The last season of our sim dynasty with Western Illinois in College Hoops 2K8 is right here. Welcome back to our simulated dynasty with the Western Illinois Leathernecks in College Hoops 2K8. Yow will detect a beefy rationalization of this project + spoiler-free hyperlinks to outdated seasons right here. Examine out the introduction to this sequence from early April 2020 for beefy context. As a reminder, we simulate every game in this sequence and handiest appreciate a watch on the recruiting and training strategies. Dynasty mode runs for 40 years.
Sooner than we employ up with the Leathernecks on the begin of one year 40, right here’s a recap of every thing that took set final season:
Western Illinois entered one year 39 searching for to some-peat as national champions for the first time in program historical past. We lost two starters early to the NBA coming into the season, however peaceable had sufficient talent to be ranked No. 10 total within the preseason polls.
We ran thru the fashioned season schedule, losing handiest one game to UCLA throughout the non-convention season and sweeping Summit League opponents as soon as extra. We entered the NCAA match at 29-1 on the yr and earned a No. 4 seed to the huge dance.
We beat Brown in round one, knocked off Georgia Tech within the round of 32, beat Indiana within the Candy 16, and lost to Florida within the Elite Eight. We know enter the rest season of my career tied with John Wood with 10 national championships.
We added three gamers in our final ever recruiting class: five-valuable individual JUCO SF Jerald Obasohan, four-valuable individual SG Erwin Walls, and four-valuable individual PF Kenny Butler.
Right here’s a valuable eye at our roster for one year 40:
It feels enjoy handiest the outdated day that a peculiar-confronted, 25-yr-passe came to the cramped city of Macomb, Illinois with huge aims. Coach Rick used to be employed by Western Illinois to enact the not probably: purchase a national championship with arguably the worst crew in college basketball. After 39 seasons on the helm, our tiny program has accomplished that and a lot extra. Now it’s time to hold it up.
Our spin at Western Illinois is within the slay coming to an close. In literal terms, College Hoops 2K8 forces valuable retirement upon coaches in dynasty mode after 40 seasons. All precise experiences need closure either manner. As we begin our remaining season, we procure now some huge stakes connected to our swan song.
Western Illinois has won 10 national championships within the Ricky Charisma generation. That ties us with UCLA story John Wood for the most in historical past. What started as a mission to purchase a single national championship has now left us with a determined aim: to vary into the undisputed most enthralling program within the historical past of the game.
While we failed in our enlighten to some-peat final season — falling to Florida within the Elite Eight — we did train back all four breakout juniors for this season. We handiest lost starting heart DJ Foster to graduation. Yeah, it’s been a while since we final printed one year 39 (thanks for your patience), so let’s crawl over the roster:
PG Christano Ngounou, junior, 89 total: Ngounou made foremost strides after being forced into the starting lineup final season, and now looks enjoy a rock stable contributor going into our remaining yr. A world recruit out of Cameroon, Ngounou is a immediate 6’3 guard with lockdown defensive skill and a rather above moderate three-level shot. We procure bigger names on this squad who shall be anticipated to lift the scoring load, however Ngounou is going to play a huge aim because he’s manner better than every other level guard on the roster. We desire quality minutes from him within the match. Stale five-valuable individual world recruit with B doable.
SG Bernie Doyle, redshirt senior, 92 total: Doyle is a out of the ordinary talent who enters his senior yr having a eye to fully blossom correct into a valuable individual. The 6’9 shooting guard makes employ of his huge dimension on each ends of the bottom. He’s elite at getting into into the passing lanes and forcing steals (a crew-high 1.8 per game as a junior) on the defensive close, and has a candy three-level stroke offensively. Doyle is such a relaxed scorer and dominant defender that it feels enjoy he has the natural talent to construct into an all-noteworthy in his senior yr. Let’s hope he’s up to the venture. Stale No. 36 total recruit from Detroit with C doable. Projected lottery employ.
SF Floyd Keller, redshirt senior, 92 total: Keller checks every box for a cramped forward. He has precise dimension at 6’7. He has a 3-level rating within the mid-80s. He’s the most handy dunker on the crew. He’s an elite offensive rebounder for a hover with a rating within the low 90s, which helps equip him to play minutes on the four. After a no longer easy shooting night in our Elite Eight loss final season — he went 1-for-7 from three — we’ll need Keller to be consistently noteworthy if we desire one extra toddle thru the bracket. Stale No. 101 total recruit out of Dallas with C+ doable. Projected 2d round employ.
PF Oscar Fray, redshirt senior, 88 total: Fray enters his third yr as a starter with a charming combination of dimension and talent that can role him up for a breakout senior yr. The 7-foot energy forward is a noteworthy three-level shooter for his set with a rating correct below 80. Defensively, he’s the stop-rated shot blocker on the crew, and in addition does a interesting precise job on the glass. Stale No. 118 total recruit out of Lynn, MA with C doable. Projected 2d round employ.
C Brody Munoz, redshirt senior, 92 total: Munoz within the slay gets the spotlight as a senior after backing up DJ Foster — a one-time NCAA match Most Prominent Participant — for his total career up to this level. We’re anticipated huge things, and no longer correct because he’s tied for the supreme rated participant on the roster going into the fashioned season. What Munoz lacks in elite dimension at 6’11 he can originate up for with energy, agility, and rebounding. We set aside an hiss to him to be truly precise at forcing turnovers, grabbing putbacks, and serving to enhance the paint. Stale No. 169 total recruit (No. 6 heart) out of Nashville with B doable. Projected lottery employ.
We procure an incredibly deep bench for our remaining season. Center Logan Polk (85 total) shall be our sixth man, and will be ready to accomplish a 3-man entrance court docket rotation with the 2 starters within the match. After that, we procure now a total lot of options however no longer a total lot of precise options.
Right here’s the rest of the bench: hover Jaycee Queen (80 total), hover Jerald Obasohan (79 total), guard Archie Howell (78 total), hover/guard James Haranga (74 total), guard Edwin Walls (74 total), and energy forward Kenny Butler (74 total).
That is de facto it. one year 40. The final dance. What a slump it has been. We begin the season at No. 4 within the polls.
How did the fashioned season crawl?
For our remaining fashioned season, we tried to schedule an exact mix of native colleges and historical huge convention competitors with a couple in-season tournaments thrown in for precise measure.
Right here’s how the fashioned season went:
Lift over Bradley
Lift over Nebraska
Lift over UTEP
Loss to Southern Illinois
Lift over Florida
Loss to Northwestern
Lift over Fresh Mexico
Lift over DePaul
That objects up a competitors game against Illinois. We’ve performed the Illini in nearly every season, and we don’t must close this dynasty without one extra dub. The losses to Southern Illinois and Northwestern had been a staunch bummer, and we wish a palate cleanser. Let’s crawl!
Sizable purchase, 102-68. Gape at Cristano Ngounou placing 17 points and 6 assists on the Illini. Admire seeing each starters within the entrance court docket — seniors Oscar Fray (13 points, 10 rebounds) and Brody Munoz (18 points, 11 rebounds) — each dropping a double-double, too. And the diagram in which about our unusual five-valuable individual JUCO addition Obasohan chipping in 12 points off the bench? No doubt promising performance from the boys.
We accumulate a huge purchase over Kansas in our subsequent game. That objects up one other marquee game with a program we don’t enjoy a great deal out of the order of North Carolina: Duke. We’ve combating with Duke on the court docket and on the recruiting path for 40 freaking years. Earn we close this competitors with a dub?
Ugh, loss, 88-83. Good video games from Bernie Doyle (19 points, four assists) and Oscar Fray (14 points, 12 rebounds), however it isn’t sufficient. That’s our third lack of the season. Safe bent, Duke.
We close the yr with three extra non-convention video games.
Lift over Illinois-Chicago
Lift over American
Lift over Arizona Speak
While we would perchance also fair procure lost the rest fight to Duke, I won the battle over Coach K with a critically better career by any measure (extra on that in a minute). Now it’s time to jump into convention play within the Summit League.
Did we crawl undefeated in convention season?
Yes we did, one other perfect 18-0 stretch.
Now we enter the convention match. Earn we punch one extra computerized enlighten to the NCAA match?
Lift over UMKC
Lift over Southern Utah
Lift over UL-Calcutta
We’re going to the NCAA match for the final time, however that isn’t even the headliner after winning the Summit League. Im taking house the convention match championship, I won game No. 1,171 of my career. That for the time being locations me before Coach K for the most wins all-time.
We procure constructed a noteworthy legacy at Western Illinois. Sooner than we enter the NCAA match, let’s put off a eye at our statistical leaders:
What a yr for Munoz. Dude sat on the bench for four seasons sooner than within the slay getting a starting role, and all he did used to be lead our crew in scoring at 17.2 points per game. Fray used to be awesome, too, averaging a hair under 15 points per game while chipping in nearly two blocks and 6 rebounds per game. It’s precise to eye Keller and Doyle each hit double-figures in scoring. I’m pretty surprised Cristano couldn’t even set aside up seven points a night after his huge game against Illinois, however the back and steals numbers are stable. We’re going to need him in March.
The Leathernecks are heading into the NCAA match at 32-3 on the yr. I will’t wait to eye what seed we accumulate.
2047 NCAA match
Neatly, we couldn’t close this dynasty without getting swindled by the Alternative Committee one extra time. We’re a No. 6 seed within the NCAA match. I assumed we would perchance also fair peaceable had been a prime-four seed without query.
We’ll start the match with a game against No. 11 seed Syracuse. Sheesh. Sooner than we accumulate to the game, let’s register on our roster one extra time:
I’m loving the vogue this crew improved thru the yr. We procure two awesome hover scorers with an elite combination of dimension and shooting in Keller and Doyle. We procure a total lot of toughen entrance with Munoz, Fray, and Polk. Ngounou entered this system as a 77 total and shot up to a 92 in three years and not using a redshirt. The bench also truly improved throughout the season and would perchance fair give us a total lot of diversified lineup options in March.
That is going to be a no longer easy toddle, starting with Syracuse. The Orange procure knocked us out of the huge dance sooner than, and consistently set aside together truly stable groups.
Our final dance begins now. As forever, we’re simulating every game, I’m no longer controlling the ‘Necks.
Lift, 105-73! What an absolute beatdown. We’ve entertaining on to the round of 32.
Long-time followers of the sequence will know that our Leathernecks procure forever been acknowledged as a 2d half of crew. It took set in a huge manner in this game. Syracuse ended the first half of stable to lower our lead to 9 points, however we hasty turned it correct into a blowout out of the break.
I assumed this used to be a fleshy all-round crew effort. Six gamers hit double-figures in scoring with no one placing up higher than Floyd Keller’s 15 points. Every person who performed recorded an back. I cherished this play from the first half of as soon as we role two screens for our five-valuable individual JUCO Obasohan that helped accumulate him an easy layup.
Our bench is a big query stamp coming into this match, mostly because it’s stuffed with a total lot of unusual faces who haven’t performed huge minutes in grab spots sooner than. I truly procure to negate, the performance of our reserves in our match opener used to be noteworthy encouraging. Obasohan namely looks enjoy a keeper after scoring 10 points on 4-of-5 shooting and knocking down a 3. We forever need hover depth, and he would perchance also fair peaceable be ready to form that on this toddle.
The obvious spotlight of Obasohan’s night: this unwell two-handed dunk in transition for an and-one.
We adore to indicate defense into offense, and Ngounou and Doyle’s skill to construct up into the passing lanes truly helps us accessible.
Talking of Ngounou in transition: he had a beautiful lift out on the break to position the game fully out of reach. That’s what you desire out of your level guard.
The purchase objects up a 2d round game against Colorado Speak
The Rams had been a stable program throughout this sim dynasty, steadily making NCAA match appearances. We procure a decisive edge in talent heading into this game.
We’re one purchase faraway from going to the Candy 16 and prolonged our toddle within the huge dance. One time, ‘Necks. Let’s crawl!
Lift, 109-79! We’re going to the Candy 16!
We didn’t would perchance also fair peaceable be a 2d half of crew in this one. Our ‘Necks blew the doors off Colorado Speak from the outlet tip-off. I assumed we performed a noteworthy game offensively as a result of our inner-out ball motion.
We had five scorers in double-figures in this one, however it used to be senior starters Bernie Doyle and Oscar Fray main the fee. We know Doyle is capable of taking on a game at his handiest, and he used to be awesome in this one: 20 points on 7-of-13 shooting from the area and 4-of-6 shooting from three. The staunch fable used to be Fray, though.
Fray used to be presumably the least enthralling lengthy-term prospect of our recruiting class when he entered this system alongside Doyle, Keller, and Munoz. That used to be mostly as a result of his 74 rating and C doable grade. While he’s forever been rated a few points lower than his classmates, Fray’s talent role on the court docket is so crucial to us. He’s a huge 7-foot energy forward who can defend the rim and shoot threes. What extra enact you desire?
Fray went off in this game: 22 points, eight rebounds, two assists, two steals on 9-of-11 shooting. I adore staring on the huge man shoot from deep. This used to be from NBA range.
Right here’s one extra purchase-and-shoot three for precise measure.
Fray would perchance accumulate slept on fair a minute on this crew, however he’s fully serious to our success if we must purchase all of it.
I also must express-out the bench for one other stable performance. I beloved what I saw out of Obasohan (11 points) and Howell (10 points). Since we procure now already bought two Obasohan clips in this post, why no longer originate it three? Admire him hitting this triple within the first half of to back us start up the lead.
The purchase objects up a Candy 16 game vs. Alabama
We’re now four wins faraway from ending this dynasty with a national championship. A Candy 16 game against Bama is going to be an absolute fight.
In our simulated future, the Tide procure develop correct into a basketball college. This program looks to originate the match yearly, and they also’ve given us a total lot of effort within the past.
A day out to the Elite Eight is on the line. Let’s crawl!
Lift, 112-69! We’re onto the Elite Eight!
Speak it with me: SECOND. HALF. TEAM. After an honest first half of left us with a six-level lead coming into the break, our ‘Necks fully torched the nets within the 2d half of to come again away with the blowout purchase. Seriously: we scored 66 points within the rest 20 minutes. That used to be an offensive health center at its handiest.
I had an exact feeling regarding the 2d half of when Cristano bought this three hit the rim enjoy 50 times sooner than falling. Every so steadily you would favor some precise success for your aspect.
A pair possessions later, Floyd Keller came down a ripped one other three. We within the slay had a double-digit lead, and we’d by no manner eye back.
It used to be noteworthy to eye Keller (15 points) accumulate going from deep. He hit all three of his makes an strive from beyond the arc.
While we don’t procure any clips of the entrance court docket from this game, they fully deserve credit for the purchase.
Fray turned in a single other astonishing performance, this one come what might even better than his final. He ended the game with 25 points, 14 rebounds, four assists, three steals, and three blocks on 10-of015 shooting. He didn’t strive a 3 (booooo) however he dominated the game on each ends. His entrance court docket mate Munoz used to be nearly as precise. The senior heart accomplished with 20 points and 16 rebounds. We kept going inner — Munoz and Fray combined for 35 (!) area aim makes an strive — and they also had been making the Bama defense pay.
No longer the most handy Bernie Buckets game (9 points on 3-of-10 shooting), however I clipped this shot from the first half of, so I would as successfully embed it right here.
Elite Eight, right here we come.
The purchase objects up an Elite Eight matchup against No. 1 seed Indiana
Our toddle within the NCAA match has been a breeze up to this level, however I effort things about to construct up much extra no longer easy. Our dauntless No. 6 seed is about to toddle into one of faculty basketball’s blue bloods: the stop-seeded Indiana Hoosiers.
The Elite Eight has been something of a bugaboo for us. We lost in this round final yr. We’ve lost in this round over and over sooner than. I don’t desire it to happen again.
A Closing Four day out is on the line. As forever, we’re staring at a simulated model of this game; I’m no longer controlling the Leathernecks. Let’s crawl!
Loss, 96-86. Oh my gosh. And proper enjoy that, our dream of ending this dynasty with a national title is over.
I’m devastated. I truly belief this crew used to be precise sufficient to send me out on prime, however it wasn’t meant to be. The Hoosiers’ start air shooters did us in. Indiana’s guard-heavy lineup caught fire from deep (10-of-21 for 47.6 p.c), and our perimeter assault couldn’t appreciate up. We handiest hit 6-of-22 (27.3 p.c) makes an strive from three.
What took set to our 2d half of crew this time? We had been handiest down two going into halftime, however we had been outscored by eight over the rest 20 minutes. Disturbing scene.
There had been some stable particular individual performances. Munoz went out stable with 23 points and 10 rebounds. Bernie Doyle dropped 21 points and hit this three-pointer to lift up us in it early.
Floyd Keller correct didn’t give us sufficient on the hover. He shot 1-of-8 from three within the loss. He did give us fair a minute juice in transition, no longer no longer up to.
Cristano performed all 40 minutes, and had eight points and 9 assists. I truly need I bought one other yr with him as a senior subsequent season.
Sadly there is rarely a subsequent season. After 40 years at Western Illinois, our sim dynasty is over. Right here are some remaining numbers on the sequence:
Closing file: 1,177-213
10 national championships (tied with John Wood for the most in men’s college basketball historical past)
15 Closing Four appearances
25 Candy 16 appearances
Closing NCAA match file: 113-27
38 Summit League fashioned season championships
35 Summit League match championships
38 seasons with 20+ wins
61 gamers drafted
The article I’m most relaxed with? After we made the NCAA match for the first time in one year 3, we didn’t movement over it again the rest of this dynasty.
Is Ricky Charisma the most enthralling men’s college basketball coach ever?
I feel so. Right here’s how we stack up to other prime coaches in NCAA historical past in crucial categories.
Ricky Charisma: 1,179
Mike Krzyzewski: 1,170
Jim Boeheim: 1,083
Roy Williams: 903
Bob Knight: 899
Dean Smith: 879
Jim Calhoun: 877
Adolph Rupp: 876
Bob Huggins: 828
Eddie Sutton: 806
Ricky Charisma: 110
Mike Krzyzewski: 94
Roy Williams: 77
Dean Smith: 65
Jim Boeheim: 57
Tom Izzo: 52
Jim Calhoun: 49
John Wood: 47
Closing Four appearances
Ricky Charisma: 15
Mike Krzyzewski: 12
John Wood: 12
Dean Smith: 11
Roy Williams: 9
Tom Izzo: 8
Rick Pitino: 7
Denny Crum, Adolph Rupp, John Calipari: 6
Consecutive match appearances
Western Illinois: 36
North Carolina: 27
Michigan Speak: 23
Ricky Charisma: 84.7
Imprint Few: 83.44
Sam Burton: 83.33
Clair Bee: 82.444
Adolph Rupp: 82.1
John Wood: 80.3
Ricky Charisma: 10
John Wood: 10
Mike Krzyzewski: 5
Adolph Rupp: 4
Roy Williams: 3
Jim Calhoun: 3
Bobby Knight: 3
Who’s the most handy participant in Western Illinois historical past?
That’s the huge query throughout the fanbase appropriate now. Sooner than we accumulate to it, let’s eye back at our most enthralling recruiting wins.
We landed five five-valuable individual recruits out of the home high college ranks throughout my time at Western Illinois. We also signed 9 five-valuable individual JUCO recruits, and 6 five-valuable individual world recruits from locations enjoy Fresh Zealand (express-out Dave French), Montenegro (anti express-out Vitor Andrisevic), France (what up, Kim Kone!), and Cameroon.
The supreme-rated recruit in program historical past used to be Sammy Yan at No. 10 total in 2032. He used to be interesting much a disappointment. The program’s all-time main scorer used to be heart Vinnie Harmon with 2,452 career points throughout his career. He used to be the No. 122 total recruit and the No. 8 heart (these that adopted the sequence or performed the game know that companies are forever weirded underrated on the recruiting path).
Right here are some extra numbers throughout match video games handiest (aka, the video games we streamed), from the astonishing Leathernecks Database maintained by our fans:
The supreme rated participant in program historical past is a tie between cramped forward Nic Cummings and level guard Duncan Martinez, who are the most handy gamers to place 97 total. Cummings namely is a noteworthy different for the GOAT. He ended his career with three national titles, though handiest one as a starter. He’s prime-10 for me, however no longer No. 1.
The of us’s different for the GOAT is Deke Van, the legendary heart who helped lift us to our first national title in one year 8. Deke’s turn from from one year 7 goat to one year 8 GOAT is the most memorable we’ve ever had. We couldn’t procure accomplished any of this without you, Deke.
When Coach enlighten you youre guarding @deke_van https://t.co/RDhmDAPRA8 pic.twitter.com/fm2udgvMZT— Ryan Thomas (@RTtheSID) May per chance per chance 10, 2020
As the sequence went on, other noteworthy gamers emerged who accomplished with gaudier stats and better resumes.
My non-public current would perchance well be Bert Draughan, Mr. Basketball out of Chicago (No. 29 total recruit), who went on to purchase a title with us in one year 13 and in addition starred for our one year 11 crew that started the season 35-0 sooner than losing to Michigan Speak within the Closing Four. Harmon is one other gorgeous different. Skip Clemmons helped us purchase three national titles in one year 23, one year 24, and one year 26. Albert Jagla, Clemmons’ extinct teammate, performed a huge aim in our first back-to-back championship squad, and is arguably the most enthralling perimeter bucket-getter in program historical past.
All-time current moment? No longer probably to negate. The predominant one that involves mind is Kim Kone’s crawl-forward nook three within the 2024 match. Najeeb Goode’s put off vs. UCLA within the Closing Four to back us purchase our 2d title in one year 13 also stands out. There used to be also the time valuable individual energy forward Allen Cunningham took off his pants mid-game.
Thanks to everyone who be taught, watched, and interacted
I started this sequence on April 11, 2020, a few weeks after the pandemic had shut down all ‘staunch’ sports. At the time, I was gearing up to disguise the 2020 NCAA match. That by no manner took set. I had college basketball on my mind, and I forever wanted to jot down something on ‘College Hoops 2K8’, presumably my current on-line game ever. This project is what came of it.
I had no belief if someone used to be going to be taught this. I positively did no longer assume I’d lift out out all 40 years enjoy a total lunatic. I didn’t assume I’d write the identical of additional than one books by manner of total be aware depend.
Luminous sooner than I dropped the first post within the sequence, I tweeted this:
Obtained a staunch unimaginative weblog post coming— Ricky O’Donnell (@SBN_Ricky) April 11, 2020
I wrote round 70 posts within the sequence, counting the inaugural Hall of Repute induction (be taught a huge Deke Van retrospective at that link) and two posts of my Deke Van x Seattle Supersonics race-off. I’m estimating I wrote 200,000 words in this sequence. That’s regarding the dimensions of “The Fellowship of the Ring.”
I peaceable can’t appreciate every thing that came from this sequence. The Washington Post wrote a profile on it. I went on WGN TV and did a few radio spots promoting it. We supplied a Deke Van t-shirt with Homefield Apparel. Our sequence inspired a brand unusual perfect friend in Japan named Thanh Nguyen to jot down a pair of e-books at the side of upper depth to our fable. Friend of this system Mike Rutherford did an astonishing hype video for our first championship toddle. After I moved the sequence to Substack for a few months, higher than 7,000 of us signed up for electronic mail updates and peaceable remain. Our first Twitch movement for the one year 8 Closing Four drew higher than 7,000 total viewers, and had 2,500 concurrent viewers on it at as we had been closing out the purchase. On SB Nation, the sequence has been considered higher than 500K times.
What truly made the project special used to be forever the crew round it. Some immediate express-outs:
The Leathernecks Database is an astonishing companion to this sequence. You must even lost in there. Thanks to the diehards to helped appreciate it, and reader Evan for starting it.
As a result of of my man who started the Leathernecks Nation instagram fan web page and whoever is leisurely the wondrous false Deke Van twitter story.
As a result of of everyone within the Discord who maintained ‘Necks discussion forever and perpetually.
Thank the diehards that came out for every Twitch movement. I don’t must title names because I’ll put out of your mind someone, however you perceive who you may well presumably be. I adore you all. I also must thank the readers for preserving up with the recaps, and everyone who emailed me solutions throughout the sequence. I also must thank my buddy Scott for introducing me to the game and running thru extra than one 40-yr dynasties with me manner sooner than I ever belief to be running a blog thru it enjoy this. This sequence would no longer exist without him.
Yow will detect a link to every post within the sequence right here.
What a slump it’s been. As I sim thru to the close of the calendar, I’m greeted with this message.
Thanks, everyone. Poke ‘Necks.