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Thread: West Liberty Hilltopper Basketball

  1. #1
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    Default West Liberty Hilltopper Basketball

    Perfect way to christen the new thread--with a Sporting News Pre-season #1 ranking.

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    Default Re: West Liberty Hilltopper Basketball

    Good to be tapped as #1 but there are quite a few questions about the 16-17 Toppers. Losing the National POY is but one of a laundry list of concerns I have going into the season. I think we get it worked out and end up strong again but I wouldn't be surprised if we lose an early game or maybe two.

    What surprises me most is that there are NO other Atlantic schools in the top 10!

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    Default Re: West Liberty Hilltopper Basketball

    Is that broken record skipping again down there already? Yawn. It's still September! But, it seems like Benedict Arnold up there is excited.

    I'm just messing. I do think Fairmont is pretty loaded this year. What's the deal on Wheeling? Anybody else look good? Dennis is going to be a terror.

    That WL football team burnt me 3 straight in the MEC poll so last week I took Urbana. Go figure.

    But hoops will be here before we know it. Can't wait. What was the story with the WVU vs WL exhibition? I thought it was finally a done deal?

    It's a shame that Fairmont at IUP game is over break. It's nice to see some basketball posts again ...
    Last edited by IUPbigINDIANS; 09-27-2016 at 07:14 PM.

  4. #4

    Default Re: West Liberty Hilltopper Basketball

    Agree with both you guys...There are some questions about the toppers, but if you just look at who's returning, NOT who they lost...It's a top 10 team...
    Dennis: West Liberty's next AA. Will be even better this year....Hope he added a more consistent Jumper, but if not, no one can stay in front of him anyway.
    Hoehn: Very steady sidekick to Dennis, who is a very good 3 pt shooter who has been overshadowed a bit by Seger the past 2 years. More touches and attempts for him.
    Grossenbacher: Athletic big man who can shoot, block, and rebound. Personally I think he is the key.
    Griffin: Transfer from Marist. On the surface, general public gets excited about D-1 transfers, so we'll see...6'5" shooter.
    Monteroso: Transfer from Purdue. (Football). But one of top 15 scorers in OH HS basketball history...I think he will be an excellent pickup.
    Brady Arnold: Athletic small guard, capable of big three's. Expect him to take a step this year.
    Brandon Smith: RS last year, but big guard...will compete for solid mins.
    Kirkbride: Does everything, but nothing spectacular...Has been 2 yr starter...
    Evan French: Good shooter, may be the same player as Brandon Smith..we'll see how it sorts out...

    They're deep. They can shoot. They are missing one interior piece--Where are you Chucky Humphries? (his d2 board reputation is probably what's fueling his belief that he can play d1 ;))

    I do think Wheeling and Fairmont and IUP and UPJ will be solid in the region...But since we lost all the archives, you can cue this up from me all year, Fairmont loses games they shouldn't...can't shoot and too many turnovers..but always athletic and tough...

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    Default Re: West Liberty Hilltopper Basketball

    No doubt WL will be very strong this year. It's hard to say they'll be better than last year minus Seger but that will play itself out over the next several months.

    I don't really see the lack of big men being an issue for WL -- at least probably not until the Regional. Then it could play a factor depending on the match-up. Dennis is a D1 player.

    It's hard to get take the preseason polls too seriously. I think both years IUP went to the national championship game it wasn't even ranked in the preseason Top 25. Same with preseason football polls. There are just far too many unknowns and a general lack of research.

    UPJ has a really nice starting five this year. The problem up there is they never have enough depth or speed. They are going to be a tough out, regardless. Leahy, Vescovi and Clancy are players. We'll see what else turns up.

    IUP is pretty entrenched in football right now as it should be ... that's quite a team this year. But basketball is right around the corner.
    Last edited by IUPbigINDIANS; 09-28-2016 at 11:11 AM.

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    Default Re: West Liberty Hilltopper Basketball

    VC posted Chase Conner leaving Fairmont for WV Wesleyan.

  7. #7

    Default Re: West Liberty Hilltopper Basketball

    Quote Originally Posted by IUPbigINDIANS View Post
    VC posted Chase Conner leaving Fairmont for WV Wesleyan.
    Fairmont becomes even less of a threat from outside. Conner made 81 3's last year.

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    Default Re: West Liberty Hilltopper Basketball

    Strange transfer ... leaving Fairmont for the offensive and defensive style of the PSAC West down at WVW.

    Isn't this his third transfer?

    My biggest beef with D2 is the inter-conference transfer.

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    Default Re: West Liberty Hilltopper Basketball

    Quote Originally Posted by IUPbigINDIANS View Post
    Strange transfer ... leaving Fairmont for the offensive and defensive style of the PSAC West down at WVW.

    Isn't this his third transfer?

    My biggest beef with D2 is the inter-conference transfer.
    They benefited - 2 time all MEC Jamel Morris transferred to Fairmont from Glenville...Now they must PAY!

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    Default Re: West Liberty Hilltopper Basketball

    Speaking of HILLTOPPER BB the women's team gets the '16-'17 season off to a quick start at the MERCYHUST CONFERENCE CHALLENGE against ....who else but the regional rival CALU VULCAN WBB!! Saturday, Nov. 12, at 3 pm. Both teams came up just short of the ELITE EIGHT last year and I'm sure both would like to correct that this year. It all gets started in 6+ weeks.

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    Default Re: West Liberty Hilltopper Basketball

    And ... not a sole will get to see it unless you make the drive because Mercyhurst's cheap a-double-s still doesn't have Web feeds.

  12. #12

    Default Re: West Liberty Hilltopper Basketball

    Quote Originally Posted by IUPbigINDIANS View Post
    Is that broken record skipping again down there already? Yawn. It's still September! But, it seems like Benedict Arnold up there is excited.

    I'm just messing. I do think Fairmont is pretty loaded this year. What's the deal on Wheeling? Anybody else look good? Dennis is going to be a terror.

    That WL football team burnt me 3 straight in the MEC poll so last week I took Urbana. Go figure.

    But hoops will be here before we know it. Can't wait. What was the story with the WVU vs WL exhibition? I thought it was finally a done deal?

    It's a shame that Fairmont at IUP game is over break. It's nice to see some basketball posts again ...
    WVU had some facilities issues with the Coliseum so they're playing a scrimmage vs. WVU Tech (NAIA) in Beckley at the end of the month.

    My understanding is that West Liberty and WVU will play a preseason exhibition at the Coliseum prior to next season.

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    Default Re: West Liberty Hilltopper Basketball

    WLU players should show up at WesBanco Arena tonight in their uniforms and challenge toe Mountineer's to an "unofficial" scrimmage! Wonder what excuse Huggins would come up with for not playing the Toppers if that happened????

    http://www.weirtondailytimes.com/spo...s-in-wheeling/

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    Default Re: West Liberty Hilltopper Basketball

    That is funny they can't get that game scheduled.

    Bobby lost a lot from last year. He's not taking that game unless he's damn sure he can win by a decent enough margin.

    They could come up and play Pitt. Pitt has been very open to scheduling D2 scrimmage games for the past decade. Easy bus ride.

    Slippery Rock, believe it or not, is opening down at Tennessee in a couple weeks.

  15. #15

    Default Re: West Liberty Hilltopper Basketball

    I'm laughing as well that Huggins is ducking West Liberty at this point. It really would be funny if WestLib showed up at WesBanco in their uniforms and say we got next. It's like going to someone's neighborhood to play basketball when you know that the best players in that area are on vacation, so you show off like look at what we can do.

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    Default Re: West Liberty Hilltopper Basketball

    Quote Originally Posted by Hilltoppernation View Post
    I'm laughing as well that Huggins is ducking West Liberty at this point. It really would be funny if WestLib showed up at WesBanco in their uniforms and say we got next. It's like going to someone's neighborhood to play basketball when you know that the best players in that area are on vacation, so you show off like look at what we can do.
    It would be and it is!! Crutch will never do that cause that's not how he is. From Huggin's point of view, he's probably hoping WLU's players do show up...would give him an instant "excuse" not to scrimmage WLU in the future! I mean, he can go down and scrimmage WV Tech in their neck of the woods but he CAN'T scrimmage WLU in Wheeling even though he and his team are practicing there for THREE days???

    People have asked in the past why WLU doesn't scrimmage a D1. This is often part of a discussion about why WLU doesn't play a tougher OOC schedule. The implication is that WLU doesn't do either because they are scared and only willing to play on their home court. This is probably a good indication of what WLU gets when they come calling to a D1 and quite possibly, high quality DII's.

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    Default Re: West Liberty Hilltopper Basketball

    That's a WVU thing you guys having going on ... there are plenty in close driving distance who would have no issue taking the game -- Pitt, Ohio State, etc. I'm sure Marshall even would.

    Clarion is playing Kentucky.
    Slippery Rock is playing Tennessee.
    IUP is playing Syracuse and Villanova.
    UPJ is playing Pitt.

    If you guys wanted to play one I don't think you'd have any trouble ... time to give up on Morgantown. Duke took on a D2 last year (Viginia Union? ... that would be a fun opponent WL vs. Duke in Cameron Indoor). That WVU game seems like it's never going to happen.

    I know Crutch doesn't like to leave WV but he could easily find a game aside from WVU.


    These games don't prove anything. It is just a neat experience for the D2 guys to play 'the big boys' and play in some historic venues, etc. Nobody expects them to win. The only time IUP has really got blasted was up at Michigan State two years ago (I believe same season as national title game). They lost by almost 40 or 50 in that game. But they've played Pitt well and Maryland tough a couple years ago. It's neat to watch.

    I would love to watch the WL offense vs the Syracuse zone ... stuff like that. It would be cool to see.

    Now, IUP playing the defending National Champion and also another Final Four team from last year is a bit extreme but they surely aren't seeing any better teams the rest of the year. I would think most expect them to lose by 30-40 points in each game. But, like I said, they are going to get to play NBA types. That's a pretty neat life experience.
    Last edited by IUPbigINDIANS; 10-18-2016 at 09:01 AM.

  18. #18

    Default Re: West Liberty Hilltopper Basketball

    Quote Originally Posted by IUPbigINDIANS View Post
    That's a WVU thing you guys having going on ... there are plenty in close driving distance who would have no issue taking the game -- Pitt, Ohio State, etc. I'm sure Marshall even would.

    Clarion is playing Kentucky.
    Slippery Rock is playing Tennessee.
    IUP is playing Syracuse and Villanova.
    UPJ is playing Pitt.

    If you guys wanted to play one I don't think you'd have any trouble ... time to give up on Morgantown. Duke took on a D2 last year (Viginia Union? ... that would be a fun opponent WL vs. Duke in Cameron Indoor). That WVU game seems like it's never going to happen.

    I know Crutch doesn't like to leave WV but he could easily find a game aside from WVU.


    These games don't prove anything. It is just a neat experience for the D2 guys to play 'the big boys' and play in some historic venues, etc. Nobody expects them to win. The only time IUP has really got blasted was up at Michigan State two years ago (I believe same season as national title game). They lost by almost 40 or 50 in that game. But they've played Pitt well and Maryland tough a couple years ago. It's neat to watch.

    I would love to watch the WL offense vs the Syracuse zone ... stuff like that. It would be cool to see.

    Now, IUP playing the defending National Champion and also another Final Four team from last year is a bit extreme but they surely aren't seeing any better teams the rest of the year. I would think most expect them to lose by 30-40 points in each game. But, like I said, they are going to get to play NBA types. That's a pretty neat life experience.
    If West Liberty manages to win a National Championship, they should have their chance. Duke typically plays two D2s each year, and one is typically the previous year's D2 National Champion. For example, Augustana plays Duke on November 4th this year (the Blue Devils also play Virginia State on Oct. 28th). For the record, Duke will most likely beat us by 40-50, since they are preseason #1 in just about every media outlet and Augie just lost three of its best players in recent history to graduation. But it should still be a cool experience, even if it ends up being a bloodbath.

  19. #19

    Default Re: West Liberty Hilltopper Basketball

    Honestly, I love the Hilltoppers (and I'm not a WVU fan at all--grew up a Pitt Panther fan, still am) , and WL is terrific, but I'm not sold that WL could beat them...I'm not sure that WVU is scared, I just think Huggins is probably tired of hearing about the Darling D2 team in his state, but I don't think Huggins even wants to acknowledge WL with a game. And admittedly, what does WVU have to gain in the game? Beat them by 30 and it's "yea, you should, you're D1, and you have better size at every position, etc"...or if it's close, then people think that WL could hang...it's almost like he won't justify their existence... I'd be interested in seeing the game, but to say a fringe top 25 D1 team is ducking a D2 is a bit strong, I think

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    Default Re: West Liberty Hilltopper Basketball

    Most D1's don't like to treat this as a game, either. They like to experiment with lineups, etc. Perhaps in WV, there would be the added pressure to win and win big. On any given year, WVU would likely blow WL off the court. Same with most D1's of that level. If they'd treat it as a real game, play their normal rotations, etc., the D2's wouldn't have a chance against D1 Top 25 level teams. The IUP vs. Michigan State game was a prime example. IUP beat WL that year and was just destroyed in East Lansing.

    I suppose on a magical night anything is possible but the talent level is so vast -- particularly the size, speed and depth -- I can't see any D2 teams playing with a ranked D1 team.

    These are designed to be glorified practices for both teams and extra nights to sell some tickets.

    On the other hand, ...

    Huggins plays some low-budget D2 teams yet the game everybody wants to see never happens. I know they would view coming to WL as 'beneath them' but it's only a scrimmage.

    I've heard similar rumblings up this way. IUP has tried to play Duquesne in basketball in this sort of game with no luck -- yet Duquesne will play Mansfield and Cheyney.

    In a real game, regular season, Pitt would destroy IUP or West Liberty. Duquesne, on the other hand, ... it might be a real good game vs IUP or WL.

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