Welcome reduction to our simulated dynasty with the Western Illinois Leathernecks in College Hoops 2K8. You are going to rep a tubby rationalization of this venture + spoiler-free hyperlinks to outdated seasons here. Test out the introduction to this series from early April for tubby context. As a reminder, we simulate each and each game on this series and handiest protect an eye fixed on the recruiting and training strategies.
Sooner than we win to Year 24, here’s a recap of every little thing that came about final season.
- Year 22 resulted in a heartbreaker for Western Illinois: we misplaced within the nationwide championship game within the final seconds, after which noticed our three most attention-grabbing juniors leave early for the NBA draft. We might per chance per chance well per chance open Year 23 with handiest one returning starter.
- We struggled within the non-conference time table, shedding seven games sooner than coming into Summit League play. We again swept the conference and obtained the conference match, earning a No. 13 seed to the huge dance.
- We beat No. 4 seed USC, 83-76, within the first spherical of the NCAA match. We defeated No. 5 seed Pepperdine, 90-86, within the spherical of 32. Within the Sweet 16, we knocked off No. 8 seed Ole Miss, 106-85. Within the Elite Eight, we anxious No. 2 seed UConn, 91-82, to punch our ticket the Closing Four. Learn the tubby recap of our road to the Closing Four here.
- We beat No. 11 seed UNLV, 91-90, within the Closing Four on a final 2d putback by LF Neal. We then defeated No. 1 seed George Washington, 104-88, within the championship game to select on our fourth ever nationwide title. Learn the tubby Closing Four recap here.
- We signed three recruits after the season: four-primary person center Cecil Sinville, four-primary person level guard Goran Kent, and three-primary person microscopic forward Nic Cummings.
For the fourth time since Coach Rick arrived in Macomb, the Western Illinois Leathernecks are nationwide champions. Dangle the banner!
I’m aloof anxious by this title scurry. As a No. 13 seed, we’re now the lowest-seeded physique of workers to ever select a nationwide championship. To terminate it after shedding three gigantic gamers early to the NBA makes it draw more excellent. We weren’t even sincere within the non-conference slate! None it mattered once the calendar flipped to March, after we stumbled on the equipment we’d been searching for all season.
Possess a honest true time this “One Vivid Moment” with us:
Onward to Year 24. Let’s defend this ship.
Here’s a query at our roster heading into Year 24.
Let’s open the new season by citing a straightforward fact: we’ve under no conditions obtained reduction-to-reduction nationwide championships. Really, the outdated three times we’ve defended a title, we haven’t even made it past the spherical of 32. I trust about this physique of workers is again sincere passable to select on all of it, but it’s going to be sophisticated brooding about what we misplaced. Artie Snipes, our 7’1 junior center, bounced early to the NBA. We additionally misplaced power forward LF Neal to commencement after he cemented himself as one among the gigantic glue guys in program ancient past.
Fortunately, we’re aloof returning three starters, alongside with the Most Excellent Player from final 365 days’s match. Let’s meet the starters:
- PG Koko Reeves, redshirt senior, 91 total: Koko silenced any doubters coming into the season by growing true into a rock gain lead guard for a nationwide title physique of workers. Reeves turned into once productive all through the conventional season (13.2 facets per game) and thrived on the ideal phases, most particularly with 13 facets and 12 assists within the nationwide title game. At 6-foot, Reeves is the smallest player we’ve ever had, but he’s additionally our most attention-grabbing three-pointer with an 89 rating from deep. He’ll be in for a serious 365 days. Primitive No. 52 total recruit.
- SG Edwin Wolfe, redshirt senior, 88 total: The Wolfe Man started final season as our lowest-rated starter in, fancy, decades. He ended it as a Closing Four hero and nationwide champion. Wolfe hit his first seven three-pointers towards UNLV within the nationwide semifinal, and done very honest true defense all 365 days. The 6’2 guard has the perfect steals rating (95) in program ancient past. While a tiny undersized, he offers us a gain three-and-D probability on the soar. Primitive 5-primary person JUCO recruit.
- SF Jitim Dupree, redshirt senior, 93 total: The 6’10, 242 pound soar formally turned one among the all-time gigantic Leathernecks with an inspired scurry through the NCAA match final 365 days. Dupree dropped 30 or more facets three plenty of times, alongside with 34 facets on GW within the nationwide title to select on match MOP. A disruptive defender thanks to his dimension, Dupree is additionally a legit open air shooter who can terminate internal. He’s the 2d tallest player on the roster this season and might per chance per chance well per chance even log some microscopic-ball 5 minutes for us within the match. Primitive No. 91 total recruit and projected lottery select.
- PF J.J. Bracy, redshirt sophomore, 88 total: Bracy turned into once our very best-rated recruit ever when he gave us his dedication because the No. 24 total player in his class. He sincere had one field: at 6’6, he turned into once a great deal undersized for an affect forward. We hoped Bracy would develop at least two inches in college, and that’s precisely what came about. Now 6’8, Bracy enters the beginning lineup as a sophomore with an appealing skill plight. He’s the perfect-rated shot blocker on the physique of workers (94 rating) and a extraordinarily honest true rebounder on defense. On offense, he’s a pass-first forward who additionally has taking pictures vary. Glimpse the Bracy recruiting hype video by reader Ryan whenever you should to take into chronicle how we scouted him. I’m gigantic wrathful to take into chronicle what he can terminate.
- C Dick Copeland, redshirt sophomore, 87 total: Copeland is definite in Leathernecks lore for 3 plenty of causes: 1) Because the dilapidated No. 2 total center prospect, he turned into once the perfect-rated huge man we had ever recruited when he dedicated. 2) He has an A rating in seemingly, which is the perfect in program ancient past. 3) He hasn’t grown since he entered this technique, which suggests he’s the shortest center in college ancient past at 6’8. Copeland is clearly gigantic proficient going by his seemingly rating, however the final few seasons we’ve had 7’2 Kevin Brazzle and 7’1 Artie Snipes within the guts for us. It’s going to be genuinely attention-grabbing to take into chronicle what we terminate with such an undersized front court docket.
We additionally have some serious skill on the bench, even supposing we’re not very deep. It’s seemingly you’ll per chance well per chance bear in mind Alexis Willingham from dropping 15 facets within the nationwide title game. Now a redshirt sophomore, Willingham has grown an drag to 6’5 and affords us a serious guard with taking pictures skill on the 2d unit. He’s joined by fellow sophomore Skip Clemmons, a natural taking pictures guard who strikes the soar after rising to 6’8, 247 kilos. He’s nearly greater than our beginning center! There’s additionally the debut of 6’3 redshirt freshman taking pictures guard Albert Jagla, who’s the perfect recruit in program ancient past because the dilapidated No. 17 total prospect in his class. Rounding out the rotation is 6’11 center Cecil Sinville, who will doubtless be our first lawful freshman within the rotation since … Ira Wells within the very early days of my tenure. Howdy, we desire at least one huge off the bench. Sinville additionally has A- seemingly and turned into once the No. 1 center in his recruiting class, so it’s per chance per chance not he turned into once staying in college for five years anyway.
We’ve additionally determined to protect stroll-on Ian Hoyer, a 6’8 power forward rated as a 54 total, to extinguish some extra depth. I’ll stammer you now I at once regretted this decision thanks to how usually the computer determined to play him in games no topic the undeniable fact that I had him plight at zero minutes within the rotation.
We’re redshirting our two other freshmen: microscopic forward Nic Cummings (74 total, B- seemingly) and 6’5 level guard Goran Kent (72 total, C seemingly). Cummings already has a 92 dunking rating! Next Tom Chambers? Kent looks to be quite mid to be staunch but at least he has gigantic dimension.
The true intrigue of this traditional season is going to advance reduction in recruiting. Because we handiest stuffed three of our four available scholarships final season, we now have 5 scholarships to play with this 365 days. We’re prioritizing getting a excessive-level taking pictures guard and two huge males. Listed below are the 5 gamers we offered on the first week:
- 6’4 SG Neil Modrovich out of Cleveland, No. 62 total and No. 17 at his blueprint
- 6’10 PF Michael Pratt out of Kenosha, WI, No. 120 total and No. 10 at his blueprint
- 7’2 C Daron Coulter out of Charlotte, No. 196 total and No. 7 at his blueprint
- 6’5 SG Terry Payments out of Chicago, No. 31 total and No. 7 at his blueprint
- 6’2 PG Jessie Waller out of Citadel Lauderdale, No. 50 total and No. 22 at his blueprint
The field of this dynasty has always been recruiting high gamers to the kind of microscopic college. Our complete number is recruiting facets is loads decrease than power-5 purposes, so we desire to be dapper about how we allocate them. I mediate to make mumble of my flights on Modrovich and Pratt. We badly desire to land at least one among them at the early signing closing date.
We additionally want so that you can add in our created gamers for the winner of final 365 days’s bracket contest. Reader Abby obtained because the ideal person (I contemplate) to select on our Leathernecks to select on all of it. Thanks to your perception. Here’s the description she sent in:
Weight: 160 lbs
Aesthetics: As femme as you are going to be ready to win, lmao: Prolonged hair, no facial hair, give her some diamond stud earrings and a microscopic gold necklace.
Stats/play trend: Tenacious defense. Surprisingly excessive vert. All passing on offense with gain force and slicing abilities. Legit from the line, likes to originate contact. Instant toes, not gigantic stamina, is that her fifth board?, and in addition you understand I’m clutch.
Executed and done. I’m additionally recreating reader Justin, who obtained the bracket contest two seasons within the past, because I made his personality too faded and unsuitable final time.
We open the 365 days rated as a 97 total. By hook or by crook, we aren’t ranked within the preseason polls? Give the champs some respect! I bet we’ll sincere want to display veil everyone unfriendly again.
First game: @ No. 9 Indiana
We’re beginning the 365 days off with a lawful road game towards a nationwide championship contender. Indiana has a loaded roster and looks fancy they’ll be amongst the high seeds within the NCAA match. Closing season, we were significantly better as a circulation physique of workers than a sim physique of workers. It will doubtless be a legit take a look at to take into chronicle if we can beat elite groups all through sim games now that we’re geared up with *championship experience.
Loss, 79-57. Woof. That’s concerning the worst we’ve done offensively. No longer much to salvage a ways from a game were we shoot 32.7 p.c from the sphere and flip it over 13 times.
Next up is South Florida, led by junior power forward Rudolpho Butt Jr., the created player made by dilapidated bracket contest winner reader Gavin. RBJ is a rated as a 91 total and affords USF a dynamic 7-foot huge man with versatility on both ends. The relaxation of this Bulls physique of workers looks to be legit, too. We streamed this game on Twitch.
Consume, 99-77. The circulation physique of workers is reduction within the constructing. We regarded gigantic, with the faded stars main us all over again. Jitim Dupree (23 facets) is unguardable, Wolfe continues to elevate two-ability affect (15 facets, four steals), and our younger bench is ridiculously proficient. I’m namely keen about Jagla dropping 15 facets in his debut.
That game is why I’m optimistic about this physique of workers coming into the match no topic how we terminate all through this traditional season. It certain will most likely be nice to win a excessive seed, even supposing.
We face Miami (OH) subsequent as requested by reader Z.W. Must be an straightforward dub.
Consume, 79-73. OK, that turned into once a tiny of nearer than anticipated. Glimpse at Koko Reeves drag off: 31 facets on 9-of-15 taking pictures. Graceful. We desire to take into chronicle a transient king shine. I’m additionally taking part within the boost off the bench from Skip Clemmons, who added 15 facets on 3-of-4 taking pictures from deep. I genuinely contemplate Clemmons is going to be a monster for this program at his high.
We win some unsuitable recordsdata on the recruiting front: Waller will get an offer from South Florida he likes better than ours, so we drop him. We as a change mediate to lengthen a scholarship offer to 6’1 level guard Shamell Schneider out of St. Paul, MN, the No. 53 total prospect within the class and No. 25 level guard.
Michigan is the subsequent physique of workers on our time table.
Consume, 63-46. We put up a gigantic defensive performance whereas handiest finishing with six shares. Per chance Michigan sincere couldn’t hit the rest? Sophomore power forward J.J. Bracy turned into once very honest true, finishing with 18 facets and six rebounds on 6-of-8 taking pictures.
Signing week is here we are at 100 p.c curiosity for both Neil Modrovich and Michael Pratt.. DePaul is additionally at 100 p.c curiosity for Pratt, but they haven’t offered yet. We put not have any competition for Modrovich, so with any luck he’s ready to commit.
However first, we face DePaul. The Blue Demons haven’t had much success on this sim playing within the faded and entirely loaded Colossal East, but they’ve got the upper of us plenty of times in head-to-head matchups.
Loss, 85-75. Tough. Koko went loco again, getting scorching from deep to terminate with 27 facets, but it wasn’t passable. At the least we lastly got a sincere game from our center Dick Copeland, who done with 17 facets no topic handiest making 7-of-12 photographs from the faulty line. We additionally have our two early conference games this week, and we blow out Oakland and beat IUPUI by 11. That makes us 5-2 on the 365 days.
Wow, we drag 1-for-2 in recruiting. Pratt will get a DePaul offer and indicators with the Blue Demons. Compatible heartbreaking. Did he disagreeable his decision on the game we sincere done?? Man. In better recordsdata, we did land Modrovich:
Modrovich is a extraordinarily nice win because the No. 62 total player within the class, and the No. 17 player at his blueprint. We’re hoping he can develop an drag or two in college, and display veil he’s a greater shooter than his numbers display veil. That is a nice open to our ideal recruiting class yet, but sheesh I desire shall we have landed Pratt, too.
Schneider additionally commits to Minnesota. Now armed with two available scholarships, we mediate to present three-primary person center C.J. Cesar out of Cincinnati, the No. 9 total huge man within the class, and four-primary person level guard Drake Amous out of Modesto, CA, the No. 95 total player and No. 40 total level guard within the class.
Next up is Illinois. The Illini are our lengthy-time rival who are a cosmopolitan take a look at whenever. We desire to display veil we aloof scurry this speak after the loss to DePaul.
Consume, 90-73. Gargantuan. Koko continues his killer season with 24 facets on 5-of-9 taking pictures from three-level vary. Our younger, undersized front court docket of Copeland and Bracy done well, too, combining for 36 facets.
We win more unsuitable recordsdata on the recruiting front: Terry Payments will get an offer from Michigan Explain he looks ready to settle for. We withdraw our offer and redirect it to 6’5 taking pictures guard Theo Cowans, a four-primary person recruit out of Brookings, South Dakota ranked No. 85 total and No. 30 at his blueprint.
Dayton is up subsequent. The Flyers have been awesome on this simulation, and they’re awesome again. We might per chance per chance well per chance take into chronicle this physique of workers deep within the NCAA match. It will doubtless be a take a look at.
Loss. 87-72. Ugh. Bracy done well, but we sincere couldn’t match the skill on the Flyers. We desire a rematch in a circulation game. Additionally, why is the stroll-on Hoyer playing 17 minutes???
Now we now have Iowa. The Hawkeyes genuinely haven’t been a ingredient on this sim at all. We desire a select here.
Consume, 73-43. We had huge Copeland power on this one, because the sophomore center done with 21 facets and six boards. Nice to take into chronicle Willingham win scorching (12 facets) off the bench, too.
Next up is Seton Hall. This will most likely be a nice select if we can win it.
Loss, 89-84. A bunch of gain offensive performances for our guys, but we couldn’t win passable stops defensively to select on. It’s sophisticated to beat a sincere physique of workers when your beginning level guard and center have rough nights fancy Reeves and Copeland did here. I terminate fancy what Dupree did (17 facets, seven rebounds) — he’s always been a greater circulation physique of workers performer than sim player, but we can mumble more efforts fancy this to lend a hand us win a tight seed.
We cease out the conventional season with Kentucky. The Wildcats genuinely haven’t been a high-tier program all through this sim — they’ve zero nationwide titles — but they are aloof always competitive. Let’s take into chronicle if we can win a dub here.
Loss, 67-48. Effectively, damn. That turned into once an sinful Edwin Wolfe game (0-of-7 taking pictures), but we can’t handiest blame him. As a physique of workers, we shot 25.4 p.c from the sphere. That’s not how we wished to stay non-conference play. We terminate with a 5-5 non-con file. We’re going to desire to select on the Summit match all over again to originate the huge dance.
We now have gotten fancy a 5-365 days successful race in Summit League play at this level. As we enter conference season, can we scurry the table all over again?
Certain we can. Our Leathernecks again drag 18-0 within the Summit League all over again to stay the season at 23-5. The recruiting length ends with a blended net: we’re in blueprint to land 6’9 center C.J. Cesar on the first day of the spring signing length, but Coulter, Amous, and Cowans all remain a ways ability from making a name. It’s going to be a serious offseason to form the ability forward for this technique. For our created gamers, reader Abby looks plight to signal with Villanova. Reader Justin signed with NC Explain already.
Sooner than we win to the conference match, let’s take a look at out the stats:
Prolonged-time followers of the series will bear in mind that our center or power forward leads us in scoring nearly each and each 365 days. I don’t contemplate we’ve ever had a level guard put up numbers fancy Koko: 16.7 facets per game on 41 p.c taking pictures from three. I believed everyone else turned into once first payment but not astonishing. Optimistically we can rep a increased level again in circulation games.
We desire to select on the conference match first, even supposing. Let’s terminate it.
Summit League match
Our first game within the conference match is towards Oakland.
Consume, 109-57. Koko, Copeland, and Dupree all scoring more than 20 facets! We now face IUPUI within the semifinals:
Consume, 84-50. Very honest true balance all through the rotation. Now we’re within the Summit League championship game towards UL-Calcutta.
Consume, 67-62! We’re reduction within the NCAA match to defend our title. We genuinely watched the first half of of this one on Twitch, then ‘simmed to stay’ with a serious lead. And we nearly blew it! That will per chance well have insecure me if we didn’t pull it out.
I genuinely don’t have any thought what seed this physique of workers will win at 26-5 on the 365 days.
2031 NCAA match
Western Illinois is a No. 10 seed with a first spherical matchup towards No. 7 seed Cal. The winner is more doubtless to face No. 2 seed South Florida within the spherical of 32. Certain, the identical USF physique of workers we whooped in a circulation game earlier this 365 days.
Here’s a query at our roster going into the match:
All 5 of our starters are rated within the 90s as we enter the match. It will doubtless be one final drag through March with Jitim Dupree, Koko Reeves, and the Wolfe Man. Can’t wait to take into chronicle what Bracy and Copeland can terminate as first-time starters within the match. I’m additionally genuinely keen about our perimeter threats on the bench with Willingham, Clemmons, and Jagla.
This physique of workers has plenty of taking pictures, with 5 gamers rated 80 or better in three-level taking pictures, and one other (Clemmons) who’s rated as a 79 within the class. We now have gotten plenty of March Madness experience. Our handiest true flaw is our lack of dimension within the guts.
Here’s how we matchup with Pitt within the first spherical:
We desire to be reduction-to-reduction champs. After messing around with ‘coach mode’ all through the conventional season, I’ve determined towards doing it within the match after this put up by reader Dave on our Reddit fan page.
We’re going to be streaming the NCAA match on Monday, Oct. 12 at 8: 30 p.m. on Twitch. However first, let’s win to the bracket contest.
Join our bracket contest!
We’ve been working a bracket contest for the final few seasons, and it’s been a ton of relaxing. We’re opening it up to any individual who needs to enter as lengthy as you flip for your bracket sooner than we circulation our first NCAA match game on Monday, Oct. 12 at 8: 30 p.m. on Twitch.
Here’s a query at the tubby 2031 NCAA match bracket:
How does scoring work?
We mumble a faded scoring structure. You win one level for because it’d be guessing the winner in a first spherical game, two facets for because it’d be a winner in a spherical of 32 game, four facets for because it’d be guessing a winner in a Sweet 16 game, eight facets for because it’d be guessing a winner in an Elite Eight game, 16 facets for because it’d be guessing a winner within the Closing Four, and 32 facets for because it’d be guessing the nationwide champion.
Can I take into chronicle the rosters for the other groups?
No. We’re going no rosters this 365 days. It’s a free for all!
How terminate I enter?
1. Click this link to open the interactive bracket.
2. After opening, within the high left select out File> Develop a Reproduction
3. Develop your picks
4. Within the high left, select out File and both “Fragment” and fragment with email@example.com or “Electronic mail as attachment” and email as an Excel file (not PDF please!) to firstname.lastname@example.org
As soon as your picks are entered, you are going to be ready to examine scoring with Sean’s Blog Personnel app that works on desktop and cell.
What does the winner win?
The winner will get to win themselves or a personality as a 5-primary person recruit sooner than subsequent season. We obtained’t drag after the created recruits at Western Illinois to protect the integrity of the game, but we’ll practice the occupation of your personality all through our series.
Please enter the bracket contest and be a part of us on Thursday, because it’s going to be genuinely relaxing. Here’s strategies to understand Western Illinois vs. USC within the NCAA match on Monday, Oct. 12 at 8: 30 p.m. on Twitch.
No. 10 seed Western Illinois vs. No. 7 seed Pitt, first spherical, 2031 NCAA match
Game: No. 10 seed Western Illinois vs. No. 7 seed Pitt, first spherical, 2031 NCAA match
How one can understand: My Twitch channel. You don’t want to affix the rest to understand, but you terminate want to register for an chronicle to comment. Build it, it’s relaxing.
Date: Monday, Oct. 12 at 8: 30 p.m. on Twitch
Tip-off time: 8: 30 p.m. ET
If we select: We’ll face the winner of No. 2 seed South Florida vs. No. 15 seed CS Fullerton within the spherical of 32 at once following the first spherical game.
For email indicators on this series, signal in here.