Western Michigan Men's Basketball 2014 NCAA Tournament Capsule

Western Michigan Broncos
Mid-American (23-9, 14-4)


Once again the expectations were down for Western Michigan and once again, for the fifth time in seven years, the Broncos earned at least a share of the MAC West title. That is an impressive feat in a conference known for its balance. WMU had a couple opportunities in non-conference play to pick up a big win, but failed to do so, although they did beat New Mexico State and Oakland which were decent wins at the time. But saving the best for conference play worked out for Coach Steve Hawkins and company.

Big Wins: 11/8 vs New Mexico State (70-64), 1/8 Toledo (87-76), 2/5 Ohio (90-74)
Bad Losses: 11/10 at Hawaii (68-78), 12/18 at Drake (68-71), 1/9 Bowling Green (64-69)
Coach: Steve Hawkins (11 seasons at Western Michigan)

Why They Can Surprise:
David Brown has drastically increased his production during his senior season. He was always a dangerous outside shooter and could mix up his game by attacking the basket, but this year he has done it all much, much more often. Brown lives at the free-throw line and it seems like he can get to 20 points even when his shot is not falling. Shayne Whittington provides the Broncos with a big low post scoring option. The 6-11 senior is a big time rebounder and the inside half of one of the most potent inside-outside combos in the MAC.

Why They Can Disappoint:
The concern for this team heading into the postseason is their depth. Connar Tava and Tucker Haymond are the only forwards who see any significant playing time. Tava is basically a point forward and does a lot of different things for this team, but he is only 6-6. Haymond has even less girth to throw around. Running a couple 6-6 forwards for ten minutes per game while Whittington takes a break is fine in the MAC, but it could be a different story now. If Whittington finds himself on the bench due to foul trouble, scoring in the paint will get easy for the opposition. And the Western Michigan defense that will already give up easy buckets due to turnovers, will allow even more easy points in the point.

Probable Starters:
Austin Richie, Junior, Guard, 8.0 ppg, 2.4 apg
David Brown, Senior, Guard, 19.4 ppg, 1.8 apg
Connar Tava, Sophomore, Forward, 12.0 ppg, 5.8 rpg
Tucker Haymond, Freshman, Forward, 7.0 ppg, 3.8 rpg
Shayne Whittington, Senior, Center, 16.3 ppg, 9.1 rpg, 1.6 bpg

Key Roleplayers:
Jared Klein, Sophomore, Guard, 3.4 ppg
Taylor Perry, Sophomore, Guard, 1.2 ppg, 1.3 apg

By the Numbers:
Scoring Offense: 71.9 (158th in nation, 4th in conference)
Scoring Defense: 67.4 (104, 7)
Field-Goal Percentage: 46.4 (69, 2)
Field-Goal Defense: 40.8 (55, 3)
Three-Point Field Goals Per Game: 5.9 (204, 7)
Three-Point Field-Goal Percentage: 33.0 (224, 5)
Free-Throw Percentage: 72.1 (97, 3)
Rebound Margin: 2.0 (123, 5)
Assists Per Game: 11.5 (259, 8)
Turnovers Per Game: 14.4 (314, 9)

Recent Postseason Appearances:
2013    CBI    First Round win over North Dakota State
2013    CBI    Quarterfinal win over Wyoming
2013    CBI    Semifinal loss to George Mason
2011    CIT    First Round win over Tennessee Tech
2011    CIT    Second Round loss to Buffalo
2005    NIT    First round win over Marquette
2005    NIT    Second round loss to TCU
2004    NCAA    Round of 64 loss to Vanderbilt
2003    NIT    Opening round win over Illinois-Chicago
2003    NIT    First round loss to Siena
1998    NCAA    Round of 64 win over Clemson
1998    NCAA    Round of 32 loss to Stanford

*all team stats through 3/9


See All Men’s Basketball Postseason Capsules