Sports

Western Illinois tries for history in Year 39 of College Hoops 2K8 sim

Welcome again to our simulated dynasty with the Western Illinois Leathernecks in College Hoops 2K8. You can find a full explanation of this project + spoiler-free links to previous seasons here. Try the introduction to this collection from early April for full context. As a reminder, we simulate each recreation in this collection and solely management the recruiting and training methods. Dynasty mode runs for 40 years.

Earlier than we decide up with the Leathernecks initially of Year 39, right here’s a recap of every thing that occurred final season:

  • Western Illinois entered the season as defining nationwide champions after capturing the ninth title in program history in Year 37. We misplaced 4 starters off that workforce, however returned sufficient expertise to start the yr at No. 23 in the preseason polls. We tore by non-conference and Summit League play with solely two complete losses earlier than punching our computerized bid to the NCAA event.
  • We earned a No. 2 seed to the NCAA event and beat Weber State in the primary spherical, Oklahoma State in the spherical of 32, Illinois in the Candy 16, Louisville in the Elite Eight, Michigan State in the Ultimate 4, and Boston College in the nationwide championship recreation to win title No. 10 and tie John Picket for probably the most championships in faculty basketball history.
  • We recruited for three scholarships and landed three recruits: five-star worldwide capturing guard James Haranga out of Cameroon, three-star heart Dean Warner, and three-star small ahead Jaycee Queen.

Right here’s a primary take a look at the roster for Year 39:

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Our run with the Leathernecks is coming to an in depth. Coach Ricky Charisma began at Western Illinois as a 25-year-old attempting to perform the not possible and win a nationwide championship at one of the smallest and least profitable applications in the nation. Virtually 4 a long time later, the Leathernecks have gained 10 titles, which ties us with John Picket for probably the most by any coach in the history of DI males’s faculty basketball.

We enter this season coming off back-to-back nationwide titles. We’ve by no means pulled a three-peat earlier than.

It gained’t be simple. We misplaced star wing Ketshner Evertsen and start line guard Cam Kately early to the NBA coming off final season’s title run. On the plus facet, we nonetheless have a workforce that’s gifted sufficient to be ranked No. 10 in the preseason polls.

Let’s meet the beginning lineup:

  • PG Christano Ngounou, sophomore, 83 general: Ngounou is getting compelled into the beginning lineup a yr sooner than anticipated as a result of Kately turned professional, however we’re optimistic he has what it takes to steer us on a deep event run. The 6’3 guard has improved to a 75-rated three-point shooter, and he’s a monster defender with A grades in on-ball protection and steals. We don’t want him to be a celebrity in March, we simply want a gentle hand setting the desk. Former five-star worldwide recruit out of Cameroon with B potential.
  • SG Bernie Doyle, redshirt junior, 88 general: Doyle was a key bench scorer throughout our event run final season, and now steps into the highlight as somebody who may find yourself as our main scoring possibility this season. A lanky 6’9 capturing guard, Doyle has terrific three-point capturing skill (87 score), tight ball dealing with, and an A grade in steals. I’m giving him the Paul George comp and I wish to see him flip into our largest star this yr. Former No. 36 general recruit from Detroit with C potential. Projected second spherical decide.
  • SF Floyd Keller, redshirt junior, 89 general: Keller got here off the bench final season to offer us some good minutes, and now steps into the sizable sneakers left by Shner. The 6’7 ahead has a three-point score in the mid-80s, and is an elite offensive rebounder for a wing with a score in the low 90s. Keller is completely one of probably the most important items on the workforce this yr, and if he’s actually good, our workforce must be actually good, too. Former No. 101 general recruit out of Dallas with C+ potential. Projected second spherical decide.
  • PF Oscar Fray, redshirt junior, 86 general: Fray is one of two returning starters from our nationwide championship workforce final season. The 7-foot energy ahead is a superb three-point shooter for his place with a 75 score, however we’ve observed he likes to take pull-up triples moderately than simply house in the ground in event video games. Defensively, he has an 82 score in shot blocking, which is tops on the workforce, and in addition does a reasonably good job on the glass. Former No. 118 general recruit out of Lynn, MA with C potential. Projected second spherical decide.
  • C D.J. Foster, redshirt senior, 90 general: Foster grew to become a legend on our run to the nationwide championship final season by being named Most Excellent Participant of the NCAA event. The 7’2 heart is just a large pressure at each ends of the ground. He’s one of the good rebounders in program history, in addition to being a reliable scorer offensively and a significant deterrent on the rim on protection. He went off for 20 factors, 18 rebounds, and 7 assists in the title recreation win over BC final yr. Former No. 173 general recruit out of Chicago with C potential. Projected prime decide.

Our bench has been a power the final two years, however that won’t be the case this yr in any respect. We may have an elite sixth man in redshirt junior heart Brody Munoz (89 general), who was a pressure for us in the event final yr and is already a projected lottery decide. We even have 7-foot heart Logan Polk, who we’re transferring to energy ahead, junior guard Archie Howel (77 general), true freshman small ahead Jaycee Queen (76 general), heart Dean Warner (74 general), and five-star worldwide freshman capturing guard James Haranga (67 general, A- potential).

With Munoz, Keller, and Doyle all projected as attainable NBA draft picks as juniors, it’s going to be fascinating to see how this season performs out and if any of them return for my closing season subsequent yr in Year 40.

Recruiting

That is our final recruiting class ever! We’ve got three scholarships to recruit for, and for sure, every of these gamers will get just one yr on campus. We would as properly swing for the fences. The highest precedence proper now? Getting higher on the wing.

After scanning the obtainable choices, we resolve to supply the next gamers:

  • 6’6 SG Urule Millar out of Phoenix: No. 32 general recruit, No. 10 at his place
  • 6’7 PF Kenny Butler out of Los Angeles: No. 58 general recruit, No. 10 at his place
  • 6’6 SF Jerald Obasohan out of Inglewood, CA: 5-star JUCO recruit

Obasohan is rated because the third finest JUCO recruit in the nation. Millar looks as if the perfect two guard prospect for us, and because the Mr. Basketball in Arizona, he’s possible adequate to step into minutes from day one subsequent season. Butler is a bit shorter than the ability forwards we sometimes recruit, however we like the thought of having a extremely rated prospect with a various ability set at that place.

Year 39! No. 10 in the preseason polls! Three-peat??? Nationwide title No. 11 to go John Picket for probably the most all-time??? We’ve got intrigue heading into this season. Let’s go!

How did the common season go?

We begin off the yr 3-0 with wins over Houston, Illinois, and UW-Milwaukee. That strikes us as much as No. 5 in the polls and units up a showdown with Kansas. Invoice Self is lengthy gone, however the Jayhawks are nonetheless a prime program in addition to at least one of our largest rivals. They offer us our first loss, 91-67, which drops us all the best way all the way down to No. 20 in the polls. Rattling.

We rebound with wins in our two early convention video games, after which head out West for a matchup with UCLA. Huge, massive recreation. Do I sound excited?

That strikes us to 6-1 on the yr. We play Syracuse subsequent: it’s a win. Then we face Minnesota: win. Duke? Win. We shut out the yr with Grambling, which is one other dub.

We’re 10-1 heading into the complete convention slate.

Did we go undefeated in Summit League play?

Sure we did. We completed 18-0 in opposition to the Summit League slate through the common season, after which gained all three video games in the convention event to punch our computerized ticket to the NCAA event.

After dropping 4 convention video games mixed between Year 36 and Year 37, it feels nice to see our workforce end undefeated in opposition to the league slate two years in a row.

We are going to enter the NCAA event at 29-1 on the yr. As Choice Sunday arrives, we’re as much as No. 7 in the polls. I can’t wait to see what seed we get.

Earlier than we discover out, let’s check out the common season stats:

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Foster! Simply an unimaginable yr for the reigning MOP of the NCAA event. Our dude put up 24.3 factors, 6.9 rebounds and a pair of.2 blocks per recreation. I like that we additionally had three different gamers end in double-figures in scoring. This workforce lacks the depth some of our greatest groups have had, however I’m feeling actually good in regards to the 5 starters.

How did recruiting go?

We didn’t land anybody on the early signing deadline, however we’re in good condition for the offseason. Kenny Butler, the top-60 energy ahead recruit, is at 100% curiosity, which suggests he’ll signal on the primary day of the spring interval. That’s going to be a pleasant addition to our entrance court docket.

We’ve got the one supply out to Obasohan, however he abruptly has extra curiosity in UCLA late in the method. The one man we misplaced out on was Millar, however we’ve changed him with Erwin Partitions, a 6’4 capturing guard out of 6’4 capturing guard out of Houston who’s ranked No. 47 general. Partitions can be contemplating LSU and Houston, however we’ve the one supply out to him thus far.

2046 NCAA event

We earned a No. 4 seed to the NCAA event and a primary spherical matchup with Ivy League champ No. 13 seed Brown. I’m somewhat offended, as a result of I believed we must always have earned a No. 2 seed on condition that we’re No. 7 in the AP Ballot coming into the event. Even after 10 championships in 38 years, the Choice Committee continues to be disrespecting our ‘Necks.

We enter the sport as a 98 general, whereas Brown is rated as a 79 general.

Earlier than we get to the primary spherical matchup, let’s examine in our roster:

IMG 7222

Our starters are wanting nice. Our bench is wanting fairly weak. To win title No. 11, we’re going to want our prime gamers to keep away from having an off night time to allow them to carry us to a three-peat.

I like that we’ve three elite bigs with Foster, Fray, and Munoz off the bench — who must be the most effective sixth man in America. Our wing tandem of Bernie Doyle and Floyd Keller have the scale, the pace, and the capturing essential to be stars. The one factor we had been lacking after we recruited all these gamers was a degree guard, and Ngounou are stepped up admirably to fill that function. It’s fairly unimaginable that he’s already rated as an 87 general as a real sophomore.

Logan Polk, the sophomore 7-footer, is the man I belief probably the most off the bench after Munoz. Howel should hit some photographs off the bench, and I’m additionally to see what James Haranga can do. The true freshman capturing guard from Cameroon is as much as a 71 general and has a pleasant mixture of dimension and capturing.

The journey to a three-peat begins in opposition to Brown. Let’s go!

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(*39*)

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Win, 93-67. We beginning off our Year 39 title run with a blowout victory.

We ran Brown off the ground in the primary half, and had been in a position to ‘sim to finish’ early in the second half. Our dimension inside was simply approach an excessive amount of for them to deal with.

D.J. Foster appears primed to make a run at his second straight MOP award. The 7’2 heart completed with 21 factors and 13 rebounds on 10-of-17 capturing from the sphere in the win. Oscar Fray additionally dominated to complete with 21 factors and 7 rebounds.

Our beginning wings Keller and Doyle mixed to go 5-for-7 from three-point vary in the win. That can get the job performed. I additionally love the protection from Ngounou at level guard to complete with 4 steals.

We enhance to 30-1 on the season with the dub.

The win units up a recreation in opposition to No. 5 seed Georgia Tech

The Yellow Jackets have been a constant NCAA event workforce in this sim with a number of deep runs to the Ultimate 4.

Georgia Tech enters rated as a 94 general. We’re a 98 general. For sure, that is going to be a a lot stiffer take a look at than Brown.

Let’s go!

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IMG 7225

Win, 110-86. We’re onto the Candy 16!

Our guys appeared completely dialed in from the opening tip. In phrases of ball motion, scoring effectivity, and producing turnovers, this was just about an ideal recreation from our ‘Necks. The primary half was an absolute clinic: we shot 67 p.c from the sphere, didn’t flip the ball over in any respect, and took a 27-point lead into the break. It was a wrap from there.

Oscar Fray performed like a flat-out star. Fray was probably the most missed member of our closing five-year recruiting class, however he has the scale (7-foot) and the capturing that we glance for in an influence ahead. He performed maybe the best recreation of his profession, going off for 23 factors and eight rebounds on 9-of-15 capturing in the win. This transfer was too nasty.

Each different starter additionally completed in double-figures in scoring. Foster (17 factors, six rebounds) stored his potential repeat MOP bid alive, whereas Doyle and Keller stayed scorching from three. How about 4 extra steals from Christano? We like to see it.

The bench additionally appeared dope in rubbish time. My man Haranga, as much as a 71 general, appeared phenomenal, going 4-of-5 from the sphere to complete with 10 factors. True freshman wing Jaycee Queen additionally added 13 factors, six assists, and three steals. This crossover was filthy:

Only a nice workforce recreation throughout. That’s the formulation for how this squad can win the entire thing.

The win units up a Candy 16 recreation with No. 8 seed Indiana

The Hoosiers upset No. 1 seed Nevada to crash the Candy 16. Indiana might solely be an 8-seed, however they’ve tons of younger expertise up-and-down the roster. IU begins five-star recruits at level guard, capturing guard, and small ahead.

Indiana enters rated as a 95 general. We’re a 98 general. An Elite Eight bid is on the road. Can our dream of a three-peat stay to see one other day?

Let’s go!

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Win, 96-64. One other recreation, one other beatdown. We’re rolling into the Elite Eight.

We opened up a 20-point lead halfway by the primary half, and the rout was on from there. Indiana closed the half robust to maintain issues aggressive, however we cranked up the strain once more in the second half to lock in the blow out.

I believed Bernie Doyle was ridiculously good, scoring 19 of his 28 factors in the second half to safe the win. Dude went 10-of-14 from the sphere and 6-of-10 from three in this recreation. Indiana had no reply for him. How are you speculated to cease a 6’9 capturing guard who can get buckets in any state of affairs?

The entrance court docket was additionally dominant once more. Foster continues to be unreal, going off for 15 factors, 16 rebounds, and 5 assists. He’s now grabbed extra boards in the NCAA event than any Leathernecks participant ever, per our comprehensive database. It’s so enormous to an enormous 7’2 heart holding issues down in the center. Fray had 15 factors and three steals in the win, as properly.

It was one other stable efficiency from Christano Ngounou, too. He had 11-6-5-1 on 5-of-7 capturing, together with this candy crossover.

We’re taking part in incredible workforce ball proper now. Let’s hold it going.

The win units up an Elite Eight recreation with No. 2 seed Florida

The Gators have a reasonably odd combine of expertise for a No. 2 seed. They’re stacked in the entrance court docket with most of their finest gamers as energy forwards. They’ve a celebrity 5’10 level guard, however don’t have many pure wings on the perimeter.

We enter at 32-1 rated as a 98 general. Florida is 31-8 rated as a 95 general.

One win away from the Ultimate 4! Three-peat on the road! Let’s go!

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Loss, 115-100. Oh my, we obtained shellacked. Our season is over similar to that.

I actually can’t consider it. We had been taking part in such nice ball all yr, and particularly in the event. After seeing our guys win the nationwide title the final two years, I believed this was one other workforce of future. Florida proved that concept improper by working us off the ground.

Florida began to drag away on the finish of the primary half, however I believed our second half workforce would have sufficient juice to pull-off the comeback. It wasn’t meant to be. We merely couldn’t get a cease or sufficient turnovers to decelerate Florida’s high-powered assault. I can’t bear in mind an opposing offense chopping us up like that too many occasions earlier than.

It was a tough recreation for our starters, and we merely don’t have sufficient expertise on the bench to seek out supplemental scoring once they went chilly. Doyle completed with 20 factors however went 2-for-12 from three-point vary. Keller went 1-of-7 from three. Fray shot 1-of-6 from the sphere. Not less than Foster — 14 factors, 12 rebounds — had one other good recreation in his closing look in a ‘Necks uniform.

There isn’t a lot else to say. That is an extremely disappointing loss. I wished to interrupt Picket’s file and I wished to three-peat for the primary time ever. It wasn’t meant to be.

We’re onto our final offseason ever, that includes our final recruiting class ever. I’m getting choked up simply occupied with it. It will likely be fascinating to see who of Munoz, Keller, and Doyle return for Year 40.

Offseason

  • North Carolina wins the nationwide championship.
  • D.J. Foster wins convention participant of the yr for the second straight season. We additionally take house 4 of the 5 spots on the All-Summit Crew.
  • WOW, EVERYONE IS COMING BACK. Our lone senior, Foster, graduates as a lottery decide. I’m shocked that Munoz is returning as a possible first rounder, and it’s nice to see Doyle and Keller again too. We’re going to be loaded subsequent yr. Might we be preseason No. 1?
  • My file stands at 1,142-209 with 10 nationwide titles at 64 years outdated.

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Recruiting

We’ve got three open scholarships as we enter the spring recruiting interval for our closing class ever. We all know we’ve one participant locked down, and he commits on the primary day of the signing interval:

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Kenny Butler, a 6’7 energy ahead out of LA, rated because the No. 57 general recruit and No. 10 energy ahead prospect. He’s somewhat shorter than we like, however his capturing projection appears nice, and he’ll be the one pure 4 on our roster. We like him.

We’ve got two different presents out to five-star JUCO wing Jerald Obasohan and four-star capturing guard Erwin Partitions. They each commit quickly after.

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Obasohan is the No. 3 rated JUCO prospect. Partitions looks as if he’s going to be terrific — take a look at these AAU stats!

I’m excited these guys. Our recruiting class ranks No. 19 in the nation.

Now let’s set the schedule for our closing season.

Bradley, NIT Tip-off, Southern Illinois, @ Florida, Illinois, @ DePaul, Kansas, @ Duke, UIC, Golden Bear Traditional.

As we sim to Year 40, we’re greeted by an unwelcome message:

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Year 40

Right here’s a primary take a look at our roster in Year 40:

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If the sport is forcing me into necessary retirement at age-65, at the very least we’re going out with a veteran workforce that’s gifted sufficient to win the nationwide championship. We solely misplaced Foster from final yr’s Elite Eight squad, and we must always have some actual depth this season.

Right here’s a take a look at the freshmen:

  • SF Jerald Obasohan, 79 general, C potential: Sadly solely a 70 score in three-point capturing, however it is a terrific beginning score. He must be playable for us this yr.
  • SG Erwin Partitions, 74 general, B potential: Partitions has a powerful 79 score in three-point capturing. He’ll be a deep bench possibility for us.
  • PF Kenny Butler, 74 general, C+ potential: He grew an inch to six’8 and will likely be one other deep bench possibility.

With one season to go, we’re tied with John Picket for probably the most nationwide championships in history with 10 titles. Can we get No. 11 in our closing yr?

We’re going to be streaming Year 40 on Sunday, May 16 at 8 p.m. ET on my Twitch channel. We’ll be recruiting and simming by our common season, after which going into the event. If we’ve a protracted event run and may’t full the season in one night time, we’ll possible end out the event run on Sunday, Might 23 at 8 p.m. ET on my Twitch.

Subscribe to my Twitch channel for e-mail notifications on if the date for the ultimate NCAA event stream adjustments. You can also join our Discord channel for updates on after I’ll be streaming and continued dialogue across the ‘Necks.

Watch The Final Dance with Western Illinois in Year 40

What: Western Illinois Year 40 season

When: Sunday, Might 16 at 8 p.m. ET. If crucial: continued on Wednesday, Might 23 at 8 p.m. ET

The place: My Twitch stream

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