Game 19: 2/2/11 - W&L
(12-6, 5-5) at Randolph (13-5, 7-3); Lynchburg, Va., 7:00
Game 20: 2/5/11 - W&L (12-6, 5-5) at No. 9 Randolph-Macon (17-3, 10-2); Ashland, Va., 2:00 pm
PDF version of notes here.
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 84-114 (.424) 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 117-180 (.394).
Last time out • No. 7 Virginia Wesleyan
89, W&L 78 (1/29/11)
Seventh-ranked Virginia Wesleyan used a late 12-4 scoring run to edge Washington and Lee, 89-78, on Saturday afternoon at the Warner Center. Trailing 59-57 with 10:03 to play, W&L junior guard Jon Guest hit the front end of a one-and-one, but failed to pull the Generals even, misfiring on the second attempt. Following the miss, VWC (18-1, 9-1) scored 12 of the game's next 16 points to grab a 71-62 lead on a three pointer from sophomore guard Tre' Ford with 5:54 left to play. W&L inched back to within four points (78-74) following a triple from sophomore forward Jeremy Adkins with 2:28 showing on the clock, but VWC first-year guard DJ Woodmore answered with a three of his own to push the Marlin advantage back to seven points (81-74) by the 2:10 mark. Ford then ended the contest hitting on 6-of-6 from the free-throw line and a late steal and layup by sophomore forward Chris Teasley sealed the contest. In the first half, W&L held a slim 21-20 lead with 8:14 left play in the opening 20 minutes following a layup from first-year guard Kevin Gill. However, a jumper from junior forward Donald Vaughn sparked a 17-6 Marlins' run over the next 4:45 as VWC assumed a 10-point lead (37-27) with 3:29 remaining in the first stanza. Junior forward Jason Burns scored seven points during the run. The Generals then used a modest 8-3 burst, including a dunk by sophomore forward J.D. Ey following a missed layup, to close to within five points (40-35) at the break. For the game, Virginia Wesleyan hit on 45.8 percent of its attempts from the field (27-59) including 9-of-16 (.563) from beyond the arc. The Marlins also hit on 26-of-32 (.813) attempts from the charity stripe. W&L shot 48.2 percent (27-56) from the field and held a 37-31 advantage on the glass, but the Generals turned the ball over 16 times to just eight miscues for the Marlins. Adkins led W&L with 15 points and he tied a season-high with six rebounds. First-year forward Jonathan Rice and Gill each tallied 11 points and Ey notched nine points and a game-high 10 rebounds.
Last Time against Randolph College • Randolph 68, W&L 66 (12/4/10)
Randolph College sophomore guard Colton Hunt's jump shot from the right corner with under five seconds remaining propelled the WildCats to a 68-66 win over Washington and Lee at the Warner Center. Following a Hunt layup, W&L found itself trailing by four points, 64-60, with 2:06 to play. On the ensuing possession, senior guard Jason Cimino answered with a three-pointer to pull the Generals within one point (64-63) with 1:47 left and the Generals briefly pulled ahead (65-64) following a WildCat turnover and a jump shot from sophomore forward Jeremy Adkins at the 1:28 mark. With fifty-four seconds left to play, Randolph junior guard Malcolm Nelson gave the lead back to the WildCats, 66-65, on a jumper of his own. Cimino then drew a foul on Randolph senior guard Caleb Pearson and split a pair of free throws with 40 seconds showing on the clock, tying the game at 66-66 to set up the game's dramatic final seconds. Hunt's jumper came following a Randolph timeout with eight seconds remaining in the game and four tics left on the shot clock. Hunt caught the ball in the corner, put it on the floor once and let loose the game-winner with the shot and game clocks winding down. Cimino missed a desperation three pointer as time expired. The Generals led by as many as 11 points midway through the first half (20-9), but the WildCats limited W&L to just 2-of-13 shooting from the floor in outscoring the Generals, 20-8, over an 8:21 stretch to assume a 29-28 lead with 1:55 to play in the opening period. However, W&L received back-to-back layups from sophomore center Taylor Gilfillan to take a 32-29 lead into the break. The second half featured 11 lead changes and five ties, all in the final 11:28, as neither team led by more than six points. The first tie came after W&L had taken a 42-36 lead with 15:31 to play. Randolph then scored the game's next six points to knot the game at 42-42 with 11:28 to play and the Generals and WildCats went back and forth the rest of the way to set up Hunt's heroics. As a team, W&L shot 44.1 percent from the floor (26-59) and outrebounded the WildCats, 38-28, including 14-7 on the offensive glass. Randolph shot 46.2 percent from the floor (24-52) and connected on 14-of-20 free-throw attempts, compared to just 9-of-14 for W&L. Junior guard Jon Guest led the Generals with 12 points on 6-of-10 shooting. Adkins finished with 11 points, first-year forward Jonathan Rice added nine points and six boards and Gilfillan chipped in eight points, six boards and three blocks. Sophomore forward J.D. Ey grabbed a game-high 11 rebounds, which tied a career-high. Pearson led four WildCats in double figures with 15 points, while grabbing four boards. Hunt added 14 points and five rebounds, first-year guard Mike Ehilegbu chipped in 13 markers and sophomore forward Dylan Shiflett totaled 11 points.
Randolph College enters the week with an overall record of 13-5 and a 7-3 mark in conference play. The WildCats recenlty saw a four-game winning streak snapped with a 71-61 loss at Hampden-Sydney. In that contest, sophomore guard Colton Hunt hit a pair of free throws with 1:32 to play to pull Randolph to within three points (62-59), but H-SC's Patrick Corrigan hit a three-pointer with 1:03 to play and the Tigers hit on 6-of-6 charity tosses down the stretch to earn the win. Hunt led the Wildcats with 19 points and six boards. Junior forward Derrick Woods-Morrow added 10 points and four rebounds. On the season, Hunt leads the way with 16.4 points per game, good for fifth in the ODAC. He also leads the team with 2.3 assists and 2.7 steals per game. Senior guard Pete Hamilton is averaging 9.1 points per game and Woods-Morrow is adding 8.4 points per game and his 8.1 rebounds per game are the third-best in the league. As a team, the WildCats feature the league's second-stingiest defense, allowing just 58.9 points on average as teams shoot just 39.3 percent (393-1,001) from the field against them. However, Randolph is the worst rebounding team in the league, grabbing a league-low 33.7 rebounds on average, as well as a league-low 7.7 offensive rebounds on average.
Last Time Against Randolph-Macon • R-MC 56, W&L 53 (2/8/10)
Washington and Lee rallied from a 14-point halftime deficit, but never pulled even in falling, 56-53, to No. 18 Randolph-Macon at the Warner Center. R-MC shot a blistering 60.9 percent (14-23), including 50.0 percent (6-12) from beyond the arc, in the first half and limited the Generals to just 32.3 percent (10-31) shooting in the opening stanza as the Yellow Jackets took a 38-24 lead into the break. Randolph-Macon led by 15 points (46-31) with 14:50 remaining before W&L began a 20-4 run to pull within one point at 51-50 on a jumper by forward J.D. Ey with 4:35 to play. R-MC extended its lead back to four points (54-50) on a three pointer from guard Adam Desgain on the ensuing possession. W&L senior forward Ben Goetsch then split a pair of free throws make the score 54-51 in favor of the Yellow Jackets with 2:50 left. Randolph-Macon and the Generals traded turnovers and missed shots for the next two minutes until W&L senior forward Zac White connected on a short jumper and drew a foul from R-MC forward Kevin Voekel to draw within one point (54-53) with 24 seconds to play. However, White was unable to connect on the tying free throw and after the Yellow Jackets connected on 2-of-3 free throws, forward Jeremy Adkins' 40-footer as time expired was just long. W&L limited the Yellow Jackets to just 18 second-half points on 31.8 percent (7-22) shooting. The Generals also won the rebounding battle (35-32), but shot just 33.9 percent (21-62) for the game, while R-MC shot 46.7 percent (21-45). Adkins notched a game-high 15 points, while adding five rebounds. Goetsch added 13 points and five boards, while White chipped in 11 points and six rebounds. Guard Calvin Croskey led Randolph-Macon with 12 points, while center Brandon Braxton added 11 points and a game-high 12 rebounds.
The Yellow Jackets enter the week as the ninth-ranked team in the latest D3hoops.com Top 25 poll. R-MC is 17-3 overall and 10-2 in the ODAC. Most recently, the Yellow Jackets saw a 13-game winning streak halted with a 62-61 loss at Guilford. The Quakers' Josh Pittman exploded for 30 points and Gabriel Lowder's jumper with 15 seconds remaining proved to be the game-winner after R-MC senior forward Danny Jones had given the Yellow Jackets a 62-61 lead with a pair of free throws and 44 seconds left to to play. Junior guard Adam Desgain had a potential game-winning three hang on the rim before falling out. On the season, Jones leads three Yellow Jackets scoring at least 10.0 points per game with a team-high 14.3 markers per contest. Senior center Brandon Braxton is averaging 12.3 points and a team-high 5.0 rebounds, while senior guard Eric Pugh checks in a 10.9 points and 3.3 assists on average. R-MC is the toughest team to score against in the country, posting a Div. III-best 54.8 points allowed on average. The Yellow Jackets also boast the best shooting percentage in the league (.486, 500-1029), the best field-goal percentage defense (.383, 401-1048) and the best three-point percentage (.410, 162-395). Jones leads the ODAC in individual field-goal percentage at 63.3 percent (95-150) and Desgain and Croskey rank 1-2 in three-point percentage at 45.3 (39-86) and 44.4 percent (40-90), respectively.
STRONG START = STRONG FINISH
Proving that getting off to a strong start is vital, Washington and Lee has recorded a 55-10 (.846) record in its last 65 games when it leads at intermission and has compiled an 89-33 record (.730) over the last 11 years when leading at the break. Holding true to that notion, W&L has already posted an 10-2 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 1-2 against ranked foes following their 93-92 win over then -No. 10 Eastern Mennonite and a pair of losses to Virginia Wesleyan. As the rankings currently stand, W&L will have at least two more opportunities to defeat a ranked foe as the Generals face No. 9 Ranolph-Macon and No. 18 Eastern Mennonite.
70 or Bust
W&L is averaging 72.7 points per game this season, good for sixth in the ODAC. The 72.7 points per game is up from the Generals' 67.1 average a year ago. W&L has already reached the 70-point plateau on 11 occasions (posting a 10-1 record in those games) after scoring 70 points or more just 10 times (record of 8-2) all of last season.
Last season, senior guard Jason CImino posted career-bests in assists (96), assists per game (3.6) and assist/turnover ratio (1.8). This season, Cimino has continuted his efficient running of the offense nearly matching his assists pace from a season ago (3.2 apg.) while his assist/turnover ratio is currently 1.8 and the second-best mark in the league. He recently set a new career-high with 10 assists and he has notched at least four helpers four times this season. For his career, Cimino has handed out four assists in a game 26 times and W&L is 23-3 all-time when he does. For his career, Cimino has 240 assists and is just 19 helpers away from taking over fifth place all-time at W&L.
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 51 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. Sophomore forward forward Jeremy Adkins and junior guard Jon Guest have each notched 11 double-digit scoring games 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.
Playing Randolph-Macon should bring out the best in sophomore forward Jeremy Adkins. Adkins made his first career start against the Yellow Jackets in Ashland last season. He exploded for a then-career-high 14 points on 6-of-10 shooting. Less than two weeks later, Adkins set what was then a new career-high in points when he dropped 15 against R-MC in Lexington. In his two career games against the Yellow Jackets, Adkins is averaging 14.5 points on 12-for-24 shooting, including 3-of-9 from beyond the arc. He has also grabbed 3.5 rebounds on average.
Friendly Confines II
If Adkins is looking forward to a return trip to Ashland, then senior guard Jason Cimino should be relishing a return trip to Randolph College. In his only other trip to Randolph, Cimino notched 11 points, a then-career-high seven assists and five rebounds in 64-46 W&L victory.
A 10 Spot
Junior guard Jon Guest is currently third on the team in scoring with an average of 9.1 points per game. He has recorded at least 10 points on 11 occasions this year after scoring in double figures just four times over his first two seasons. Additionally, he has scored at least 10 points in six of W&L's last seven games, including a career-high 16 in the Generals' 80-73 win over Lynchburg. Over the span, he has seen his scoring average rise from 7.2 ppg to his current mark of 9.1 ppg.
Dog Days of Winter
While the "dog days" often refer to the summer months, the winter months seem to have an effect on the Generals. Over the past five seasons (including this year), W&L has posted an overall record of 71-55 (.568). However, between the second week of January and the second week of February leading up to the ODAC Tournament, the Generals are just 25-24 (.510) over the past five years. Taking out the month-long slump which seems to hit every year, W&L has a record of 46-30 (.605).
Senior guard Jason Cimino has nearly assured himself of something that no other W&L player has accomplished since 1990. With one more regular-season win, W&L will guarantee itself a winning season for the fourth year in a row, making Cimino the first W&L player to play on a team with a winning record all four years since the 1990 senior class.
1990 Seniors Jason Cimino
15-12 12-6 (thus far)
66-39 (.629) 60-40 (.600)
Picking up the Pace
J.D. Ey currently leads the Generals, and ranks among the league leaders, with 7.2 reounds per game. Through the season's first eight games, the sophomore forward was averaging 8.9 rebounds, but over the next seven games he grabbed at least seven boards in a game just once. Ey seems to have regained his touch around the glass, having snared at least seven boards in each of the last three games, including 10 in the Generals' 89-78 loss to No. 7 Virginia Wesleyan.
Whitaker on the Glass
The 14 rebounds snared by first-year forward Larry Whitaker in the Generals' 80-73 win over Lynchburg marked the most boards grabbed by a General in a single game since Femi Kusimo '08 grabbed 15 in a 64-60 loss at Guilford on Feb. 6, 2008. Whitaker, who is currently 11th in the ODAC in rebounding (5.3 rpg), has averaged 6.5 rebounds per game over his last 10 games after posting 3.8 boards per game over the season's first eight games.