Friday, November 13, 2015

This Season in Wrenball: Dread Locked Out

Tonight in Raleigh, North Carolina, at venerable Reynolds Coliseum, the William & Mary Tribe put Bill Simmons' Ewing Theory to the test.

Man, I miss that dude
The theory, as postulated by Simmons, suggests that a team that never fully achieved its potential with a star player is likely to reach new heights once that player is no longer available. Marcus Thornton, nothing less than the greatest player in school history, has graduated and now puts up his points for the Sydney Kings of Australia's National Basketball League (16.1 of them per game through his first nine professional starts). If you buy the Ewing Theory's predictive power, you've got reason to be optimistic that this is the year.

I'm not that optimistic.

(Let's be really honest here. In order to apply the Ewing Theory to the 2015-16 Tribe, you have to make one very large concession: you have to believe that the Tribe teams of Thornton's junior and senior seasons should have won the CAA Tournament. That's a stretch, though the last 70 seconds of the 2014 tournament final may have an argument.)

That's not to say there aren't things to like about Tony Shaver's 12th W&M team. The CAA coaches picked the Tribe to finish 4th in what promises to be a very competitive league. Senior All-CAA first-teamer and defending conference Defensive Player of the Year Terry Tarpey returns to stuff stat sheets. Omar Prewitt is now an upperclassman, and there's hope that he may grow out of his youthful inconsistency. (Consecutive games of 33 and 4 points in the semis and finals of the 2015 CAA Tournament say hello. That's twice in one post that all or part of sporting contests have assumed human form and spoken to us. Maybe an omen, that.) Jerry Beach's good pal Daniel Dixon shot 45.1% from deep as a sophomore, and averaged 11.1 points as the third or fourth option.

The Tribe is decidedly long on wingspan and flexibility, with no fewer than seven contributors listed between 6'4 and 6'7 (Oliver Tot, Michael Schlotmann, Connor Burchfield, and Greg Malinowski (46.8% 3FG) join Tarpey, Prewitt, and Dixon). Aside from Malinowski, though, the others are unproven at the collegiate level.

In the frontcourt, senior Sean Sheldon carries a heavy load, as the only real pivot. Sheldon averaged 6.2 points and 4.3 boards as a junior, shooting 64.6% from the field. 6'9" sophomore Jack Whitman will need to make a big leap, or freshman Hunter Seacat (Hunter Seacat!) will need to mature quickly if the Tribe will have any depth at all in the post.

It's more likely that Tribe fans will see lots of five-guard sets and a ton of motion and spacing this year, as word out of Williamsburg suggests that sophomore point guard David Cohn has been lighting it up in practice. The 6'2" Cohn sat out last season after transferring from Colorado State, but the W&M faithful tabbed him early on as a key addition.

Rawr
In a very competitive CAA, where preseason favorite Hofstra looks loaded, defending champion Northeastern returns significant production, and everyone but Charleston has hope, it's really hard to predict W&M's fate. This is Terry Tarpey's team, and the do-everything wing won't sneak up on anyone this year. Tarpey led the CAA in rebounding and steals last season, finished second in blocks per game, and averaged 11.8 ppg despite rarely being the focal point of the offense.

It says here that W&M will be competitive in nearly every conference game, but will finish fifth in the league with a .500 mark overall. In addition to the season opener against the Wolfpack, W&M's noncon schedule includes #5 Virginia, Old Dominion, and Dayton, tough matchups all. The Tribe is experienced, deep, flexible, and well-coached. But they'll need a few bounces to go their way to earn a first-round league tournament bye, and a glimmer of a hope of a third consecutive CAA Final appearance.

Marcus Thornton ain't walking through that door.

But he ain't no Patrick Ewing, either.

53 comments:

TR said...

Eating maitake mushrooms with my meal last night - great idea

Megaglass of port after my meal last night - turrible idea

TR said...

Oliver Tot
Michael Schlotmann
Connor Burchfield
Greg Malinowski
Sean Sheldon
Jack Whitman
Hunter Seacat
David Cohn

Is this a basketball team or a list of first-year associates at an NYC law firm?

rob said...

hunter seacat!

something to watch (and something i should've written about) is how the new officiating focus on calling fouls for contact on the perimeter will affect the tribe. my hypothesis is that this will be a good thing in terms of enabling shaver's offense to flourish because of the freedom of movement that will result. i could be wrong.

T.J. said...

#toosoon

rob said...

too soon in terms of talking about marcus?

zman said...

Jack Whitman is Dick's twin brother.

Clarence said...

Jack Whitman prefers to go by Ron Draper.

Squeaky said...

Ebirt Og!

Dave, The Cult have a new album coming out and the new song isn't terrible. It's passable. Might be time to get that tattoo restored.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pSDnqJB3Wc8&feature=youtu.be

Dave said...

i'm too old to listen to passable . . .

my son ian just received his "penny long-board" from amazon. i plan on spending tonight in the emergency room . . .

Squeaky said...

Still working, took a break to look at twitter. Paris situation is crazy.

TR said...

CRAZY. Went from "ten injured" to "60+ fatalities" in a hurry.

TR said...

Holy crap. It was an Eagles of Death Metal concert that got attacked. How random.

Mark said...

The coordination of these attacks is deeply concerning. Both in its present consequences and future implications.

Mark said...

So the Tribe beat the fucking shit out of NC State tonight? Good thing State gave Mark Gottfried that big contract extension.

Whitney said...

Tribe! Marls thought it was a mistake by ESPN. No lie.

Marls said...

Hi Dave.

Mark said...

Tribe on Fallon tonight. Not the W&M Tribe but A Tribe Called Quest. A little pick me up.

Marls said...

Hey Gheorghies.

T.J. said...

Hola Gheorghe peeps

Clarence said...

Teeeeeej

Hi, Gheorghies!

Marls said...

Teeeeeej, rob, whit and Gheorghies.

Marls said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
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rob said...

good morning, gheorghies. how 'bout that tribe?

TR said...

So yours truly efforts the hell out of himself this morning, waking at 5:25 AM to get a workout in before dadding all day at a kid's travel soccer tourney.

I arrive at the YMCA at 5:55, 10 minutes after the open, to find out that the CPR-certified staff member is AWOL. Me and 5-6 senior citizens are standing outside a dark fitness center room (built w/ a generous donation from Neal O'Donnell), while the fat men playing basketball are allowed to play in the gymnasium next to us.

Ridiculi.

zman said...

I just woke up. Need to get zkids to the same YMCA in 69 minutes. Not sure it will happen.

TR said...

Go for it. You can hang out with all the boys.

zman said...

I think we'll make it. zwoman thought the class starts at 9 and I let her think that until 8:50. I've never seen her move so fast before.

Whitney said...

Marls, BK, Coby, and I cheered the Tribe on to victory this afternoon in Williamsburg. William & Mary sports... that's right.

rob said...

nice work, boys

Whitney said...

I'm not a betting man, but I see Saints either even against Washington or giving a single point. Go marching in. It shouldn't be close. But then again, I don't bet.

rob said...

saints are a hot mess.

richmond just lost to villanova, making your tribe solo first in the caa. beat spidey next week and clinch an auto bid to the fcs playoffs.

rob said...

derrick henry, man

Mark said...

The prime time window of games is pretty great tonight. And Baker Mayfield has been a walk on at two Division 1 schools. Best double walk on ever, right?

rob said...

big weekend for tribe sports continues as the women's soccer team beats ucf in penalties to advance to the second round of the ncaa tournament. they take on the gators next weekend.

Catpell said...

hello cleveland! and gheorghies

Whitney said...

Hi, Catherine. Dave was asleep, I assume.

Mark said...

So the Packers might suck? The Cowboys offense definitely sucks. If you can't light up the shitty Tampa Bay defense you should give up.

And when do the Rams owners realize Jeff Fisher is not actually a good head coach and get him the fuck outta there?

rob said...

i assume clarence is somewhere cashing the winnings from his bet on the saints.

zman said...

Sanchize!

mayhugh said...

That Baltimore-JAX ending was improbable, to say the least.

zman said...

Eagles/Fins features almost as many stupid moves by players as Bills/Jest.

mayhugh said...

Washington really takes their meetings with the Saints personally, clearly because they are miffed at Rob for changing allegiances.

Danimal said...

The Teejus making Twitter hay today. Gettin it done.

The jags finish was unbelievable. Really unbelievable.

Danimal said...

I trust most saw the highlights if not the entire Rousy Holm fight last night? She made Ronda look like an amateur. It was a serious display of ass kicking I've never seen before.

rob said...

because you care, you'll be happy to know that brady to gronk touchdown saves me from being pissed that amendola tripping over his own teammate might've cost me a fantasy win. now i'm getting thrashed as opposed to just narrowly losing.

rob said...

what's teej doing on twitter, danimal? my channel may be broken.

mayhugh said...

I saw the highlights of the Rousy fight, and wondered if she was insistent on fighting on her feet or if Holm kept her at distance that effectively.

Rousy's childish pre-fight antics (which are pretty typical) look even more ill-placed after the result.

Danimal said...

Jim Nantz just quipped, "no way, way" Wayne's World style.

Teej is pumping up the world of Realtors Rob while at an industry boondoggle.

mayhugh said...

Was there any doubt that Gostowski was going to nail that?

Danimal said...

None whatsoever. The dropped INT....that was a bummer. Fuckin Patriots.

T.J. said...

hi gheorghies

and yes, danimal, simply doing my job. #tweetchampion

Dave said...

i told my wife i got in at midnight on saturday night and i believed this. the "hey gheorghies" says otherwise . . .