Game 14: 1/12/11 - W&L (10-3, 3-2) vs. Roanoke (5-6, 1-3); Lexington, Va., 7:00 pm
Game 15: 1/16/11 - W&L (10-3, 3-2) vs. Lynchburg (5-9, 1-5); Lexington, Va., 4:00 pm
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 an 82-111 (.425) 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 115-177 (.394).
Last Time Out • No. 3 Virginia Wesleyan 71, W&L 61 (1/8/11)
Washington and Lee saw its five-game winning streak snapped with a 71-61 loss to third-ranked Virginia Wesleyan on Saturday afternoon at the Batten Center. The Generals grabbed the early advantage on a three-pointer by sophomore guard Jeremy Adkins just 37 seconds into the game and held the lead until the Marlins wrestled it away on a layup by junior forward Donald Vaughn with 8:48 left in the first half. VWC held the lead until sophomore guard Hans Harris tied it at 25-25 with 46 seconds left in the first half, but the Marlins carried a 28-25 lead into the break following a three-pointer by sophomore forward Chris Teasley with 12 seconds left in the half. Virginia Wesleyan started the second stanza with a 14-7 run to post its largest lead of the game at 42-32 with 14:31 left to play, but a quick 6-0 burst keyed by a three-point play from first-year forward Jonathan Rice and a triple from Harris cut it back to four points (42-38) just 1:19 later. However, the Marlins pushed back out to a nine-point advantage (47-38) shortly thereafter and continued to hold a two-possession lead until a layup by senior guard Jason Cimino sliced it to a 57-54 game with 4:00 remaining. The Generals remained within striking distance, trailing just 65-61 with 49 seconds remaining, but the Marlins drilled four foul shots and added a late layup for the final margin. Washington and Lee committed only nine turnovers in the contest, but shot just 38.5 percent (25-65) from the floor and was out-rebounded by the Marlins, 45-34. The Generals were paced by first-year forward Larry Whitaker, who tied a career-high with 13 points and grabbed five rebounds. Junior guard Jon Guest totaled 12 points, while sophomore forward J.D. Ey chipped in eight points and a team-best 10 rebounds.
Last Time against Roanoke • W&L 75, Roanoke 62 (12/1/10)
Washington and Lee closed the game with a 13-2 run to post a 75-62 victory over Roanoke at the Bast Center. The game featured five ties and nine lead changes, the last of which came on a three-pointer by sophomore guard Jeremy Adkins with 5:57 to play for a 58-57 W&L lead. The Generals held a slim 62-60 lead with 3:15 remaining, but received a pair of layups by sophomore center Taylor Gilfillan and W&L made good on 9-of-10 free throws the rest of the way to improve to 5-0 for the first time since the 1987-88 season. Roanoke led by as many as seven points twice in the opening 20 minutes, but the Generals chipped away and eventually took the lead on a three-point play by first-year forward Jonathan Rice with 20 seconds remaining for a 32-29 lead at the break. Sophomore forward J.D. Ey opened the second half with a pair of layups to give W&L a seven-point lead (36-29) at the 18:01 mark, but the Generals could not pull away as the Maroons wrestled the lead away (41-40) at the 11:32 mark on a layup by senior guard Matt Crizer Washington and Lee shot 53.8 percent (14-26) from the floor in the second half and forced 21 Roanoke turnovers in the contest. Gilfillan led the Generals with 13 points, while Rice totaled 11 points and eight rebounds. Adkins notched 11 points as did Ey, who added a game-high 10 rebounds. Junior guard Kyle Bond chipped in eight points on 8-of-10 shooting from the foul line, including 7-for-8 in the final 4:02 of the game. Senior guard Melvin Felix led Roanoke with a game-high 21 points, while Crizer chipped in 12 markers.
Roanoke enters the week with an overall record of 5-6 and a 1-2 mark in league play. Most recently, the Maroons fell to Hampden-Sydney, 87-72, on Saturday afternoon. The Maroons were outrebounded, 47-27, and were just 10-of-16 from the line, while H-SC was 30-of-38 at the charity stripe. After trailing 45-39 at the half, Roanoke used an 11-5 scoring run to tie the game at 51-51. Trailing by a single point with eight minutes to play, the Maroons were outscored 25-11 to close out the game and send Roanoke to its fourth loss in the last five games. Senior guards Melvin Felix and Matt Crizer led Roanoke with 13 points each. Sophomore guard Kwasi Amponsah and junior forward Logan Singleton each chipped in 11 points and first-year guard Clay Lacy added 10 markers. First-year forward Jack Hamilton contributed eight points, a team-high six rebounds, three steals and two assists. On the season, the Maroons are the second-highest scoring team in the ODAC, averaging 77.9 points per game. However, Roanoke is also allowing 78.5 points per game - the worst mark in the league. Roanoke also leads the league in rebounding (39.6 rpg), but the Maroons have the third-worst rebounding margin in the league (-0.8). Felix is the lone Maroon averaging at least 10 points per game and he ranks fourth in the ODAC with 17.2 points per contest. Amponsah is averaging 9.5 points, 3.3 rebounds and 2.6 assists per game. Hamilton leads RC with 4.5 rebounds per game to go with 8.1 points per night.
Last Time against Lynchburg • W&L 71, Lynchburg 62 (2/10/10)
Washington and Lee won claimed its ninth-straight win over Lynchburg, producing a 71-62 victory over the Hornets at Turner Gymnasium. The Generals took control of the game midway through the first half when guard Hans Harris scored nine consecutive points to give W&L an 18-8 lead at the 10:37 mark. The Generals shot 50.0 percent (12-24) from the floor in the first half and extended their lead to as many as 13 points at 31-18 with 4:51 left, but the Hornets closed the period on an 11-4 run to make it a 35-29 game at the break. W&L surged back out to a 10-point lead (48-38) on back-to-back buckets by senior forward Ben Goetsch, but the Hornets responded with a 9-0 run over the next 3:07 to cut it to a one-point game at 48-47 with 10:13 to play. Senior forward Zac White stopped the LC run with a pair of foul shots at the 9:46 mark and the Generals pushed back out to a seven-point (59-52) lead on a White layup with 3:29 remaining. Guard Jason Cimino scored five points and White added four more in the final 3:29 of the game. W&L finished the game shooting 45.3 percent (24-53) from the floor and committed just nine turnovers for the game. However, LC posted a 45-31 advantage on the backboards, including grabbing 22 offensive rebounds. The Hornets shot just 34.8 percent (23-66) from the field and 64.7 percent (11-17) from the foul line. Goetsch and Cimino paced W&L with 13 points each, while White scored 12 points and tied Rob Smitherman's 31-year old school record with seven blocked shots. Harris and guard Jeremy Adkins both tallied nine points, while forward J.D. Ey chipped in seven points and eight rebounds. Lynchburg was led by forward Austin Chillemi, who notched 13 points and eight boards. Senior guard Steven Echols added 10 points and 10 rebounds.
Looking at Lynchburg
Lynchburg enters the week with an overall record of 5-9 and an ODAC ledger of 1-5. Most recently, the Hornets fell to Guilford College on Saturday by a score of 69-54. LC took a 33-29 lead into the break, and despite a fast start to the second half by Guilford, the Hornets found themselves trailing by just four points, 47-43, with 10:22 to play. However, the Quakers proceeded to score the game's next 17 points in assuming a 64-43 lead en route to the 15-point win. Sophomore guard Michael Glover led the Hornets in points coming off the bench going 5-9 from the field including 4-7 from three-point range registering 14 points. Junior forward Nate Campbell chipped in 10 points and first-year forward Gary Boone led the Hornets with five rebounds. On the season, the Hornets are led by Campbell and his 15.0 points and 6.9 rebounds per game. Sophomore center Austin Chillemi is second on the team in both scoring (11.2 points) and rebounding (6.2) and is also averaging a block per contest. As a team, LC is the third-lowest scoring team in the league (70.8) and features the third-most porous scoring defense (74.6 oppg).
Strong start = Strong finish
Proving that getting off to a strong start is vital, Washington and Lee has recorded a 53-10 (.839) record in its last 63 games when it leads at intermission and has compiled an 87-33 record (.723) over the last 11 years when leading at the break. Holding true to that notion, W&L has already posted an 8-2 record this season when leading at the break.
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. Thus far in the 2010-11 season, the Generals are 1-1 against ranked foes following their 93-92 win over No. 10 Eastern Mennonite and a 71-61 loss to No. 3 Virginia Wesleyan. As the rankings currently stand, W&L will have three more opportunities to defeat a ranked foe as the Generals face EMU (#10), Virginia Wesleyan (#3) and Randolph-Macon (#11) one time each.
W&L is averaging 74.3 points per game despite having just one player score 10 or more on average (Adkins, 11.2). W&L's success can be attributed to its great depth as the Generals feature a roster with 10 players playing at least 13.0 minutes per game and all of them are contributing at least 4.9 points per game. Only three players (Adkins, Cimino and Ey) average over 20 minutes per game.
The Generals' balance has been a catalyst to their success thus far in 2010-11. W&L has already had nine different players record at least 10 points in a game a total of 35 times. Last season, W&L only had eight players record at least 10 points in a single game and a General notched double-digits a total of 61 times - 37 of them coming from either Ben Goetsch or Zac White. No player has scored 10+ points more than seven times (Jon Guest) and five different players have done so at least five times already. All of last season, W&L only had four different players record at least 10 points on five or more different occasions.
Not only is Washington and Lee experiencing a great deal of success this season, but the Generals seem well positioned to continue the success moving forward. Of the Generals' top 10 scorers, only senior guard Jason Cimino will not be back next year. Ditto the Generals' top 10 rebounders. W&L's leading scorer (Adkins, 10.5 ppg) and rebounder (Ey, 7.5 rpg) are both just sophomores, and of the 10 significant players currently in the rotation, seven of them are either sophomores or first-years.
J.D. Ey has proven to be Mr. Reliable for the Generals through the season's first 13 games. The sophomore forward is currently second on the team with a scoring average of 9.4 points per game and is leading the Generals with 7.5 rebounds per game. In addition to leading the way in those two categories, he tops the squad with 18 blocks (2nd in ODAC), and 16 steals and is second with 25 assists. He is on pace to far surpass last season's block (17), steal (23) and assist (24) totals having totaled 25 assists, 18 rejections and 16 steals already.
They are called "Free" Throws After All
Should W&L's matchup with Roanoke come down to the wire, don't expect either team to exactly put the game away at the free throw line. The Generals (.623, 200-321) are ranked last in the ODAC in free-throw percentage, while the Maroons (.632, 170-269) are currently second to last. While W&L may rank last in the conference as a team the Generals do have several players shooting well from the stripe. Sophomore forward Jeremy Adkins is hitting on 82.9 percent (29-35) of his charity tosses and is currently ranked fifth in the ODAC. Sophomore forward Hans Harris has hit 82.4 (14-17) of his attempts and would rank sixth in the league if he had enough attempts to qualify. Finally, junior guard Kyle Bond is ranked 13th in the ODAC, having hit on 75.9 percent (22-29) of his attempts. Take the aforementioned players out of the mix and W&L is hitting on just 56.3 percent (135-240) of its free throw attempts.
In the Generals 11-point win over Emory, W&L shot an astounding 63.8 percent from the floor, connecting on 30-of-47 attempts from the field. It was a balanced effort, as no General took more than six shots individually and 10 different players made the scoring column. It marked the first time since a Nov. 25, 2008 contest against Delaware Valley that a W&L team shot 60.0 percent or better from the floor. In fact, W&L has hit on better than 50.0 percent of their field goal attempts in each of its last four wins. The last time W&L shot 50.0 or better in four-straight games was a four-game stretch from Jan.19-27, 2008.
"On your Mark.....Get set......Go"
W&L has seemingly taken a sprinter's approach to the first half of the season. Not only is the Generals' 10-3 start the fastest start since a 12-2 beginning to the 1988-89 season, but W&L is currently boasting a +67 scoring margin in the first half of games (435-368), but just a +4 margin in the final 20 minutes this season (518-514). The Generals have been outscored in the second half of six of their last eight games, including their three losses on the season.
Washington and Lee matched its best start to a season (10-3) since the 1988-89 team posted wins in 12 of its first 14 contests. With their win over 10th-ranked Eastern Mennonite, the Generals have won at least 10-of-13 to start a season for the first time since that 1988-89 season and just the seventh time since 1950.
On the season, the Generals have posted a + 1.7 rebounding margin on average (36.3-34.6). That margin is due to a prodigious rebounding rate W&L's last five games. Through eight games, W&L had been outrebounded 288-279 for a margin of - 1.1 rpg. Over the last five games however, the Generals have posted a 193-162 advantage, or an average of 38.6-32.4. What is odd about the streak is that the Generals' leading rebounder, sophomore forward J.D. Ey, has averaged just 5.6 rebounds over that time as the rest of the team has picked up the slack.
Quality over Quantity
Washington and Lee currently ranks dead last in the ODAC with 57 three-point field goals made (4.6/game). However, it is not the quantity of long-range shots that W&L is concerned with, rather the efficiency of their long-range shooting. The Generals are currently ranked second in the league in three-point percentage at 37.3 percent (57-153) and have three players connecting on 36.0 percent or better on long-range attempts. Sophomore forward Hans Harris leads the ODAC at 50.0 percent on triples (14-28). First-year guard Kevin Gill is 13th in the ODAC at 37.1 percent, (13-35), sophomore forward Jeremy Adkins is 15th at 36.4 percent, (16-44).
In the Generals 10-point loss to Virginia Wesleyan on Saturday, W&L was held without a blocked shot for the first time in 25 games. Since coach Hutchinson took the reins at W&L, the Generals have not recorded a blocked shot in a game on 15 occasions, posted a 3-12 record in such games. W&L currently features two of ODAC's best shot blockers in sophomore forward J.D. Ey (2nd, 1.4 bpg) and sophomore center Taylor Gilfillan (8th, 0.9 bpg).
70 or bust
W&L is averaging 73.3 points per game this season, good for sixth in the ODAC. The 73.3 points per game is up from the Generals' 67.1 average a year ago. W&L has already reached the 70-point plateau on eight occasions (posting a perfect 8-0 record in those games) after scoring 70 points or more just 10 times (record of 8-2) all of last season.