Ashland Men Return Home For Huskies, Wildcats

Ashland Men Return Home For Huskies, Wildcats

LINK – PDF VERSION OF GAME NOTES

Opening Tip

Coming off a 2016-ending home victory, Ashland University's men's basketball team will continue its run of games at Kates Gymnasium in the first week of 2017.

The Eagles (7-5 overall, 2-4 Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference) are in the middle of a five-game homestand, and will return to GLIAC play on Jan. 5 at 7:30 p.m. against Michigan Tech (5-7, 3-2) and Jan. 7 at 3 p.m. vs. Northern Michigan (3-7, 1-4).

The game against the Huskies will be Church Night, and the contest vs. the Wildcats is Upward Basketball Day.

Ashland enters the new year in a three-way tie for third place in the GLIAC South Division, two games behind first-place Findlay and a game behind second-place Walsh. The streaky Eagles will look to begin a new win streak after winning five in a row, followed by a four-game losing skid.

Ashland is 3-2 at home in 2016-17, and since the start of the 2014-15 campaign, the Eagles have won 29 of 37 contests (.784) at "The Kates."

 

Eagles On The Air

- Both games this week will be aired live on WNCO-AM 1340, with Marty Bannister on the call.

- Both games this week will be aired live on WRDL-FM 88.9.

- All GLIAC home regular-season games will be aired on tape delay on SportsTime Ohio.

- Head coach John Ellenwood appears on "The Early Bird's Word" on WRDL every Friday at 7:30 a.m. during the season.

 

Looking Back, Looking Ahead

The Eagles concluded 2016 with two tough GLIAC road losses at Ferris State (82-77) on Dec. 17 and at Grand Valley State (87-75) on Dec. 19, then a home non-conference win over Thiel, 94-56, on Dec. 30.

"I thought our guys did a good job of sharing the basketball vs. Thiel, and kind of pounced on them early," Ellenwood. "That's something we need to take into GLIAC play. I still think we have a lot of work defensively that we need to get better at."

Ashland and Tech have played 26 times prior to 2016-17, and the Huskies have a 16-10 all-time advantage. In 2015-16 at Kates Gymnasium, the Eagles defeated the Huskies, 73-67, on the strength of big games from forward Marsalis Hamilton (21 points), forward Wendell Davis (18 points, 14 rebounds) and guard Adrian Cook (17 points).

In the all-time series against Northern Michigan, Ashland had a 14-9 edge. Last season's meeting resulted in an 81-75 overtime win for the Eagles, as Davis went for 27 points and 13 boards, Hamilton added 17 points, 11 rebounds and five assists and Cook added 12 points.

The Eagles rallied from a 54-45 deficit with 9:25 left in regulation to earn the victory.

"Michigan Tech is an extremely well-disciplined team and well-coached, and they do a great job," said Ellenwood. "They had the (GLIAC) Freshman of the Year last year in Kyle Monroe, and they're probably going to have the Freshman of the Year this year in (guard) Tommy Lucca, who's an outstanding player, and they have a great supporting cast around them.

"Northern Michigan, a well-coached team, and Bill Sall does a great job, always has in this league. He's got a veteran group coming back, and he's got them playing some high basketball. They've kind of had an up-and-down year, but they are capable of beating anybody. They're going to be two great opponents, but we have to worry about Michigan Tech first."

ONE TO WATCH: Freshman center Drew Noble scored a career-high 10 points in Ashland's win over Thiel, hitting 4-of-5 from the field. Serving as the Eagles' backup post in his first collegiate season, Noble is averaging 3.6 points and 2.9 rebounds in 10 minutes per game, while hitting 50.0 percent from the floor and 89.5 percent from the free-throw line.

"Drew's a great player. He's going to be an outstanding player by the time it's all said and done," Ellenwood said, "and I think one of the best players that we've ever had here. His work ethic is unbelievable. He's coachable. He just does a great job of taking what you say as a coach on to the floor. That's a great characteristic to have. He's just going to continue to get better.

"It takes a freshman a semester, or sometimes a year, to figure out college basketball, and he seems to every day blossom just a little bit more."

 

Osborne Lands GLIAC South Weekly Honor

For the first time in 2016-17 and the second time in his Eagle career, Ashland senior guard Boo Osborne is the GLIAC South Division Player of the Week, as announced on Monday (Jan. 2) afternoon.

In the win over Thiel, Osborne turned in a season-high 15 points and a career-high-tying 11 rebounds for his first double-double of the season. He added four assists, and was 5-for-7 from the field, 2-for-2 from 3-point range and 4-for-4 from the free-throw line.

"It's a great honor for him, being a senior and the leader of our team," said Ellenwood. "I'm really proud of him. I thought the other day, he had a chip on his shoulder. He did a good job of saying, 'I'm going to be a little bit more physical and tougher in this game,' and that led to that award.

"He's a competitor, and he doesn't care about that stuff, he just wants to win basketball games. As a coach, I'm proud of him for getting that."

Osborne earned his first GLIAC South honor on Jan. 4, 2016.

In 12 games in 2016-17, Osborne is averaging 9.4 points, 5.4 rebounds, 2.3 assists and 1.3 steals per game, while hitting 71.7 percent from the foul line.

 

Share And Share Alike

Ellenwood has wanted more balance and sharing the basketball on offense in 2016-17, and he has received it:

 

SEASON

ASSISTS PER GAME

2016-17

15.6

2015-16

12.2

2014-15

13.1

2013-14

13.2

2012-13

11.7

2011-12

12.9

2010-11

11.5

2009-10

13.4

 

Still...

"I just think there's a lot of open shots that we don't find," Ellenwood said. "That's something we have to do a better job of. I like watching the (San Antonio) Spurs and Golden State (Warriors), and how they share the ball. Sometimes, they overpass, and that's a problem I think every coach would want to have."

 

Breaking Down The Eagle Defense

In 2015-16, Ashland finished tied for eighth in NCAA Division II in field-goal percentage defense (40.0), tied for seventh in scoring defense (65.4 ppg.) and sixth in 3-point field-goal percentage defense (29.7).

Heading back into conference play, the Eagles are fourth in the GLIAC in scoring defense (69.3) and field-goal percentage defense (41.3), and third in 3-point field-goal percentage defense (31.1).

Through 12 games in the 2016-17 season, the difference in defensive numbers between wins and losses is striking:

 

CATEGORY

WINS

LOSSES

PPG allowed

64.6

75.8

FG% allowed

38.8

44.9

3-point FG% allowed

26.9

39.5

 

Wetzel Gets Starting Nod For First Time

After 62 career collegiate assignments off the bench at both West Liberty and Ashland, senior forward Torin Wetzel received his first start against Thiel, and posted five points, five rebounds and three assists in 25 minutes.

"I think he did really well," Ellenwood said. "Torin's had a great senior year for us so far. He's simply done the job. He's had some big games. He's been very impressive, and he'll continue to get more minutes.

"He always stretches the floor for us. That's something that, it opens up our driving lanes and opens up our accuracy because of how good he shoots the ball."

So far in 2016-17, Wetzel is averaging 6.7 points and 3.3 rebounds per game, while hitting 46.3 percent from the floor, 44.0 percent from 3-point range and 8-of-10 from the free-throw line.

 

Ellenwood Cements Place In AU History

Now in his eighth season, Ellenwood resides among the most successful head coaches in Ashland men's basketball history:

 

NAME

WINS

Roger Lyons

246

Bill Musselman

129

John Ellenwood

116

 

NAME

GAMES COACHED

Roger Lyons

439

John Ellenwood

204

Bill Musselman

159

 

NAME

SEASONS COACHED

Roger Lyons

16

John Ellenwood

7 1/2

George Donges

7 1/2

 

2016-17 Competitiveness Chart

The following is a look at the Eagles' 2016-17 "competitiveness chart" – the measure of how long a team leads, is tied and trails in a game:

 

DATE

OPPONENT

TIME AHEAD

TIME TIED

TIME BEHIND

11/12/16

at Indianapolis

11:36

6:11

22:13

11/13/16

vs. Southern Ind.

26:17

3:44

9:57

11/15/16

at Shawnee State

unavailable

11/19/16

WILBERFORCE

39:09

0:51

0:00

11/22/16

CALIFORNIA (PA.)

34:12

2:49

2:59

12/1/16

at Lake Superior State

14:46

18:06

7:02

12/3/16

at Northwood

16:57

18:11

4:52

12/8/16

SAGINAW VALLEY

0:00

0:41

39:19

12/10/16

WAYNE STATE

14:28

1:50

23:42

12/17/16

at Ferris State

1:27

2:26

36:07

12/19/16

at Grand Valley State

10:09

6:20

23:31

12/30/16

THIEL

39:44

0:16

0:00

 
 

AU

MBKB/DS