Worst Titan Team Ever?

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Re: Worst Titan Team Ever?

Postby titanmike » Thu Apr 06, 2017 3:37 pm

Commissioner wrote:
NC Titan wrote:Commish, what has been our D1 non-conference record over the past five or so years? I've been waiting for a signature non-conference win, oh, forever.

D-I games only, last decade:

2016-17: 1-10
2015-16: 4-5
2014-15: 5-8
2013-14: 5-8
2012-13: 6-7
2011-12: 5-6
2010-11: 5-7
2009-10: 7-4
2008-09: 3-6
2007-08: 3-6

BTW, I've been calling for us to downgrade our non-conference schedule, which is consistently among the toughest in the Horizon. I think it would be a big help to building some enthusiasm to have a team or two get off to a really good start, even it it is against inferior competition.


Except you wont get recruits that way and you wont be building a strong team for the future.
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Re: Worst Titan Team Ever?

Postby Commissioner » Thu Apr 06, 2017 3:45 pm

titanmike wrote:
Commissioner wrote:
NC Titan wrote:Commish, what has been our D1 non-conference record over the past five or so years? I've been waiting for a signature non-conference win, oh, forever.

D-I games only, last decade:

2016-17: 1-10
2015-16: 4-5
2014-15: 5-8
2013-14: 5-8
2012-13: 6-7
2011-12: 5-6
2010-11: 5-7
2009-10: 7-4
2008-09: 3-6
2007-08: 3-6

BTW, I've been calling for us to downgrade our non-conference schedule, which is consistently among the toughest in the Horizon. I think it would be a big help to building some enthusiasm to have a team or two get off to a really good start, even it it is against inferior competition.


Except you wont get recruits that way and you wont be building a strong team for the future.

A 10-1 start doesn't turn off many recruits or fans, and sometimes you need to just build confidence and excitement. To me the classic example is Kansas State football from the 1990s. Bill Snyder started scheduling cream puffs, just to get some wins, and show that K State could win. Within a few years he had a perennial top 10 team and could toughen the schedule up.

It's not a general strategy I would employ every year. The tough schedules of 2012 and 2013 were probably right for those teams. Most years, I think its good to play tougher schedules. But there is not a hard a fast rule. You should tailor the schedule to your team. Last year was the year I really think we should have gone light, but I don't think it would hurt this year.
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Re: Worst Titan Team Ever?

Postby uofdmik2008 » Thu Apr 06, 2017 4:35 pm

I think I would rather watch the team lose to a good team rather than win over an irrelevant D1 or D3 team. Higher profile teams means, more likely to get extra tv coverage nationally, and we get paid better for the away games, which helps the athletic department. Also, I think playing good teams is what the recruits want to do, some have chip on their shoulder for schools that did not offer them.
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Re: Worst Titan Team Ever?

Postby TitanTarHeel » Thu Apr 06, 2017 6:28 pm

There's a wide spectrum here of ways to approach non conf -- on one end is to schedule all cream puffs, on the other end is to load up on major conf teams. And of course there's many places in between.

I would side with Commish for our team this year and next year, let's cupcake this up. To continue the Live6 initiative we can give the sponsorship to the Avenue of Fashion shop 'Good Cakes & Bakes' as the presenting sponsor of our non conf schedule. http://www.goodcakesandbakes.com/

We need some wins. We need the team, and whoever is on it, to get some wins and develop. It's not the right move every year but it'd be good right about now. Then you get people and casual fans starting to talk - "oh hey, you see Detmer is 9-1?" Not many people are going beyond that to understand about RPI, SOS, etc. Its the headline. The reply would be "Oh cool, maybe we should check them out, I remember when they were good".

Then, when the time is right in another year or two we change it up and increase the degree of difficulty. We are talking about the worst team ever right now -- even if we tried to cupcake the schedule for next season, the problem is WE ARE THE CUPCAKE!! It's madness, cupcake on cupcake crime!

Here's my scoreboard on why we ought to have the Good Cakes & Bakes Detmer Nonconf 2017-2018 Schedule:
If we do it: Player confidence up, Player development up, Fan interest up
If we don't do it (and play a tough sched again): Player confidence down, player development down (playing when 20 down doesn't do much), fan interest down
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Re: Worst Titan Team Ever?

Postby Commissioner » Sat Apr 08, 2017 10:07 am

TitanTarHeel wrote:There's a wide spectrum here of ways to approach non conf -- on one end is to schedule all cream puffs, on the other end is to load up on major conf teams. And of course there's many places in between.

I would side with Commish for our team this year and next year, let's cupcake this up. To continue the Live6 initiative we can give the sponsorship to the Avenue of Fashion shop 'Good Cakes & Bakes' as the presenting sponsor of our non conf schedule. http://www.goodcakesandbakes.com/

We need some wins. We need the team, and whoever is on it, to get some wins and develop. It's not the right move every year but it'd be good right about now. Then you get people and casual fans starting to talk - "oh hey, you see Detmer is 9-1?" Not many people are going beyond that to understand about RPI, SOS, etc. Its the headline. The reply would be "Oh cool, maybe we should check them out, I remember when they were good".

Then, when the time is right in another year or two we change it up and increase the degree of difficulty. We are talking about the worst team ever right now -- even if we tried to cupcake the schedule for next season, the problem is WE ARE THE CUPCAKE!! It's madness, cupcake on cupcake crime!

Here's my scoreboard on why we ought to have the Good Cakes & Bakes Detmer Nonconf 2017-2018 Schedule:
If we do it: Player confidence up, Player development up, Fan interest up
If we don't do it (and play a tough sched again): Player confidence down, player development down (playing when 20 down doesn't do much), fan interest down


Another 1-10 start would be devastating.
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Re: Worst Titan Team Ever?

Postby Rogobob77 » Sat Apr 08, 2017 11:16 am

I think you soften the schedule by scheduling weaker mid-majors or low-majors. Alabama St. (Pomoroy ranking 342) looks about the same on the schedule as East Tennessee State (67 ranking), but one's probably an easy win, the other a probable loss. Both will draw the same size crowd in Calihan. I would keep two or three majors on the road schedule as games you highlight in recruiting and to generate some bucks.
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Re: Worst Titan Team Ever?

Postby Titans96 » Sat Apr 08, 2017 12:49 pm

It is a great concept to schedule a soft non-conference schedule, but I thought we did that this past year except for the Florida St. and Illinois games. We went 2-12 in our mostly cupcake schedule. Even when we schedule D3 and D2 teams we go 1-2. Is there a chance we can schedule 12 - D3 teams this upcoming year?

Problem is, you lose to those D3 teams and you fall further into the deep end of the NCAA D-1. Remember, we were losing in the first half against Adrian until the final minute of the half. There were only 60+ D1 teams worse than the Titans this year.

It really comes down to recruiting good players and having a good coaching staff. Therein lies the problem!!!
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Re: Worst Titan Team Ever?

Postby Rogobob77 » Sat Apr 08, 2017 2:05 pm

Titans96 wrote:It is a great concept to schedule a soft non-conference schedule, but I thought we did that this past year except for the Florida St. and Illinois games. We went 2-12 in our mostly cupcake schedule. Even when we schedule D3 and D2 teams we go 1-2. Is there a chance we can schedule 12 - D3 teams this upcoming year?

Problem is, you lose to those D3 teams and you fall further into the deep end of the NCAA D-1. Remember, we were losing in the first half against Adrian until the final minute of the half. There were only 60+ D1 teams worse than the Titans this year.

It really comes down to recruiting good players and having a good coaching staff. Therein lies the problem!!!

Your post proves my point. ETSU statistically was a tougher opponent than schools like Pitt, Georgetown and Mississippi, but you characterize them as just another soft team on the Titan schedule. They're a high risk, no reward type opponent you might want to avoid scheduling.
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Re: Worst Titan Team Ever?

Postby Commissioner » Sat Apr 08, 2017 5:24 pm

Titans96 wrote:It is a great concept to schedule a soft non-conference schedule, but I thought we did that this past year except for the Florida St. and Illinois games. We went 2-12 in our mostly cupcake schedule. Even when we schedule D3 and D2 teams we go 1-2. Is there a chance we can schedule 12 - D3 teams this upcoming year?

Problem is, you lose to those D3 teams and you fall further into the deep end of the NCAA D-1. Remember, we were losing in the first half against Adrian until the final minute of the half. There were only 60+ D1 teams worse than the Titans this year.

It really comes down to recruiting good players and having a good coaching staff. Therein lies the problem!!!

It's certainly true that in the end you just have to win games.

But we actually played a pretty tough schedule this year. Not as tough as some years, but a good schedule. I was critical of it because it was a) difficult, but b) as Rogobob says, not something fans would recognize as difficult, or come out to see. Per RPI Forecast, our non-conference schedule ranked #133 of 351 NCAA teams. That was 4th toughest in the Horizon, after CSU (#34), Valpo (117) and Wright State (124). But top to bottom it may have had fewer easy games than their schedules. Almost every game (except, of course, Adrian, which doesn't count in SOS) was tough. East Tennessee State, for example, probably strikes most casual fans as a cupcake. The Buccaneers won 27 games, made the NCAA, and had an RPI rank of 55. And the game was on the road. New Hampshire? There's a cupcake. But the Wildcats finished 20-12 with a 127 RPI. And the game was on the road. Beating a 127 team on the road is as tough as winning at home against teams in the 75-100 range. IPFW finished 24-12. I think most casual fans would say ETSU, UNH, and IPFW is the definition of a cupcake schedule. But those three teams won 71 games, and two of the games were on the road. Toledo (on road), EMU, Murray State (on road), Western Kentucky --those are tough outs. Then you add in Illinois and Florida State. That's not murderer's row, but it's by no means a cupcake schedule.

You can compare that to, say, Oakland. Their non-con SOS ranked #272. The games with Georgia (at home) and at MSU and against Nevada (neutral floor) make it look superficially tougher than ours, but then they played Southern Utah (341), Chicago State (318), and Oral Roberts (290), three teams all with RPIs substantially below the worst team the Titans played (Manhattan, #261) and all played at home. They played Bowling Green at home, whereas we played them on the road. They played 2 non-DI opponents to our 1. They got Western Michigan at home early in the year, when Western was really struggling. They played 8 games at home, just 3 (including D-II AlaskaAnchorage) on the road, and 2 at neutral locations. (They will pay a price for that this year, with lots of return road games). I dare say instead of our 2-10 record, we would have had 5-6, maybe even 7 wins against their non-conference schedule (they went 10-3). BTW, Georgia's RPI was 54, one ahead of ETSU. KenPom had Georgia 61, ETSU 67. I will say it--playing on the road at ETSU was a tougher game than playing Georgia at home.

Here's a real cupcake schedule: UIC.
They're top RPI opponent was San Francisco, #94. They played home games with two non-DI opponents, plus Texas San Antonio (264), Eastern Illinois (265), Chicago State (318), and Northern Arizona (335). Then they played Cal-Poly (294) in nearby DeKalb. That's almost a guaranteed 7-0. They also played Northern Illinois (241) and DePaul (233). Other than San Fran, the only top 150 team they played was Grand Canyon (#131). That schedule ranked #328.

Anyway, I'm in overkill mode here, I know. I'm not suggesting we need to go as weak at UIC did, either. But our schedule was not "cupcake" last year at all--it was, as Rogobob says, the worst kind of schedule, one with few opportunities for a marquee win but lots for losses.
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Re: Worst Titan Team Ever?

Postby Oudrummer » Sat Apr 08, 2017 6:35 pm

All pretty valid points on scheduling. But let's keep in mind while discussing OU's "cupcake" schedule a few things.

1. This schedule was built to have as many home games as possible to showcase Felder. Whoops.

2. Some of those cupcakes when scheduled weren't traditionally cupcakes (looking at you Oral Roberts)

3. OU has been raked over the coals for years for over scheduling OOC and killing the RPI. Now you're killing them for too soft. Turns out finding the middle ground and still playing home games may be easier said than done.
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Re: Worst Titan Team Ever?

Postby TitanTarHeel » Sun Apr 09, 2017 9:23 am

No one is killing OU's schedule for being soft this past year. Re-read Commish's post. He was using your schedule for comparison sake based on RPI vs public's general impression of a schedule. Conclusion being...on the face of it OU's schedule appeared tougher this year then UDMs, when RPI says thats not the case -- and, we didn't get any real lift from playing this tougher schedule from fans or from our record (being a bad team doesn't help either)

In most year's it does seem that OU schedules real tough with a harder slate then most mid majors - and Kampe has been critiqued by some for saying its demoralized for the team, or its not useful to start the year with a worse record then perhaps necessary (for kids confidence, for fan interest). The thread has evolved to debating the merits of when to have a softer schedule vs when to load up, with reasons to do be on one end or the other, or somewhere in between.

As we've learned over the years, scheduling as a mid-major is tricky business especially when trying to get a P5 team on there, get a nice mix of wins, etc. Beggars can't be choosers and often we probably have to take what we can get just to get a full nonconf schedule.
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Re: Worst Titan Team Ever?

Postby titanmac » Sun Apr 09, 2017 12:28 pm

who's detmer?
In Greek mythology, the Titans were greater even than the gods. They ruled their universe with absolute power! Well that basketball court out there tonight, that's our universe. Let's rule it like Titans! (with apologies to coach boon)
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Re: Worst Titan Team Ever?

Postby titanmike » Mon Apr 10, 2017 8:19 am

Rogobob77 wrote:I think you soften the schedule by scheduling weaker mid-majors or low-majors. Alabama St. (Pomoroy ranking 342) looks about the same on the schedule as East Tennessee State (67 ranking), but one's probably an easy win, the other a probable loss. Both will draw the same size crowd in Calihan. I would keep two or three majors on the road schedule as games you highlight in recruiting and to generate some bucks.


Ok, but it doesn't help improve a team.
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Re: Worst Titan Team Ever?

Postby R.B.J1 » Sun Feb 25, 2018 9:20 pm

The 2017-2018 Detroit Titans mens basketball team will go down as one of the worst titan teams in history, it is definitely one of the worst of the last thirty years.

#5. 1988-1989 (7-21)
This team only won 7 games, but sophomore Darian McKinney was a stud that season, and was on his way to being an all time titan great...until he ran afoul of the law. Coach Byrdsong also signed Calvin Winfield out of Kalamazoo who was rated as the #3 player in the state of Michigan in the class of 1988. Winfield averaged 11ppg his freshman season at UofD and it looked like we had two nice pieces to build around. I don't remember why, but Winfield transferred to CMU with Darian McKinney.

#4. 1987-1988 (7-23)
This is the year Don Sicko resigned after the 3rd game. Mulroy coached the rest of the season and the titans finished 7-23. This team was led by Archie Tullos (25ppg) and made it to the conference finals. Freshman Darian McKinney averaged 13ppg and 7 rebounds. We had hope for the future.

#3. 2008-2009 (7-23)
This team was led by JUCO transfer Thomas Kennedy, Kennedy had some good offers coming out of Mott CC (Virginia Commonwealth, UCSB,Valpo,Kent State) I was happy that Ray was able to recruit him. Xavier Keeling played a handful of games before going down with a knee injury. Kennedy was the only titan besides Keeling to average double figures in ppg. This team had Eli Holman and a recovering Xavier Keeling in the wings, titan fans had hope.

#2.2007-2008 (7-23)
The 2007-2008 titans were initially led by Jon Goode, after Goode's season ended with a knee injury, Zach Everingham became the go-to guy, this team played hard, but just didn't have much talent. Woody Hayes and Eulis Stephens were the young studs on the team, both were athletic, but very limited offensively. PW was on the way out, and we didn't know who or what was next. I am thankful that Brad Soderberg turned Keri down, the young Ray McCallum was certainly a better player than Soderbergs' son Kramer.

#1. 2017-2018 (8-24)
I am projecting the titans to lose to Green Bay on Friday and finish the season 8-24. This is probably the worst coached Titans Team I have ever seen. Chatman and Jackson Jr. do whatever they want with no repercussions. I'm not sure of coach Alexanders contract status, I have heard he was given a contract somewhere between 5-7 years, either way,I think we might be on our way to three consecutive 8 win seasons. I don't see much hope for the future.
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Re: Worst Titan Team Ever?

Postby Tacitus651 » Sun Feb 25, 2018 11:20 pm

That 07-08 team was my last year as a Detroit Mercy student (due to some serious clerical errors, the law school conferred a degree to Tacitus). I remember thinking things could never get worse. BA somehow found a way.
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Re: Worst Titan Team Ever?

Postby JimmyChitwood » Mon Feb 26, 2018 8:29 am

R.B.J1 wrote:The 2017-2018 Detroit Titans mens basketball team will go down as one of the worst titan teams in history, it is definitely one of the worst of the last thirty years.

Considering how far the HL's RPI has dropped since the time of those other Bottom 5 teams I don't think there is any comparison as to which team is worst. I wonder if this team would have won more than a game or two in the old HL.

Of course, there are a lot of reasons for the drop-off, but the top reason has to be the coach. The criticism's of BA's hire were that players did not respect him and he was poor at preparing for opponents ("earned" while an assistant for PW). We can now add poor in-game coaching to that list. That should be 3 strikes and out. I haven't heard that we have great recruits coming in and none of us would be surprised to see another very good player leave.

How many DI games did we win with BA on the bench this year? 4. With his "signature" win coming over IUPUI. If someone told you that 2 or 3 years ago you would have laughed. Now we cry.

Another year of BA likely means another year where we fall even further. I am sure Calihan will impress recruits with 500 fans a game next year.
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Re: Worst Titan Team Ever?

Postby dennycrane » Mon Feb 26, 2018 12:11 pm

I would agree with R.B.'s two line assessment of the '17 -'18 Titans. After BA's first year, I suspected we still had a game day coaching problem and after an identical second year, it's pretty much been proven. What is particularly confounding is why, if you're taking the job and emphasizing a focus on defense, which he did, you would then bring new players such as Chatman and JJJ as your primary recruits, players who can't or won't play any defense and who both look for the earliest three point opportunity. We also had Rochon Prince enter the program as an experienced grad transfer while retaining 2016 Mr. Basketball finalist and 2017 Horizon rookie award winner Corey Allen. Both players were misused by being underused.
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Re: Worst Titan Team Ever?

Postby sacredheartgreg » Mon Feb 26, 2018 12:29 pm

Denny- agreed, this year has been abysmal. From the Hogan debacle to giving the keys to the car to an unready JJJr. Chatman has a beautiful shot from outside, but from 12 feet in, he is weak and ineffective. From a fan's point of view both Allen and Josh have been affected unfairly by the 3rd wheel affect. The biggest mystery is why the hell did it take these coaches a half season to figure out that Prince was a player????? In my opinion, I would be done with a whining T. Jones , that situation has caused serious harm to our program and future recruiting. It was completely mishandled from the start.
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Re: Worst Titan Team Ever?

Postby Commissioner » Mon Feb 26, 2018 12:53 pm

This is what I wrote privately to a friend before this past weekend's games:

I don't like to play coach. I mean, I comment on who is playing well or poorly, but I rarely comment on specific personnel or in-game strategy decisions. I know a lot about hoops, but I figure the coaches still know more than me, and they've got better incentive to get it right, and they definitely know more about the personalities, moods, little injuries, etc. of the players. But I just find a few things this year beyond puzzling, to really making me question if these guys have a clue.

Virtually everybody on the Titan board presumed Prince would start. He's been very good since they started playing him. But the season was over one-third through before he played more than 20 minutes in a game. Since then, he's played more than that every game except 3 where foul trouble limited him to the upper teens, and he's frequently played over 30. For these 17 games, he's averaged 11.1 points and 6.5 rebounds, while shooting 54% from the floor and 72% from the line. He's also our only guy with any defensive presence down low. But the coaches couldn't figure this out until we'd played 12 games.

Virtually everybody assumed Allen and Josh would start at guard. They are good mid-major players. Allen was 2d team all conference prediction, returning Freshman of the Year. Josh averaged double figures and led league in steals last year. The Horizon doesn't pick 3 all-conference teams, but Josh was predicted third team all conference this year by most of the preseason publications that went that deep. These publications often know relatively little, but still, it's indicative that he's a solid player. How can it possibly be that JJJ plays more minutes than either of them--about 25% more than Josh. It's absurd. JJJ has ability and potential, but he's not a McDonald's all-American like Ray Mac was, or even the 3 star that Calliste was. We had good veterans at the guard slots. He should be playing 15-20 minutes a game (maybe not even that) and learning. It's not like he, or the team, started all gangbusters with him in the lineup.

And the three guard lineup. Virtually everybody on the boards realized immediately that a lineup of JJJ/Corey/Josh is just too small, especially without a big shot blocker in the paint. But it took the staff 3 months to figure that out.

I really come away wondering, "what are these guys thinking?" Add to that the lack of player development (who is better than last year, or the start of this year, except for Long?), the reliance on deep, pre-Titan family & friends ties for recruits (JJJ, Ballantyne, Chatman, Prince), the inability to come up with a consistent defensive plan, the way in which the Titans repeatedly seem unprepared, falling way behind in the opening minutes, the inability or unwillingness to develop an offense that uses screens and movement to free McFolley and Allen for threes, instead of making them make their own shots... I mean, there is just absolutely nothing here to feel optimistic about. But when the coaches can't see what pretty much every amateur in the stands can see (and the amateurs keep getting proven right), you've got to be very pessimistic.
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Re: Worst Titan Team Ever?

Postby bctitans1987 » Mon Feb 26, 2018 2:10 pm

Great analysis, Commish.

One problem: It's not "these" guys, it's JJ. He runs the team and if Bacari is gone, my bet is that JJ will be the coach. Like it or not, JJ is Vowels' guy.

If Bacari stays, JJ needs to take his over-hyped kid along with Ballantyne to another school. Good riddance. Nothing good has occurred since JJ has come around. But again, he's got Vowels ear and after this year, Vowels will find another gig about as quick at Jon Lecrone would. Both should be on the unemployment line.
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