Washington and Lee Men's Basketball - Week 1
11/15-10: W&L (0-0) vs. Dickinson (0-0); 7:00 pm
11/19/10: W&L at Haverford; 8:00 pm
11/20/15: W&L at Swarthmore; 3:00 pm
PDF version of notes
The Head General
Adam Hutchinson (Amherst, '93) is in his eighth season as the head coach at Washington and Lee. He has led W&L to a 72-108 (.400) record, including four-straight winning campaigns - the first time in over 20 years that W&L has accomplished such a feat. He has increased his win total from one year to the next each of the past five seasons. The 2008 ODAC Coach of the Year, Hutchinson led his 2009 team to the ODAC Championship game for the first time since 1989. Hutchinson is currently the fourth-winningest coach in W&L history and if he were to match last season's 17-win total, he would move into a tie with Cy Young (89-61) for second all-time in wins at W&L. In his 12 seasons of coaching, Hutchinson has an overall record of 105-174 (.376).
Dickinson opens its season against the Generals after posting a 4-19 record a season ago. After opening the season with an 0-15 record, the Red Devils won four of their final eight games. Dickinson allowed just 64.4 points per game last season and held opponents to 42.2 percent shoting from the floor, but scored just 56.4 points on average, while shooting 38.1 percent from the floor. The Red Devils also turned the ball over 18.9 times per game. Headlining the returnees for Dickinson is senior forward Matt Dolan. Dolan averaged team-highs of 12.0 points and 8.0 rebounds per game last season and also led the team in assists, steals and blocks. Also returning for the Red Devils are sophomore guard Chris Barsanti and sophomore forward Doug Jakiela. Barsanti was the team's second leading scorer a year ago with 10.5 points per game while chipping in 2.6 rebounds and 1.7 assists per contest. Jakiela chipped in 4.8 points and 5.0 rebounds per contest. Dickinson was picked ninth of 10 teams in the Centennial Conference Preseason Coaches Poll.
Last Time against Dickinson • W&L 70, Dickinson 52 (11/25/07)
Washington and Lee jumped out to a 22-6 lead in the opening 9:31 of the game and cruised to a 70-52 victory over Dickinson at the Warner Center. The Generals began the game by hitting 12 of their first 15 shots from the floor and finished the opening 20 minutes with a 35-15 lead. Dickinson chipped away at W&L's lead early in the second stanza, cutting it to a 12-point game (49-37) with 11:36 left, but the Generals pushed their advantage back to as many as 24 points in claiming the win. W&L was led by senior forward Greg Bienemann, who tallied 24 points on 10-of-15 shooting from the field. Forward Tom Leszczynski led Dickinson with 18 points and eight rebounds.
Swarthmore returns four starters from a team which finished the 2009-10 season with an overall record of 7-18. The Garnet were outscored by over seven points a game last season and posted a rebounding margin of -6.5 on average. The top returner for Swarthmore is sophomore forward Will Gates. Gates, who was named Second Team All-Centennial Conference last season, returns as the team's leading scorer after averaging 16.1 points per game. He also averaged a team-high 7.3 rebounds per game and hit on 82.0 percent (109-133) of his free throws attempts. Also back for the Garnet are sophomore point guard Jordan Martinez, and senior forward Ryan Carmichael. Martinez scored 7.7 points and dished out 3.4 assists per game a season ago and Carmichael added 8.0 points per contest.
Last Time against Swarthmore • W&l 59, Swarthmore 48 (1/2/10)
Senior forwards Zac White and Ben Goetsch each posted a double-double and Washington and Lee held Swarthmore to 28.6 percent shooting from the floor in winning the opening game of the W&L Tournament, 59-48, at the Warner Center. The Garnet hit just 14-of-49 field goal attempts, including 1-of-17 from beyond the arc. W&L held a 21-16 lead with 2:35 remaining the first half before closing out the opening period on a 7-0 run, including a three-pointer from Goetsch as time expired to take a 28-16 lead at the break. The Generals scored the first nine points of the second half to assume a 21-point advantage (37-16) following a layup from Goetsch with 17:49 to play. Swarthmore responded with an 11-2 run to cut the Generals' lead to 12 points (39-27) at the 12:39 mark and would ultimately get to within seven points (50-43) with 3:03 to play on a pair of free throws from forward Sam Lacy. Senior forward Andrew Payne then found White on the baseline for a dunk that put W&L back up nine points (52-43) with two minutes to play and the Generals held on for the 11-point win. Goetsch recorded game-highs in points (21) and rebounds (11) and White tallied 16 points and 10 rebounds. Guard Jon Guest added eight points and six rebounds. Senior forward Danny Walker and forward Ryan Carmichael scored 14 points apiece for the Garnet. Forward Will Gates added five points and nine rebounds.
Haverford wrapped up its 2009-10 campaign with an 11-13 overall record, including wins in six of its last seven games. The Fords were outscored 60.8-57.3 on average last season and connected on just .393 of its field goal attempts, while being outrebounded by 3.4 boards per game. Haverford returns its top two scorers from a year ago in sophomore guard Cam Baker (12.4 ppg) and senior forward Sam Permutt (12.1 ppg). An Honorable Mention All-Centennial Conference selection following last season, Permutt also averaged a team-high 7.0 rebounds and 1.1 blocks per game. Junior forward Bo Friddell chipped in 9.8 points and 4.3 rebounds per game.
Under current head coach Adam Hutchinson, the Generals have posted a 3-4 record in season-opening games, including wins each of the past two seasons (67-55 over Greensboro; 66-57 over Muskingum). Since the 1949-50 season, W&L has posted a 31-30 record in season-opening games, and in 18 of those 31 seasons in which the Generals won their first game they went on to post a .500 or better record, including last season's 17-10 season.
Strong start = Strong finish
Proving that getting off to a strong start is vital, Washington and Lee has recorded a 46-8 record in its last 54 games when it leads at intermission and has compiled an 80-30 record (.727) over the last 11 years when leading at the break. Holding true to that notion, W&L posted a 14-2 (.875) record last season in games that it led at halftime.
The Generals may want to consider putting in for a change of conference. W&L opens its season with three-consecutive games against teams from the Centennial Conference (Dickinson, Swarthmore, Haverford). If W&L were to make the switch, it appears the Generals would be quite successful as W&L owns an overall record of 26-17 (.605) against current members of the CAC, including a combined record of 13-6 (.684) against its three opponents this week.
Washington and Lee led the ODAC last season in points allowed, surrendering an average of just 64.0 points per game. In fact, 11 times the Generals gave up 59 points or fewer, posting a 10-1 record in those games. Additionally, the Generals limited their opponent to a shooting percentage under 40 percent on eight occasions, recording a perfect 8-0 mark in those games.
Better late than Never
Senior guard Jason Cimino was among the league leaders in free-throw percentage last season ( .847, 61-72). Of his 72 attempts from the charity stripe, an astouning 45 of them (or 62.5 percent) came in the game's final five minutes and he actually shot a higher percentage (38-44, .864) in crunch time than he did in the game's first 35 minutes (23-28, .821).
Start me up
As Keith Richards implored, "If you start me up I'll never stop." A phrase that sophomore forward Jeremy Adkins can relate to. Adkins was inserted into the the starting lineup in W&L's 17th game last season and he promptly delivered a then-career-high14 points in the Generals' 65-57 win over No. 9 Randolph-Macon, W&L's first win in Ashland in 50 years. The "never stop" part? Well, Adkins started the final 11 games of the season and continued to score, averaging 10.7 points and 5.0 rebounds, including career-highs in points (23 vs. RC, 2/17), rebounds (9 vs. EMU, 2/20) and assists (3 vs. EMU, 2/20).
Youth is served 2
Two years ago, the W&L roster featured a combined 284 games played among the team's five starters. Last season, the roster featured a total of 176 total games played among the team's starting five. This season, the starting five figures to have a total of 154 games played, including just a combined 58 starts, all of those coming last season.
From 1998-2008, Washington and Lee had not defeated a ranked opponent in basketball. However, two years ago W&L knocked off a pair of them (No. 18 Roanoke, 68-66; No. 17 Guilford, 82-76) and last season, the Generals defeated another ranked foe, downing No. 9 Randolph-Macon, 65-57. , W&L will look to complete the trifecta this season as four of its conference foes are currently ranked in the d3hoops.com Top 25 (No. 2 Randolph-Macon, No. 3 Eastern Mennonite, No. 12 Virginia Wesleyan, No. 19 Guilford).