The West Liberty Men’s Basketball Team was ranked 1st in the NCAA Division II standings released on March 8th.
The Hilltoppers advanced to the NCAA Final Four with a perfect record of 33-0. West Liberty will now face BYU-Hawaii in the semifinal game of the Tournament.
The Hilltoppers’ Season
The Hilltoppers have had a perfect season so far with a record of 33-0. There are four seniors who have helped build up the program and their chemistry has helped see them to the Final Four.
So far this season, the Hilltoppers are the only undefeated team in the country, averaging 111.6 points per game, outscoring their opponents by 31.3 points per game, and have shattered the NCAA Division II single-season record with 473 3-point field goals.
All five starters average double-figures with all four senior starters having surpassed the 1,000-point mark in their careers. Head Coach Jim Crutchfield leads the Hilltoppers but his seniors rule the court.
About The Team
Jim Crutchfield is in his seventh season with West Liberty and has also posted his seventh 20-win season. Crutchfield is also ranked No. 2 nationally among active coaches with five or more seasons at the NCAA Division II level.
Last season earned Crutchfield his second West Virginia Conference Coach of the Year award and the school’s first WVIAC crown since 1962. He was also named his third consecutive Coach of the Year award after posting a perfect record and continued success in the NCAA tournament.
Senior Corey Pelle was named WVIAC Player of the Year, All-WVIAC First Team, and Daktronics All-America Team. Fellow seniors Barry Shetzer and Jordan Fortney were also named to the WVIAC First Team. Pelle is ranked in the top 5 nationally in steals and assists while averaging 16.4 points per game. He is also the school’s all-time leader in assists and steals, while ranking in the top 10 scorers in school history with almost 2,000-career points.
Shetzer leads the team in scoring with 17.1 points per game. He is also the school’s career leader in 3-point field goals with 266. Shetzer is also the first player in school history to post back-to-back seasons with 100 or more 3-point field goals. He leads the team in double-figure scoring games. Fortney leads the nation in 3-point field goals per game, averaging about 4.1 per game.
He is on pace to become the first man to lead the NCAA in both 3-point field goals per game and 3-point field goal percentage. He averages 16.3 points and 4 rebounds per game. Fortney was also named to the Daktronics All-America Team. Senior John Wolosinczuk is the final senior to add to the program. Although he wasn’t recognized for his talents, he is one of the team’s most consistent players. He averages 13.3 points, 7.3 rebounds, and 1.7 blocked shots per game.
About The School
West Liberty University is located in West Liberty, WV. The university offers over 60 programs with a small student-faculty ratio of 18-1. West Liberty is very close to everything giving any student both a great academic as well as student life.