Eagle Men To Play At Storm, Home Against Ohio Mid-Western

Eagle Men To Play At Storm, Home Against Ohio Mid-Western

PDF VERSION OF GAME NOTES

Opening Tip

Following a 4-1 homestand, Ashland University's men's basketball team will hit the road for a Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference contest this week before returning to Kates Gymnasium for the final regular-season non-conference game of the campaign.

The Eagles (10-6, 5-5) will play on Jan. 19 at 7:30 p.m. at Lake Erie (3-15, 2-8) in a GLIAC South Division matchup, then come home for a game against Ohio Mid-Western on Jan. 21 at 1 p.m.

Ashland's recent hot streak has moved it into a tie for third place in the South, just 1 1/2 games behind first-place Findlay and a half-game behind second-place Walsh. In the overall GLIAC standings, the Eagles are in a logjam in the middle of the league, but just 2 1/2 games behind frontrunner Ferris State.

Away from home in 2016-17, Ashland is 4-3. Since the start of the 2014-15 campaign, the Eagles are 22-13 (.629) in road/neutral-site games.

Where home non-conference regular-season games are concerned, Ashland has won its last 28 such contests.

 

Eagles On The Air

- The Lake Erie game will be aired live on WNCO-AM 1340, with Marty Bannister on the call.

- The Ohio Mid-Western game 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 Wednesday at 8:15 a.m. during the season.

 

Looking Back, Looking Ahead

Ashland completed its successful homestand with GLIAC South wins last week against Ohio Dominican (62-59) and Hillsdale (86-76). The Eagles outscored the Panthers 41-23 in the second half to rally from a 19-point deficit, and they stemmed the tide of a potential second-half comeback by the Chargers.

"I thought, last week, we got better, starting with the second half against Ohio Dominican," Ellenwood said. "I thought the Hillsdale game, we were going to find out if the second half was a fluke or not. It was good to see a complete game out of our guys vs. Hillsdale, and I thought that was our best game of the year. Hillsdale was a very hot team, and our guys did a great job handling their comeback against us in the second half.

"It was a heck of a ball game."

The Eagles are 21-3 (.875) all-time against Lake Erie. In last year's matchups, Ashland won 87-79 in overtime on the road, and 83-65 at home. In the OT win, guards Boo Osborne and Adrian Cook took over - Osborne tied his career high with 27 points while going 15-for-17 from the free-throw line and adding eight rebounds and three steals, and Cook established a new college best with 25 points while collecting seven boards and three assists.

In the extra five minutes, Osborne (eight) and Cook (four) combined for 12 of the Eagles' 15 points.

Since the Storm joined the GLIAC for the 2010-11 campaign, Ashland has a 9-3 series advantage.

Ashland and Ohio Mid-Western have played one other time, a 99-68 decision in favor of the Eagles at Kates Gymnasium. In that game, three of the four Ashland players in double figures in points came off the bench, the Eagles boasted a 52-22 rebounding margin and AU dished out 24 assists on 42 made field goals.

"One game at a time," said Ellenwood. "The league is just absolutely log jammed right now. First place is not out of reach. There's a big picture there that it's a heck of a race right now. To win that race, you have to concentrate on Lake Erie. Lake Erie is a good team at home. They beat Michigan Tech at home. It's always been a tough game up there. It's going to be a tough game this year. We have to be ready to play.

"We just wanted to keep a Thursday-Saturday routine. You get Sunday off, and then you get the start of the week to prepare for the next week. Not having a game on Saturday kind of left a weird situation for us. I think our guys would rather play on Saturday than practice on Saturday."

 

Spreading The Wealth Offensively

Without injured senior forward Wendell Davis for the season, the Eagles have emphasized balanced offense and more passing. In the first 16 games of 2016-17, eight of Ashland's regulars are averaging at least 6.1 points per game, with three going for double figures per contest.

The latest Eagle to step up was junior forward Marsalis Hamilton, who tied his career high with 21 points, including 17 in the second half, in the win over the Chargers. Hamilton was 7-of-10 from the field and 7-of-8 from the free-throw line, and added nine rebounds and five assists to just one turnover in 31 minutes.

"It was awesome," Ellenwood said. "He wasn't just scoring. The thing that we need out of his position is not scoring so much as facilitating. Marsalis...he led us in three different categories in that game, and that's a huge game for him going into the late-January, early-February stretch.

"That gives our team a lot of confidence, as well as Marsalis."

Off the bench, sophomore forward Phil Frentsos has been providing more offensive punch of late, recording four of his five double-digit scoring games in 2016-17 in the last six contests, and averaging 9.7 points per game in that stretch.

"Phil's been very consistent, and we need him to continue that consistency of improvement," said Ellenwood. "He's starting to figure out, this is what the coaches want out of me, and he's starting to understand his role a lot better.

"Where he was a good bench player, he's starting to become a force. If he continues on this pace of improvement, he could be a scary player by the end of the year."

The following is a list of double-digit scoring games for Ashland players so far this season:

 

NAME

10+-POINT GAMES

Adrian Cook

11

Boo Osborne

10

Ben Haraway

8

Teddy Metzen

6

Phil Frentsos

5

Nick Bapst

4

Marsalis Hamilton

4

Drew Noble

2

Torin Wetzel

2

 

Ashland is averaging 15.2 assists per game, 3.0 per game more than a season ago, and good for sixth in the GLIAC.

 

The Charity Stripe Has Been Much Kinder

The Eagles have been a better free-throw shooting team in the last eight games, in contract to the first eight:

 

TIME PERIOD

FTM

FTA

FT%

First 8 games

94

135

69.6

Last 8 games

125

158

79.1

 

Included in that hot stretch has been a 14-for-14 effort at home against Northern Michigan on Jan. 7, and a 22-for-24 showing vs. Hillsdale.

Freshman center Drew Noble leads the team at 92.0 percent, with Cook right behind at 89.7.

 

The Difference In Defense

Ashland's defense has stepped up of late, and has been solid for most of the season, as the following breakdown suggests:

 

CATEGORY

10 WINS

6 LOSSES

Points per game allowed

63.5

76.5

Field-goal percentage allowed

40.1 (234-583)

45.4 (164-361)

3-point field-goal percentage allowed

28.8 (61-212)

40.4 (42-104)

 

"Our defense has been solid this year," Ellenwood said. "It's obviously not as good as it was last year because of (graduated senior center) Mike Hundley. We're two percentage points worse in defense. We're also two percentage points better in offense, so there's a trade-off."

 

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

119

 

NAME

GAMES COACHED

Roger Lyons

439

John Ellenwood

208

Bill Musselman

159

 

NAME

SEASONS COACHED

Roger Lyons

16

John Ellenwood

7½+

George Donges

 

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

1/5/17

MICHIGAN TECH

29:04

0:44

10:12

1/7/17

NORTHERN MICH.

31:06

7:40

1:14

1/12/17

OHIO DOMINICAN

2:42

1:57

35:21

1/14/17

HILLSDALE

28:17

3:58

7:45



AU

MBKB/DS