Wednesday, November 02, 2011

Futile Superfans Rise Up

One might think that fans of a program boasting a pair of recent conference title game appearances would be less thrilled by middle-of-the-pack preseason expectations. One obviously hasn't learned enough William and Mary history.  Follow along as we spit knowledge in advance of W&M's scrimmage tonight against Norfolk State.

Though most prognosticators have the Wrens finishing between 5th and 7th in the balanced CAA (Michael Litos, FoG:TB and Teej-proclaimed Don CAAleone, has the Green and Gold finishing 6th as do the CAA coaches.), it's the team's upside that has the futile superfans wrestling with the unfamiliar feeling of expectation.  Swingman and first-team preseason All-CAA standout Quinn McDowell (15.5 ppg in 2010-11) leads a very deep backcourt, one that's arguably the most talented in W&M history.  Sophomore Brandon Britt (10.9 ppg, 2.2 apg) looks to back up his CAA All-Rookie opening campaign, while classmate Julian Boatner (6.8 ppg, 40% three-point accuracy) added muscle in the offseason as he seeks to add versatility to go with his outside shooting acumen.  Senior Kendrix Brown (3.3 ppg, 3.1 rpg) will see a lot of action as a third guard, and the Wrens will rely on his glue-guy skills and scrappiness.  Junior guard Matt Rum (5.0 ppg, 3.0 rpg, 2.1 apg) adds depth and the ability to drain open threes.


We'll break for a breath and some light stretching before moving on.  With all the depth among returners, Team G:TB is most excited by freshman shooting guard Marcus Thornton's arrival in Williamsburg.  Perhaps the most lauded W&M recruit ever (really, have you ever heard of a W&M recruit described as lauded?), Thornton was the Gatorade Maryland Player of the Year and the POY in the very competitive Washington Catholic Athletic Conference (WCAC).  The 6'4" (and 170 pounds - kid needs to talk to Igor about ways to gain weight eating W&M cafeteria food) Thornton averaged 23.8 ppg, 4.8 rpg and 1.7 steals per game while shooting 44% from beyond the arc in his senior season.  Litos calls him the CAA's Newcomer of the Year.  All that, and he's a prolific and silly user of Twitter (@MarcusWM3).  If he can play defense at the college level, Tribe fans are in for a treat.  And Tony Shaver will have the really pleasant problem of trying to find minutes for a bunch of talented guards.

Shaver's less pleasant problem will be finding size and strength inside to make it hard for opposing defenses to extend to pressure the Tribe's perimeter players.  Even with Marcus Kitts' physical presence last season, W&M was one of the worst rebounding teams in the country.  Kitts and his 6'9", 240-pound frame have graduated, leaving a question mark.  It's our fervent hope that 6'9, 230-lb sophomore and Muppet lookalike Tim "Beasthoven" Rusthoven's (5.5 ppg, 2.8 rpg, numerous floor burns per game) added strength will elevate his high-energy game and require opponents to account for him on both ends.  Rusthoven shot nearly 60% from the field over the final 20 games of 2010-11, showing glimpses of what might be.  Early returns on 6'8 freshman Tom Schalk are good, but he may be too raw to contribute in the early going.  6'8" junior Kyle Gaillard (5.8 ppg, 3.3 rpg) has been more of a wing in his career, but the Tribe's most athletic player will find himself playing more 4 in 2010-11.  Soph Fred Heldring's 6'9, 240-pound frame will come in handy off the bench. 


Last, and most certainly not least, W&M's odd center-guard Dr. Frankenstein creation JohnMark Ludwick returns for his final season in the 'burg.  The 6'8, 230-pounder ranks 4th in W&M history in three-point percentage, and may rank first in NCAA history in three-point shots as a percentage of all shots taken.  92 of his 102 shots in 2010-11 were longballs. Ludwick gives Shaver a unique offensive weapon - the variety of sets W&M can run with its talented guards and a perimeter-based big will give teams fits, especially those who haven't seen much of the Wrens (you hearing me, St. John's?).  The big questions, as they often are for Shaver's Tribe squads, will be defense and rebounding.

In any case, this team will be fun to watch, mixing more athleticism that we're accustomed to seeing in William and Mary Hall (at least since our Pi Lam A-side Hockey squad won that intramural championship thriller against PiKA) with Shaver's innovative offense.  And if you weren't paying attention, this is a very, very young team that'll be hell to reckon with in another year or two.  Truly, this is a golden age.  Or at least a shiny one.

Television programmers seem to agree, slating the Tribe for 9 games for national or regional coverage, including the season-opener on Monday, November 7 at St. John's.  That one's on ESPNU, as is the Tribe's January 19 tilt at VCU.

Finally, in semi-related news, seems W&M has heeded my plea and decided to put some clothes on the damn Griffin.  And you can help: go download the iPhone and Android app today and waste your employers precious time and money.


24 comments:

T.J. said...

Well done, tiny.

Squeaky said...

This was a hold over from the last post.

http://www.houndstoothradio.com/

Guy in LA just streaming music he likes. Decent mix of indie stuff.

ebirt og!

T.J. said...

Bookmark this one, fellas:

http://factsandchicks.com/

Marls said...

Why is the injun on the clock wearing a singlet?

TR said...

Lowell the Hammer Stanely was featured on Grantland's YouTube Hall of Fame:

http://www.grantland.com/blog/hollywood-prospectus/post/_/id/34372/youtube-hall-of-fame-tom-hanks-on-late-night-pandas-on-a-slide-and-helen-hunt-on-crank

Danimal said...

bookmarked teej.

KQ said...

Not that you ever thought of it as health food, but in case you were looking for more reasons to enjoy the McRib:

According to TIME, the "restructured meat product" (including pig bits like tripe, heart, and "scalded stomach") has about 70 ingredients, including a chemical called "azodicarbonamide," which is commonly used to make plastic products like gym mats and shoe soles. If that isn't enough, the McRib has around 540 calories, 10 grams of saturated fat, and nearly 1,000 mg of sodium per serving.

Which reminds me, thanks again for supporting our colon cancer awareness fundraiser. Team Marls, you're funny. Looking forward to seeing the full GTB line up on our list of donors. You guys are McAwesome.

TR said...

While we're introducing new web sites, allow me to share a new favorite, the Occupy Occupy Wall Street site:

http://www.oows.org/

Dave said...

odd coincidence with igor's post today, but i sincerely believe that tomorrow's sentence is the best i've ever written. get excited.

T.J. said...

Holy shit...Marcus has over 53,000 tweets.

Igor said...

Teej, thanks for the link. Arousing.

zman said...

86 dunk contest on NBA channel. Webb nique etc

T.J. said...

D-League draft is tomorrow. We got a preview post?

T.J. said...

The first pick of last year’s D-League draft was former Nevada star Nick Fazekas, who played 26 games in 2007-08 with the Mavericks and Clippers. Fazekas was waived less than two months after he was drafted.

TR said...

Never thought I'd type this, but this Temple-Ohio game is a legitimate barnburner.

Somewhere Big Ben is smiling. Either from watching the game or raping.

Danimal said...

TR - Ben's team plays this evening. He's a Miami of Ohio guy, home of and alma mater of Mrs. Danimal. Go Miami of Ohio Redhawks! Just rolls off the tongue. Also setting of several scenes from Ides of March. Now you know.
Toodles!

Danimal said...

so he'll likely be smiling or raping this evening. probably both.

TR said...

Spaced on Ohio U / Miami of Ohio. I blame Dan Uggla.

Squeaky said...

This is taking the Tauntaun sleeping bag thing way too far.

http://goo.gl/wUUrf

NSFW photo or two besides all the gory ones.

Danimal said...

Wow. South Park needs to do an episode on that.

Squeaky said...

Search "do a barrel roll" in google ... dare you.

Not much of a dare.

Danimal said...

have been commanded twice to do that search today. which link am i looking for - nothing looks out of the norm.

Danimal said...

okay - i see what is supposed to happen but not happening for me. ripoff.

Igor said...

Danimal, do a search on "do Amber Lynn barrel roll" on Google Images.