November 22, 2010

W&L Men's Basketball Game Notes: Week 2

Washington and Lee Men's Basketball

Week 2

W&L (3-0) vs. Averett (1-3)
Saturday, November 27; 3:00 pm; Lexington, Va. (Warner Center)

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 75-108 (.410) 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 108-174 (.383).

 

Last Time Out  •  W&L 59, Swarthmore 45 (11/20/10)
Washington and Lee outscored Swarthmore 18-3 over the game's final 8:35 and held the Garnet scoreless over the last 3:35 in posting a 59-45 win. Ryan Carmichael's jump shot at the 8:35 mark gave the Garnet a 42-41 lead, before the Generals went on the aforementioned run. Senior guard Jason Cimino split a pair of free throws at the 7:43 mark to trigger the run. Six different Generals scored during the span, led by Cimino's five points. Swarthmore's last points of the game came on a three-pointer by Will Gates that cut W&L's lead to six points (51-45) with just over 3:30 to play, but W&L's defense limited the Garnet to 0-for-6 shooting and forced three turnovers down the stretch.  W&L nearly squandered a 16-point first half lead as Swarthmore outscored the Generals 27-10 over a 15-minute stretch that spanned halftime, to turn a 31-15 deficit into the previously mentioned 42-41 advantage. For the game, W&L limited Swarthmore to just 26.9 percent (14-52) shooting from the floor and forced 17 Garnet turnovers, while shooting 42.9 percent (21-49) themselves and only turning the ball over 11 times. Sophomore forward J.D. Ey led W&L with 10 points as 11 different Generals made it into the scoring column. He also grabbed a team-high eight boards. Cimino and sophomore center Taylor Gilfillan each scored nine points and sophomore forward Jeremy Adkins chipped in seven points and five rebounds. Gates led Swarthmore with game-highs of 15 points and 10 boards, while Carmichael finished with seven points and six rebounds.

Last TIme against Averett  •  W&L 61,Averett 58 (12/5/10)
Senior forward Andrew Payne sank a pair of free throws with 37.5 seconds remaining to lift Washington and Lee to a 61-58 victory over Averett at the Grant Center. Averett took a 58-57 lead with 1:00 remaining as forward Kenny Hart drilled a three-pointer from the top of the key. However, Payne drew a foul under the basket with the shot clock running down on the ensuing possession and nailed both charity tosses for a 59-58 advantage. The Cougars played for one shot, but senior forward Zac White blocked a driving layup attempt by senior guard Brandon Malone as the shot clock expired with 2.5 seconds remaining. The Averett bench received a technical foul following the play, but White missed both free throw attempts. However, guard Doug Poetzsch broke free on a long in-bounds pass and hit a layup at the buzzer for the final margin. W&L fell behind 21-9 early on, but recovered with an 18-6 run to tie the game at 27-27 heading into the halftime break. Poetzsch and senior forward Ben Goetsch both scored seven points during the run. The Generals methodically pushed out to a 48-41 lead with 7:21 remaining, but the Cougars responded with a 12-0 run over the next 2:55 to assume a 53-48 advantage with 4:26 to play. W&L quickly knotted the game at 53-53 with 2:51 left and neither team led by more than one possession for the remainder of the contest. Payne led W&L with a career-high 13 points in his first action of the season. He was 4-of-6 from the field and 5-of-7 from the foul line. Poetzsch tallied nine points, while White and forward J.D. Ey both notched eight points. Goetsch chipped in seven points and nine rebounds before fouling out with 3:13 remaining. Hart paced Averett with 15 points, while guard Deran Burns and forward Chad Hardaway both contributed 11 markers.

Assessing Averett
Averett enters the week with an overall record of 1-3, having dropped three-straight after a season-opening win over Bridgewater. Most recently, the Cougars dropped a 69-60 decision to McMurry. In that game, AU was led by junior guard Victor Cortes, who tallied a team-high 20 points. Sophomore guard Steven Terry was the only other Cougar to score in double figures, as he netted 11 points. Sophomore guard Marquis Scott grabbed a game-high 10 rebounds and first-year center Paul Porter chipped in five points, seven rebounds and a pair of blocked shots. On the season, Cortes is one of three Cougars to average in double figures with 20.3 points per game. Scott and junior forward Kenny Hart are chipping in 10.3 points per contest. Scott is also the team's leading rebounder with 7.8 boards per contest. As a team, Averett is averaging better than 66 points (66.5 ppg) per game, but is allowing 72.0 points to its opponents. AU also sports a + 6.5 rebounding margin and has limited its opponents to just .391 shooting from the floor, but the Cougars average 21.8 turnovers while forcing just 14.8 per night.


Opening act
Washington and Lee's 3-0 start is the best start to a season under current Head Coach Adam Hutchinson and one of the most promising starts in some time. In fact, the 3-0 start is the quickest the Generals have come out of the gates since a 6-0 start to the 1987-88 campaign. That season, W&L pushed its record to 11-1 before ultimately finishing the season 16-10.

Strong start = Strong finish
Proving that getting off to a strong start is vital, Washington and Lee has recorded a 48-8 record in its last 56 games when it leads at intermission and has compiled an 82-30 record (.732) over the last 11 years when leading at the break. Holding true to that notion, W&L has already posted a 2-0 record this season when leading at the break.

Conference Call
The Generals may want to consider putting in for a change of conference. W&L opened 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. Folllowing this season's 3-0 run through the Centennial Conference, the Generals now own an overall record of 29-17 (.630) against current members of the Centennial Conference.

Conference Call 2
If W&L has fared well against the Centennial Conference, then it has dominated the USA South, the conference of this week's opponent (Averett). All-time, the Generals sport a won-loss record of 34-13 (.723) against teams currently in the USA South. With Averett coming to Lexington this week and three additional USA South teams on the dockett this year (Ferrum, Greensboro and Methodist), the Generals will look to continue to reign supreme over its neighbors to the south. Here is a brief look at W&L's success against the USA South:

Team                         W-L            Streak
Averett                       7-3            +1, W&L
Christopher Newport    2-0            +2, W&L
Greensboro                 9-4            +1, W&L
Ferrum                       3-1            +2, W&L
Methodist                   2-2            +2, W&L
N.C. Wesleyan            5-0            +5, W&L
Shenandoah *            6-3            +2, Shenandoah

* - Set to join the ODAC beginning in 2012
    

Taking the defensive
Washington and Lee led the ODAC last season in points allowed, surrendering an average of just 64.0 points per game. Thus far in the 2010-11 campaign, the Generals are surrendering an average of 59.7 points per game, including just 45 in a 59-45 win over Swarthmore on Saturday. Saturday's defensive effort was the sixth time under coach Hutchinson that a W&L defense has allowed fewer than 50 points to its opponent and the Generals are 5-1 in those games.

Taking the defensive 2
In addition to allowing fewer than 60 points per game, W&L is limiting its opponents to just .390 shooting (60-154) from the floor and has forced an average of 22 turnovers per game, including 27 in the season-opener against Dickinson.

Depth Charge
Entering the season, depth did not figure to be too large a concern for the Generals as 17 players are currently on the roster. Thus far, W&L features 10 different players averaging at least 10 minutes per game and coach Hutchinson used 11 players in the first half alone of the season-opener against Dickinson. With that depth comes balance as all 10 players that are currently in the rotation are scoring at least 4.0 points per game, led by sophomore forwards Jeremy Adkins and J.D. Ey at 10.7 ppg apiece.

A Fine Debut
First-year forward Jonathan Rice made quite an impression in his first collegiate game. In W&L's season-opening 74-72 win over Dickinson, Rice scored 11 points on 4-of-5 shooting in just 13 minutes off the bench. He became the first W&L rookie to score in double figures in a season-opener since Isaiah Goodman '09 scored 15 points in the first game of the 2005-06 season.

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). A quick look at Adkins' career numbers when he starts versus when he comes off the bench:

Starter (14 Gms)    Stat    Reserve (12 GMS)
          10.7               PPG              3.4
           3.9                RPG              0.9
           0.8                APG              0.5
          .421               FG%            .395
          .643               FT%            1.000
          .400              3PT%           .278

Giant killers
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).

"Hello, Anyone There?"
Aside from sophomore forward Jeremy Adkins, the rest of the Generals are getting nothing but a busy signal when dialing it up from long distance. Adkins has connected on 5-of-9 attempts (.556) from three-point range. The rest of the the Generals? A dismal 1-for-11. Additionally, W&L opponents have made more three-pointers (21) than W&L has even attempted (20).

 

--GENERALS--