W&L Men's Basketball Notes - Week 1

Game 1: 11/15/11 - W&L (0-0) at Dickinson (0-0); Carlisle, Pa., 7:00 pm
Game 2: 11/18/11 - W&L (0-0) at Elms (0-0), Chicopee, Mass., 6:00 pm
Game 3: 11/19/11 W&L (0-0) at TBA; Amherst, Mass., TBA

 

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 86-121 (.415) 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 14 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 119-187 (.389).

Last time out  •   No. 10 Virginia Wesleyan 98, W&L 78 (2/25/11)

Washington and Lee saw its 2010-11 season end with a 98-78 loss to Virginia Wesleyan in the quarterfinal round of the ODAC Tournament at the Salem Civic Center. The top-seeded and 10th-ranked Marlins (23-3) shot a scintillating 67.2 percent from the floor (39-58), including 60.0 percent (9-15) from beyond the arc in posting its 20th-straight win over the Generals (14-13). The Generals, seeded ninth, trailed by just two points (32-30) following a pair of free throws by forward Larry Whitaker. However, a lay up by guard Andrew Cornwell on VWC’s ensuing possession was the start of an 18-7 half-closing run that gave the Marlins a 50-37 lead at the break. VWC hit six of its final eight shots of the opening half, including three three-pointers. Forward Chris Astorga led the Marlins with 17 first-half points and guard DJ Woodmore chipped in 13. W&L was unable to cool off the hot Marlins in the second period as VWC made eight of its first 10 shots from the field and used an 18-5 run to start the final 20 minutes to assume a 68-42 lead by the 14:48 mark.  W&L was led by center Taylor Gilfillan, who recorded 12 points and five rebounds. Guard Kevin Gill chipped in 10 points on 4-of-6 shooting and forward Jonathan Rice tallied nine points and a team-high six rebounds. Astorga finished with a game-high 25 points on 10-of-14 shooting to lead the Marlins. Woodmore finished 10-of-13 from the field for 21 points to go with seven rebounds and guard Ed Roberts notched 12 points on 4-of-4 shooting from beyond the arc.

Last time against Dickinson  •  W&L 74, Dickinson 72 (11/15/10)
Washington and Lee hit on 17-of-28 field goal attempts in the second half and forward Will Smith drew a key charge in the game’s closing seconds as the Generals held on to beat Dickinson College, 74-72, in the 2010-11 season-opener for both teams. After first-year forward Larry Whitaker split a pair of free throws to give W&L a slim 74-72 lead with 10 seconds remaining, Dickinson guard Chris Barsanti appeared to have a lane to the basket for the game-tying layup, but Smith slid over to draw the charge and give possession back to the Generals with :00.3 remaining. After an even played first half which saw neither team lead by more than six points and ended in a 30-30 deadlock, W&L opened the second half on a 16-7 run to take a 46-37 lead at the 14:27 mark on a jump shot from forward Hans Harris. The Red Devils quickly cut W&L’s lead back to three points (46-43) following a layup from senior forward Matt Dolan with 12:55 to play. W&L managed to push its advantage back to as many as eight points on several occasions, but found themselves up just one point (73-72) following a layup from DC guard Brian Gerney with 50 seconds to play. Following a missed three-pointer from forward Jeremy Adkins, Whitaker grabbed his third offensive rebound of the contest and was fouled with 10 seconds to play. He split the aforementioned free throws to set up the game’s frantic finish. Adkins led all scorers with 20 points and he also added six rebounds. Forward Jonathan Rice added 11 points before fouling out and guard Jon Guest chipped in 10 points. Forward J.D. Ey added eight points, six rebounds, four assists, four blocks and three steals, while Whitaker finished with six points and six rebounds. Dolan led four Red Devils in double figures with 15 points and he also grabbed 10 boards. Barsanti and guard Chris Heine each scored 12 points and guard Tucker Landy chipped in 11 markers. Gerney had six points and six assists for DC and Heine added seven boards.

Scouting Dickinson
The Red Devils are coming off a 15-12 season and a runner-up finish in the Centennial Conference Championsip in 2010-11. This season, the Red Devils were picked to finish third in the Centennial Conference preseason poll, but will be hard pressed to replace last year’s Mr. Everything - Matt Dolan. Dolan led Dickinson last year in scoring (14.7 ppg) and rebounding (7.0 rpg), while also averaging 1.9 assists and 1.3 steals per game, and shooting .496 from the field (126-254) and .822 from the line (120-146). Sophomore Adam Honig returns as Dickinson’s leading scorer, after averaging 9.4 points per game last season. Junior guard Chris Barsanti is also back after averaging 7.7 points per game and shooting .612 from the field (74-121). As a team, the Red Devils limited their opponents to just a .423 mark (578-1,366) from the field while giving up an average of just 65.1 points per game last season. Third-year Head Coach Alan Seretti has seen a remarkable transformation in his first two seasons, taking the Red Devils from a 4-19 team in 2009-10, to last year’s 15-12 mark, including a school-record 12 conference wins.

Scouting Elms
The Blazers are coming off a 2010-11 season that saw them rattle off 20 wins en route to a 20-8 campaign, the NECC Title and an appearance in the NCAA Championships. Picked to finish second in the NECC, Elms must find a way to replace three of its four leading scorers and its top two rebounders from a season ago. Junior guard Brittain Purcelle, an Honorable Mention All-NECC selection last season, returns as the top offensive threat, having averaged 13.1 points per game last year. The Blazers scored an average of 78.1 points each time out last season, and opponent’s miscues greatly aided that, as Elms forced 20.1 turnovers on average.

Scouting Plymouth State
The Panthers posted an 11-14 campaign in 2011-11. First-year head coach Andrew Novick must find a way to replace all five starters and the Panthers’ top three scorers from the season before. Senior guard Brian Chergey returns as the team’s leading scorer after posting 8.8 points per game last year. Senior forward Jesse Sabolis played an average of 14.8 minutes per game as a junior, tallying 4.8 points per contest.

Scouting Amherst
The Lord Jeffs are ranked fourth in the D3Hoops.com Preseason Top 25 after a 2010-11 season that saw Amherst finish 25-4 overall and advance all the way to the NCAA Quarterfinal round. Four starters return, including senior guard  Taylor Barrise (11.0 ppg), junior guard Willy Workman (10.6 ppg, 5.5 rpg), junior center Pete Kaasila (10.0 ppg, 5.3 rpg) and senior forward David Waller (8.1 ppg). Also returning, is sophomore guard Aaron Twomey, who scored 12.5 points per game on 40.3 percent shooting from long range (50-124) in 29 games, 28 of them coming off the bench. The Lord Jeffs scored an average of 84.0 points per game last year, 13th in NCAA Division III, while allowing just 65.1 points to their opponents.

Strong start = Strong finish
Proving that getting off to a strong start is vital, Washington and Lee has recorded a 56-12 (.846) record in its last 68 games when it leads at intermission and has compiled an 90-35 record (.730) 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.
 
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.

Jack of all trades
Junior forward J.D. Ey proved to be one of the most versatile players in the ODAC last season. Ey was one of only two players in the league (H-SC’s Ru White) to average at least 9.0 points, 6.0 rebounds, 2.0 assists, 1.0 blocks and 1.0 steals, all while shooting above 50.0 percent from the floor. An Honorable Mention Al-ODAC selection as a sophomore, Ey averaged 9.6 points, 7.1 rebounds, 2.0 assists, 1.3 blocks and 1.1 steals per game and he shot 56.4% from the floor (110-195), the second-best mark in the ODAC. Against Dickinson last season, Ey put all his talents on display, recording nine points, six rebounds, four assists, four blocks and three steals.

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 38 contests, while Ey has started 34-straight games and 46 overall.

Opening Night
Washington and Lee has produced a 4-4 overall record in Head Coach Adam Hutchinson’s season openers. However, W&L has won four of its last five games to kick off a season, including last year’s 74-72 win over Dickinson. The Generals’ last defeat to open a campaign was a 57-55 loss to Drew to begin the 2007-08 season.

Brick Layers
The Generals struggled at the free-throw line all of last season and finished as the worst free-throw shooting team in the league at 64.1 percent (373-582). Take the Generals’ top three free-throw shooters out of the equation, senior Kyle Bond (.741, 43-58) junior Jeremy Adkins (.817, 49-60) and sophomore Kevin Gill (.800, 16-20), and W&L hit on just 59.7 percent (265-444) of its attempts from the line. Only once in coach Hutchinson’s tenure have the Generals made as many as 70.0 percent of their free throws, that being the 2005-06 season when they hit 70.4 percent (47-54), led by John Mumper ‘08 and his school-record 87.0 percent (47-54) shooting.

Unfamiliar Foes
Washington and Lee’s second opponent of the season, Elms, provides an interesting, and not often seen, matchup. The Generals have never faced the Blazers, who are members of the NECC, or New England Collegiat Conference. In fact, of the nine other memebers of the league, the Generals have face only one of them - Daniel Webster - on the hardwood. W&L defeated the Eagles, 79-59, back on Nov. 18, 2002. In addition to little familiarity with the Blazers, the Generals’ potential opponent in their third game is Plymouth State, another school that W&L has never faced. The Panthers are members of the LEC, or Little East Conference. W&L holds a 2-2 all-time record against current LEC members, having gone 1-1 against Eastern Connecticut, 1-0 against Rhode Island College and 0-1 against Western Connecticut State.

Toppling Giants
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 potetential 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.