W&L Men's Basketball Game Notes - Week 4
Game 9: 12/7/11 - W&L (5-2, 1-1 ODAC) vs. Guilford (5-2, 0-1 ODAC);
Lexington, Va., Warner Center; 7:30 pm
PDF Version of notes HERE.
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 91-124 (.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 nine 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 124-190 (.395).
Last time Out • Randolph College 78, W&L 70
Lynchburg, Va • Dec. 3, 2011
Washington and Lee dug itself an early 19-point hole and was unable to dig itself out in falling, 78-70, to Randolph College at the RAD Center on Saturday afternoon. After taking an early 4-3 lead on a lay-up by J.D. Ey just 1:28 into the first period, W&L missed its next eight shots in succession as Randolph College sprinted out to a 17-4 lead by the 12:57 mark. Larry Whitaker broke the Generals' cold spell with a jumper at 12:37 that made it 17-6 in favor of the WildCats. W&L managed to get its deficit back to single digits as a three pointer by Kevin Gill with 9:45 to play in the opening period made it 20-11 in favor of Randolph. However, a 12-2 scoring run by the WildCats, capped by a pair of free throws from Colton Hunt, gave them a 19-point lead (32-13) at the 6:36 mark. The Generals did manage to outscore Randolph 15-4 the rest of the half to inch to within eight points (36-28) at the break. In the second period, the WildCats ran their lead up to 18 points (52-34) with 14:24 left to play, hitting of 4-of-5 shots from the field and 7-of-7 shots from the line to open the second stanza. The Randolph lead remained 18 points (62-44) at the 6:20 mark, before the Generals began chipping away at the deficit. An Ey triple triggered a 16-5 W&L scoring run that inched the Generals to within seven points (67-60) with 3:33 to play. W&L managed to get within four points (74-70) in the final minute, but Randolph connected on 9-of-12 attempts from free-throw line down the stretch to preserve the eight-point win. For the game, W&L shot a woeful 34.9 percent (22-63) from the field, including 27.6 percent (8-29) from beyond the arc. Conversely, Randolph connected on 56.1 percent (23-41) of its field goal attempts, including 61.9 percent (13-21) in the first period, and held a 38-29 advantage on the boards. The Generals were led by Ey, who tallied 17 points and eight rebounds. Javon McDonald also recorded 17 points. Whitaker chipped in 12 points before fouling out and Gill netted 10 markers. Mike Ehilegbu led the WildCats with a game-high 22 points on 8-of-10 shooting from the field. Hunt scored 19 points, including a perfect 13-of-13 showing at the charity stripe, and Derrick Woods-Morrow scored nine points to go with 10 boards.
Last Time Against Guilford • GC 68, W&L 57 (Greensboro, N.C. • 2/9/11)
Josh Pittman scored a game-high 27 points to lead Guilford to a 68-57 victory over Washington and Lee at Ragan-Brown Field House. The Generals shot 66.7 percent (14-21) from the floor in the first half and took a 31-30 lead at the break following a three-point play by Drew Kimberly with 27 seconds left. Guilford wrestled the lead away (36-35) when senior guard T.C. Anderson split a pair of free throws with 15:47 remaining in the game and the Generals went cold from the floor, hitting just three of their next 10 shots as the Quakers used a 12-4 run to produce a 56-44 lead with 4:21 to play. W&L used a jumper by Kimberly and a three-pointer by Jeremy Adkins to cut it to a seven-point game (56-49) with 3:44 remaining, but the Generals could get no closer as they dropped their sixth-straight game against Guilford in Greensboro. The Generals shot just 33.3 percent (9-27) in the second stanza and were out-rebounded 33-25, surrendering 11 offensive rebounds to the Quakers. Jon Guest led W&L with 14 points on 7-of-8 shooting from the floor. Adkins totaled 10 points and five rebounds, while J.D. Ey and Kimberly notched nine points each. For Kimberly, the point total was a career high. Pittman recorded his point total on 7-of-12 shooting from the field and 9-of-10 from the foul line. Justin Stafford registered 12 points and six rebounds, while Gabriel Lowder chipped in 10 points.
The Quakers enter with a 5-2 record, having dropped each of their last two contests following a 5-0 start. Most recently, GC fell, 71-54, to Bridgewater. The Eagles shot 43.5 percent (10-23) from beyond the arc, compared to just 14.3 percent (2-14) for GC, in what was an even game everywhere else. Sophomore guard Carson Sullivan led the Quakers with 14 points to go with six rebounds and senior guard Gabriel Lowder added 11 points. Senior forward Brad Monroe grabbed a game-high eight boards and also handed out five assists. On the season, Lowder leads three Quakers scoring at least 10.0 points per game, with 12.9 ppg. Junior guard Josh Pittman checks in at 12.1 ppg., and Sullivan is averaging 11.0 points per game. Monroe is tops on the team with 8.4 rebounds each contest. In GC's five wins, the Quakers are hitting on 33.0 percent (30-91) of their three-point attempts, compared to just 16.7 percent (5-30) in the two losses. Additionally, the Quakers have attempted nearly 100 more free throws than their opponents, having hit on 125-of-192 (.651) attempts from the charity stripe, compared to just 69-of-96 (.719) for their opponents.
STRONG START = STRONG FINISH
Proving that getting off to a strong start is vital, Washington and Lee has recorded a 61-13 (.822) record in its last 71 games when it leads at intermission and has compiled an 95-36 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 5-1 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 4-1 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 of 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 46 contests, while Ey has started 42 straight games and 54 overall.
Brick Layers No More
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 74.6 percent (153-205) of its attempts at the line thus far and owns the two-best single-game showings in the league, having connected on 90.9 percent of its charity tosses on two occasions (20-22 vs. Wesley/10-11 at Shenandoah). Currently, five regulars are shooting better than 75.0 percent from the charity stripe and all of them rank in the league's Top 15. Junior forward Jeremy Adkins (.867, 26-30/1st ODAC), senior guard Kyle Bond (.826, 19-23/5th ODAC), first-year guard Javon McDonald (.769, 30-39/9th ODAC), sophomore forward Larry Whitaker (.767, 33-43/10th ODAC) and junior guard Kelton Buchanan (.762, 16-21/13th ODAC). W&L's 153 free throws made trails only Lynchburg's 154, though the Hornets have shot 19 more free throws than W&L. Adkins is also on a run of 16 consecutive free throws made. Guilford is third in the league in both attmpts (192) and makes (125)
Winning the turnover battle will be critical for the Generals this week. On the season, W&L averages a league-low 13.6 turnovers per game,while the Quakers are third with 16.0 miscues per game. The Generals +1.12 turnover margin is fifth in the league, while Guilford is seventh with a -0.57 margin.
Washington and Lee has made it a habit of knocking off some of 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.
Junior forward J.D. Ey is tops in the league with 18 blocks (2.3/game), a total that is equal to or better than five TEAMS in the ODAC. In just his third season, Ey has already moved into a tie for sixth place all-time at W&L in blocked shots, with 68. He needs just one more rejection to tie Femi Kusimo '08 for fifth all-time.
Biding His Time
Junior guard Kelton Buchanan, who saw action in 35 games over his first two seasons, averaging just 7.3 minutes per game has been in the starting lineup in each of the Generals' first eight games in 2011-12 and is averaging 18.4 minutes per game. Through the season's first five games he was averaging 5.6 points, but he has scored just three points in the last three games combined, missing on all eight of his field goal attempts. Despite his scoring going down, he is still averaging 2.0 rebounds per game and boasts a 1.9 assist/TO ratio (13 assists/7 turnovers).
Chairmen of the Board
Despite boasting ranking in the middle of the pack with in the ODAC with 39.1 rebounds per game, the Generals boast two of the league's best players on the glass. Junior forward J.D. Ey leads the league with 10.8 rebounds per game and sophomore forward Larry Whitaker is curently fourth with 8.5 rpg. Ey and Whitaker rank 1-2 in defensive rebounds (61/44) and 3-4 in offensive rebounds (25/24).
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 13 times, led by J.D. Ey with four games each of at least 15 points. For Ey, the four 15+ point performances matches his output from his first two seasons combined. First-year guard Javon McDonald and Adkins each have three such games.
McDonald Makes it Count
First-year guard Javon McDonald has proven to be a reliable scoring option off the bench over the season's first eight games. The Shaumburg, Illinois native is averaging 8.9 ppg. and has scored at least 15 points in each of the last three games, including a career-high 18 points in W&L's 76-66 loss at Christopher Newport. He has been doing much of his damage at the free throw line, where he is hitting on 76.9 percent (30-39) of his attempts. His 30 makes are tied for fourth in the ODAC and his 39 attempts at sixth in the league.
With his three 15+ point performances in the season's first eight games, first-year guard Javon McDonald has accomplished something that not many first-years have done in recent years. The last first-year to record at least 15 points three times in his debut season was Isaiah Goodman '09, who did it four times in the 2005-06 season. Femi Kusimo '08 did so four times as well in the 04-05 season. Greg Bienemann '08 and Chris Halkitis '07 each had eight such games as first-years, the highest totals under coach Adam Hutchinson.
Adding It Up
Junior forward Jeremy Adkins is currently second on the team in scoring with 12.9 points per game, and has scored at least 10 points in five games this year, including a 25-point outburst against Wesley and a 24-point showing against Elms. However, when Adkins does not reach 10 points, he is often nowhere near the double-digit threshold. Twice he has been limited to just two points and he netted just five in the season-opener at Dickinson. In those three games he shot just 2-of-13 from the field (.154), compared to 29-of-61 (.475) in the five games in which he scored at least 10 points.
The Generals have already recorded six double-doubles on the season as junior forward J.D. Ey and sophomore forward Larry Whitaker have each netted three. The double-doubles seem to come in bunches as both players recorded their first two 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). Then, in W&L's 7-point win over Roanoke, Ey and Whitaker became the first General teammaates since Jan. 2, 2010 to record double-doubles in the same contest. In fact, Ey is the only player in the conference to currently average at least a double-double (14.2 ppg./10.8 rpg.).
Let it Ride...Double Down Again
With three double-doubles apiece, J.D. Ey and Larry Whitaker are tied atop the ODAC in double-double performances. No other player in the league has more than two such performances and W&L is the only team in the league with multiple players with multiple double-doubles. The duo are also tied for the league lead with four games with at least 10 rebounds, including and ODAC-best 21-rebound performance by Ey in the Generals' win over Elms.