Wooster finishes the season 25-6 overall. After choking away a spot in the national tournament field with a loss to rival Oberlin in the second round of the conference tournament (our first game), the Fighting Scots run to the Final Four of the PIT before getting tripped up by Bard, 75-65.
This year's team outscored opponents 73.7-60.4 each game (but somehow gave up 60 points in just the second half in that aforementioned loss to Oberlin...*grumbles*). We shot .448-.325-.677 compared to .399-.315-.714 for our opponents. We held a 36.5-34.3 rebounding edge in each game, forced 9.5 steals and 19.5 turnovers while giving the rock away just 14.5 times per night. We were whistled on average for 19.1 fouls per game. After years of complaining, I am finally happy with our production from three-point range this season.
Junior Lucas Smart (12.5 ppg, 6.0 rpg) was a second-team all-conference selection at small forward, even though he was a full-time power forward for us this season. Smart had some truly monster games for us and we're excited that we'll have him for another year. Steven Nelson (9.5 ppg, 4.6 rpg) was a third-team selection at power forward, although he spent his time swinging between starting SF and backup PF through much of the year. He's a senior and will be missed. Honorable mention for all-conference went to seniors Raymond Moore and Derrick Reiner and sophomore Francis Davis
Reiner's story was a bit of a sad one. The senior in-state prospect finishes at the No. 10 spot on the school's all-time rebounding chart (702) and looked to be on his way to breaking the school record for blocked shots. He needed just five entering the conference tournament and got two of those in the loss to Oberlin. He then failed to block a shot during the first three rounds of the PIT and managed just one in the loss to Bard, thus finishing No. 2 all-time with 128 blocked shots. Raymond Moore will graduate No. 10 all-time for assists (338).
In all, we graduate three seniors who accounted for 24.5 points and 14.9 rebounds per contest. We'll return two of our top three scorers this year in Smart and junior Carl Wilson (8.9 ppg). We lose a pair of big's and a heck of a point guard to graduation. It won't take a rocket scientist to figure out where at least two of our three open scholarships in the off-season will be going.
Overall, I'm happy with this season. I was unable to extend my NT streak, although some of that was due to no fault of my own as my non-con contained a ghost ship team and a former human team that went Sim and carried five walk-ons. We did lack a quality win though until upsetting No. 10 Wittenberg in the final game of the regular season. The 25 wins though were way better than I envisioned in the preseason. I think it will be enough for me to hold onto my A- prestige at year's end, but a drop to B+ range won't completely floor me. Now I'll just sit back and see how the recruiting trail shapes up.