W&L Men's Basketball Notes - Week 3
Game 7: 11/30/11 - W&L (4-2) vs. Roanoke (1-3); Lexington, Va., 7:00 pm
Game 8: 12/3/11 - W&L (4-2) vs. Randolph (2-2); Lynchburg, Va., 2:00 pm
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The Head General
Adam Hutchinson (Amherst, '93) is in his ninth season as the head coach at Washington and Lee. He has led W&L to an 90-123 (.423) record, including four-straight winning campaigns - the first time in over 20 years that W&L has accomplished such a feat. 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 and needs just four wins to pass Harry (Cy) Young for second all-time at W&L. With 10 wins, he would become just the second coach in school history to reach the 100-win plateau. In his 13 seasons of coaching, Hutchinson has an overall record of 123-189 (.394).
Last Time Out • Christopher Newport 76, W&L 66
Newport News, Va • Nov. 27, 2011
Washington and Lee shot just 29.2 percent (7-24) from the floor in the second half and fell to Christopher Newport, 76-66, in the championship game of the CNU/Point Plaza Invitational on Sunday afternoon at the Freeman Center. After shooting 41.2 percent (14-34) in carrying a 37-36 lead into the halftime break, W&L went cold in the second half, missing its first four shots from the field and falling behind 42-37 just 2:51 into the final period. Despite the chilly start to the second half, the Generals kept it a single-digit contest and trailed by just three points (58-55) when junior guard Kelton Buchanan split a pair of free throws with 8:54 remaining in the game. However, W&L again went cold over the next 5:02, missing its next five shots from the field as the Captains used a 12-3 run to assume a 12-point lead (70-58) with 3:52 left in the game. The Generals managed just two field goals the rest of the way as Christopher Newport claimed the 10-point victory. Washington and Lee was led by junior guard Jeremy Adkins and first-year guard Javon McDonald, who each scored 18 points. For McDonald, the point total was a career-high. Junior forward J.D. Ey added five points, a game-high 12 rebounds, four blocks, two steals and two assists. Senior guard Conley Taylor led Christopher Newport with a game-high 24 points. Sophomore guard Tra Benefield tallied 14 points and seven rebounds, while junior guard Luc Atangana posted 12 points, seven rebounds and five assists. First-year forward Nik Biberaj contributed 11 points and eight boards.
Scouting Roanoke College
The Maroons enter the week with a 1-3 overall record. Roanoke earned its first win of the season on Sunday, 90-86 over Goucher, after opening the season with three consecutive losses. In the victory over Goucher, junior gurad Kwasi Amponsah led five Maroons in double figures with 24 points on 9-of-13 shooting. Senior forward Logan Singleton added 20 points, sophomore forward Jack Hamilton scored 16, and sophomore guard Clay Lacy and senior guard Adam Kessler each netted 14. The Maroons shot 51.4 percent (37-72) as a team and outrebounded Goucher, 46-39, to offset 27 turnovers. On the year Roanoke is giving up an average of 82.0 points to its opponents and turns the ball over better than 22 times per game. Also, the Maroons enter as the league's second-worst three-point shooting team, having connected on just 27.5 percent (14-51) of their attempts from distance. Singleton leads three RC playes averaging at least 10.0 points per game, netting 17.5 points on average. Amponsah is close behind at 16.5 points per game and Hamilton checks in at 14.2 points per game. Hamilton also leads the team with 8.8 rebounds per game and Singleton is grabbing 7.2 rebounds on average.
Scouting Randolph College
The WildCats begin play this week with a 2-2 record. Randolph started the year 0-2, but rebounded to win each of its next two games, including a 72-60 win over Ferrum on Sunday. In the win over the Panthers, first-year guard Zach Desgain paced the WildCats with 20 points, while senior forward Derrick Woods-Morrow and sophomore guard Mike Ehilegbu each tallied 15 points and junior guard Colton Hunt added 13. Woods-Morrow also added 12 boards and Desgain eight. Randolph shot a blistering 53.2 percent (25-47) from the field, while limiting Ferrum to 38.7 percent (24-62) shooting from the floor. As a team, the WildCats enter the week as the lowest scoring team in the ODAC, posting just 64.2 points on average, while allowing just 54.5 points to their opponents. That 54.5 figure does include an 86-35 win over Christendom, a non-NCAA opponent. Individually, Randolph is led by Ehilegbu and his 13.5 ppg average. Woods-Morrow is averaging a double-double with 12.0 ppg and 10.5 rpg, Desgain is averaging 11.2 points per game and Hunt, who missed the first two games of the season, is posting 11.0 points per game.
STRONG START = STRONG FINISH
Proving that getting off to a strong start is vital, Washington and Lee has recorded a 60-13 (.822) record in its last 71 games when it leads at intermission and has compiled an 94-36 record (.723) over the last 12 years when leading at the break. Holding true to that notion, W&L posted an 11-4 record last season when holding a halftime lead and is 4-1 thus far in 2011-12.
70 or Bust
W&L averaged a hair over 70 points per game last season at 70.5. Proving that the 70-point threshold was vital to the Generals' success, W&L posted an 11-3 mark in games where it scored at least 70 points. However, when the Generals failed to reach 70 points, the result was a dismal 3-10 mark. So far in 2011-12, the Generals are 3-0 when scoring at least 70 points and 1-2 when failing to reach 70.
Start me Up
Junior forwards J.D. Ey and Jeremy Adkins have seen a great deal action in their first two+ seasons in the Blue and White. Since starting at Randolph-Macon on Jan. 27, 2010, Adkins has appeared in the starting lineup in each of the last 44 contests, while Ey has started 40 straight games and 52 overall.
Bricklayers? Not Anymore.
After shooting a league-low 64.1 percent (373-582) from the free throw line a season ago, the Generals are off to a much better start at the charity Stripe in 2011-12. W&L has connected on 74.7 percent (115-154) of its attempts at the line thus far. Currently, four regulars are shooting better than 75.0 percent from the charity stripe in senior guard Kyle Bond (.857, 18-21), junior forward Jeremy Adkins (.833, 20-24), junior guard Kelton Buchanan (.824, 14-17) and first-year guard Javon McDonald (.792, 19-24). Against Amherst, McDonald knocked down 10 of his 12 free-throw attempts, becoming the first General to knock down at least 10 freebies since Greg Bienemann '08 hit on 12-of-15 shots at Bridgewater on Feb. 23, 2008.
Winning the turnover battle will be critical for the Generals this week. On the season, W&L averages a league-low 15.0 turnovers per game, while Ronaoke is posting a league-worst 22.2 miscues per game and Randolph is averaging 20.2 TOs per game. Only once this season has W&L turned the ball over 20+ times, at 72-68 win over Elms incidently.
Washington and Lee has made it a habit of knocking off some the country's best teams over the past several seasons. The Generals have recorded at least one win over a ranked opponent in each of the last three seasons. Last year, it was a 93-92 win over then-10th-ranked Eastern Mennonite. That accumen for defeating ranked foes may come in handy as W&L battles a difficult schedule that features a pair of dates with Preseason No. 1 Virginia Wesleyan, a matchup with No. 4 Amherst, two games against No. 23 Hampden-Sydney, as well as two dates with Eastern Mennonite and one apiece with Randolph-Macon and Christopher Newport, who are all receiving votes in the preseason poll.
W&L is averaging 4.5 blocks per game (27 total), the second-best mark in the ODAC. Junior forward J.D. Ey is tops in the league with 16 blocks (2.7/game), a total that is equal to or better than eight TEAMS in the ODAC, and sophomore forward Larry Whitaker is fifth in the conference with seven rejections. W&L's opponents this week only have a combined 15 blocks between them (Randolph 9/Roanoke 6).
The 100 points allowed to No. 4 Amherst marked the first time since Jan. 23, 2008 that the Generals had allowed as many as 100 points to an opponent. The last time it happened, W&L earned a 115-106 win over Emory & Henry. Under coach Adam Hutchinson, the Generals have allowed at least 100 points on four occasions, posting a 1-3 record is those games.
The Generals have already recorded four double-doubles on the season as junior forward J.D. Ey and sophomore forward Larry Whitaker have each netted a pair. The double-doubles seem to come in bunches as both players recorded theirs on successive nights, Whitaker doing it against Shenandoah (21 pts/11 reb) then Wesley (11 pts/10 reb) and Ey doing it at Dickinson (26 pts/10 reb) and Elms (16 pts/21 reb). In fact, Ey is one of only two players in the conference to currently average at least a double-double (14.2 ppg./10.8 rpg.). Randolph's Derrick Woods-Morrow (12.0 ppg/10.5 rpg)is the other
Bond, Kyle Bond
Senior guard Kyle Bond tied a career-high with 13 points in the loss to Amherst. That followed a 10-point performance in W&L's win over Elms. This marked just the second time in his career that he had scored at least 10 points in back-to-back games. The first time was Feb. 2 and Feb. 6 last season when Bond scored 10 and 11 points against Randolph and Greensboro, respectively. Additionally, Bond set a new career-best with five assists in W&L's 15-point win over Shenandoah on Tuesday.
Chairman of the Board
Despite boasting the second-lowest rebounding average in the ODAC at 38.5 rebounds per game, W&L is only being outrebounded on average by 1.7, due in part to the Amherst game in which the Generals were creamed on the boards, 55-31. Take out the Amherst contest, and W&L's rebounding margin goes from -1.7 up to +2.8. Junior forward J.D. Ey leads the conference with 10.8 rebounds per game and sophomore forward Larry Whitaker is fifth with 9.0 boards on average.
In 27 games last season, W&L saw seven different players score at least 15 points in a game a total of 17 times, led by eight such performances from forward Jeremy Adkins. In six games thus far, the Generals have already had five different players record at least 15 points in a game a total of nine times, led by Adkins and junior J.D. Ey with three games each of at least 15 points. For Ey, the three 15+ point performances matches his output from his first two seasons combined.