Because of that depth and fitness, Crutchfield is able to keep fresh legs on the floor to play the style of game that defies the national scoring trends - a frenetic pace with smothering full-court-pressure defense, terrific ball movement, a universal green light to shoot the 3 and a lineup full of guys their coach describes as "good decision-makers."
"Players that make me look like I know what I'm doing as a coach," Crutchfield calls them. "I'm looking for multi-skilled players who can handle the ball, shoot the ball and are big enough to guard a variety of positions. We put five guys on the floor that can all score and keep all five involved."
There's really no "big man" on the roster, no one taller than 6-7. Watching the Hilltoppers, it seems that most of the parts are interchangeable.
"I think because our [scoring] numbers are so far out of norm, people look for a gimmick, but it's not there," Crutchfield said. "We take good shots, work hard on defense and just try to outscore the other team."
It works, mostly because Crutchfield has created a team atmosphere as close to perfect as this team game allows.
While favored to win not only the WVC tournament but also the Atlantic Region, West Liberty has some unfinished business. The team's record over the past four years, while stunning, is without a coveted national championship, or even an appearance in the Division II championship game:
It all begs the question: Might this year's team be Crutchfield's best, one that might take that final step?
"It's hard to compare, but I do get that question a lot," he said. "It's just something you like to argue about, but you never know."
There are some differences between this West Liberty team and its recent predecessors.
"We're a good shooting team, but a couple years ago we were a great shooting team," Crutchfield said. "We're a little bit quicker, this team is, across the board.
"It makes for great conversation, though."
Look for the Hilltoppers to be a part of a lot of conversations at the Civic Center over the next three days in the WVC tournament's swan song.
Reach Nick Scala at 304-348-7947 or nsc...@wvgazette.com.