User Interview: Mswilso2

Q&A with noted Hoops Dynasty user Mswilso2

We recently met with noted Hoops Dynasty user and WIS Golf Outing organizer Mswilso2 to discuss recruiting, the Naismith Freedom Conference, statheads, the fast break and press, first impressions of Hardball Dynasty, Kenyon Martin, the ultimate meritocracy and Barrett Gillen.

WIS

Who is Mswilso2?

Mswilso2

I am Mike Wilson, father of three, married to my high school sweetheart. I love sports and am a bit of a stathead. I got my B.S. in Math from the University of Cincinnati and now work as an IT consultant.

WIS

How did you learn about whatifsports.com?

Mswilso2

Probably how a lot of the people on the site who are from around here did, by listening to Lance McAllister. However, I had actually heard of the site before in its very early days when it was hosted by a company I worked for. I had meant to check it out, but never did until I heard Lance mention it.

WIS

What games of ours have you played?

Mswilso2

I first played baseball and did pretty well. After awhile though, I lost interest and did not play as much. I had gotten pretty good at open leagues and did not have the time to get into some of the more detailed theme leagues. Then, Hoops Dynasty came around and I fell in love. I've got three teams accounting for 40 seasons and over 1,800 games. I also just started playing Hardball Dynasty. The best part about the dynasty games is that, yes they are fun just like SimLeagues, but they never get sterile because of the community that is formed in the world. I have been in the same HD conference in Naismith for 15 seasons. Three of us (alblack56 and fumoves) have been around since season 2 and most of the other coaches joined soon after that and have stayed since. I don't ever see myself leaving the Freedom Conference in Naismith. Of course we are competitive, but we have a blast. Someday, I'll try the NBA and NFL, but the other two games take up most of the little free time that I have.

WIS

Besides simulation sports websites, what are some of your other interests and hobbies?

Mswilso2

My family is very important to me. Otherwise, I play basketball, softball, golf or pretty much any other sport with a ball in it when I can. And poker, I've gotten into hold'em and host games occasionally.

WIS

Why do you think it is that sports are so big in our culture?

Mswilso2

Sports are the ultimate meritocracy. Americans love to see the best do the best. Sports provide the purest form of competition.

WIS

Who are your favorite players of all-time?

Mswilso2

Kenyon Martin, I am a big University of Cincinnati fan. He worked so hard and it was so great to see physically gifted, but otherwise average basketball player blossom into the best player in the nation. I happened to be on campus around that time as well, so to see his career unfold in front of me was even better. For baseball, I loved Eric Davis. He probably had the most talent of any contemporary ballplayer. Who knows what his career would have looked like had he stayed away from injuries? In football, I know it's another local player, but Boomer Esiason has always been one of my favorite football players. With basketball, I grew up wanting to be Magic Johnson. I got half way there; I ended up a guard, but not 6'9". For current players, if he were not a Cardinal, I'd like him even more, but Albert Pujols is fun to watch. And, I'll give an honorable mention to Chad Johnson. I know why some call it the No Fun League. Chad is entertaining and it's great to watch. If teams don't like it when he dances, they should do a better job of keeping him out of the endzone.

WIS

What are your favorite teams?

Mswilso2

UC Bearcats, Cincinnati Reds and Bengals and the Los Angeles Lakers

WIS

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

Mswilso2

I played just about everything growing up before high school. When I was in high school, I did not even make the freshman basketball team though I was the best big man at practice. The coach looked at me and told me that I played well, but was never going to grow. Somehow, he nailed it. I'm the same height now as I was then. After that, I played in rec basketball and softball leagues and got more and more into golf.

WIS

What is the top sports related thing you want to do in life that you have not yet done?

Mswilso2

I'd love to do to an AFC Championship game at Paul Brown Stadium. It's not that the stadium is that big of a deal though, I have definitely been there before, but to see the Bengals have a chance at the Super Bowl would be great. There are several MLB ballparks that I'd like to get to as well. And, I think the NCAA Final Four would rank up there.

WIS

What is your greatest WIS moment?

Mswilso2

The season that I won the D-III HD National Championship with my long-term dynasty at DeSales in Naismith World. I have been at DeSales since season 2 of the world and I'm not even sure it was my best team with that school, but everything came together that year. I now have 3 titles - one at each level - though one of those was in DI at Missouri where I lucked into a great team. The other two were all with my own players that I had recruited.

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?

Mswilso2

It really depends on the level/division. In general though, I look for good all-around players. With DeSales at DIII, I look for slightly above average overall players who have high Work Ethics since I know that I am going to be coaching them all the way through. For DI, just about every player is a superstar with 90s in most core categories. At that level, I look for important attributes like Speed, Athleticism and Defense that are hard to improve and allow for the most amount of differentiation among the nation's top players. And, whether I think I'll be staying with the school for a while or not, I always recruit like I will be there to coach the player all four years.

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?

Mswilso2

I'll run whatever the school ran before I got there as long as it is not the fast break. There has been quite a bit of conversation about whether the fast break/press is dead. While I would not necessarily call it dead, it seems that teams running it tend to perform below expectations for the players' talent levels. On offense, I prefer motion. From what I understand, the sim treats the Flex, Triangle and Motion similarly, but the motion is the hardest to improve and also the most effective. On defense, I prefer Man or Zone. At DI though, I like to run the combo defenses because it's easier to master the team strategies when less time is needed for individual practice.

WIS

What is your basic strategy for setting your depth chart?

Mswilso2

No real strategy. I just play the best players for the most minutes. In recruiting, I don't hesitate to offer starting spots. If I'm going to play the guy a certain number of minutes in his first season, I don't really care when in the game they come.

WIS

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

Mswilso2

I try to minimize wasted minutes. Generally, I'll try to get my team average to a B- on offense and defense and then pull back a bit on minutes. This usually calls for about 15-20 minutes on each set and allows my seniors to graduate in the A-/A range.

WIS

How do you approach allotting individual practice time?

Mswilso2

I have been changing this up a bit lately. My newest focus has been on Free-Throw shooting where I tend to allocate at least 12 minutes of individual practice. For most of my teams, conditioning is very important because I tend to recruit talented players with low stamina. If he is going to redshirt or play just a few minutes in his first couple of seasons, there is no need to recruit a player with high stamina as long as I can build it up by the time I need him for significant minutes. Otherwise, I look at the core areas of improvement - shooting, rebounding and passing.

WIS

Do you have any favorite players from any of your HD or SimLeague baseball teams?

Mswilso2

I could name every player from all of my DeSales teams and tell you the seasons he played for the team. Barrett Gillen was one of the best. He played in seasons 3-6 and won the National Player of the Year as senior. Alfred Cortez just won the National Player of the Year in Season 14. And this year, I have a senior point guard James Clark who started the season as a 751 overall in DIII. He probably will not win any big honors, but I have never seen a player that high at this level. Clark was just a guy with a high Work Ethic and improvable skills who I redshirted for a year and has become amazing.

WIS

Have any other coaches sought you out for help? Do you mind helping other users?

Mswilso2

Yeah, there have been several users who contact me for help. I don't mind answering questions. If I have time, I'll help out.

WIS

Who are the users you respect the most?

Mswilso2

AJCrawford69, my brother-in-law, and I talk HD all the time. We'll spend an hour on the phone talking recruiting or strategy and we have each other's logons to run teams while the other is away. The guys in the Freedom Conference in Naismith are all great. Alblack56 started with me and is one of the best users on the site. DHerz_263 is another user from that conference who makes the game fun. Infinitebob, Anux and Tapdatazz are three guys whom I have met with over lunch a few times to talk HD.

WIS

What is your favorite aspect of HD?

Mswilso2

It's the community. Also, the fact that there is always something going on, allowing us to really get into it.

WIS

Based on user feedback, Hoops Dynasty has been ever-changing since it began in March of 2004, what changes have you seen that you liked the most?

Mswilso2

Non-conference scheduling is unbelievable. Hopefully, the addition of preseason tournaments is not too far off.

WIS

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

Mswilso2

There is nothing that I hate. If I were to change anything, I would try to make recruiting less formulaic with some built-in preferences for players. Now, it's just an experiment in game theory.

WIS

What is your ultimate goal in Hoops Dynasty?

Mswilso2

I would like to coach Cincinnati to a national title. I just got there in Smith and recently had the #1 RPI so hopefully, I'm not too far off.

WIS

Tell us about the golf outing.

Mswilso2

The 2nd Annual WIS Golf Outing will be a great opportunity to meet some of the employees and users from the site. You'll realize how many great people are involved with the WIS community and it's a chance to do something fun with a group of people you would not normally see. The event takes place on July 8th at the Willows Course in Kenton County, KY just south of Cincinnati. For more information please see the thread in the main Hoops Dynasty forum.

WIS

If you were in one of our games, which sport would you play? At which position? And, what would you be rated?

Mswilso2

Realistically, I'd be in Hoops Dynasty as a DIII SG with excess Rebounding, Low Post ability and very high Work Ethic. I'd probably be rated in the 450-500 range overall as a solid contributor who could play at that level.

Return to Interviews

Hoops Dynasty

Coach, recruit, and run your own college basketball program.

Every DI, DII & DIII College Awaits


SimLeague Baseball

Compete in a full season with your dream team from MLB past and present. Lineups, player settings, trades, prizes and more.

Try It For Free


SimLeague Hockey

Compete in a full season with your dream team from NHL past and present. Line & pair management, goalie options, prizes and more.

Try It For Free

What is WhatIfSports?

WhatIfSports.com is a sports simulation and online gaming site providing free content and unique games for the MLB, NBA, NFL, NHL, NCAA sports and more.

Join WhatIfSports.com today to get these members only benefits:

  • Create your own Dream Team
  • Save your favorite SimMatchup results
  • Play a FREE SimLeague trial season
  • Start playing a Dynasty game
  • Manage baseball games LIVE
  • Access to SiteMail
  • Post in our Forums
  • Build a Buddy list to easily invite friends
  • Use our online Customer Service
  • Earn game credits by using our Referral & Affiliate program

Terms of Use Customer Support Privacy Statement Advertising Choices

Popular on WhatIfSports site: Baseball Simulation | College Basketball Game | College Football Game | Online Baseball Game | Hockey Simulation | NFL Picks | College Football Picks | Sports Games

© 1999-2014 WhatIfSports.com, Inc. All rights reserved. Use of this website (including any and all parts and components) constitutes your acceptance of these Terms of Use and Privacy Policy. WhatIfSports is a trademark of WhatIfSports.com, Inc. SimLeague, SimMatchup and iSimNow are trademarks or registered trademarks of Electronic Arts, Inc. Used under license. The names of actual companies and products mentioned herein may be the trademarks of their respective owners.