User Interview: Jweb1510

Q&A with noted SimLeague Basketball user Jweb1510

We recently contacted SimLeague Basketball veteran, Jweb1510, to discuss drafting minutes, setting depth charts, Robert Montgomery Knight, CSI, the WIS monkey, theme leagues and Kelvin Sampson.

WIS

Who is Jweb1510?

Jweb1510

I am a 24-year-old banker from west central Indiana. I have been happily married for almost two years now. My wife and I anticipate having kids in the future, God willing, but we have none at this time. I graduated from Indiana University in 2006 (my wife in 2007), and I bleed cream-and-crimson.

WIS

How did you learn about WhatIfSports.com?

Jweb1510

My government teacher in my senior year of high school (2002), knowing I was a die-hard Indiana Hoosiers fan, showed it to me one day. I instantly fell in love, and I've been graciously donating money to WIS ever since.

WIS

Which of our games have you played? And which do you prefer?

Jweb1510

I have been a regular in the NBA sim for six years, and I have also played a few full seasons of HD. I've played freebie leagues for NFL and MLB, but I don't feel I know enough about either sport to venture into a full-season league yet. Obviously, my preference is the NBA sim.

WIS

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

Jweb1510

I am very active in my local church, and serving God and my church take up a hefty chunk of my free time. I love golfing, and I try to get out a few times a month during the season. My family, being from rural Indiana, is laden with NASCAR fans, and we all follow the sport pretty closely. We've had a family fantasy league going for seven years now. My wife and I are also aficionados of the crime dramas on TV (CSI and the like). And I actually enjoy cooking, another common interest my wife and I share. We also play a lot of board and card games with my family and our church friends.

WIS

Who are some of your favorite coaches, players and teams of all-time?

Jweb1510

My favorite coach - and the greatest coach of all-time - is Robert Montgomery Knight. He got more out of his players than any other coach, and he ran a squeaky clean program. He graduated 98% of his players, and he donated millions of dollars to the IU library. Now that he's semi-retired, my favorite coaches are Rick Pitino and Tom Izzo. If either of those guys ended up as the next coach at IU, I will be beyond ecstatic.

My favorite player ever on the collegiate level is D.J. White, a senior at IU currently. He has always been an emotional leader on the floor (moreso now, with Sampson's resignation), and he's also very polite in person. My shameless mother accosted him when we ran into him in Bloomington once, and he was very gracious and polite to her. Most IU players would also fall into my favorite players category. The short list of my favorite NBA players of all time would include Reggie Miller, Michael Jordan, Dennis Rodman (for his on-court antics only), Alonzo Mourning, Larry Johnson, Muggsy Bogues, and Dell Curry.

My favorite team would have to be the 1986-87 national champions from IU, though I was barely potty-trained when Keith Smart hit that gorgeous game-winner against Syracuse. I still tear up every time I see it. I also loved the 1997-98 Valparaiso team, not only because of their Cinderella run in the tourney, but also because of the good Christian men they had coaching (Homer Drew) and playing (Bryce Drew) on that team. Regarding NBA teams, it's hard to top the 1992-93 Bulls in my eyes. The only team that comes close would be the 1999-00 Pacers.

Outside of basketball, I'm a Chicago Cubs fan and an Indianapolis Colts fan. Ryne Sandberg is my all-time favorite Cub, and I have always loved the Manning-Harrison duo. Tony Dungy is a great coach and an amazing person as well. I'm a big NASCAR fan too, and my favorite driver is Kevin Harvick. I cheer for IU's football team too, but that's almost as bad as being a Cubs fan. Almost.

WIS

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

Jweb1510

I quit playing basketball in sixth grade (I wasn't very good anyways), and I was never a big fan of organized sports in school. Coming from a very rural school, the sports opportunities were very few, and none of them really appealed to me. My buddies and I were playing basketball recreationally every weekend, when we weren't on the golf course. In basketball, I was known for my "adhesive" defense and acute passing skills. In golf, I was known for my uncanny ability to throw my clubs farther than I hit my balls. But when I keep my temper in check, I'm a pretty decent hack golfer. I also umpired Little League baseball for a couple of summers.

WIS

Which five people, past or present, sit at your dream roundtable?

Jweb1510

Jesus Christ, my wife, my great grandmother (Grandma Crackers), Tony Dungy, and Bob Knight. The conversations between Jesus and the General would be entertainment enough!

WIS

What is your favorite sports moment?

Jweb1510

I have one "on TV" favorite moment and one live favorite moment. My favorite "on TV" moment (that I actually watched live, not saw on tape) was IU's huge upset of Duke in the 2002 NCAA tourney. I was visiting my girlfriend's mother at the time, and I made an absolute fool of myself cheering for IU that day. Watching 6'2" A.J. Moye stuff 6'11" Carlos Boozer to preserve the win was awesome. As for my "live" favorite sports moment, IU beat then-#10 Michigan State at Assembly Hall in 2005 in overtime, and I got to storm the court, thanks to my second-row courtside seats.

WIS

What is your favorite WIS moment?

Jweb1510

If you force me to pick one particular moment, it would be my recent championship in the historic Gym Rat Franchise League in December 2007. I won a title in this league's predecessor, the BigBalls Franchise League way back in 2004 with the Atlanta Hawks, and I was able to do so again with the same franchise three years later in ncih's Gym Rat league. Plus, that 2007 championship broke a 31-month title drought for me.

WIS

As a fan of basketball, what are your thoughts on the current state of the game?

Jweb1510

I haven't watched a minute of an NBA game in six years; what does that tell you about my opinion of the game? Since Reggie Miller retired, my local team (Pacers) has gone to pot, and I could never bring myself to cheer for a team of laggards, womanizers, and drunkards. But I love college basketball because it's (usually) all about the love of the game. These guys play for pride and acclaim, not to earn a paycheck. Unfortunately, the college game becomes more and more polluted every year (thanks to guys like Kelvin Sampson!), but it's still worlds beyond the NBA.

WIS

Speaking of Kelvin Sampson, what is your take on the current situation with Indiana University basketball?

Jweb1510

First off, Sampson had to go, one way or another. The "mutual break-up" was best for both parties: IU pays just $200k out of pocket to get rid of Sampson, and Sampson gives himself an opportunity to maybe get a job at a D-II or D-III school next year. Dan Dakich is a good coach, and I'm sure he will do a very admirable job for the rest of this season. If the players unite and choose to rise above the distractions surrounding the program, they have the opportunity to have an unbelievable NCAA tourney. As for next season's coach, a few names come to mind: Sean Miller (Xavier), Scott Drew (Baylor), Brad Brownell (Wright State), and Tony Bennett (Washington State). Ultimately, I think Drew and Brownell are the best candidates, and I would lean toward Drew because he has proven that he can resurrect a program that has been tarnished by scandal.

WIS

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

Jweb1510

I would love to go to a NASCAR race at Bristol Motor Speedway. I have been to every Brickyard 400 at Indianapolis except one (2006), and I've been to two Indy 500s. Even still, Bristol would be an amazing place to watch a race. My wife owes me tickets to a Cubs game at Wrigley, and we're hoping to go sometime this year. I also want my ashes scattered in Assembly Hall on IU's campus, but I'm not sure the university would coalesce to that request.

WIS

With SimLeague basketball, what is your general strategy for building teams?

Jweb1510

Little-known fact: if you collect enough reward points in the rewards center, you can actually purchase a monkey. I bought the WIS Monkey about three years ago, and along with my WIS-issued dartboard, he helps me select players.

Seriously though, I never participate in open leagues, so my team-building strategy is wholly contingent upon which players I can land in the draft. My teams tend to be very good at rebounding and assists, but in turn I sacrifice FG%, turnovers, and fouls. I do try to make sure I've got a full allotment of minutes (at least 3900 at each position), and I like to have a high-scoring bench as well.

WIS

What is the most important thing to keep in mind while drafting?

Jweb1510

Don't draft with tunnel vision; that's been my flaw for years. If you want a high-flying team that shoots threes like there's no tomorrow, you better get some offensive rebounders. If you're going to get a team that crashes the glass, you better make sure that you've got enough assists and points on offense. If you're going with strong defense, make sure you've got enough offense to compensate.

WIS

Are there any players in specific that you feel consistently under or overachieve?

Jweb1510

Guys I avoid like the plague (a.k.a. underachievers) would include Spencer Haywood, Bob McAdoo, Patrick Ewing, Walt Bellamy, Elvin Hayes; we regular NBA-ers call them "sim poison." The two starters I have been employing frequently lately are Michael Jordan and Dominique Wilkins. I also have a few guys that I regularly use as backups, but a good magician never reveals his secrets!

WIS

How do you go about setting your depth chart and allocating minutes?

Jweb1510

The WIS Monkey and the WIS Dartboard! Actually, I use the "note" feature as I'm drafting my team to figure out who is going to play how many minutes at each position. That way, I'm not scrambling before game one, trying to recollect my initial draft strategy.

WIS

Do your game plans for offense and defense differ based on the team you have? What do you normally do with these settings?

Jweb1510

My teams run up-tempo offense and half-court defense 85% of the time, which stems from my customary strategy. Once in a while, I'll run a half-court offense or a press defense, but I don't ever touch slow-down offense. I always set foul aggressiveness to "aggressive," and I almost never rest my starters at the end-game.

WIS

How much emphasis do you put on scouting future opponents and double-teaming?

Jweb1510

Squat to nil. Once in a great while, I'll double-team a superstar scorer (like Wilt or MJ). Other than that, there is very little benefit to scouting opponents and double-teaming. Truth be told, I'm not entirely convinced that double-teaming is necessarily effective, but that's a squabble for another day.

WIS

Do you make transactions during the season? Why or why not?

Jweb1510

No, primarily because the theme leagues I play in don't allow them. If I were to play an open league, I still wouldn't, because you throw away money when you pay the 10% penalty.

WIS

Who are the users you respect and/or enjoy the most?

Jweb1510

There's a group of six of us who regularly play exhibition leagues to see what kind of outlandish stats we can generate: myself, ncih, jakotay, captainzen, usmoo_879, and joshbonds. Beyond those five guys, I enjoy getting whipped regularly by uvasooner, qistat, monkee, malone9975, lhtgk, kfunk, and the like. In the forums, I especially enjoy the banter in the NASCAR general discussion, in particular debating and discussing the topics of the day with gearhead, colonels19, h0tr0d, etc.

WIS

What is your favorite aspect of SimLeague basketball?

Jweb1510

The camaraderie amongst the site users.

WIS

What is your least favorite aspect of SimLeague basketball?

Jweb1510

The position on the totem pole that basketball seems to have, relative to other sports. But considering the small number of WIS users who play basketball relative to, say HD or baseball, I can't blame WIS too much on that one.

WIS

If you were in one of our games, which sport would you play? At which position? And, how much would you be worth?

Jweb1510

I would be the 12th man point guard on an NBA squad. The minimum salary for a player in the WIS NBA database is $239,000; however, they'd have to establish a new nadir for me around $4,900.

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