers or junior college players. They play a 5-out offense to spread the floor and look for opportunities for open shots or drive 1-on-1 to the basket. They have some talent, but they face a huge blending task with so many new players.
          Their game plan was to spread the floor, and attack the rim off the dribble or take the open three. If they break the press, they will attack the rim to score or draw fouls. To counter the WLU pressure, they will sub more frequently than normal.
          First Half
          WLU suffered from a Thanksgiving hangover and appeared sluggish. They were playing a perimeter game, without their usual high motion offense. Their first possession was a shot clock violation, due to good defense by WVWU and stagnant offense by WLU. WLU returned the favor by forcing a shot clock violation on WVWU’s first possession.
          WLU shooting was horrendous, even though they were getting open looks. At one point they were 4-17 from three. WVWU was doing a good job in protecting the ball, as WLU got their first steal at 11:15 mark. At the first media timeout at 13:54, WLU led 15-11. At the media timeout at 9:09, WLU led 28-21. WVWU was staying within striking distance. At the 4:40 media timeout, WLU led 37-27. But the signs of fatigue were appearing in WVWU. Guys were standing on the perimeter when the WVWU shot went up, essentially conceding control of the boards to WLU. WLU had a 9-2 run and built a 17-point lead in just over 2 minutes. The half ended with WLU leading 48-31
          Second Half
          The rest from intermission generally only mitigates fatigue for about 5 minutes. By the first media time out at 14:58, the lead was 20. But it was becoming apparent that WVWU was vulnerable to a knock-out. In less than 2.5 minutes, WLU got 4 steals and extended the lead to 31 points at 73-42 at 12:31. WVWU had no legs left and was taking one and done shots.
          The game was essentially over at that point, as WVWU was out of gas.
          At 8:21, the lead reached 40 at 95-55, supported by 5 WLU steals.
          At the 8-minute mark, WLU took off the trapping pressure and played man-to-man. But it really did not help WVWU that much. The lead reached 50 at 116-66 in less than 6 minutes at the 2:53 mark.
          WLU reached its maximum lead of 58 points at 124-66 with 1:53 remaining in the game.
          The final score was 125-69.


          Keys to the game:
          • Fatigue – WLU scored 52 points off turnovers, with 35 fast break points, and 17 steals among 33 forced turnovers. WLU dominated the boards 46-28. I thought WVWU played their starters too long before subbing, even though they did sub more frequently. WLU got 28 more FGA than WVWU, which offsets any advantage that an opponent might have had in shooting percentage. If WLU is shooting well, it typically means a lopsided score.
          • WLU forced many five second calls on WVWU inbounds attempts.
          • WVWU three point % was 50% for second half, after a 17% first half.
          • The Alpha and Bravo Platoons continue to perform at high levels – Alpha was +16 over 4 shifts, Bravo was +24 over 5 shifts, and there was a mixed platoon that was +16 over 2 shifts.
          • Quality depth – WLU bench points outscored WVWU’s bench 59 to 28.
          • WLU only committed 12 turnovers.
          • Incredible passing – WLU has elite passers with great vision. There were 30 assists on 44 FGs which is an amazing 68%.
          • WLU guards demonstrated their incredibly quick hands. Typically, steals occur on intercepted passes. Today, several guards were picking the pockets of WVWU players.
          • WLU shares the ball effectively, compared to WVWU’s dribble-dominant offense. WLU had an outstanding 2.5 assist to turnover ratio, compared to a bad 0.45 for WVWU.
          • Despite their fast pace, WLU commits turnovers on only 14% of possessions, compared to 38% for WVWU.

          Five players scored in double figures for WLU, with nine players scoring 8 or more points. Ten players saw at least 17 minutes of action, with only 1 player at 21 or more minutes (max of 24 minutes).
          WVWU has experienced players who are still learning how to play together. Waves of WLU pressure and WVWU choosing to run with the Hilltoppers and play an individual 1-on-1 dribble-drive and perimeter game, resulted in few assists and extreme fatigue for WVWU in the second half.
          WLU offensive rating was 145, which is amazing, and far above their incredible typical season average of 125. In addition, they held WVWU to 79, which is dominating defense.
          The effective FG % as a team was 60%, and they held WVWU to 45%.

          Comment


          • "NDC has good, quick athletes, many in 6-4 to 6-6 range, who can all play like guards, but are also very strong rebounders. However, waves of WLU pressure and NDC choosing to run with the Hilltoppers and play an individual 1-on-1 dribble-drive game, resulted in few assists and extreme fatigue for NDC in the second half."

            I noticed the tendency of Notre Dame's players to go 1-on-1 in their game against IUP. Their attempts to dribble between 2-3 players often resulted in turnovers or ineffective offensive trips and contributed to their loss.

            Comment


            • Originally posted by Ship69 View Post
              "NDC has good, quick athletes, many in 6-4 to 6-6 range, who can all play like guards, but are also very strong rebounders. However, waves of WLU pressure and NDC choosing to run with the Hilltoppers and play an individual 1-on-1 dribble-drive game, resulted in few assists and extreme fatigue for NDC in the second half."

              I noticed the tendency of Notre Dame's players to go 1-on-1 in their game against IUP. Their attempts to dribble between 2-3 players often resulted in turnovers or ineffective offensive trips and contributed to their loss.
              ND could be pretty decent as the year moves along. That's basically a JUCO all-star team -- which takes time to play as a team. Lot of individual talent. Their lack of size killed them against IUP - and that's even with Damir Brooks not playing that game.

              The Falcons could be dangerous in the second half (or a disaster).

              Comment


              • Originally posted by Ship69 View Post
                "NDC has good, quick athletes, many in 6-4 to 6-6 range, who can all play like guards, but are also very strong rebounders. However, waves of WLU pressure and NDC choosing to run with the Hilltoppers and play an individual 1-on-1 dribble-drive game, resulted in few assists and extreme fatigue for NDC in the second half."

                I noticed the tendency of Notre Dame's players to go 1-on-1 in their game against IUP. Their attempts to dribble between 2-3 players often resulted in turnovers or ineffective offensive trips and contributed to their loss.
                I don't know if it is the curse of AAU, but so many talented athletes eschew assists, challenge multiple defenders, and wind up taking low % shots or committing unnecessary turnovers.
                Imho, if they shared the ball, they would get much easier shots.

                Comment


                • FYI

                  West Liberty national stats thru Nov 30

                  #1 Assists 26.7
                  #1 Turnovers margin 17
                  #1Turnovers forced 28.17
                  #1 Bench points 53.33
                  #1 Scoring margin 39
                  #1 3pt attempts 37.5

                  #2 Steals 17.2
                  #2 Scoring 108.8
                  #2 Assist to turnover ratio 2.39
                  #2 3pts made 13

                  #6. Fast break pts 22.67
                  #10. 3 pt defense 25 %
                  #13 off rebs 15.17
                  #30 effective fg % 57.8%
                  #44 fg% 49.47%

                  Comment


                  • Originally posted by Columbuseer View Post
                    FYI

                    West Liberty national stats thru Nov 30

                    #1 Assists 26.7
                    #1 Turnovers margin 17
                    #1Turnovers forced 28.17
                    #1 Bench points 53.33
                    #1 Scoring margin 39
                    #1 3pt attempts 37.5

                    #2 Steals 17.2
                    #2 Scoring 108.8
                    #2 Assist to turnover ratio 2.39
                    #2 3pts made 13

                    #6. Fast break pts 22.67
                    #10. 3 pt defense 25 %
                    #13 off rebs 15.17
                    #30 effective fg % 57.8%
                    #44 fg% 49.47%
                    West Liberty could lose a game or two this season simply because every team has an off game sooner or later, but at this point they look like easily the class of the region. I don't see a team in the PSAC beating them unless some of them seriously step up their games.

                    Comment


                    • Originally posted by Ship69 View Post

                      West Liberty could lose a game or two this season simply because every team has an off game sooner or later, but at this point they look like easily the class of the region. I don't see a team in the PSAC beating them unless some of them seriously step up their games.
                      The way things sometimes work is near mid season we have a couple of rapid games were bad habits creep in, then we lose to a mid pack team. This results in Ben tightening his bench with the end of bench guys seeing their minutes go down to near zero. This refocusing results in a run through and into the playoffs.

                      Comment


                      • Originally posted by Ship69 View Post

                        West Liberty could lose a game or two this season simply because every team has an off game sooner or later, but at this point they look like easily the class of the region. I don't see a team in the PSAC beating them unless some of them seriously step up their games.
                        Gannon looks like the best team in the PSAC. Cal may get there once it gets healthy.

                        Comment


                        • Originally posted by IUPbigINDIANS View Post

                          Gannon looks like the best team in the PSAC. Cal may get there once it gets healthy.
                          Yeah, I'll be interested in seeing how Cal does with all their players healthy. They're undefeated, but have had some close shaves. The way things are going, it wouldn't surprise me if they got them back for the Ship game.

                          Gannon seems to be ahead of schedule. If their success continues, I think more teams in the region are either going to have to play more like WL and Gannon themselves or find a way to slow down that system. The 30-second clock in modern college ball makes it harder to take the air out of the ball and slow down a press. I thought the 35-second clock was fine, but now I'm just hoping they don't get the bright idea of going to an NBA clock, which would turn most D2 game into run-and-gun foul fests without the compensating talent of NBA players. Probably the best defense against a press is to play good defense and get some stops, which prevents the uptempo team from setting up the press. But obviously it's easier said than done.

                          Comment


                          • Originally posted by Ship69 View Post

                            Yeah, I'll be interested in seeing how Cal does with all their players healthy. They're undefeated, but have had some close shaves. The way things are going, it wouldn't surprise me if they got them back for the Ship game.

                            Gannon seems to be ahead of schedule. If their success continues, I think more teams in the region are either going to have to play more like WL and Gannon themselves or find a way to slow down that system. The 30-second clock in modern college ball makes it harder to take the air out of the ball and slow down a press. I thought the 35-second clock was fine, but now I'm just hoping they don't get the bright idea of going to an NBA clock, which would turn most D2 game into run-and-gun foul fests without the compensating talent of NBA players. Probably the best defense against a press is to play good defense and get some stops, which prevents the uptempo team from setting up the press. But obviously it's easier said than done.
                            Seems like you can add Cooker to the list of WLU Style successes. After an insanely late recruiting start and a bumpy start to the season, Mike Lamberti has Coker sitting at 5-3. Really the only first season fail of the WLU Style has been Bluefield who is still struggling under Devin Hoehn.

                            Crutch's coaching tree is appearing to grow some strong branches.

                            Comment


                            • Originally posted by boatcapt View Post

                              Seems like you can add Cooker to the list of WLU Style successes. After an insanely late recruiting start and a bumpy start to the season, Mike Lamberti has Coker sitting at 5-3. Really the only first season fail of the WLU Style has been Bluefield who is still struggling under Devin Hoehn.

                              Crutch's coaching tree is appearing to grow some strong branches.
                              Gannon's start has certainly been impressive. I've had a chance to stream a couple of their games now, and they aren't just winning because of the system. Fee has done a good job of rounding up players who fit the style, and they have talent. No matter what you're running, you don't win consistently without good players.

                              Comment


                              • Originally posted by Ship69 View Post

                                Gannon's start has certainly been impressive. I've had a chance to stream a couple of their games now, and they aren't just winning because of the system. Fee has done a good job of rounding up players who fit the style, and they have talent. No matter what you're running, you don't win consistently without good players.
                                Four teams averaging over 100 PPG right now in DII...Gannon, WLU, Nova SE and Coker. As we have discussed all have one thing in common.

                                While good players make the WLU Style more effective, more importantly you need smart players with a high motor that are unselfish. Haven't watched a ton of Coker games, but the other three have that in spades. Season is only roughly 1/4 over but I figure all four have the inside track to win their conference and be highly seeded in the NCAA Tourney.

                                We'll see how it goes but poor Danny Sanconb...finally gets away from WLU and the MEC and finally gets what is thought to be a potential conference winner...Then Fee brings the "WLU Road Show" to Gannon!
                                Last edited by boatcapt; 12-03-2023, 01:51 PM.

                                Comment

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