Sunday, November 7, 2010

Waynesburg Season Preview

Remember, Waynesburg is our Team B for the year. It's a collective effort; we're all rooting for them.

The first thing that hit me when I looked at their roster was how incredibly small they are. The average height for a Waynesburg player is only 6-1.5; Calvin's 15 guys average 6-4.4. That's a difference of nearly three full inches per player.

The good news is that they return twelve players, including four starters. Experience doesn't necessarily guarantee success with the win-loss record. They're returning lots of guys from a team that was very bad. They managed just two wins, and only one versus a Division III team. Coach Christner has his work cut out for him with this team, but there's no where to go but up (height joke, get it?).

Waynesburg plays in the Presidents' Athletic Conference (officially the 'PAC', but often referred to as the PrAC), which is easily the weakest of the four Great Lakes Region conferences (MIAA, OAC, NCAC). There's no Calvin or Hope or Wooster or Wittenberg or John Carroll caliber team in the league, so the prospects for the future aren't terrible. They should be able to come up with at least a handful of conference victories this season.

The non-conference portion of the Waynesburg schedule also holds some winnable games. Hilbert, Marietta, Oberlin, and Mount Union were all under .500 teams a season ago, and Baldwin-Wallace and La Roche muddled around .500. None of these games are gimmes by any stretch of the imagination, but they should provide the Yellow Jackets with some tough competition that's around their level.

The Yellow Jackets were outscored by nearly 13 points per game last year, and it's easy to see why. As a team they only shot .376 from the floor, .246 from three point range, and .596 from the stripe. And in a stat that would drive coach Vande Streek up the wall, they were -156 in total rebounding margin (over six per game). Lots of room for improvement here.

I'll say six wins. Why? I'm not sure, but I think they'll be better. There's still a long way to go before this team can be considered good (or even average), but I have faith that Christner will get them on the right track. Six wins seems to me like it would be decent improvement.

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