CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- If you read this or any of the other numerous stories surrounding the West Liberty men's basketball team over the past couple of years before you actually see the team play, you'll probably think we're all liars the second you set your eyes on the Hilltoppers.
Coach Jim Crutchfield probably sums it up best.
"They're probably like, 'that's them?' " Crutchfield said with a laugh. "We haven't won a warmup yet."
It's true that West Liberty may not look overly athletic or physically imposing, but while it may look more like David, it sure plays like Goliath.
The numbers and the wins are simply mind-boggling.
Since the 2009-2010 season, the Hilltoppers are 67-2 in West Virginia Conference play and are 75-4 overall since 2010-2011.
West Liberty reached the national semifinals in 2011 and, after graduating four starters and 1,000-point scorers, went 32-3 and advanced to the national quarterfinals last year.
"Last year did surprise me," Crutchfield said. "We lost all four top scorers on that team and while I didn't consider it a rebuilding year because we had good personnel, I was honestly surprised by the amount of success we had last year. We're trying really hard here at West Liberty to have a system and a blueprint in place that is as important as the players themselves."
Lack of experience isn't something Crutchfield is battling this year as all five starters from the Hilltoppers' final game last season are back - and it's showing.
West Liberty is ranked No. 1 in the National Association of Basketball Coaches Division II poll and stands at 7-0 early in the season.
In the final year of the WVC's existence, it hasn't taken long for the Toppers to send a message across the state, winning its first three league games by an average of 55.3 points, including a 60-point bludgeoning of West Virginia State on Tuesday.
It would be reasonable then to assume that a national championship is the ultimate and main goal for Crutchfield and the Hilltoppers, right?
Well, not exactly.