User Interview: Delynn10

Q&A with noted WhatIfSports user Delynn10

College basketball season is in full-swing with conference play upon us. At WhatIfSports.com though, the madness has continued on for almost a year since the advent of our Hoops Dynasty game that puts users in complete control of college programs. Everyone starts at the DIII level and works to make it up the ranks to a DI school. Just three users (kobylesky, jasonrawson and brian2470) have advanced on to accept positions at DI schools.

Delynn10, who has succeeded at the DII and DIII levels in multiple worlds, is a user still seeking his first national championship and a promotion to DI. We recently met with Delynn10 to discuss Hoops Dynasty, Xavier basketball, the state of sports, losing to admin, shampoo and pitching to Ken Griffey Jr.

WIS

Thanks for taking the time out to meet with us.

WIS

Who is Delynn10?

Delynn10

The name itself was my 1st email address and I have continued to use it for everything so I can keep things simple and never forget. Besides that, I am a 35 year old production supervisor for a local shampoo manufacturer who recently graduated at the top of my class from Xavier University. I also spent eight years in the Navy.

WIS

How did you learn about WhatIfSports.com and Hoops Dynasty?

Delynn10

Lance (McAlister on 1360 WCKY in Cincinnati) talked about it on his show so I tried it and was hooked.

WIS

Have you tried any of our other games besides Hoops Dynasty?

Delynn10

Not yet, I will eventually try Gridiron Dynasty, but for now, I focus on Hoops Dynasty.

WIS

Which coaches, past or present, did you draw on for inspiration?

Delynn10

It may be the easy answer, but I really admire (Xavier Head Coach) Sean Miller. I have followed his career as an assistant and, even though the team has struggled a bit so far this year, he seems to go about things the right way. Around here, I also really like (Miami University Head Coach) Charlie Coles. He is always a fascinating interview, gets so much out of his players and his players seem to love playing for him. The man has battled through heart problems and is still passionate and energetic about the game. He teaches a philosophy of basketball course up at Miami that I would love to attend, if I can.

WIS

Who are your favorite players of all-time?

Delynn10

Growing up, I always played baseball and followed the Reds. Eric Davis was my favorite player because I loved how hard he played the game. I also loved Tom Browning. Here was a modern-day major league pitcher who might have thrown in the mid-80s, never blew anyone away, but still got guys out. As a pitcher without overwhelming stuff, I respected that. As far as basketball goes, I loved to watch Michael Jordan play.

WIS

What are your favorite teams?

Delynn10

All the local teams: the Reds, the Xavier Musketeers, the Bengals (thanks for bringing me back, Marvin Lewis), and the Cincinnati Bearcats. Although, the older I get the farther down the list the Bearcats fall.

WIS

Did you play much basketball (or other sports) growing up?

Delynn10

Actually, I only played baseball competitively.

WIS

What are your thoughts on the current state(s) of collegiate and professional sports/athletics?

Delynn10

I have become disenfranchised towards just about all professional sports since the last baseball strike and rarely follow them anymore. At this point, I'd rather go to the local ballpark and watch 12 year olds play than go to a Reds game. College has its issues too and always will, but as long as most of the bad stuff is cleaned up, I'll still watch. Hopefully, I never reach the point of becoming disenfranchised with college sports. What then? I suppose you'd find me in a high school gym.

WIS

What, if anything, would you change about college basketball?

Delynn10

This isn't directly related to college basketball, but it would help the sport. I think the NBA needs to bring together all of the smaller leagues and make a true minor league system (like baseball). Face it, college is not for everyone and not everyone can go straight to the NBA either. And (outside of this), I do not know how to resolve payment for players in college. On one hand, I firmly believe that a college scholarship is valuable and worthy of play for the next four years. Yet, I have personally seen a basketball player show up on campus with next to nothing. We're talking about a guy wearing the same pair of sweats until the warm-ups were issued. So, I understand that some players need more. A minor league could help bring stability to college basketball and improve the NBA too.

WIS

In Hoops Dynasty, how do you approach recruiting? How much of an edge do you think your strategy and subsequent results give you per season?

Delynn10

Honestly, I would say that I am an average to just above average recruiter at best. I have tried just about every strategy to recruiting and have found that I have the most success if I narrow my list down and focus only on a few players. You can't give out more scholarships than you have and no one plays all 12 guys, so I keep it narrow. When I search for players, I look at perimeter and defense for most guards and low-post, rebounding and defense for interior players.

WIS

What style offense/defense do you choose to run? Does it vary based on the school/roster? And, what, if anything, do you change when winning/losing late?

Delynn10

It really depends on the team. If I get an experienced team with high basketball IQs, then I will not change much. If I inherit a young team, I will still probably keep the offense the same and switch the defense to zone. So far, zone seems to work the best in the game. I went man-to-man for a while and got in foul trouble. Once I get to DI, I would like to try a press with more athletic players.

WIS

What is your basic strategy for setting your depth chart? How many players do you normally play in a game?

Delynn10

I usually play about 8, using each player's stamina as a percentage of the total 40 minutes to determine his maximum playing time.

WIS

Approximately how much practice time do you devote to offensive/defensive sets?

Delynn10

Again, this depends a lot on the team's general IQ. An experienced team may get 10-12 minutes, while a young team will get between 20-25 minutes. For a while, it seemed the pattern for improvement was pretty obvious and everyone had figured itout. I'd give my guys exactly the amount of minutes they needed to reach a certain setting by tournament time. Now that it is a little more random, I haven't tried to be as scientific about it.

WIS

How do you approach allotting individual practice time?

Delynn10

I look first at where each player can improve. If a center has a passing rating of 3, then I will not practice that at all. Specifically, I love defense. After I sure up at least two scoring options, I make sure that all of my players work on defense.

WIS

What are your thoughts on maintaining academic standards/requirements?

Delynn10

Never cheat study hall. I usually start with 10 minutes of individual practice time in study hall for everyone until the mid-term grades come out.

WIS

Even with an ever-changing game, you have remained consistent and quite successful. How do you deal with relatively new features such as offensive distribution, double-teaming, redshirts, etc.?

Delynn10

I think one of the greatest strengths of my teams is good offensive balance, so I love the offensive distribution option that allows me to ensure this balance. I have tried double-teaming, but think that it may do a little more harm than good, so I don't do it often. And, with redshirting, I have redshirted by best perimeter player on my Northwood team in Wooden because I did not think I could get him enough playing time and I want to help out whoever gets my team next.

WIS

Do you have any favorite players from any of your teams? Have any players disappointed you?

Delynn10

In general, I am far more concerned with the overall result, but I have definitely had players disappoint me. I recruited a great player with low durability and work ethic and got what I feared most; an adequate player who got hurt twice a year and hardly improved.

WIS

Your teams in the last five seasons, spanning two worlds, have all finished in the top 9 of the national rankings and top 16 of the RPI. What do you believe is your biggest key to success?

Delynn10

Besides blind luck? I believe that a balanced scoring attack and a focus on defense have helped me.

WIS

What teams/coaches have proven to be your biggest challenge?

Delynn10

I appreciate the coaches in the WIAC Conference of Wooden who went on and on about my "overrated" Calvin team before I won a game against their best team. I was also hoping that weasel65 would get promoted to DI in Rupp because his DII team is so good that he'll probably overtake me in wins this season.

WIS

What are your thoughts on losing to Admin in the DII national championship?

Delynn10

This game is all about having fun so I don't have any issues with it. The only thing that disappointed me is the way that I lost. I got blown out, but I still got the reward points as if I had won.

WIS

When you first started in World 3, season 1, did you seek any help from other users who already had a team in one of the first two worlds?

Delynn10

I read through most of the forums to see what all of the experienced users were saying. I got a kick out of i(nfinite)bob and all of his stories. He probably upset a bunch of people, but I find him entertaining.

WIS

You are relatively unknown among most users because you do not post in the forums. Do you believe you receive as much credit for your success as you deserve?

Delynn10

Actually, I believe that this interview alone is more than I deserve. I've just had the right teams so any credit I get is probably too much.

WIS

You may not post in the forums, but you do offer advice and comments on the league standings page. Have any other coaches sought you out for help? Do you mind helping other users?

Delynn10

A few coaches have contacted me looking for help. I will answer all of their questions to the best of my ability. I've even broken down an entire roster of a team in my conference to help out another coach before. Although, I don't feel that I know any big secrets that other coaches do not.

WIS

You spent two years with Union in World 3, spent a season at Capital in World 6 and have remained the coach at Calvin for four seasons in World 2. What advice can you give to rookie coaches in Division III?

Delynn10

I think choosing a team is important. Be up at midnight or whenever the world opens and find a team with a good defense, runs an offense and defense that you like and only has a couple of scholarships available. Then, you can play with the settings, but do not over-coach.

WIS

Having made the championship and compiled a 68-11 record with Northwood, what advice do you have for coaches who have just made the transition to DII?

Delynn10

Similarly, finding a team is important. I also think that it may be valuable to find a team in a "power" conference to help your RPI.

WIS

What is your favorite aspect of HD?

Delynn10

Just the technical management of an actual basketball game. The more aspects that I can control the better.

WIS

Based on user feedback, Hoops Dynasty has been ever-changing since it began in March, what changes have you seen that you liked the most?

Delynn10

Adding settings for offensive distribution.

WIS

What changes haven't you liked?

Delynn10

All of the changes have added to the challenge and fun of the game. No complaints.

WIS

What is your least favorite aspect of Hoops Dynasty? If you could change one thing about HD, what would it be?

Delynn10

Well, I would love to see more and more aspects of the game to control and a wider variety of offenses and defenses with some gimmick sets to use. (I'd also like to see a player with a free throw rating of F be able to improve.)

WIS

What is your ultimate goal in Hoops Dynasty?

Delynn10

To have fun, experiment and make it to Xavier.

WIS

Three people in other worlds (Kobylesky, Brian2470, Jasonrawson) have already moved on to DI, what do you think it will take for you to get there? Where do you want to coach first?

Delynn10

I think I should be able to make it after this season in Rupp if I pick a major bottom-feeder. Otherwise, I've been using my Calvin team in Wooden and Capital team in Allen to build up rewards points and experiment with no real goal to make it to DI.

Special WIS Note:

11-0 when the interview was conducted, Delynn10's DII Northwood team is now 13-4 and unranked. We claim no responsibility for the poor turn of events and wish Dave the best of luck in the future (except on 1/8/05 when he takes on Findlay).

User Profile

LoginID:Delynn10
Name:Dave Lynn
Age:35
Location:Cincinnati
Occupation:Production Supervisor
Favorite Sport(s):College Basketball (was baseball)
Favorite Team(s):Xavier University
Favorite Sports Memory:As a player, my favorite memory was earning my 1st save in a 14-15 Babe Ruth league. It just so happened to be against Ken Griffey Jr.'s team, Cincinnati Concession. I came in to the game in the 7th inning with runners on the corners and nobody out. My team was up 4 to 1. I struck a guy out and popped 2 out to second. For years, I told guys in the Navy that I struck out Ken Griffey Jr. My buddy corrected me years later and said that he popped out to second. Of course, my buddy was playing second. Well, it was 20 years ago so who knows.
Member Since:3/2004
Greatest WIS Moment:Beating ericschmidt's team on a last second free throw in a Sweet 16 game in Wooden last season with my "overrated" Calvin team.
Motto:Question everything.

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