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Messages - lmitzel

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Central Region / Re: WBB: College Conference of Illinois and Wisconsin
« on: January 19, 2017, 10:15:47 am »
Saw NCC edge Carthage 87-82 in a well-played game. Carthage probably wasn't happy committing 24 TOs, but that figure wasn't outlandish.
Good effort and contributions one way or another by all who played for either team.
Two different Lady Reds had a dozen rebounds : Monica Masini who added 20 pts, Rachel Szydlowski who added 4 blocks and 14 pts. Madie Kaelber had 16 pts, 5 assists and 3 stls. Morgan Harris had 9 assists, but appears to have a troublesome knee. I was hoping to see something along the lines of her 38 point season-opening barrage, but saw a gutty effort nevertheless.
This was my first look at Carthage this season. They have quite a promising group of freshmen to go along with their established talent. A bunch of NCC's freshmen are looking good as well.
For the Cardinals, Jamie Cuny had a very productive 17 min : 16 pts, 8 rebs, 2 stls and 6 blocks. Jessica Dahle scored 14 in 13 min. Anita Sterling had 4 steals and 7 rebs.

I'd forgotten about this until I was looking at some stuff yesterday, but I think Harris hurt her knee in the game at NCC last year, so I'm assuming that's what the brace was for.

I talked to Michelle Roof after the game, and she was hoping for more than the aforementioned 24 turnovers, but she seemed pretty happy with the efforts of a lot of the freshmen on this team. If they can start hitting their threes with a little more regularity, they should be good, but it was nice to see the Cardinals win on a night when the outside shots weren't falling. Diamond Calicott, Natali Dimitrova, and even Selena Juarez all had good games in the post, which is nice to see.

I'm impressed with Carthage. Kaelber was terrifying every time she launched from three (and she launched a ton), and Autumn Kalis shot pretty well too. They kept the Lady Reds in the game, though obviously the decent post scoring from Szydlowski and Masini helped a ton too. 22 fast break points for Carthage is a lot, but they took advantage of the few times North Central's 5's cheated up to help the press.

Central Region / Re: WBB: College Conference of Illinois and Wisconsin
« on: January 18, 2017, 08:48:38 pm »
NCC struggling mightily from deep, Carthage thriving and up 45-37 at the break.

Greg, what the hell is wrong with North Park tonight? Only 2 points in the first quarter?

Central Region / Re: WBB: College Conference of Illinois and Wisconsin
« on: January 18, 2017, 02:57:33 pm »
This week's action will complete half of the 16-game conference schedule. By the end of Saturday, everyone will have played each opponent once.
As we noted earlier, some home/road imbalance will exist after 8 games. Augustana and Elmhurst will have only 3 home games in the 2nd round of conf play, while Millikin and Wesleyan have 5 conf home games to look forward to.
This evening's slate : IWU at AUG (inconsequential game, nobody cares), ELM at CRL, CTG at NCC, WHE at NPU. Millikin is idle, but is going on a circuitous 5 hour bus ride.

The one in bold is a critical one for both teams; both the Lady Reds and the Cardinals are sitting at 3-3, a game out of the fourth tournament spot. NCC needs all the help it can get with those three losses coming to the top three teams in the conference (though moral victories don't count for much, the fact that those three losses have only come by a combined 17 points is somewhat reassuring).

Central Region / Re: WBB: College Conference of Illinois and Wisconsin
« on: January 18, 2017, 11:11:39 am »
GoPerry, I know IWU's SOS is good, but I truly have no idea where it actually ranks compared to others.  I just know that Mia always loads up the pre-CCIW portion with good opponents, strong competition.   This year it led to 4 losses.  Hence, my discussion earlier about where the Titans might be on Selection Sunday.

According to D3Hoops, Illinois Wesleyan has the #1 strength of schedule in the country. It's a good sign, but it's not the end-all, be-all; I'd put regional rankings ahead of strength of schedule, and five losses to date is going to make it tough for a Pool C bid. I'm betting the CCIW only gets one team in this year.

Because I was curious, here's the rest of the CCIW:

Wheaton- 10th
Carroll- 42nd
NCC- 44th
Carthage- 81st
Augie- 113th
Millikin- 196th
Elmhurst- 223rd
North Park- 249th

Multi-Regional Topics / Re: D3 Championship Belt
« on: January 15, 2017, 03:58:32 pm »
Our current holder of The BeltTM, St. Olaf, eked out a road win at Augsburg last night, 70-68.

Yay! Celebratory lefse for everyone!

To all honorary Norwegians, please note that lefse, especially celebratory lefse, is best served with butter and sugar. (Yes, sugar. Just trust me on this one.)

Central Region / Re: WBB: College Conference of Illinois and Wisconsin
« on: January 15, 2017, 11:07:21 am »
Sorry, Mark, but after your long paragraph I'm even more convinced that you don't really grasp the System. F'rinstance, you refer to it as being "just helter-skelter, even tiring their players out, even with all the frequent substitutions." Well, basketball tires out anyone who is playing it properly; it's all about the rate at which you get tired out that decides attrition. And the Cardinals are noticeably fresher at the end of ballgames than are their opponents. I've seen enough NCC games, including several games the Cards played against opponents other than North Park, to know that. More importantly, by calling it "helter-skelter" you indicate that you don't really know what's going on when you watch the System at work. It's anything but helter-skelter. Listen to Michelle Roof coach her team during a timeout (on one of those occasions in which she's using a timeout as something other than a mere substitution device; she does most of her correcting when the shift that needs correction is on the bench); she'll re-direct drive angles and talk about positioning planes for the shooters in relation to each other. It's as much about geometry and patterning as is any other offense, and it's about as far from "helter-skelter" as you can get. Ask her or Doug Porter to Skype you a chalk-talk sometime. I'm sure that they'd be up for it. ;)

This. I don't have a full grasp on how exactly the offense of The System works, but I've seen it enough to notice some patterns emerging. There is a science to it, and while I'm not completely familiar with it because I haven't sat through enough of a practice to see them run through it a few times and get the intricacies of it, they're there. That's why one of the high points of last year's postseason banquet was GA and four year player (including 3 in The System) Maryssa Cladis doing a, judging by the laughter it invoked, perfect impression of Doug Porter explaining how the offense worked. If you don't watch it often enough, I can kind of see how you can consider it "helter-skelter", but there is a method to the madness.

And the method works. To kind of expand on Greg's last point: The bad teams are going to get blown out of the water. The teams who are relatively equal to North Central in terms of talent, and even might be a little bit better, are going to struggle and the Cardinals will win a few of those games on the merits of The System and the players making key plays at key moments. Get them against a Wheaton, Calvin, or Hope (thanks, roundball, for bringing up those repressed memories :P ), and those elite teams are going to, by and large, have their way with the Cardinals. Like Greg said, it's not a cure-all. But that combination of System and right personnel can give you something special.

IWU70 brought up that NCC hasn't really broken through against Wesleyan, but that's not entirely true: the Cardinals won four of five against them during one stretch, and just this year the Titans needed overtime to squeak out a five point win in Naperville. Yes, the Titans have turned the tide back again because Mia Smith is an excellent coach and that team is really good year in and year out, but the gap is narrower than you'd think. I'd still take the Titans on a neutral floor, but not by a ton.

Multi-Regional Topics / Re: D3 Championship Belt
« on: January 15, 2017, 10:21:03 am »
How many teams make the MIAC tournament? This could lead to the BeltTM staying in Minnesota even during the D-3 finals!

LOTS of basketball to be played. And it seems, to me, more likely that the best chance of  the BeltTM not making it to the MIAC tournament would be for itTM to be held by a more perfect fallible team (like UST, or Augsburg, or Concordia-Moorhead) rather than a fallible imperfect team like the Ollies.   (I also realize that those three teams are only a game ahead of the Ollies... but I'm looking at wider trends... .500+ teams vs sub-.500 teams)

The Ollies are liable to just cough itTM to a bad team as to a good one...and sooner rather than later... but it's far more likely that a more perfect fallible team would hold on to itTM for longer (before coughing itTM up at the appropriate time).

Let's just keep itTM out of Bethel's hands. They hadn't gotten the message that this isn't the Tommie's year, when they played them last time... but they might have gotten the hint now... and could run the table.

Oles have started playing better basketball this week and pull out road wins against the Tommies to gain possession and then Augsburg to keep possession of The BeltTM. I would say they have been motivated to turn their season around to hold onto The BeltTM but lets not forget that ItTM chooses the path, not the other way around.

As a MIAC fan and a BeltTM fan (who isn't), I would love to see the Macalester Scots take The BeltTM at the end of the season and hold onto it throughout the offseason. I mean doesn't it make sense for the Scots to wear this beautiful BeltTM to hold up their kilts in the summer? When was the last time the team to cut down the nets in Salem didn't so in style, showcasing The BeltTM?

As far back as has been tracked, at least, it hasn't happened. It's the thing we all keep rooting for (and who can blame us?) It'd be like finding a four leaf clover, only with more baubles and gewgaws. And supernatural powers beyond what any of us can fathom.

Central Region / Re: WBB: College Conference of Illinois and Wisconsin
« on: January 15, 2017, 10:14:32 am »
I appreciate all the comments and perspectives on the "system" debate here.  I take many of Greg's points as valid, I just don't think NCC's adoption of the system will get them to the promised land now or any time soon.  Of course, any good coach tries to adopt offensive and defensive strategies aligned with and attuned with the talent and types of players he/she has.  When I was coaching, I surely did that.  You even do it depending on what opponent you are facing and what talent and strengths and weaknesses they have.  I believe most of the good coaches in the CCIW do that.  I personally am a big fan of full court pressure, also half-court trapping defenses, if one has the personnel to implement them effectively . . . and the fitness of your players to go flat out like that for all or most of 40 minutes.  IWU has obviously had this over some years, has not had many really effective bigs over the years, and does not have good, high-percentage three shooters, so using that kind of system on offense would not make sense.  In the past, they've had better trey shooters.  If you look at IWU's stats, it's always amazing that they are a poor team statistically in many ways, though now improving in the later part of the season.  They win by forcing many turnovers with run and jump, having more possessions and getting many points, often easy points, off TOs.  It is not rocket science.  So in a way they have their system.  This year, of course, they have athletic players and good scorers and a PG who can really take care of the ball, even under pressure, and not turn it over very much.  Ehresman is really solid this way, as are some of the other Titans.  But, the system NCC is using is just helter-skelter, even tiring their players out, even with all the frequent substitutions, and their trey shooting is actually not that great.  Of course, if you shoot tons, you'll make more.  I have no formula about how many treys a team should take.  If good at shooting them and the defense gives you good, open looks, then of course you should be shooting many -- look at the IWU men, for example.  An offense greatly based on getting open threes for many good trey shooters.   But overall, you may not come out ahead.  There are cold shooting nights.   Perhaps Greg is right that at some point, when NCC fine tunes their system and finds better personnel to implement it, they may indeed win the CCIW.  I just don't believe they will, as the top 2-3 teams will almost always have good PGs, ball-handlers, folks that can break their type of pressure and also defend their type of "system" -- even if sometimes losing to it.  I'm sure if IWU has some different personnel in future, a really high-scoring post oriented big, perhaps they will go to a different strategy, different offensive sets.  Actually, one of the reasons they are playing well now is that Maddie Merritt has in fact provided better post defense, interior scoring and rebounding than some of the smaller, more perimeter oriented teams that Mia has had in the past. Plus she is putting together the best season % of FTs ever for an IWU player.  Getting fouled and shooting a percentage like that is a huge plus for the Titans right now.   I'm sure NCC will continue to develop and refine their type of play, perhaps finding even more effective players to play in that mode.  I still think, on balance, that most of the top teams in the CCIW will be able to solve it and beat their system.  IMHO.  (Greg, I'm not singing the praises of the IWU system, just stating the facts about how successful they have been over the past 7-8 years).  Even in the Trump era, facts are still facts. 


I missed the very beginning of this debate in the past day or two with a lot of stuff going on, and I would have said some stuff that has already been said. So without trying to step on any toes (mainly Greg's, because he made a point or two that I would have)...

I can understand the skepticism about The System. It requires the right personnel who are experienced in how to run it effectively. What got left out of the discussion yesterday was that this team already had that one year: the 2014-15 season. We had an elite senior point guard in Bobbi Johns that knew how to run the offense, could attack the basket at will, and was a master thief on the press. We also had a key ingredient no NCC System had before or since: an elite post presence in Tess Godhardt. She was the only player to average double figures that season, and she was averaging about 18 a game. If she wasn't hitting her shots, she could still get her points at the free throw line, but she was about a 60 percent shooter that year if memory serves. Combine that with Jamie Cuny anchoring the press with nightly block parties, backed up by Anita Sterling to draw charges. You also had a good blend of "2" and "3" guards who could shoot and force turnovers on defense. Put that together and you had a 22-6 team that made the NCAA Tournament for the first time in 31 years.

This year's team is still a work in progress, given all of the new faces. There are flashes of that post presence with a few players, but no one on Tess Godhardt's level. When healthy, Jamie Cuny is still doing Jamie Cuny things. Losing Mayson Whipple for the year hurt, though whether it would have helped against, say, Augustana this past Wednesday, I don't know. I'd like to think so, but given the early struggles in that game it might not have been enough.

I guess it all kind of depends on what your definition of "The Promised Land" is, 70. If we're talking "national title contention," yeah, they aren't there yet. But like Greg pointed out, NCC women's basketball in the years leading up to The System, was mediocre at best. My first full year working PA for them was the year before they went to The System, and... I'm just going to come out and say it: they were bad. I worked every home conference game and went to the game at Elmhurst. I don't know how many times I used the words "clogged toilet" to describe that offense, and the turnover numbers were atrocious that season.

But in the four full years of going to The System, the team is contending for the CCIW Tournament every year. They've made it three times, albeit with only a single tournament win to show for it. But that 2014-15 year, North Central played Wheaton about as well as they ever have since the long losing streak started back in '09. Wheaton just made a late run in the conference title game to grab the automatic bid. I agree with Greg's notion that at some point, a System team could win the CCIW. I hope North Central pulls it off in the not too distant future. But it will take the right level of talent, and possibly catching fire at the best possible moment, to pull it off.

RogK's criticism of The System is spot on, as well. The disciplined teams led by an excellent point guard who can direct traffic and break the press will have the most success against The System. That's why Wheaton hasn't lost to it, why Wesleyan has been able to play the Cardinals pretty well since going to The System, and was even to a degree why Augie won the other night (20 fast break points for the Vikings). The elite teams are going to be disciplined enough to not make too many mistakes, and they'll take advantage of their opportunities.

Going to The System has forced me to change the way I think about basketball when I watch this North Central team play. 70, you're right when you note that their three point percentage is not very good. That more than gets offset by sheer volume, as you also noted. And yes, there will be cold shooting nights; I've seen plenty of them. That's where the pressure and forcing of turnovers comes into play. By forcing so many, you end up taking more shots than your opponent, and that disparity adds up (which is why it's one of Arsenault's five goals).

I know I'm kind of rambling and jumbling my words together here a little bit, but it was a lot to catch up on. And I don't have a problem with legitimate criticism of The System, because there are arguments that can be made, and have been made here, against it. But personally, I was a fan of it when Michelle Roof told me she was going to it before the 2012-13 season, after four-plus seasons of it I remain a fan, and, as long as the right personnel are in place for it, will continue to be a proponent of it as a legitimate, fun style of basketball.

Central Region / Re: WBB: College Conference of Illinois and Wisconsin
« on: January 12, 2017, 09:32:00 am »
NCC's .310 3FG pct was actually their 3rd best of the season. The two higher rates were .457 vs Millikin and .347 vs Manchester.
I see that NCC shot an awful 29% on 2FGs. That and their crummy defensive rebounding seem to be bigger factors in their loss than a couple too many missed FTs.
lmitzel, did you notice anything wrong with Maya Walls? She played 1 minute.

Of that 31 percent clip from deep though, most of the damage happened late. They were 7-30 from beyond the arc going into the fourth quarter, when they shot 6-12. I thought the percentage was a little misleading, to be honest.

Didn't notice anything wrong with Maya Walls, and thought that she'd played more than the one minute until I looked at the box again. I think the Cardinals wanted to go heavy with Jamie Cuny and Anita Sterling to combat Kallenberger, so maybe that had something to do with it? It doesn't explain why Kelly Wallner seemed to jump ahead of Walls on the depth chart (she played 4 minutes), though Wallner has improved her game this season a little bit. I don't know.

Definitely agree on the rebounding/2FG% things though too. Have to credit Kallenberger for wreaking havoc, but the Cardinals also took some pretty bad shots at times, and I lost count of how many times I was all but yelling about rebounding. That was part of what killed the late rally; Augie got about three or four chances counting fouls and offensive boards the possession after the Cardinals cut the lead to three.

I'm a stickler about the free throws though, and that combined with threes was what Michelle Roof was lamenting postgame. NCC made a mini run in the third quarter to cut Augie's lead to 7, but missed a bunch of free throws in that stretch that could have made it a totally different ball game. Maybe then the 19-2 run doesn't happen, but they also might not have needed the 19-2 run to try and win the game. When you miss 11 freebies and lose by seven...

Multi-Regional Topics / Re: D3 Championship Belt
« on: January 12, 2017, 08:33:15 am »
St. Olaf 64  St. Thomas 56

The Ollie's roared back from 13 down at halftime to stun the Tommies and take home the illustrious BeltTm for the first time.  Its a great day for American descendants of Norway everywhere.  St. Olaf is at Augsburg on Saturday.

Not the happiest Daschound I've ever seen.

2016-17  BeltTm Path
3-19-16  St. Thomas
11-15-16  UW-River Falls
11-19-16  Hope
12-10-16  UW-Stevens Point
12-14-16  St. Thomas
1-11-17  St. Olaf

25 percent of me is pleased. Break out the celebratory lefse!

Central Region / Re: WBB: College Conference of Illinois and Wisconsin
« on: January 12, 2017, 06:57:28 am »
Now that I'm sure I survived the near comeback attempt in North Central's 86-79 loss last night, here are some stats.

Kaycee Kallenberger of Augie had a monster night with 14 points, 18 rebounds, and seven blocks, Corrie Reiley scored 16, and Carly McCameron added 10 points for the Vikings. Shannon Ryan was perfect from the field, but only went 3-6 at the line to finish with 18 points. Siarra O'Neill scored 12 points, and Anita Sterling chipped in 10.

The free throw shooting problem showed up again too last night. NCC hit just 16 of 27 at the line last night, including an abysmal 5-12 in the third quarter. The Cardinals shot 13-42 from beyond the arc, but that 31 percent clip doesn't do justice to how the shots weren't falling until that crazy 19-2 run.

Central Region / Re: WBB: College Conference of Illinois and Wisconsin
« on: January 11, 2017, 10:12:09 pm »
No word on the condition of Liz Rehberger's knee. This is a cause of huge concern, obviously. Although the Vikings managed to keep the game close with her either sitting on the bench or at less than 100% on Saturday at NCC, I just don't see how North Park can compete without her tonight in Bloomington -- or on Saturday against Elmhurst or at any other future games, for that matter.

That would explain the 93-54 final there. I announced it at the end of the NCC-Augie game, and Mark Beinborn came over to make sure he heard me right.

Speaking of NCC-Augie, the Cardinals made a bunch of mistakes and fell behind early with their shots not falling, then exploded on a 19-2 run to turn a 20 point game into a one possession tilt. Sadly the Cardinals ran out of gas and lost 86-79. I'll post individual numbers in the morning when I recover from nearly killing myself during that aforementioned 19-2 run.

Central Region / Re: MBB: College Conference of Illinois and Wisconsin
« on: January 11, 2017, 09:45:32 am »
NCC men at Carroll tonight, first faceoff since the last time the Pioneers were a CCIW team as far as I can tell.

Also, I posted this in the women's board as well, but the Naperville Sun had a nice article about Jamie Cuny and Mayson Whipple. There's also a Connor Raridon update:

Central Region / Re: WBB: College Conference of Illinois and Wisconsin
« on: January 11, 2017, 09:42:55 am »
Nice article in the Naperville Sun about Jamie Cuny, as well as Mayson Whipple, who is officially out for the year. ACL tears are a [female dog].

Big one in Naperville tonight as Augie comes to visit. Not out of the realm of possibility for that combined score record set in a 2014 Illinois Wesleyan-North Central tilt get toppled tonight given these offenses.

Central Region / Re: MBB: College Conference of Illinois and Wisconsin
« on: January 10, 2017, 01:53:12 pm »
Sadly no amount of mighty belief will save you from the #6 team in D-III.

Why on earth would a Cards fan tout a blowout win over a team that doesn't even qualify for tomato-can status? I know that Mark and I have hashed this out on CCIW Chat before, but I don't think that bringing the likes of College of Faith, World Harvest, Valor Christian, and Illinois Tech (in the first season that the IIT program had been revived and was a D3 first-year provie) into North Central's tip-off tourney over the past decade is something to look back upon with pride.

Three years ago North Park was forced by a last-minute cancellation to bring Dayspring Bible into the crackerbox. The Vikings won by 54 points, none of the starters played more than 19 minutes, and all fifteen NPU players who suited up saw the floor -- and nobody said a word about the game for the rest of the year. It was played simply to ensure that the Vikings got in their allotted 25 regular-season games of basketball, as well as to give some of the guys at the end of the bench and the JV players the chance to get some statistical love. Tom Slyder would've given anything to have had a genuine D3 opponent to fill that late schedule hole. (Look at the lengths to which he's gone this season in a similar situation, first by getting Manchester to agree to a second game after the UW-LaCrosse cancellation, then by rescheduling it after the power went out on the Man U campus and forced a postponement back in mid-December.) And yet NCC's brought multiple versions of Dayspring Bible into the airplane hangar over the past ten Novembers.

Maybe it's just me, but I think that there's some wins that you just don't brag about.

Here's the thing: it wasn't an NCC win. NCC didn't play them in that tournament; they were the sacrificial lamb to Hope. I felt bad for them, but it was just one of those games that I look back on in awe and wonder as something I won't see again. Which, like you said, is probably for the best. I'm sorry it came across as bragging; it certainly wasn't my intent, especially since I had no rooting interest.

That's the worst example of bringing in an also-ran to fill out a tournament as far back as I can remember in my NCC tenure, though bringing in Trinity International and teams of that ilk fit that mold as well. Considering we only had three teams in last year's tournament, maybe it's for the best we didn't host one this year. Alas.

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