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Thread: CIAA, MEC, PSAC - Preview

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    Default CIAA, MEC, PSAC - Preview

    I am trying to get an early read on the region and the top teams for each conference. My assumptions are the top 4 teams in each league that I've listed below. Any additional thoughts?

    CIAA:
    Virginia State (defending champs and regional #1)
    Virginia Union
    Johnson C. Smith
    Shaw

    MEC:
    West Liberty (by default, I assume they will dip but until someone proves them otherwise)
    Fairmont State
    Shepherd
    Concord
    Honorable Mention: (Wheeling is a mess and Charleston/Transfer U is a roller coaster and loses 10 players every year it seems)

    PSAC:
    E. Stroudsburg (so many good teams, but this is my thoughts on the top 4; I can be persuaded though)
    Gannon
    Shippensburg
    IUP
    Honorable Mention: West Chester

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    Default Re: CIAA, MEC, PSAC - Preview

    You are putting a ton of stock in last year. A lot has changed.

    Gannon was gutted. Ship lost 3 stars. ESU also lost a ton to graduation and Kobe went to Le Moyne. The West top two will be SRU and IUP -- with IUP being a heavy favorite. In the East I'd put WCU on top and Kutztown second. Life after Sleva may be a little bumpy for Ship. Between him and McCarthur and the PG .... That's a ton of scoring and leadership gone.

    In the CIAA never count out Bowie State. They don't stay down for long.

    In the MEC, FSU and WL will be the favorites. Concord has a superstar. Notre Dame gets its big star back this year and could make some noise.

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    Default Re: CIAA, MEC, PSAC - Preview

    "By default" people have been predicting/hoping for a dip from WLU for at least the last five years...hasn't happened yet. If it was going to happen, this past year would have been when it did...New young HC who had never been a HC before...transfer of the starting All-American PG...transfer of a productive 6th man...graduation of three year "do everything" starter...loss of your only other experienced and now starting PG right before the season to leukemia. But WLU responded by going 25-2 and claiming the MEC Title.

    This years "normal" attritions of 3 seniors and one transfer is easy by comparison.

    My assessment of the MEC this coming season...Fist fight at the top between WLU and FSU. 3 and 4 will probably come down to Concord, WV State and Shepherd. NDC will be the dark horse and could crash the party for 3 or 4. Never know what you're going to get with UC...some years their transfers are diamonds...some years they are coal. Much will depend on how they start.

    For the MEC to get four teams in the NCAA Championship, it will come down to the 3 and 4 effectively running the conference and their OOC games and doing well/winning the MEC Tourney.
    Last edited by boatcapt; 08-07-2018 at 08:17 AM.

  4. #4

    Default Re: CIAA, MEC, PSAC - Preview

    I am putting a lot of stock into last year and into programs that have success in the PSAC. I do think that WLU will take a dip, how quickly I'm not sure, but I do not think they will sustain their level of success under Crutchfield. I understand the new coach had a good season, I just don't see them dominating like they have.

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    Default Re: CIAA, MEC, PSAC - Preview

    Quote Originally Posted by PSAC76 View Post
    I am putting a lot of stock into last year and into programs that have success in the PSAC. I do think that WLU will take a dip, how quickly I'm not sure, but I do not think they will sustain their level of success under Crutchfield. I understand the new coach had a good season, I just don't see them dominating like they have.
    Hahahaha...That seems to have been the prevailing wish/belief/hope of the PSAC faithful for at least the last five plus years!!!

    Last year was probably the best chance of having those wishes and dreams come true...replacing a legendary HC with a rookie, complete retooling of the lineup that saw WLU have to replace six players including four of their top five scorers, their four top assist getters, three of their top four rebounders, three of their top four three point shooters, four of their top five steal getters, etc. Somehow that rookie HC was able to cobble together a roster that went 25-2 on their way to winning the MEC regular season title and an NCAA Tourney slot.

    You never know what a season will hold but what WLU faced last year and was able to excel in the face of gives me a lot of hope for this coming season. To paraphrase what I've said more than a few times on this board, the predictions of the decline of WLU basketball success have been grossly exaggerated!
    Last edited by boatcapt; 08-07-2018 at 12:49 PM.

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    Default Re: CIAA, MEC, PSAC - Preview

    You can argue they have taken a dip -- along with IUP.

    Last two years ... one tournament win combined and both suffered blowout losses (Ship blasted WL and two years ago Fairmont smoked IUP), no conference tournament titles, etc.

    Both have had strong regular seasons but have done nothing in March aside from IUP winning a Round 1 game two years ago. WL could have triple-teamed Sleva and it probably wouldn't have mattered. When he takes a game over like that ... lights out.

    Now, their overall records certainly don't show a dip but programs at their level are measured in March success. Regular season wins are nice but expected.


    The PSAC was so strong last year as a whole. East Stroudsburg won the Region but it easily could have been Shippensburg or West Chester. I'd love to see the league sustain it but this has the feel of a rebuild type year for a lot of teams. Who knows. There are always some surprises.

    A big wild card right now is at JUCO U up at Slippery Rock. With three starters returning, headlined by Micah Till, they could be very dangerous if Reynolds landed a big haul. I don't see his style being built for March success (as history shows) but they can certainly wreck havoc up until then.


    I'm glad you joined up to the site. The Atlantic is a great basketball region. Unlike the football side, we get along pretty well -- for the most part.

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    Default Re: CIAA, MEC, PSAC - Preview

    Just announced ...

    Fairmont State is opening the season in the Small College Classic against defending champion Ferris State. The following day it will play Missouri Western State.

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    Default Re: CIAA, MEC, PSAC - Preview

    Big difference between "decline" and "WLU decline." You are correct, WLU is measured by how far they go in the NCAA tourney. By that measure, the last two years have been disappointing. But let's look at what it took to nock WLU out of the 2017 tourney (Crutch's last season at the helm). WLU was coming off a MEC Tourney were they beat their arch rivals WJU in the MEC semi's then the next night beat Fairmont in the MEC Finals to claim the MEC Tourney crown. How did the NCAA reward the Toppers for beating two nationally ranked teams on consecutive nights to win the conference crown? They not only awarded the Regional Tourney to Fairmont, they exhibited some ranking gymnastics to have arch rival WJU play WLU for the FOURTH time that season in the FIRST round! These are two teams that during the regular season played not one but TWO multi-OT games in route to splitting the regular season series 1-1. Even if you can make a tortured argument that Fairmont "deserved" to host the Regional Tourney over WLU, it's almost impossible to come up with a cogent argument that had the Toppers and the Cardinals playing for the fourth time in the first round of the Regionals! I mean, THIS is the type of matchup you want to have in the Regional finals or at least the Semis, not the first round. That is, unless you are trying to dispatch the Toppers and give someone else a chance!!!!

    Given the MANY obsticles and chances to truly decline (not just a "WLU decline") last year...I'll take a 25 win regular season, MEC title and first round departure from the NCAA tourney. That's a pretty good foundation to build on!!!

    PSAC had a really good NCAA Tourney last year (2-0 head to head v the MEC and the Regional Title)...Just as the MEC did the year before that (2017) (MEC won head to head 2-0 and claimed the Regional Crown). 2016 was an even affair between our two conferences with Mercyhurst taking WJU down in the first round and WLU taking Kutztown down to claim the Regional Title.
    Last edited by boatcapt; 08-07-2018 at 01:23 PM.

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    Default Re: CIAA, MEC, PSAC - Preview

    Quote Originally Posted by boatcapt View Post
    Hahahaha...That seems to have been the prevailing wish/belief/hope of the PSAC faithful for at least the last five plus years!!!

    LOL ... easy there. We aren't the ones wearing SHUT THE HILL UP shirts.

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    Default Re: CIAA, MEC, PSAC - Preview

    Quote Originally Posted by IUPbigINDIANS View Post
    LOL ... easy there. We aren't the ones wearing SHUT THE HILL UP shirts.
    Hahahaha!! Quite a few MEC fans also wish/hope/pray every year for a normal decline at WLU!! Just never seems to happen...

    To get back to the parity between the PSAC and MEC in the Regional Tourney:

    2014 MEC claimed the bragging rights Atlantic Title 2-1 against the PSAC. Regional Champ WLU
    2015 PSAC claimed the bragging rights Atlantic Title 2-1 against the MEC. Regional Champ IUP
    2016 Head to head tied 1-1. Regional Champ WLU
    2017 MEC claimed the bragging rights Atlantic Title 2-0 over the PSAC. Regional Champ Fairmont
    2018 PSAC claimed the bragging rights Atlantic Title 2-0 over the MEC. Regional Champ ESU

    12 games over five years and we are deadlocked at 6-6. Four DIFFERENT teams have won the Regional Championship over that five year period (two from each conference)! Yea..I think that is pretty much the definition of parity between the conferences!!!!

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    Default Re: CIAA, MEC, PSAC - Preview

    Fun year looming ... some really good PSAC vs MEC non-conference games ...

    To name a few:

    West Chester vs WL
    IUP vs Fairmont
    Slippery Rock vs Fairmont
    Gannon vs Wheeling Jesuit
    IUP vs Concord
    Gannon vs Notre Dame

  12. Default Re: CIAA, MEC, PSAC - Preview

    Quote Originally Posted by boatcapt View Post
    "By default" people have been predicting/hoping for a dip from WLU for at least the last five years...hasn't happened yet. If it was going to happen, this past year would have been when it did...New young HC who had never been a HC before...transfer of the starting All-American PG...transfer of a productive 6th man...graduation of three year "do everything" starter...loss of your only other experienced and now starting PG right before the season to leukemia....
    I agree with all your points. With no one over 6-5 their record was amazing given their player turnover.

    I am excited about new players coming in who buy into the wl style and are very athletic. They will have a 6-6 and a 6-7 player coming in.
    Bolon has been playing in canton pro am league with Seger which will help him guard bigger stronger guys. YouTube Wayne Holmes basketball for videos.
    If the existing players improve as much as they did last year, we could be very good.

  13. #13

    Default Re: CIAA, MEC, PSAC - Preview

    Quote Originally Posted by boatcapt View Post
    Hahahaha...That seems to have been the prevailing wish/belief/hope of the PSAC faithful for at least the last five plus years!!!

    Last year was probably the best chance of having those wishes and dreams come true...replacing a legendary HC with a rookie, complete retooling of the lineup that saw WLU have to replace six players including four of their top five scorers, their four top assist getters, three of their top four rebounders, three of their top four three point shooters, four of their top five steal getters, etc. Somehow that rookie HC was able to cobble together a roster that went 25-2 on their way to winning the MEC regular season title and an NCAA Tourney slot.

    You never know what a season will hold but what WLU faced last year and was able to excel in the face of gives me a lot of hope for this coming season. To paraphrase what I've said more than a few times on this board, the predictions of the decline of WLU basketball success have been grossly exaggerated!
    I wasn't attacking you and your program. But no one can expect to win 25 games a year. My point, is that Crutchfield is a Hall of Famer and that you had a good first season without him. I'm not knocking your coach or your program, I just expect that you won't have the same success as you did under a Hall of Fame coach. If you really want to get upset about those comments, then you are welcome to. But being 25-1 and getting BLOWN OUT in the tournament is a sign that the MEC was really weak, not that you guys are the cream of the crop. I think the MEC will continue to get weaker and I could care less if you win the conference for the next 5 years in a row, I was just stating my opinion. I don't wish or hope that you decline, I just think that you will.

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    Default Re: CIAA, MEC, PSAC - Preview

    I guess it's safe to add you to the list of WLU doubters. Over the years that list has been pretty long so you are in good company. Like them, you'll probably learn what it means to predict the demise of WLU.

    Pretty bold predicting the decline of a conference that has won 3 of the last 5 Regional Championships!

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    Default Re: CIAA, MEC, PSAC - Preview

    I am not a WLU doubter, I have a lot of respect for your program. I just don't think that it's rocket science, you lost a hall of fame head coach, Wheeling is in shambles, Fairmont has a new head coach as well, you are losing Shepherd, and Charleston is a roller coaster. Those are the traditional powers. I just think it's common sense that the conference won't be as good without some of the head coaches that made it so good.

  16. Default Re: CIAA, MEC, PSAC - Preview

    Quote Originally Posted by PSAC76 View Post
    I wasn't attacking you and your program. But no one can expect to win 25 games a year. My point, is that Crutchfield is a Hall of Famer and that you had a good first season without him. I'm not knocking your coach or your program, I just expect that you won't have the same success as you did under a Hall of Fame coach. If you really want to get upset about those comments, then you are welcome to. But being 25-1 and getting BLOWN OUT in the tournament is a sign that the MEC was really weak, not that you guys are the cream of the crop. I think the MEC will continue to get weaker and I could care less if you win the conference for the next 5 years in a row, I was just stating my opinion. I don't wish or hope that you decline, I just think that you will.
    Your points are not unreasonable. A few counter arguments:
    1. Howlett was with crutch over 10 years and was doing most of recruiting over last 5 years.
    2. Before data analytics there was crutch. If u compare golden states stats with wl and adjust for 40 minute game wl is better in about 70% of the categories. It is the players executing the style that wins. Since 2010 wl has won 90% of their games, more than Kentucky or Kansas who have longer seasons. Wl led nation last year in scoring, assists and assist to turnover ratio which is conducive to winning
    3. Recruiting is improving despite losing insincere carry to Duquesne. Players love the style but not all can play it. Wl is starting to be very selective.

    4. No system prevents blowouts unless u take the air out of the ball. Ship was a bad matchup, the perfect storm. Wl was not hitting 3s. Not saying they would have won but it contributed to blowout.

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    Default CIAA, MEC, PSAC - Preview

    Quote Originally Posted by Columbuseer View Post
    Your points are not unreasonable. A few counter arguments:
    1. Howlett was with crutch over 10 years and was doing most of recruiting over last 5 years.
    2. Before data analytics there was crutch. If u compare golden states stats with wl and adjust for 40 minute game wl is better in about 70% of the categories. It is the players executing the style that wins. Since 2010 wl has won 90% of their games, more than Kentucky or Kansas who have longer seasons. Wl led nation last year in scoring, assists and assist to turnover ratio which is conducive to winning
    3. Recruiting is improving despite losing insincere carry to Duquesne. Players love the style but not all can play it. Wl is starting to be very selective.

    4. No system prevents blowouts unless u take the air out of the ball. Ship was a bad matchup, the perfect storm. Wl was not hitting 3s. Not saying they would have won but it contributed to blowout.

    You just compared West Liberty to Golden State. I keep my mouth shut most of the time about how long, serious, and statistically driven some of your posts are, but bro, that **** is HILARIOUS! LOL

    Few people here care about next level analytics. This isn’t an NBA front office.

    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
    Last edited by IUP24; 08-08-2018 at 09:42 AM.

  18. Default Re: CIAA, MEC, PSAC - Preview

    Quote Originally Posted by IUP24 View Post
    You just compared West Liberty to Golden State. I keep my mouth shut most of the time about how long, serious, and statistically driven some of your posts are, but bro, that **** is HILARIOUS! LOL

    Few people here care about next level analytics. This isn’t an NBA front office.

    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
    I can see how my comparison could be misinterpreted as implying that wl could play with golden state which is of course I agree is totally ludicrous.
    I was just comparing their unselfish style of play from a data analytics perspective. imho that is the real key to their dominance and which more nba teams are starting to adopt such as 76ers and New Orleans. Gs is the only team I watch as I can’t stand watching the knucklehead play ( not naming names) of nba.

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    Default Re: CIAA, MEC, PSAC - Preview

    Quote Originally Posted by PSAC76 View Post
    I am not a WLU doubter, I have a lot of respect for your program. I just don't think that it's rocket science, you lost a hall of fame head coach, Wheeling is in shambles, Fairmont has a new head coach as well, you are losing Shepherd, and Charleston is a roller coaster. Those are the traditional powers. I just think it's common sense that the conference won't be as good without some of the head coaches that made it so good.
    Shepherd...Traditional power...In BASKETBALL????? Uhhhh...OK. They've had one 20 win season (2013) which was their first since 1992.

    You may call Charleston up and down...I call them pretty consistently middle of the pack. Last time I'd say they were good was in 2013 when they went 21-9. After that season, they've drifted in the slightly above 500 range. But they do have a HC that has been there for six years so I guess they must be good.

    Fairmont's HC was new last year and was somehow able to guide the Falcons to 21-7 record. Clearly Fairmont's record last year was a one season fluke just like WLU's and both teams are bound to fall starting this year. NO WAY they could possibly be as good as the guys they replaced!!
    Last edited by boatcapt; 08-08-2018 at 02:16 PM.

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    Default Re: CIAA, MEC, PSAC - Preview

    Quote Originally Posted by IUP24 View Post
    You just compared West Liberty to Golden State. I keep my mouth shut most of the time about how long, serious, and statistically driven some of your posts are, but bro, that **** is HILARIOUS! LOL

    Few people here care about next level analytics. This isn’t an NBA front office.

    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
    Just because few people here care, it doesn't mean they aren't valid.
    Last edited by boatcapt; 08-08-2018 at 02:07 PM.

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