Toledo Loss Preview

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Toledo Loss Preview

Postby Commissioner » Mon Dec 04, 2017 7:16 am

It's the Commissioner's longstanding practice to take off the month of May for vacation, but this year we're deviating and disappearing for much of December. So this will be the last game preview through Christmas.

Toledo

When: December 6, 7:00 p.m.
Where: Historic Calihan Hall
TV: ESPN 3; WADL Channel 38
Radio: AM 910

Toledo and Detroit have played often enough, and are close enough to one another, that we really ought to give this rivalry a name--the Border War or some such thing, with a corresponding trophy to go along with it. Maybe the Mayor of Detroit and Mayor of Toledo could have some hokey annual wager--a shipment of Tony Packo's if Detroit wins, or coneys from Detroit if the Rockets win. Lord knows that as the Titans' old rivals--Dayton, Marquette, Xavier, later Butler--have moved upward and onward, the Titans need new rivals. Rivalries are good for programs, and the Titans have no real rival now except for the newbies at Oakland (who have admittedly been kicking our butt). One of first things Dick Vitale did when he arrived at Livernois & Six was to start thumping rivalries. Michigan was the big one, but since they wouldn't play us, he couldn't really make that a rivalry. So he started harping on our longtime opponent Eastern Michigan, which seemed a bit ridiculous. But Vitale grasped that hyping particular rivalries is good for fan interest, player motivation, etc. The Titans could use an annual game to look for in December, sort of a pre-conference test of strength. Meanwhile, Toledo's only real strong rival is their MAC foe Bowling Green (on the Toledo campus there is a rocket which is aimed at Bowling Green.) So why not? Toledo has long been a regular on the Titans schedule, and it's been a pretty competitive series. Detroit and Toledo have played 57 times over the years, with the Rockets holding a 32-25 lead. The two have played 6 times in the last 3 years, with each owning 3 wins, and each winning once in three tries on the other's floor.

The teams have played some good ones over the years:
In 1978, the Titans, coming off back-to-back 25-4 seasons, opened the season with a come from behind win over a Toledo club that would go on to win the MAC. Down 7 with just over 8 minutes left, the Titans held the Rockets scoreless for nearly 7 minutes to get the win. Both teams finished the year ranked in the top 20 and playing in the NCAA tournament.

In 1977, the Titans, coming off a Sweet 16 appearance, opened the season at Toledo against a Rocket squad that would finish 21-6. Terry Duerod hit 10 straight shots at one point, and the Titans as a team hit 56% to win.

In 1969, the Spencer Haywood-led Titans beat Toledo and their All-American forward (and future Piston) Steve Mix 92-90 in a thriller at Toledo. The game was marred, however, when Haywood punched a referee. Spencer was very apologetic, the ref gracious, and he got off with a 3 game suspension. But without Spencer the Titans lost to a Xavier team they had crushed earlier, and that probably cost the Titans an NIT bid.

In December of 1953, a Titan squad that finished just 11-17 won the Motor City Classic by upsetting Georgetown in the first game and NCAA-bound Toledo 74-67 in the final. And way back in January 1946, the Titans, led by future NBAer Art Stolkey, came from 10 down to win 40-34 against a Toledo squad featuring future Piston coach Paul Seymour. The Rockets were a national power in those days, winning over 70% of their games between 1935 and 1954 and appearing regularly in the NIT in the 1940s. The 1946 Rockets finished 20-7.

Toledo has won some big ones, too: In 2001 two NIT bound teams clashed, with Toledo winning an exciting game 78-72 in Savage Hall; in 1967 the Rockets, led by Mix and Detroit high school legend John Brisker, clobbered the Titans 110-81 in Calihan, in route to a 21-1 regular season mark and an NCAA bid; and those 1946 Rockets got revenge on the Titans later in the year, winning the rematch 57-50.

So let's make it a bit of a thing.

Anyway, Wednesday's game starts a stretch of five consecutive Titan games in the "D"--four at home against solid mid-major programs, with the matchup against Michigan at the new Little Ceasar's Palace sandwiched in the middle. The Titans will undoubtedly have their sights set on that UM game, but barring a big upset win there, it's the four games against Toledo, Western Michigan, East Tennessee State, and Murray State that will really tell us if this team is ready for conference play and has the ability to contend. Western Michigan was picked 1st in the MAC West, Toledo 3rd. ETSU was tabbed for fourth in the Southern Conference. Murray State was picked 3rd in the OVC, with Jonathan Stark the projected Player of the Year. In other words, all were predicted to finish in the first division of their respective leagues. If the Titans can't win at least three of four at home, don't expect the Titans to be in the upper division of our conference.

Toledo comes into Calihan at 4-3, having snapped a 3 game losing streak on Saturday by nipping Texas Southern at home. The Rockets are 4-0 at home, but 0-3 on the road. Two of those home wins are impressive--over A10 member St. Joe's, and Horizon favorite Oakland, whom they beat quite decisively. The road losses included Syracuse and Kansas--no embarrassment there--but also a loss to Cornell.

The Rockets have used a short, 7-man rotation this year, and even at that no one on the bench is seeing as much as 15 minutes a game. Three of the starters average 35 or more minutes per game (no Titan is over 33), and the other two are over 25 minutes per game.

Leading the Rockets is 6-7 forward Tre'Shaun Fletcher, a senior transfer from Colorado who is averaging over 18 points and 9 boards. The center is 6-11 soph Luke Knapke. Knapke played just 5 minutes against the Titans last year, his season low. He's averaging 11.3 points and 6.4 rebounds, and laid a double-double on Oakland last month. But his greatest value may be on defense, where he very good at controlling the paint. Filling out the front line is junior Nate Navigato. Unlike Knapke, Navigato played a lot in last year's Titan game, but it was one of his worst games of the year, finishing with 5 points on 2-9 shooting. He was also ineffective against the Titans two seasons ago as a freshman. I don't recall for sure, but I think it was Jenkins who mainly covered Navigato these last two years. If my memory is right there, maybe he'll do better this year, freed from his nemesis. Chatman is probably the guy to guard Navigato, but that will leave us a mismatch somewhere else if we stick with our 3 guard lineup.

Toledo's starting guards are 6-4 junior Jaelen Sanford and 6-0 freshman Marreon Jackson. Both are combo guards, in today's lingo, rather than true point men, but they don't turn it over much, and do an adequate job running the offense. That offense typically runs through through Fletcher or Knapke in the high post.

The bench doesn't go deep. First guard off the bench is Clarkston freshman Dylan Alderson. Front court support comes from 6-9 junior Taylor Adway. But the Rockets play their bench less than all but 3 teams in D-I, and the starters account for 90% of the offensive production.

Toledo is a very good three point shooting team. They knocked down 56% in upsetting St. Joe's, though it's worth noting they overcame a poor three point night--19%--in licking Oakland. Navigato is the most prolific, firing up over 9 attempts per game and hitting 45%, but all five starters are threats from the perimeter. Toledo is among the top 50 in the country in both attempts and percentage from deep, which puts them in the top 25 percent of teams in percentage of points from outside the arc. But they also give up a lot of three pointers, and opponents are shooting over 40% from deep against the Rockets this year.

Perhaps that paragraph says all we need to know--this game is likely to be a matchup between three point shooters. Let's hope our guys shoot better than last year, when we were 1-15 in a 73-67 loss. Our two most effective players in that game were Jenkins and Jarod Williams, who I don't think are still on the roster, but maybe are just under suspension. OTOH, most of Toledo's work came from Steve Taylor and Jonathan Williams, and they've also moved on.

It should be a fun game, and I'm sorry I'll miss it. My son is a UT grad and we had a good time at last year's game with the Buysses, Sam and others.

Probable Starters:
G - Jaelen Sanford, 6-4 Jr. (15.4 ppg, 3.4 apg)
G- Marreon Jackson, 6-0 Fr. (6.9 ppg, 50% 3PFG)
SF - Nate Navigato, 6-8 Jr. (16.0 ppg, 4.7 rpg, 44.8% 3PFG)
PF - Tre-Shaun Fletcher, 6-7 RS Sr. (18.1 ppg, 9.1 rpg, 4.1 apg, 36.4% 3PFG)
C - Luke Knapke, 6-11 Soph. (11.3 ppg, 6.4 rpg, 1.8 bpg)

Key Reserves
G- Dylan Alderson, 6-5 Fr. (2.0 ppg, 1.9 rpg)
F - Taylor Adway, 6-9 Jr. (2.9 ppg, 3.0 rpg)
Last edited by Commissioner on Mon Dec 04, 2017 11:21 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: Toledo Loss Preview

Postby StJoeUofD » Mon Dec 04, 2017 10:21 am

I would recommend calling it Toledo War II. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Toledo_War
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Re: Toledo Loss Preview

Postby StJoeUofD » Mon Dec 04, 2017 10:22 am

Or the Tussle for Toledo
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Re: Toledo Loss Preview

Postby titandave » Mon Dec 04, 2017 3:07 pm

Any news on the availability of Tariiq Jones for the match up with the Rockets?
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Re: Toledo Loss Preview

Postby MooseGuy1 » Mon Dec 04, 2017 7:02 pm

This just isn't my day. So now you're taking December off? Is there a definative reason? Is the AD not talking? Will 1 game turn into 7. Is Tony Paul sabotaging your job? Is his kid going to get all the minutes? I want you to know this hurts. Dumbasses like me depend on good, coherent information for these games. It counterbalances my intoxicated ramblings. All I can say is, "This is a sad day in Detroit hoops.com history." Sam, step up to the plate and pinch hit. UP! You're not doing much. How about you? I'll even take Mac. Damn the capitalisation; full speed ahead. Someone do something! This is a crisis if ever there was one.
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Re: Toledo Loss Preview

Postby Motor City Sam » Tue Dec 05, 2017 7:35 pm

MooseGuy1 wrote:This just isn't my day. So now you're taking December off? Is there a definative reason? Is the AD not talking? Will 1 game turn into 7. Is Tony Paul sabotaging your job? Is his kid going to get all the minutes? I want you to know this hurts. Dumbasses like me depend on good, coherent information for these games. It counterbalances my intoxicated ramblings. All I can say is, "This is a sad day in Detroit hoops.com history." Sam, step up to the plate and pinch hit. UP! You're not doing much. How about you? I'll even take Mac. Damn the capitalisation; full speed ahead. Someone do something! This is a crisis if ever there was one.


Moose, rumor has it that the Commissioner's absence is related to some very mean things he said to me during a heated conversation regarding whether or not the Titans should have named the floor after Dick Vitale. In keeping with the University of Detroit Mercy/Marygrove/Madonna/Calvin tradition, I will neither confirm nor deny this rumor. I will leave it up to you folks to determine the veracity of such claims.

In the meantime, I will post game previews/threads in the Commissioner's absence, although I am sure I will not do as complete a job as he does.

Go Titans.
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Re: Toledo Loss Preview

Postby udballer » Tue Dec 05, 2017 8:40 pm

Ha! Well done, Sam!
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Re: Toledo Loss Preview

Postby ptctitan » Tue Dec 05, 2017 9:03 pm

Look forward to your previews, Sam. Thanks for stepping up and filling in.
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Re: Toledo Loss Preview

Postby Motor City Sam » Tue Dec 05, 2017 9:07 pm

udballer wrote:Ha! Well done, Sam!


I kind of liked that one, myself. :-)
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Re: Toledo Loss Preview

Postby Motor City Sam » Tue Dec 05, 2017 9:15 pm

ptctitan wrote:Look forward to your previews, Sam. Thanks for stepping up and filling in.


Thanks. I will do my best.
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Re: Toledo Loss Preview

Postby MooseGuy1 » Tue Dec 05, 2017 10:11 pm

Motor City Sam wrote:
MooseGuy1 wrote:This just isn't my day. So now you're taking December off? Is there a definative reason? Is the AD not talking? Will 1 game turn into 7. Is Tony Paul sabotaging your job? Is his kid going to get all the minutes? I want you to know this hurts. Dumbasses like me depend on good, coherent information for these games. It counterbalances my intoxicated ramblings. All I can say is, "This is a sad day in Detroit hoops.com history." Sam, step up to the plate and pinch hit. UP! You're not doing much. How about you? I'll even take Mac. Damn the capitalisation; full speed ahead. Someone do something! This is a crisis if ever there was one.


Moose, rumor has it that the Commissioner's absence is related to some very mean things he said to me during a heated conversation regarding whether or not the Titans should have named the floor after Dick Vitale. In keeping with the University of Detroit Mercy/Marygrove/Madonna/Calvin tradition, I will neither confirm nor deny this rumor. I will leave it up to you folks to determine the veracity of such claims.

In the meantime, I will post game previews/threads in the Commissioner's absence, although I am sure I will not do as complete a job as he does.

Go Titans.


Oh, thank you!

I went around on the same Dick Vitale carousel back when it was being discussed. Very uncomfortable chapter in my dealings with the MIA Commissioner. Normally he's fair, bright, and well reasoned. I still can't figure out what happened to him. :D
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Re: Toledo Loss Preview

Postby JimmyChitwood » Wed Dec 06, 2017 9:06 am

This should be the return of BA, right?
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Re: Toledo Loss Preview

Postby Resurget Cineribus » Wed Dec 06, 2017 10:17 am

No, I don’t believe so. But he will be back for the Michigan game Sunday.
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Re: Toledo Loss Preview

Postby HSScout1 » Wed Dec 06, 2017 11:47 am

Resurget Cineribus wrote:No, I don’t believe so. But he will be back for the Michigan game Sunday.


They don't play Michigan until a week from this upcoming Saturday. Do you mean Western Michigan this Saturday?
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Re: Toledo Loss Preview

Postby MooseGuy1 » Wed Dec 06, 2017 1:41 pm

Just the bare essentials here because I'm on my December sabbatical. :roll:

The line is Toledo -3.5 to roughly -5. The over/under is 169-171.

Take the over and the points...not that we'll need them. Still, some use points like a security blanket. Again, take them if you're the nervous sort.

The Official Moose Prediction (from my sabbatical chalet on Lake Lucerne, Switzerland): Detroit-Mercy Titans 94 Toledo Rockets 86. GO TITANS!!!
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Re: Toledo Loss Preview

Postby ptctitan » Wed Dec 06, 2017 1:45 pm

Whew! Moose, you had me worried that both you and Commissioner would be MIA and become the subject of several Tony Paul columns in the News. Don't know if Sam could have handled double duty. :D
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Re: Toledo Loss Preview

Postby Motor City Sam » Wed Dec 06, 2017 2:14 pm

ptctitan wrote:Whew! Moose, you had me worried that both you and Commissioner would be MIA and become the subject of several Tony Paul columns in the News. Don't know if Sam could have handled double duty. :D


I couldn't handle it. I'm glad to see Moose is back.

I freaking hate to miss a Toledo vs Detroit game. I sat with the Commissioner and his son at Savage Arena last year during the contest and got to see Titan Ben and his friend Curt on the Big Screen there. Usually, Detroit vs Toledo games are exciting affairs, and I expect this one to be the same. Work is going to keep me away from Calihan tonight, and I will miss seeing my fellow Titan fans. I will catch what I can on the radio and online.
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Re: Toledo Loss Preview

Postby ptctitan » Wed Dec 06, 2017 8:41 pm

Can someone on the Titans please rebound a missed Toledo shot?
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Re: Toledo Loss Preview

Postby udballer » Wed Dec 06, 2017 8:45 pm

That's an idea. Afraid my son may be learning some new words from me today. :)
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Re: Toledo Loss Preview

Postby upbasketballfan » Wed Dec 06, 2017 8:46 pm

I do not care for BA's decisions so far. We are up by 7 and gaining momentum and he subs everyone out. Does the other coach a favor and then when we are down by 4, now he puts Allen and Chatman back in. We do not have a firm rotation in our 9th game? Sort of reminds me a lot of his poor coaching last year. Where are our so called fans? Guess I'll have to drive 550 miles to put someone in the seats seeing as some on here can not drive a half hour to show support.
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