2/14/11 - W&L (13-10, 5-9) at Hampden-Sydney (14-8, 6-7); Hampden-Sydney, Va., 7:00 pm
2/16/11 - W&L (13-10, 5-9) at Eastern Mennonite (18-4, 9-4), Harrisonburg, Va., 7:00 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 85-118 (.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 third-winningest coach in W&L history. In his 12 seasons of coaching, Hutchinson has an overall record of 118-184 (.394).
Last Time Out • Bridgewater 65, W&L
Bridgewater College senior guard Kyle Hammond hit a pair of free throws with 13 seconds remaining to propel the Eagles to a 65-64 win over the Washington and Lee men's basketball team at the Warner Center on Saturday afternoon. W&L trailed by seven points (60-53) with only 3:28 remaining in the game before a three-point play by junior guard Jon Guest ignited a 9-3 spurt that pulled the Generals to within a single point (63-62) courtesy of a Guest jump shot at the 1:05 mark. On Bridgewater's ensuing possession, first-year center Drew Kimberly came up with a steal that led to a jumper by sophomore forward Jeremy Adkins that gave W&L a 64-63 lead with 27 ticks on the clock. Following a timeout, Hammond drew the foul that sent him to the free throw line for a one-and-one where he made the game-clinching free throws. Adkins' jumper as time wound down was off the mark and W&L lost for the fifth time in its last six games. Bridgewater, which shot a blistering 69.6 percent (16-23) in the second half, used a 13-4 run midway through the second half to turn a 42-36 deficit into a 49-46 lead by the 9:34 mark. W&L managed to tie the game at 49-49 on a layup by Kimberly, before BC pushed out to the aforementioned seven-point lead and the game's frantic final minutes. In the first half, both teams came out sluggish, combining to shoot just 26.5 percent from the floor (18-68), including just 24.4 percent (10-41) for the Generals. W&L did hit four of its last seven shots of the opening frame to take a 27-22 lead at the break and the Generals extended their lead to as many as eight points in the opening minutes of the second half. For the game, W&L shot just 34.3 percent (24-70) from the floor, while the Eagles finished at 48.0 percent (24-50). The Generals out-rebounded BC, 43-33, including 19-4 on the offensive glass, and committed just 10 turnovers to 16 for the Eagles, but failed to overcome the poor shooting. Adkins led W&L with 18 points, while Kimberly added a career-high 13 points and a career-high-tying eight rebounds. Sophomore forward J.D. Ey chipped in six points, six boards and three assists.
Last Time Against Hampden-Sydney • Hampden-Sydney 72, W&L 66 (1/19/11)
Hampden-Sydney held Washington and Lee to 36.5 percent (23-63) shooting from the floor, including 28.0 percent (7-25) in the first half, in posting a 72-66 win over the Generals at the Warner Center. Holding a slim 4-2 advantage at the 16:22 mark, W&L was held scoreless over the game's next 8:00 as H-SC assumed a 9-4 lead at the 8:22 mark. The Generals missed seven-consecutive shots until sophomore forward J.D. Ey converted a layup to pull W&L to within three points (9-6) with just over 8:00 on the clock. An 11-6 run by the Tigers gave H-SC its largest lead of the first half at 20-12 with 3:46 remaining. W&L promptly reeled off seven-straight points of its own to make it a 20-19 game following a pair of free throws from junior guard Kyle Bond with 2:20 to play. Hampden-Sydney scored the last three points of the first half to take a 23-19 lead at intermission. H-SC opened the second period on an 11-2 spurt to assume a 10-point lead (32-22) at the 16:58 mark. The Generals managed to pull to within five points (32-27) just over a minute later, but the Tigers outscored the Generals, 12-2, over the next 3:33, and grabbed their largest lead of the game (15) at 44-29 with 12:32 showing on the clock. Washington and Lee cut the deficit to five points several times in the game's final minute, but the Generals were unable to pull any closer. W&L was led by Ey, who tallied a team-high 13 points on 6-of-9 shooting. Junior guard Jon Guest tallied 12 points and sophomore forward Jeremy Adkins chipped in 11 points. First-year forward Jonathan Rice contributed seven points and a game-high eight rebounds, while Ey and first-year forward Larry Whitaker grabbed seven rebounds apiece. Sophomore forward Harrison George led the Tigers with 26 points on 9-of-11 shooting, including 20 points on 7-for-7 shooting in the second half alone. Junior guard Ru White added 13 points and first-year center Khobi Williamson grabbed a team-high seven boards.
HSC enters its rematch with W&L having won five straight games and sporting a 14-8 overall record and a 6-7 mark in league play. Most recently the Tigers defeated sixth-ranked Virginia Wesleyan, 80-71, behind 22 points and six rebounds from sophomore forward Harrison George. H-SC used an 11-0 run in the second half to go up 59-48 and the Tigers held off VWC down the stretch in a physcial game that featured three tehchinal fouls and one intentional foul. George finished 8-of-14 from the field and 5-of-6 at the line in leading all scorers. Sophomore guard Randall Ward added 17 points, junior guard Ru White chipped in 16 points and nine rebounds and senior forward Colin O'Neill totaled 11 points. On the season, George leads the Tigers with 19.8 points and 7.9 rebounds per game. He is first in the ODAC in scoring and second in rebounding. White is averaging 12.7 points, 5.8 rebounds and 3.0 assists per game. Junior guard Ben Jessee is the third Tiger averaging at least 10.0 points per game, as he is tossing in 10.3 points each time out. As a team, H-SC ranks first in the league in FG percentage (.482, 58-1,203), second in the league in rebounding margin (+4.5, 37.0-32.5) and third in the league in scoring (74.6 ppg).
LAST TIME AGAINST EASTERN MENONITE • W&L 93, No. 10 Eastern Mennonite 92 (1/5/11)
Sophomore forward JD Ey scored a career-high 21 points and sophomore center Taylor Gilfillan posted his first-career double-double with 13 points and 12 rebounds as Washington and Lee held off No. 10 Eastern Mennonite, 93-92, at the Warner Center. Trailing by eight points, 71-63, with 11:08 left to play, W&L used a 16-8 scoring run capped by a pair of free throws from senior guard Jason Cimino to tie the game for the sixth time (79-79) with 4:55 to play. Cimino then hit another pair of free throws at the 2:39 mark to give W&L its first lead (85-83) since the 10:00 mark of the first half. EMU senior forward Eli Crawford had a chance to tie the contest on the ensuing possession, but his missed layup landed in the hands of Gilfillan, who was sent to the line where he split two free throws to put the Blue and White up 86-83 at the 1:51 mark. Following a free throw from Royals' senior guard Todd Phillips that trimmed the Generals' lead to two points (86-84), each team traded missed field goals before Cimino chased down a long defensive rebound and raced down court where his feed to Ey led to a three-point play and an 89-84 lead with1:07 left. W&L nearly let the Royals back in it with under a minute to play as the Generals connected on just 2-of-6 free throws and EMU received a pair of baskets and four free throws, including two tosses from Phillips with 9.6 seconds left to pull to within a single point, 93-92. Following two W&L misses from the charity stripe with under seven seconds to play, a pass intended for Royals' senior forward D.J. Hinson was wide of the mark and he was forced to heave a desperation shot from deep in the right corner while falling out of bounds. In the first half, W&L hit 12 of its first 15 shots from the floor and held a 25-24 lead halfway through the opening period. EMU responded with a 17-9 run that gave the Royals a 41-34 lead with 4:08 to play before the Generals closed the opening period on a 10-5 run to go into the break trailing 46-44. As a team, W&L shot 55.0 percent from the field (33-60) compared to 47.8 percent (32-67) for the Royals and the Generals also held a 44-30 advantage on the boards. The 93 points marked W&L's highest scoring output since a 98-point outburst on Feb. 13, 2008 against Emory & Henry. Ey, who made his first seven shots from the field, finished 9-of-11 from the floor and 3-of-4 from the line in posting his first 20+ scoring game. Gilfillan, whose double-double included a career-high 12 rebounds, finished 4-of-8 from floor and 5-of-7 from the line. Also for W&L, first-year forward Jonathan Rice tallied 13 points, sophomore forward Jeremy Adkins added 11 markers and junior guard Jon Guest chipped in 10 points. Cimino recorded a career-high 10 assists to go with eight points, five boards and a perfect 6-for-6 showing at the free-throw line. For Eastern Mennonite, Philllips finished with a game-high 26 points to go with six rebounds. Senior guard George Johnson added 14 points, Hinson 12, sophomore forward Andrew Thorne chipped in 11 and Crawford rounded out EMU's top scorers with 10 points, as well as a team-high seven boards.
Scouting Eastern Mennonite
EMU, ranked No. 16 in the latest D3hoops.com Top 25, enters the week with an overall record of 18-4, a league mark of 9-4 and the Royals have won 7-of-8. Most recently, EMU defeated Emory & Henry, 82-62, as the Royals forced 33 Wasp turnovers and took a commanding 16-point lead (46-30) at the break . Senior guard Todd Phillips led all scorers with 25 points and he also grabbed a game-high 11 rebounds. Senior forward Eli Crawford had 15 points on 5-of-6 shooting and first-year guard Marlon Organ chipped in 11 points and three steals. On the season, Phillips leads the way with 18.5 points per game, good for second in the ODAC. Senior guard George Johnson is second on the team with 15.2 points per game and Crawford is averaging 11.1 points and a team-high 6.9 rebounds per game. As a team, EMU leads the ODAC with 87.7 points per game, good for seventh in all of Div. III, and their average scoring margin of +16.1 is the second-best mark in the league. EMU is also the most adept team in the ODAC at forcing turnovers. The Royals force an average of 23.4 turnovers per game and their turnover margin of +8.6 is the best in the league and the second-best in the country.
STRONG START = STRONG FINISH
Proving that getting off to a strong start is vital, Washington and Lee has recorded a 55-12 (.846) record in its last 67 games when it leads at intermission and has compiled an 89-35 record (.730) over the last 11 years when leading at the break. Holding true to that notion, W&L has already posted an 10-4 record this season when leading at the break.
70 or bust
W&L is averaging 70.1 points per game this season, good for seventh in the ODAC. The 70.4 points per game is up from the Generals' 67.1 average a year ago. W&L has already reached the 70-point plateau on 12 occasions (posting an 11-1 record in those games) after scoring 70 points or more just 10 times (record of 8-2) all of last season. However, the Generals have reached 70 points just once in the last five games, posting a 1-4 record in those five contests.
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 72-58 (.568). However, between the second week of January and the second week of February leading up to the ODAC Tournament, the Generals are just 26-28 (.481) 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).
Something about this season's recent struggles may look eerily familiar to some. Since Jan. 29, W&L has posted a record of 1-5 with two games to play. In the 2008-09 season, the Generals posted a 1-8 record from Jan. 28-Feb. 21 leading up to the ODAC Tournament. That season, W&L caught fire at the end of the year, winning three straight ODAC Tournament games to advance to the ODAC Champsionship game for the first time in 20 years, ultimatley falling, 66-62, to Virginia Wesleyan.
Dialing Long Distance
Sophomore forward Jeremy Adkins is ranked sixth in the ODAC in three-point shooting at 40.4 percent (36-89). Over his last four games, he has hit 9-of-19 (.474) of his shots from distance and raised his percentage from 38.6 percent to his current mark of 40.4 percent. The single-season record for three-point shooting at W&L is 43.8 percent (45-105) by Mike Holton back in the 1987-88 season.
Just The Way He "Drew" It Up
First-year center Drew Kimberly has provided the Generals with a spark since taking over in the starting lineup in the Generals' loss at No. 11 Randolph-Macon. In his four starts, Kimberly has averaged 8.0 points, 5.8 rebounds and has shot 48.1 percent (13-27) from the field. He has posted new career-highs in rebounds (8 on two occasions), points (13) and assists (4) during that stretch.
Signs of Struggles
Washington and Lee has posted a 1-5 record in its last six games and a dip in offensive production can be blamed. Over the last six games, W&L has shot just 41.1 percent (137-333) from the floor in averaging 63.7 points per game. In the season's first 17 games, W&L shot 46.8 percent as a team (456-975) and averaged 72.4 points per game. Three of W&L's five sub-40.0 percent shooting games have occured in the last six games, including a season-low 33.3 percent (16-48) performance at Randolph-Macon.
Signs of Struggles II
Over W&L's last six games, junior guard Jon Guest has experienced his own struggles from the field. Immediately prior to the Generals' recent struggles, Guest scord 15 points on 7-of-11 shooting in a 73-61 win at Emory & Henry. Since then, the Generals' third-leading scorer (8.3 ppg) has averaged just 6.0 points per game and is shooting just 35.9 percent (14-39) over the last six games.
W&L will look to do something that it has yet to do under current Head Coach Adam Hutchinson. Since Hutchinson took over in 2003-04, the Generals have yet to win in Fleet Gymnasium, posting an 0-6 record on the Tiger's home court. What's more, is that W&L does not play particularly well at Hampden-Sydney, losing by 20.5 points on average (76.2-55.7) and twice the Generals have been held under 50 points.
Washington and Lee is tasked with stopping two of the conference's best players this week in H-SC's Harrison George and EMU's Todd Phillips. George (19.8 ppg) and Phillips (18.5 ppg) are 1-2 in the ODAC in scoring and George is second in the league with 7.9 rebounds per game. George and Phillips have each scored at least 20 points a league-high 11 times and George is also tied for the league lead with seven double-doubles. Phillips and George are also two of just seven players to record at least one 30-point performance this season.