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Thread: West Liberty Hilltopper Basketball

  1. #1001

    Default Re: West Liberty Hilltopper Basketball

    Quote Originally Posted by boatcapt View Post
    Crutch's System seems to be an "either or" type thing...Either you're 100% committed to it or you run something else. Coaches are creatures of habit and the Crutch System is almost the opposite of everything the coaches have learned and played for their entire basketball lives. While I believe there are sufficient numbers of HS players that could be successful in the Crutch System, these players often are not the "Grade A" recruits that coaches salivate over. The skill sets these players have are not things coaches typically look for as the primary attributes in the players they recruit...While things like "unselfishness" or "ability to run" or "willingness to play full court D" or "ability (and willingness) to pass" or "relentness" and "ability to hit 3's under pressure" are talked about by coaches, they don't usually favor those things over more traditional measures.

    But I think the biggest thing that prevents coaches from making the switch to the Crutch System is physical condition. In short, if a coach tried to condition his "traditional recruited" team to play at the level of a Crutch System team, probably half the team would quit by the end of the first week. Probably the only time a coach would be able to make the change would be when the coach was a new hire to a bad team were he could bring in 4+ Crutch System recruits (transfer or HS) OR on a team that was senior heavy the previous year so the coach could bring in 4+ Crutch System recruits. Either way they would need to hope at least three of the returning players buy into the changes and are capable of being successful in it.

    But I do expect that there will be a couple of coaches over the next few years that try to run the Crutch System. If they have success, the number of programs will increase.
    Good Points. Not everyone can embrace the incredible physical demands. I was told that potential recruits were really gung ho about playing on the hilltop... until they see or experience one of the practice sessions. Purportedly, there have been cases where recruits said I appreciate the offer, but I don't think this is a good fit for me.

  2. Default Re: West Liberty Hilltopper Basketball

    Quote Originally Posted by IUP Extra Mile View Post
    In the Where are they now version of former Hilltopper Players

    Beau Justice at Valdosta St averaging 19.9 ppg. Shooting darn near 50% from 3, 28-60. Impressive. 30 mins / game (8 games)

    Clay Guillozet at Valdosta St, averaging 9.5 ppg, shooting very poorly...2-13 from 3, and 16-30 from FT...20 mins / game (8 games)
    Valdosta is 7-1.
    David Dennis at Nova SE, averaging 17 ppg, 7 reb, 7 assists, Team is 6-0 and ranked for first time...

    Three pretty good players who left the hilltop...I was disappointed when Justice left...thought he could have been really good...looks like he is...


    That being said, I like this HIlltopper team...Play with great effort..and attitude...
    I also was disappointed that Justice left. As a true freshman, he was often assigned to guard the opponent's toughest player. He had a very complete game and played intelligently but aggressively. I am curious as to why he left. I wonder if he wanted more minutes earlier in his career? In his frosh year, his girlfriend said he as starting in pre-season practice before he hurt his foot, for what that is worth.In regular season he came off bench but got good minutes. If you want to be the main man, West Lib will be a challenge with their skills and balance.

    It wonder what is wrong with Clay. He was starting quite a few games at West Lib, until Griffin came on strong in Jan.

    This year we do have a main man in Monterosa, who could take over the game if he wanted, but he is holding back and playing within the system until they need him.
    Shepherd had a great player (number 25) who was doing some damage. Monterosa starting taking him, got him to 4 fouls and then really went nuts on him as he had to play off him to stay in the game!

  3. #1003
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    Default Re: West Liberty Hilltopper Basketball

    Justice's brother was a player and now is an assistant coach for Valdosta St. Growing up maybe he followed them and that is why he went there......Just a thought!

  4. #1004
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    Default Re: West Liberty Hilltopper Basketball

    So WLU won tonight v a resurgent Fairmont team...106-100. This was actually a pretty bad 3 point shooting night for the Toppers and they pulled out a pretty easy W...inspite of what the final score says.

  5. Default Re: West Liberty Hilltopper Basketball

    Quote Originally Posted by boatcapt View Post
    So WLU won tonight v a resurgent Fairmont team...106-100. This was actually a pretty bad 3 point shooting night for the Toppers and they pulled out a pretty easy W...inspite of what the final score says.
    A lot of good indicators for Wlu. FSU only had 2 or 3 turnovers, outshot Wlu from 3 and got 37 foul shots. Yet Wlu was in control. I think fatigue hurt FSU as they hit less than 60 per cent of free throws. Also like putting monterosa on jolly. Disrupted his game. He got off shots only when he started doing step back 3s from way behind nba 3 range and hit 5 in a row. Impressive!

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    Default Re: West Liberty Hilltopper Basketball

    WLU steps out of the MEC to face a tough King College team tonight. King currently sits at 6-3 and is riding a 4 game winning streak. Good test for the Toppers as they start the final 2/3'rds of their schedule.

  7. Default Re: West Liberty Hilltopper Basketball

    Quote Originally Posted by boatcapt View Post
    WLU steps out of the MEC to face a tough King College team tonight. King currently sits at 6-3 and is riding a 4 game winning streak. Good test for the Toppers as they start the final 2/3'rds of their schedule.
    The next matchup against D.C. looks pretty dreadful, they're 1-8 and not very competitive

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    Default Re: West Liberty Hilltopper Basketball

    Quote Originally Posted by Layton View Post
    The next matchup against D.C. looks pretty dreadful, they're 1-8 and not very competitive
    Certainly UDC's record isn't good but they seem to play everyone pretty tight and gave Bowie and Slippery Rock good go's of it. They seem to play a bruising PSAC type game. They just can't shoot...either from the field, 3 point line or foul line!!!

  9. Default Re: West Liberty Hilltopper Basketball

    Well that was too close for comfort, WL shot 12% from 3 in the first half. Not sure what they shot in the second

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    Default Re: West Liberty Hilltopper Basketball

    Woooo...WLU wins 91-87 over a VERY GOOD King squad to go to 10-0 on the season. We found a way to gut out a W when all our shooters were ICE cold from 3! As a team we shot 19% (6-31) from the arc!! Luckily two of those 3's came from Watson in the final 3 minutes to keep a hard playing King at bay.

    As they say, a wins a win but dam!

  11. Default Re: West Liberty Hilltopper Basketball

    Quote Originally Posted by boatcapt View Post
    Woooo...WLU wins 91-87 over a VERY GOOD King squad to go to 10-0 on the season. We found a way to gut out a W when all our shooters were ICE cold from 3! As a team we shot 19% (6-31) from the arc!! Luckily two of those 3's came from Watson in the final 3 minutes to keep a hard playing King at bay.

    As they say, a wins a win but dam!
    I was there and I am getting more and more impressed by WLU. The sheer will and effort to win regardless of the situation is very impressive, as WLU forced 19 turnovers while committing only 5.
    A few years ago a cold shooting night from 3 usually meant a loss.

    King out shot them overall (47% to 45%), from 3 (42% to 19%) and just lost the FT % (59% to 68% for WLU). King also tried to use most of the shot clock.
    .
    At 17:55 in 2nd half, King started to show signs of cracking, even though they led by 11. They started committing turnovers, and missing or rushing shots they normally made in the 1st half, big men started taking 3s (bricks). At 16:26 King still led by 9.

    However WLU kept up the defensive intensity, continuing to send wave after wave of guys playing "mad dog mean" (to quote the outlaw Josey Wales).
    King started losing their legs and were holding or trailing WLU cutters on offense.

    At half time, WLU had changed their offensive approach from a perimeter game to a spread with sharp passing from the side to a slasher flashing down the lane from the other side for layups. Monterosa started taking EVERYONE (big man, small man, did not matter to him) to the rack for layups or fouls. King just did not have the legs to keep up with them. Meininger received two long bullet passes from the side as he slashed down the lane for layups on TWO successive possessions. Same Play both times. King's tank was empty.
    With 11:56 left, King was down by 5. The "blackout" had occurred.

    Had WLU been hitting their normal 45% of their 31 3 pt attempts, this would have been a massacre, as WLU had wide open looks (it was NOT the King defense that affected the 3s). Even in warmups for 2nd half (I was hoping a change of goals would help), WLU was very cold as a team from 3.

    King had a good game plan. they rotated the ball well, had mobile big men, played good defense (when they had energy) and generally avoided turnover clusters until they hit the wall at around 17 minutes to go in the game. Only 10 of their 19 turnovers were in the second half, but they came in clusters and were accompanied by bad offensive looks. and missed shots due to fatigue.

  12. #1012
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    Default Re: West Liberty Hilltopper Basketball

    Good recap Columbus. Seems like WLU has a few "tools in their tool belt" that they probably won't need very often, but when they do, they are very comfortable using them. WLU is not going to be THIS cold from 3 very often but it was good to see that 1. Coach H recognized it quickly, 2. He made the appropriate changes and 3. The team was more than capable of executing.

    WLU makes it easy for people to think of them as this one dimensional team...they "just" bury their opponents under mountains of 3's. Makes it easy for some to dismiss them as soft. But every now and then when the 3's aren't falling we get to see just how much grit, determination and unwillingness to lose this team has.

    Don't think we are looking at a NC (I think our lack of size will catch up with us eventually), but it is going to take a very good team that plays a flaw free game on a night when the 3's aren't falling for us to beat us.
    Last edited by boatcapt; 12-14-2017 at 09:32 AM.

  13. #1013
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    Default Re: West Liberty Hilltopper Basketball

    Agree with you Boat...WL does not beat themselves....They don't turn it over much at all...and they usually have some good combination of 3 point shooting and forcing turnovers, that make it tough to beat...WHen they had to last night, they dug deep, and went hard to the hole...some really nice drives in there...

    Boat, you ready to concede that Jordan Watson is an "ok", point guard? Much of our preseason talk centered around who would be fit to lead the team as PG...and they both can...Watson made some big buckets, but also has emerged as their go-to running the point, even though dyer still starts...

  14. #1014
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    Default Re: West Liberty Hilltopper Basketball

    Quote Originally Posted by IUP Extra Mile View Post
    Agree with you Boat...WL does not beat themselves....They don't turn it over much at all...and they usually have some good combination of 3 point shooting and forcing turnovers, that make it tough to beat...WHen they had to last night, they dug deep, and went hard to the hole...some really nice drives in there...

    Boat, you ready to concede that Jordan Watson is an "ok", point guard? Much of our preseason talk centered around who would be fit to lead the team as PG...and they both can...Watson made some big buckets, but also has emerged as their go-to running the point, even though dyer still starts...
    Hahahaha!! I'll concede that Dyer hasn't played as well as I thought he might! He seems very reluctant to shoot for some reason. Not expecting him to be the leading three point shooter or finish every time he drives but I do expect him to take 8-10 shots per game. He's taken 32 shots on the season in 10 games...only Saben and Moore have taken fewer and they have both played two fewer games!! He's still the leader in assists!!

  15. Default Re: West Liberty Hilltopper Basketball

    I see Bethany is playing up tonight at St. Francis, would like to see WLU step up and play some small D1 schools.

  16. Default Re: West Liberty Hilltopper Basketball

    It has nothing to do with West Lib "stepping up" to play D1 schools, but every bit of D1's not wanting anything to do with playing the Hilltoppers.

  17. Default Re: West Liberty Hilltopper Basketball

    Quote Originally Posted by JesuitHoops View Post
    It has nothing to do with West Lib "stepping up" to play D1 schools, but every bit of D1's not wanting anything to do with playing the Hilltoppers.
    Guess we’ll see how their schedule prepares them for tournament time

  18. Default Re: West Liberty Hilltopper Basketball

    Quote Originally Posted by CelticCoach View Post
    Guess we’ll see how their schedule prepares them for tournament time
    I don't think a D1 team has played them since Marshall eked out a win in the early days of Crutchfield in the early 2000s. Their historical performance in tournaments would seem to indicate that their current scheduling strategy has served them quite well. What is encouraging to me is their play when they are not hitting their 3s. That could help them when you are playing games on consecutive days in a tournament setting.

  19. Default Re: West Liberty Hilltopper Basketball

    Scouting Report: West Lib 2018 signee Jon Alessandro:
    I went to their game with Springboro tonight at Beavercreek, outside of Dayton.
    They are in a very tough league with Wayne, Centerville (Meininger and Saben's school) and others. The quality of basketball and coaching in the league is high.

    Before tonight, Beavercreek was winless, mainly due to lack of height and shooting skills among some of their players. Beavercreek won 63-54. Jon had 34 points. 13-16 FT, 3-5 3s, 9-16 shots, 7 rebounds and 4 assists.


    Jon is a very polished, intelligent basketball player. Plays with his head up with great vision and passing skills. He played outside at the Guard position at 6 ft 5.5 inches.
    Handles the ball well against pressure and in traffic. Great slasher and 3 point shooter. Very unselfish. He lets the game come to him and often passed up a make-able shot to give a less talented teammate an open shot. Tenacious on the boards. Very high motor but plays under control.

    On defense he plays intelligently. If he forces a player into a difficult off-balance shot, he lets them attempt it rather than create an obvious foul.
    On one occasion, a player on a fast break came dribbling at full speed from the side right at Jon who was defending about 3 ft from the end line at the basket. The player was trying to bait Jon into a foul. Jon stayed completely still as the player out of control went flying by him in the air only to realize that he was so far out of position that he had no way to make a layup. He just wildly thru the ball up in the air behind his head. It was one hilarious attempt.

    The game was close throughout until the 4th quarter. Down by 6, Springboro started doing all the quick foul stuff by the book. One problem. They did not deny Jon the ball, who is a deadly foul shooter. He must have made 10 straight foul shots in the final 2 minutes.

    Bottom Line: Jon is a perfect fit for West Lib. High IQ, high motor, great shooter, ball handler, slasher, passer, rebounder and very unselfish. IMHO, he has a very high upside. Kind of a griffin/smith type player.
    He could possibly receive a lot of accolades by the time he is a senior.

    Quick Update: West Lib signee Sincere Carry.
    He must be tearing it up as Solon Comets is unbeaten and ranked number 3 in the cleveland area.
    They beat a taller Mentor team tonight 80-66, forcing at least 10 steals.

    Here is an excerpt of the account from The News Sports Herald:
    The Comets are state-ranked for a reason. Six-foot guard Sincere Carry, bound for West Liberty (W.Va.) University on a basketball scholarship, scored 21 points, grabbed eight rebounds and dished out 10 assists. He surpassed the 1,000-point total for his career with his 21-point effort.

    Trent Williams led Solon with 25 points, many of them scored on the dishes handed out by Carry.

    “We play fast, we press and get the ball out,” Carry said. “It’s not really run and gun, but we push the tempo. It’s fun playing that way because we don’t have the height advantage.”

  20. #1020
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    Default Re: West Liberty Hilltopper Basketball

    Interesting article on Coach Howlett and WLU basketball:

    http://dystpittsburgh.com/2017/12/22...tball-program/

    Second part is suppose to be posted today.

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