Game 26 - No. 9 Washington and Lee (12-13) at No. 8 Emory & Henry (12-13)
ODAC Tournament First Round - Tuesday, Feb. 21 - 7:00 pm - King Center
PDF Version of notes available 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 a 98-134 (.422) 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. Earlier this season, Hutchinson passed Harry (Cy) Young for second all-time in coaching wins at W&L. With two more 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 131-200 (.396).
Last Time Out • No. 7 Virginia Wesleyan 77, W&L 49
Washington and Lee wrapped up regular-season play with a 77-49 loss at No. 7 Virginia Wesleyan on Sunday afternoon. After scoring the game's first two points on a jumper by junior forward J.D. Ey, W&L missed seven of its next eight shots fom the floor and turned the ball over five times as the seventh-ranked Marlins raced out to a 17-4 lead at the 10:57 mark. A pair of jumpers by sophomore forward Larry Whitaker and a bucket by Ey helped the Generals pull to within nine points (19-10) with 9:13 to play. However, a 13-2 run by the Marlins extended their lead to 32-12 at 4:28 and they went into the break with a 36-21 advantage. W&L opened the second period scoring six straight points and cut its deficit back to nine points, 36-27, on a pair of free throws by first-year guard Javon McDonald with 17:19 on the clock. The Generals pulled to within seven points (39-46) with 13:10 left to play on a lay up by sophomore center Drew Kimberly, but the Marlins answered once again, extending their lead to 15 points (60-45) on a dunk by sophomore guard DJ Woodmore at 7:25, and pulling away for the 28-point win down the stretch. Whitaker led the Generals with 13 points on 6-of-9 shooting and Ey added nine points and eight rebounds as W&L shot just 32.2 percent (19-59) from the floor and turned the ball over 18 times.
Last Time against Emory & Henry (W&L 67, E&H 46 • Jan. 25, 2012)
Washington and Lee limited Emory & Henry to 11 second-half points in posting a 67-46 win over the Wasps at the Warner Center. The Generals held E&H to just 17.2 percent shooting (5-29) and 11 points over the final 20 minutes as it turned a one-point halftime deficit into a 21-point win. Midway through the first half, W&L used a 10-2 run, including eight straight points from first-year guard Clay McLean, to turn a 13-10 deficit into a 20-15 advantage with 11:22 to play. E&H responded with a 10-4 run to take a 25-24 lead on a layup by junior guard Malcolm Green at the 6:31 mark. The Wasps extended their lead to six points (33-27) with 2:51 remaining in the half, but the Blue and White closed the opening stanza on a 7-2 spurt to enter the break down just one, 35-34. Washington and Lee opened the second half on a 10-0 scoring run over the first 4:56 to assume a 44-35 lead at 15:04, prompting E&H to call a timeout. Sophomore forward Larry Whitaker scored six points during the run, and the Wasps committed a pair of turnovers and missed each of their first six shots from the floor. A layup by sophomore forward Charles Smith broke E&H's scoring drought and pulled the Wasps back to within seven points at 44-37 with 14:10 to play. However, the Generals scored the game's next six points to take a 50-37 lead with 11:13 to play as E&H called time once again. Emory & Henry trimmed its deficit back down to nine points (52-43) at the 7:16 mark, but W&L held the Wasps to just 1-of-9 shooting down the stretch, while connecting on four of its final nine shots from the floor and hitting all six of its free-throw attempts. The 46 points allowed were the fewest in a W&L win since the Generals gave up 46 to Randolph in a 64-46 victory on Jan. 30, 2010. For the game, W&L shot 43.5 percent from the field (27-62), compared to 32.2 percent (19-59) shooting for Emory & Henry. W&L also boasted a 47-33 advantage on the boards, including a 31-14 edge in the second period. W&L was led by Whitaker, who posted his fourth double-double of the season with 14 points and 10 rebounds. He finished 7-of-12 from the floor and added four steals. McClean added a then-career-high 15 points, including 3-of-4 shooting from behind the arc. Junior forward J.D. Ey narrowly missed a double-double with 13 points, nine rebounds, five assists and three blocks, and sophomore center Drew Kimberly added nine points and a career-best 10 rebounds. Smith led the Wasps with 12 points and 10 rebounds and Green added nine points and five boards.
Last Time against Emory & Henry in the ODAC Tournament
(W&L 92, E&H 60 • Feb. 23, 2010)
Washington and Lee had four players score in double figures and the sixth-seeded Generals knocked off 11th-seeded Emory & Henry, 92-60, in first round action of the ODAC Tournament at the Warner Center. The Generals used a 33-7 run over the final 13:24 of the first half to assume a 43-23 lead at the break and to cruise to their 17th win of the season. W&L forced 10 E&H turnovers during the decisive run and limited the Wasps to 3-of-12 shooting during that span. The Generals shot 45.3 percent (26-64) from the field in posting a season-high for points scored and they also outrebounded E&H, 46-25, including 20-6 on the offensive glass. Senior forward Andrew Payne led W&L with a career-high 21 points on 5-of-7 shooting from the floor and 9-of-12 shooting from the line. Guard Jon Guest tallied 12 points, senior forward Ben Goetsch chipped in 11 points and guard Jason Cimino added 10 markers, all in the first half. Forward J.D. Ey grabbed a season-high 11 boards and chipped in eight points. Forward Terrance Grigg led the Wasps with 20 points, while guard Michael Owens registered 10 markers. Forward Josh Cunningham chipped in eight points and five boards.
Scouting Emory & Henry
The Wasps enter the ODAC Tournament with an overall record of 12-13 after finishing the regular season with wins in three of its final four games. Most recently, E&H dropped an 84-60 contest at Virginia Wesleyan on Saturday. The seventh-ranked Marlins led wire-to-wire and shot 52.2 percent (35-67) from the floor, while limiting the Wasps to 39.4 precent shooting (22-61). Junior guard Malcolm Green led E&H with 17 points, while junior forward Armando Murrell chipped in 11 points and 10 rebounds. The Wasps out-rebounded VWC, 41-36, but were unable to overcome the poor shooting and 16 turnovers. On the season, Emory & Henry is ranked fourth in the league in rebounding margin (+4.5), despite not having anyone average more than 5.6 boards per game (Tyler Mullins). E&H is also the most turnover-prone team in the league, giving the ball away 20.3 times on average. Green leads the Wasps in scoring, averaging 14.4 points per game, while first-year guard Damian Edwards is averaging 10.1 points. In addition to his team-best 5.6 rebounds per game, Mullins is averaging 9.0 points on 54.3 percent shooting (75-138).
STRONG START = STRONG FINISH
Proving that getting off to a strong start is vital, Washington and Lee has recorded a 67-13 (.835) record in its last 78 games when it leads at intermission and has compiled a 99-36 record (.733) 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 11-2 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 10-3 when scoring at least 70 points and 2-10 when failing to reach 70. In W&L's 12 wins on the year, the Generals are averaging a robust 78.2 points, compared to just 61.1 points in its 13 losses. Additionally, in W&L's last five losses the Blue and White are only scoring 53.4 points on average.
In 27 games last season, W&L saw seven different players score at least 15 points in a game a total of 19 times, led by eight such performances from forward Jeremy Adkins. In 25 games thus far, the Generals have had six different players record at least 15 points in a game a total of 30 times, led by Javon McDonald and J.D. Ey with 11 and nine games, respectively, of at least 15 points.
Since the ODAC adopted the Tuesday "play-in" game to kick off the ODAC Tournament in the 2008-09 season, W&L has posted a perfect 3-0 record, including a pair of wins over Emory & Henry. This year, W&L will hit the road for the opening game for the second time in as many years after hosting a play-in game the first two years. The Generals won their first road play-in game last season, winning, 66-51, at Lynchburg.
Struggling to the finish
W&L has made it a habit of struggling down the stretch in the month of February leading up to the ODAC Tournament. This year's 1-5 record in February is eerily similar to the 1-6 record W&L had before advancing to the ODAC Championship game in 2009. Over the last four years, the Generals are just 10-20 (.333) in regular-season games in the month of February.
With his 11 15+ point performances in the season's first 25 games, first-year guard Javon McDonald has accomplished something that no rookie has done under the current regime. The last first-year to record at least 15 points as many as 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 previous highs under coach Adam Hutchinson, which puts McDonald in a position to be the most profilic scoring rookie under Hutchinson.
With a league-leading nine double doubles on the season, junior forward J.D. Ey now has 13 career double doubles. He has surpassed Ben Goetsch '10 for the most double doubles in a season (8) under Coach Hutchinson. Sophomore forward Larry Whitaker is tied for second in the ODAC with six double doubles.
Protecting the Rim
Not only does junior forward J.D. Ey lead the ODAC with 61 blocked shots (2.4/game), but as of Feb. 16 and the lastest NCAA Statistical Rankings, he is slotted 15th nationally in blocked shots. He is also 43rd in rebounding (9.0/game). With his current block total of 61, Ey has surpassed Zac White '10 for the single-season record at W&L since blocks became an official NCAA stat. Blocks became an official NCAA stat in the 1885-86 season, prior to that, the W&L single-season record is 74 by Rob Smitherman in the 1978-79 season. White, Smitherman and Ey are all tied for the single-game block record (7) at W&L. 12 times this season Ey has recorded at least three blocks, with the Generals posting an 8-4 record in games that he does.
Junior forward J.D. Ey currently leads the team with 12.9 points per game, having led the team in scoring in nine different games this season. However, when asked to shoulder the burden of leading the offense, W&L has posted just a 2-7 record. First-year guard Javon McDonald has also led the team in scoring nine times, with W&L posting just a 3-6 record when he does so. The X-Factor appears to be junior forward Jeremy Adkins. Adkins has led the Blue and White in scoring on four occasions, with W&L posting a 3-1 record. He has also scored at least 10 points on 10 occasions and W&L has posted a 6-4 record in those contests. In W&L's 12 wins, Adkins averages 12.3 points, compared to just 7.0 in its 13 losses
Eight times on the season W&L has seen a player score at least 20 points, including the Juniata game in which first-year guard Javon McDonald netted 23 and junior forward J.D. Ey added 22. In the seven different games that General has gone for at least 20 points, W&L is 5-2.
Been A While
The 9.4 rebounding average that J.D. Ey currently sports is tops in the ODAC and should he finish the season with a rebounding average north of 9.0, he would become the first General to do so since Skip Lichtfuss averaged 9.9 boards per game in the 1973-74 season.
McDonald Makes His Point
Currently sitting at 11.8 points per game, first-year guard Javon McDonald is the highest-scoring rookie in the ODAC. Not only is he the highest scoring rookie in the league, but with 295 points he became the highest-scoring rookie at W&L since Greg Bienemann scored 290 (in 25 games) points as a first-year player in 2004-05. Bienemann went on to score 1,573 points in his four-year career.
Down to the Wire
Should Tuesday's game go down to the wire, expect W&L to be a little more comfortable in a tight game. The Generals feature a 6-3 record in games decided by 10 points or less, including a 3-1 record in games with a margin of five points or less. E&H has recorded a 9-7 record in games with a margin of 10 points or less, but have gone just 2-4 (including loss against UVa.-Lynchburg that was later forfeited) in games within five points. One advantage that W&L has in a tight game is its ability to hit free throws. The Generals are second in the ODAC with a 70.3 percent mark from the line (404-575), while the Wasps are the worst free-throw shooting team in all of Division III (405 schools) with a mark of just 58.8 percent (329-500). Armando Murrell leads E&H with 115 free throw attmpts but has connected on just 38.3 percent (44-115) of his charity attempts. First-year Javon McDonald leads W&L, and ranks second in the ODAC, in both FTM (102) and FTA (140), hitting on 72.9 percent of his attempts (10th ODAC).