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Messages - lmitzel

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UW Stevens Point 55 rebounds, North Central 25 rebounds. You don't need to see a final score.

Iíll throw one more stat in there: NCC was 3-27 from deep.

Last night sucked. Lauren Hernandez and I threw up bricks shot around for 15 minutes after the game in an effort to repress those memories. Or at least that was my rationale.

Central Region / Re: MBB: College Conference of Illinois and Wisconsin
« on: December 10, 2017, 08:23:11 am »
Brutal officiating on both sides again tonight as in Rock Island on Wed.

After the game I talked to a college coach, not employed by either NCC OR IWU. His analysis is that between the games he has seen so far this year across the CCIW, the NACC, and the IIAC, we might just as well do away with the refs, and go to call-your-own-fouls play. About as much chance of getting the same number of calls right as with the refs, and much more cost efficient!  ;)

Mostly tongue-in-cheek, but with a tinge of seriousness mixed in as well.  :o

Iíd agree that there were definitely some missed calls both ways. The one that bugs me the most was Sorensonís fourth foul that was clearly on Henry. The officials put the right guy at the line, but somehow confused a 6í2Ē guard with a 6í8Ē forward. We even asked them to make sure. They insisted, even after a conference between the three.

Makes me wonder a bit that if they get that right, maybe Sorenson comes over to help on that final play. Or maybe that layup doesnít matter because NCC is able to get a little bit of a cushion. Alas, whatís happened has happened.

Central Region / Re: MBB: College Conference of Illinois and Wisconsin
« on: December 09, 2017, 10:12:01 pm »
This one hurt, even though North Central didnít really deserve to win after the way they played in that first half, but they did a great job coming back. Iím haunted by a couple blown layups during the comeback thatcpuld have changed things, or a little help defense of Bonnettís layup.

Iím also going to be seeing Jason Gregoire (edited after seeing the replay) in my nightmares after his assassination attempt great hustle play for a loose ball that saw him have to jump over the table right in between me and Clark Teuscher. Everyone is okay, and I can now cross that sort of hustle play off my bucket list. Reluctantly.

As good as Sorensen is, I thought O'Neil and Burdine defensively did a pretty decent job on him. 

 ??? Sorenson ate those guys up. He had a 15 and 14 double-double, and he shot 6-8 from the field. He also dished out four assists to only two turnovers.

The duo that pulled IWU's chestnuts out of the fire were Beasley and Bonnett.

I went ďOh crapĒ after every Beasley three attempt, given what he did at Wheaton the other night. We were even talking at the table that NCC needed to keep going back to Sorenson.

Central Region / Re: WBB: College Conference of Illinois and Wisconsin
« on: December 09, 2017, 10:05:49 pm »
The Shill Report:

Well, that was thorough.  IWU over NCC 94 - 47.  It was close in the first Q, but the Titans brought down the hammer in the second, racing out to a 27-9 quarter.  It was never in doubt after that.

Merritt 16 and 5
Schneider having one of her best games, 16 and 5
McGraw 13, running the floor
Hughes 10 and 5
Shanks 7 and 5
Ehresman 4 3 steals, 2 assists 1 TO

Titans shooting 55%, with 56 points in the paint.  Titans winning the rebound count 54-30

For NCC:  No one in double figures, 20 TOs

Brennen 7
Desenberg 7
Whipple was the leading scoring starter with 3 points

The most interesting thing to me was watching the various pine-sitters, freshmen, having a full quarter of play given the blow-out.  The IWU freshmen continue to impress -- Hughes and Sosa, but WOW, look out for Sam Munroe, such foot speed, movement with the ball.  She's also going to be a good one, when her time comes.  A future Titan team -- Hughes, Brovelli, Sosa, Munroe and Shanks.

Titans go to 7-2, 3-0.

Here ends the Shill report.


Well, you donít have to be a green Shill to know that that game was a massacre. After a few years of this rivalry really being close, it was back to the early part of the decade. Wesleyan was clearly the better team, and all I can do is tip my cap.

The conference-only standings are exactly as everyone expected and will stay like this for the rest of 2017 :
3-0 IWU
2-0 NPU
2-1 ELM
1-1 AUG, CRL
0-3 MIL

I, for one, am okay with this as long as it means Wheaton gets dethroned and NCC can maybe finally steal a win in the all time series.  :P

Central Region / Re: MBB: College Conference of Illinois and Wisconsin
« on: December 09, 2017, 07:51:33 am »
I am generally supportive of the concept of having students take on the broadcasting duties.  Knowing how busy they are with studies etc, if they are enthusiastic and willing to volunteer the time ( I assume they arenít paid) to do this, then why not? More power to them.  But  I do wonder at times if thereís any regular degree of training, feedback, critique by the SID office or whomever?  I agree that they do an ok job.  But I also think that some of the excessive expressions of exuberance are a little over the top, borderline outlandish, and tough to keep listening to as the game goes on. 

By the way, is it common to pronounce IWU ďAi-WooĒ as it was a few times on the broadcast?  Iíd never heard it.

I canít speak for the Wheaton folks for obvious reasons, but I know with the WONC folks at North Central, when school is in session thereís no pay, though I think during D-Term they do because at that point youíre not working for course credit (or zero credit other than towards a grade). And you donít just get to go call a game right away; you have to run the board at least once or twice first, and Iím your first game theyíre going to pair you with a veteran.

I can also say that yeah, the SID will at least be paying some attention. For the most part youíre only under the ear of senior station staff, but the SID will take exception if you start criticizing the coaching staff too far (this happened when I was a sophomore with a couple guys who called the football playoff game where NCC got bounced by whoever it was, and the guys who called the game had to write apology letters or something. I donít even know what they said that upset the SID, just that something did.)

I donít get a chance to listen to WONC calls because I canít during home games for obvious reasons, but one thing I know they do now that I donít care for is the lack of halftime show. Back in my day weíd have the board op at least run through stats and a scoreboard update or something. Now they just play music for 15 minutes. On one hand, I kind of get it, because the guys on the call need a breather and itís hard for one person to do a 15 minute solo act, but still.

Central Region / Re: WBB: College Conference of Illinois and Wisconsin
« on: December 07, 2017, 03:37:05 pm »
I was really surprised by that final score from the airplane hangar.  I tracked the live stats as I periodically gave out-of-town scores during my call of MU @ NPU last night, and it seemed like the Lady Reds had things well in hand until I checked late and suddenly saw that NCC was winning in overtime. Since Carthage looked like one of the preseason favorites and North Central was winless, this is a pretty considerable upset.

I'm not going to lie: I didn't have a ton of confidence going into last night. But as the game progressed, I never felt like the Cardinals were out of it. Carthage shot well early to have control, but they never really pulled away despite Rog's mention of Szydlowski and Kalis playing well. Szydlowski was 10-19 from the floor, but she missed a fair number of looks down low and probably should have had more points.

Either way, yeah, I would definitely consider it an upset. The fact that some of the young players really stepped up was a great sign.

Central Region / Re: WBB: College Conference of Illinois and Wisconsin
« on: December 07, 2017, 09:26:52 am »
NCC needed overtime last night, but knocked off Carthage 81-77 for their first win of the season. Maya Walls went off for 25 and 10 on 10-14 shooting, Lyndsay Brennan put up 13, and Mayson Whipple had 13 points, eight assists, and no turnovers.

The Cardinals had about a seven minute scoring drought in the 2nd and 3rd quarters and weíre down 9 after three, but played really well at the end. They had a nice little celebration at mid court after the final buzzer, one that was much deserved.

Also, fun note: this class of Carthage seniors went 0-4 at Merner, which has to be a first in the history of this rivalry.

Central Region / Re: WBB: College Conference of Illinois and Wisconsin
« on: December 04, 2017, 10:56:42 am »
Knee brace or not, Mayson Whipple appears to be a force once again with the ball in her hands. Unfortunately for her, she doesn't appear to have a lot of help on this Cardinals team, although I do think that frosh guards Haydn Braun and Rebekah Foley are going to develop into nice players down the road. I'm a little puzzled as to why Michaela Reedy, the only other senior on the Cardinals, isn't playing more. She's a three-year rotation player who has a great stroke from the outside, but she only played seven minutes last night, and I noticed that she's only averaging nine mpg.

Mayson's definitely been looking more like herself lately, and Haydn's been pretty good on the year so far too; she's probably Mayson's heir apparent.

Wish I had an answer re: Michaela Reedy. I don't think she's been terrible this year, though she has a tendency to pick up some cheap fouls, and maybe that plays a role. Andrea Dickerson has slotted in in her spot some this year and she's been really good in the few games I've seen so far. Maybe a combination of the two factors? Could be something else I'm not totally aware of either. I don't know.

Central Region / Re: WBB: College Conference of Illinois and Wisconsin
« on: November 30, 2017, 08:56:32 am »
NCC dropped its fourth in a row 75-61 to Benedictine at home. It was a fairly competitive game for stretches, but the Eagles pulled away in the fourth. The effort was definitely there and they played all right, but the Eagles hit more clutch shots, rebounded better, and weren't abysmal from the free throw line (NCC was 2-7 last night, falling to 50 percent even for the year).

I still think they'll get there, but they're still trying to figure things out.

Central Region / Re: WBB: College Conference of Illinois and Wisconsin
« on: November 29, 2017, 12:58:44 pm »
Getting the rare late November recruit news, but Guerin Catholic (Indiana) guard Sydney Geis has committed to North Central.

Doing a little bit of research and watching a five minute highlight video, seems like she's got a pretty good inside-outside game, averaging just under 12 points a game so far this year according to MaxPreps.

On the court, NCC is back in action after a week off against Benedictine tonight.

NCC (a team which I suspect will improve once the Cards adjust to the wrenching change of de-Systematizing themselves)

That's what I'm hoping. Through three games, they've been able to stay in it and have lost those games by an average of six points, though a lot of that is falling way out of it and shooting themselves back into it late, and if they could shoot better than 52.4 percent from the free throw line they'd have at least one win. But they definitely look like they're adjusting a little bit, and hopefully they'll be good to go tonight.

Central Region / Re: MBB: College Conference of Illinois and Wisconsin
« on: November 26, 2017, 08:22:47 am »
System teams generally have 5 goals:

* Take 100 shots
* Shoot 50+ 3-pointers
* Rebound 1/3 of offensive misses
* Force 32 turnovers
* Take 30 more shots than the opponent

To me, the key to breaking The System is taking care of the ball and limiting turnovers to, say, 22 or fewer.  Tomorrow, IWU's most important players will be the ball-handlers - Nick Coleman, Brady Rose, and Grant Wolfe. And I suspect PG Derrick Streety will get called on as well.  If those guys limit turnovers, then it's just a matter of a couple passes before a wide-open layup.

It's a given that some of the 3/4/5 guys will turn it over.  System teams do a good job of forcing the ball into guys who aren't used to having to handle it under pressure.  That's why the role of the PG is so important - great ball-handling minimizes those awkward situations for non-ball-handlers.

In System games, the majority of points are scored by the 3/4/5 guys.  IWU has a bunch of big, mobile, athletic players at those spots, so it will be fun watching those guys run the floor and get easy baskets.

The other advantage IWU has is depth.  System teams wear out teams with 8-man rotations.  The Titans are playing 11 in the varsity rotation right now.  Tomorrow they can easily add PG Streety and F Doug Wallen - in different ways, both fit this type of game nicely.  It's a big advantage to have fresh guys on the floor against The System.

Q, it seems we've moved to System Generation II the way everyone is playing it these days.  Even Grinnell isn't running it the way they used to (perhaps because Vinny Curta can score 50 every night on layups and FTs), but Rhodes focuses mostly on possession disparity - they pretty much just want to get offensive rebounds and turnover the guards.  The defense isn't as sold out as the old GC; they'll get back if you get the ball to halfcourt - still some easy layups, but not as easy.  Their offense is where it's quite different; they're going to take more time to get an open three than just firing the first one that won't get blocked.

I've found it fascinating to see how different schools are running it differently.  Oddly, UNE, up in Maine, seems to have adopted the traditional System or something very close to it.  They're taking threes for 80% of their FG attempts this year.

Having spent 5 years watching the North Central women do it, that seems to be the main goal. Given the tempo and the all out defensive onslaught in the backcourt, teams are going to turn it over. It's a given. But both Q and Ryan hit it on the head: take care of the ball and you'll be in good shape. Q also hit on probably the most important part: depth. A quick look at a Rhodes box score told me what I suspected would be the case: wholesale line changes every 45 seconds to a minute.

So that means the other key for the Titans will be to try and slow the pace a little bit, and I'm not talking necessarily in the on-court sense. You want to try and get rest in every dead ball situation possible. One of the best at this in my experience has been Titan women's coach Mia Smith. During many of the NCC wholesale line changes, she tried to slow things down by sending in two or three subs during every line change, but did it one player at a time forcing the officials to bring them in individually. It buys you an extra maybe 30 seconds to catch your breath, but I think it's a good anti-System strategy. The fact that the Titans can go 11 deep will help too.

Should be fun to watch...unfortunately for $8.

The lesson, as always: eff paywalls.

Central Region / Re: MBB: College Conference of Illinois and Wisconsin
« on: November 22, 2017, 07:32:59 am »
Surprised I'm the first one to this. I somehow still have a voice this morning after freshman Mike Pollack hit a three with 1.1 ticks left to beat Benedictine 82-79. Both teams blew double digit leads (BenU led by 15 late in the first half, but the Cardinals cut it to 2 at the half; NCC led 74-60 with a few minutes left, but let the Eagles come back to tie it at 79).

But really, any time you can win with Alex Sorenson giving you basically nothing (2 points, 2 rebounds in 13 minutes due to foul trouble) you'll take it. Pollack finished with a team high 25, including said three that was one of those "No, no, no, no, YES!" type of contested threes.

Central Region / Re: WBB: College Conference of Illinois and Wisconsin
« on: November 22, 2017, 07:27:56 am »
#25 IWU lost for the first time, 60-62 AT #20 UWW.  Previous game was a demolition AT #22 Chicago, by 21.  It won't get any easier: Saturday they are AT #10 WashU.  Did the Titans forget to schedule any home games? :o

Well, NCC only had one non-conference home game last year, so I know that feel.

Central Region / Re: WBB: College Conference of Illinois and Wisconsin
« on: November 21, 2017, 09:11:14 pm »
NCC drops itís third straight, 60-56 to Colorado College. I donít remember the final total for sure, but I think the Cardinals went 6-18 from the free throw line. Enough said.

Central Region / Re: WBB: College Conference of Illinois and Wisconsin
« on: November 20, 2017, 06:53:36 am »
A few comments on the first game Friday at Wheaton : I thought North Central players often looked uncertain about what to do in their loss to Louisiana College. Louisiana also had an overall skill advantage. NC has veered away from the System; I was (almost) alarmed when they declined to shoot some open 3s early in some possessions, although they did end up with 33 3FG att. They were generally patient on offense, but must be learning numerous new halfcourt plays. Defensively, they occasionally pressed, but were a little stand-offish doing it.
NC is clearly trying something new, while retaining aspects of what they've done in recent years. This transition probably requires several/many games before showing impressive results. I'm disappointed that the CCIW no longer has a System team; their games always brought out the best athleticism of both teams, sometimes very fun and entertaining, although sometimes sloppy. I'll have to again rely on NAIA Olivet Nazarene for a "System fix" and will do so Tuesday at Roosevelt Univ.
It was very good to see NC's Mayson Whipple return to action, following her major leg injury of a year ago. It may take a few more games, but hopefully she'll regain her status as one of the league's most energetic talented players.

Friday was the second time I'd seen Mayson in full game action since her knee injury, plus part of their charity exhibition a couple weeks ago and a little bit in practice, and given the circumstances she's looked pretty good.

It is a little weird not seeing NCC go full System like they've done; I've been a fan since we started it, though I also understood its weaknesses and limitations. One thing that changing the style up has done is allowed for your best players to play more minutes. The past five years, I think the top players have gotten between 16 and 19 minutes a game. Now the best players are playing mid-20s through two games, and the rotations have gotten a tad shorter. I think they still want the tempo pushed a little bit, but it's taking some getting used to.

Also, if they can play a full 40 minute game and not have a lapse in a quarter (2nd against Louisiana on Friday, 3rd against Lake Forest on Saturday which I didn't get to see), that would be great. They're still the type of team that they can shoot their way out of a deficit, but through two games it's been too little, too late.

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