Let's make rooting fun again

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Let's make rooting fun again

Postby Commissioner » Tue Jan 02, 2018 6:09 pm

It ain't much fun being a Titan fan these days.

1. The losing. This will be 5 straight seasons of mediocrity, with only a 16-15 record in Ray's last year--the middle of the 5--getting our heads above water.

2. The style of losing. The Titans' two largest margins of defeat ever have come in the last 5 years (to Vandy in 2015, and to UConn in 2013). We have not been remotely competitive with any P5 team the last two years, losing to Illinois by 20, Florida State by 29, Virginia Tech by 32, UCLA by 33, and Michigan by 32. None of those games were really even that close. We got crushed in the conference tournament last year by the last place team. We've lost three exhibition games to D-II teams the last two years. The team consistently looks unprepared in the early moments of big games, and seems to play a disjointed game at the best of times. There is no defense. And how is it that we *always* underperform. I can't recall the last time the Titans didn't finish lower in the Horizon standings than predicted by the Horizon poll. Maybe 2012 and 2013, but certainly not in any of the 5 seasons since (yes, I'm assuming we're not nabbing 4th place this year). Are we being sold a bill of goods on our recruits? Really, year after year? And not just us, but all the Horizon League coaches and media?

3. The conference. We haven't been in the conference we really wanted to be in in a long time. But just 6 years ago, we could feel that at least we were in a decent conference. The Horizon was consistently ranked 11-15 in conference power rankings, and even excluding back-to-back Final 4 runs by Butler, had a solid record of NCAA success for a mid-major league. If we no longer had old rivals like Marquette, Dayton, and Xavier, at least we still had Butler and Loyola. Valpo was an up and coming rival, another small, religiously-affiliated, selective university. Being in a decent conference meant some pride, and it meant that with a good season, we'd be at least somewhat relevant. Now we're in a league that is one of the half-dozen worst in college basketball, and we have nothing in common with any of our conference foes, and no traditional rivalries at all. OU is a new rival and I think that's been good for us, but they're dominating us, and we hate that we have to even think of them as a rival.

4. Off court. I suspect we on this list worry far too much about off-court issues and think these things are far more unusual or are getting far more attention elsewhere than they are. Every year there are D-I coaches suspended or fired for various incidents other than wins and losses, and all kinds of players who are suspended in programs around the country for a game or a few for violations of team rules, and guys kicked off teams or suspended for long periods for brushes with the law and the like. Academic ineligibility is hardly limited to UD players. I read all these comments here about "this is embarrassing the university." That assumes anyone else cares. Outside of this board, I doubt there are 100 people in the universe who can remember Kerry whatshername's last name, or know Paris Bass was ever suspended, or have ever heard of Carols Briggs. I exaggerate only slightly. And most people don't think poorly of a university because it's star forward flunks out. Still, we're having more off-court incidents than we ought to have. That's no fun. But we make it worse by dwelling on it so much.

That brings me (finally!) to a point. This board ain't much fun anymore. At least not for me, and I suspect for many others. It's not within my disposition, my right, or my power to tell people what they can or cannot post. But just maybe we would all have a bit more fun if we just focused on the game being played on the court. Lord knows there's a lot there to criticize--we're 12-37 over the last 14 months. So if you like to criticize, there's plenty there. But I'm not sure we need the constant personal attacks on the coaches, the AD, the President, etc. What we say here isn't really going to affect their status, but I think it sure makes us cranky. And if you've got personal issues with various members of the Titan governance, staff, and the team (and you know who you are), save it--we don't care. At least I don't think we care. I know I don't care that JJ stole your girl back in '96, or Vowels didn't send you a nice enough thank you, or whatever. I'm not interested in your threats never to donate or never to attend future games. Most university administrators I've known know that most people who actually donate significant money don't publicly threaten to stop donating. They may give some *private* advice, if they're really big shots, or if they are asked. But mostly, if they don't like the results, they just stop. Most of those who attend games don't threaten not to attend unless some demand they have is met. They just stop attending. The people who make threats probably weren't there to begin with, and their opinions are usually of little value.

I'm not a rose-colored glasses, avoid-the-reality kind of guy, but maybe, just maybe, there is something to mama's old adage about how if you can't say something nice..., well, you know. At least as it pertains to speculation on motives, assaults on personal ethics, and so on. If you think JJJ plays too many minutes, that's not that hard a case to make on the evidence (nor is it that hard to refute--one can have a lively debate on that). Is it really necessary to speculate--and while there are some folks on this board who are pretty close to the program, most of it is *speculation* by people who really don't *know*--on what is going on behind the scenes, between Vowels, JJ, BA, Canaan, Garibaldi, etc? Maybe we'd all have a little more fun if we spent more time debating the merits of the 3 guard lineup, or JJJ vs. Josh McF as starting point guard, or Long v. Ballantyne, rather than accusing Vowels, JJ, Chatman, and Bacari of acting unethically or foolishly by putting personal causes ahead of their jobs--at least since the reality is that while many of us suspect A or think B, most of us don't actually *know* squat about what is going on in practice or what is motivating the various figures or what the members of the team really think. Hell, I've never seen anyone here even post with certainty the terms of BA's contract, something that is objectively verifiable. Yet it sometimes seems like everyone's an expert BA and everyone else's motives and ethics.

A little gallows humor is one thing. It helps the medicine go down. But speculating on motives and engaging in personal attacks is just boring and depressing. As Bernie Sanders might say if he were a Titan fan, "We need to force the P5 conferences to give some of their good players to poor teams like UDM, and make Spartan fans attend Titan games. It's only fair." But more to the point, he also might say, "I'm sick and tired of hearing about Bacari's damn verbal communications with his players." And for once, he'd be right.

That's my two (well, at least four) cents worth. Let's try to have fun rooting for the Titans.
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Re: Let's make rooting fun again

Postby Commissioner » Tue Jan 02, 2018 6:22 pm

In the midst of another miserable season, here are some things I've enjoyed this year:

- Jaleel Hogan scored his 1000th point. 1000 points ain't what it was in the days of Norm Swanson, Dick Dzik, or even John Long, but it's still a neat acheivement. Just 41 Titans have topped 1000 career points with Detroit.

- The Titans make free throws. I hate teams that miss free throws. Maybe because as a player I had no size, no speed, and no jumping ability, I always thought there was no excuse for more talented kids not making free throws. I shot 75% at the line. Now, I've grown to realize that that's not entirely fair--it's a talent, and some guys just can't shoot them, even with practice. But I still love teams that make free throws. Although we've slipped a bit the last couple games, we still rank 31st nationally in free throw percentage. I love feeling that our guys will knock 'em down. If we could ever get a late lead in a close game, I love knowing how hard it will be to catch us by fouling. I love knowing that if we're behind, we can get points with the clock stopped. JJJ is 6th in the nation in FT%. Chatman is well over 80%, McFolley is over 80%, and Corey Allen, after a 4-7 against Green Bay, is just under 80%.

- The win over St. Louis wasn't as good as it looked at the time, but it was still a win over an A10 team on the road. And St. Louis *has* beaten Virginia Tech.

- When Corey Allen gets hot, he is so fun to watch.

- Adrian Nelson, our LOI signee from Pickerington, is really good, and really excited about joining the Titans. He had a bundle of solid offers, well over a dozen, and he chose to sign with our program.
Last edited by Commissioner on Tue Jan 02, 2018 6:25 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: Let's make rooting fun again

Postby MooseGuy1 » Tue Jan 02, 2018 6:22 pm

SMD, Commish. ;)
Last edited by MooseGuy1 on Wed Jan 03, 2018 8:26 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: Let's make rooting fun again

Postby uofdmik2008 » Tue Jan 02, 2018 6:27 pm

Commissioner wrote:In the midst of another miserable season, here are some things I've enjoyed this year:

- Jaleel Hogan scored his 1000th point. 1000 points ain't what it was in the days of Norm Swanson, Dick Dzik, or even John Long, but it's still a neat acheivement. Just 41 Titans have topped 1000 career points with Detroit.

- The Titans make free throws. I hate teams that miss free throws. Maybe because as a player I had no size, no speed, and no jumping ability, I always thought there was no excuse for more talented kids not making free throws. I shot 75% at the line. Now, I've grown to realize that that's not entirely fair--it's a talent, and some guys just can't shoot them, even with practice. But I still love teams that make free throws. Although we've slipped a bit the last couple games, we still rank 31st nationally in free throw percentage. I love feeling that our guys will knock 'em down. If we could ever get a late lead in a close game, I love knowing how hard it will be to catch us by fouling. I love knowing that if we're behind, we can get points with the clock stopped. JJJ is 6th in the nation in FT%. Chatman is well over 80%, McFolley is over 80%, and Corey Allen, after a 4-7 against Green Bay, is just under 80%.

- The win over St. Louis wasn't as good as it looked at the time, but it was still a win over an A10 team on the road. And St. Louis *has* beaten Virginia Tech.

- When Corey Allen gets hot, he is so fun to watch.

- Adrian Nelson, our LOI signee from Pickerington, is really good, and really excited about joining the Titans. He had a bundle of solid offers, well over a dozen, and he chose to sign with our program.


Thanks Comish
Mik

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Re: Let's make rooting fun again

Postby Motor City Sam » Tue Jan 02, 2018 6:32 pm

Or as donald trump might say if he was AD, "Don't believe the fake news that BA is 8-34. He's really 34-8 and everyone says he's the best coach they've ever seen."
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Re: Let's make rooting fun again

Postby Motor City Sam » Tue Jan 02, 2018 6:43 pm

I expect the Titans will have a stronger second half of the season. They didn't load up on a bunch of bad teams to pad their record during the non-conference season (and I know there is no evidence that they would dominate a bunch of bad D1 teams at this point) and the record so far reflects that. It wasn't an easy schedule. The Wisconsin trip is a tough way to open up the season, but we have four games coming up at home. WSU and NKU will be tough games, but the ESPN match up predictor is giving us the edge against Cleveland State and Youngstown State. Then we go to IUPUI. We can't complain about the schedule maker. The opportunity is there to start turning things around.
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Re: Let's make rooting fun again

Postby MooseGuy1 » Tue Jan 02, 2018 6:44 pm

Actually, I'd like some fake news about now. I'll believe.
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Re: Let's make rooting fun again

Postby Motor City Sam » Tue Jan 02, 2018 6:49 pm

MooseGuy1 wrote:Actually, I'd like some fake news about now. I'll believe.


LOL. As I posted above, I think we'll have some good "real" news over the next couple of weeks with the schedule the way that it is. That's the optimist in my talking.
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Re: Let's make rooting fun again

Postby Tacitus651 » Tue Jan 02, 2018 7:05 pm

If we don't get a win by January 20th I'm leaving the fan base.
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Re: Let's make rooting fun again

Postby TerryTylerFan » Tue Jan 02, 2018 9:01 pm

Motor City Sam wrote:
MooseGuy1 wrote:Actually, I'd like some fake news about now. I'll believe.


LOL. As I posted above, I think we'll have some good "real" news over the next couple of weeks with the schedule the way that it is. That's the optimist in my talking.

Sam, I can hear your inner optimist and I believe him! Looking forward to this home stand, a good time for this team to come together a little bit. There have been several small but important signs of improvement since that awful Michigan game. I don't expect 4 straight wins, but I do expect to have a good time watching some better basketball. Go Titans.
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Re: Let's make rooting fun again

Postby MooseGuy1 » Tue Jan 02, 2018 9:27 pm

Guys, I think it will get better, as well. 4-0 is not out of the question. Especially if the question is "What is least likely to happen?"

But I will find a justification for predicting a Titans victory in each game.
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Re: Let's make rooting fun again

Postby udballer » Tue Jan 02, 2018 10:40 pm

I read your entire post, Commish... and I hear you loud and clear. ;)

Yes, Josh McFolley should be the starting PG in place of JJJ. :)
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Re: Let's make rooting fun again

Postby Motor City Sam » Wed Jan 03, 2018 12:07 am

udballer wrote:I read your entire post, Commish... and I hear you loud and clear. ;)

Yes, Josh McFolley should be the starting PG in place of JJJ. :)


From the outside, that seemed the right way to go. Start your junior guard and your sophomore guard who won HL freshman of the year last season, and bring in your freshman guard off the bench to ease into the D1 game. I never imagined that JJ Jr. would be leading the team in minutes played 15 games into the season.
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Re: Let's make rooting fun again

Postby ptctitan » Wed Jan 03, 2018 7:08 am

The reason JJJr starts and plays more minutes than McFolley is this:

Jackson: 54 assists, 32 turnovers, 30.8% 3 pt FG%, 23 steals, 34 fouls, 11.8 PPG. 1 shot taken every 2.9 minutes played.
McFolley: 24 assists, 25 turnovers, 30.9% 3 pt FG%, 25 steals, 44 fouls, 10.2 PPG. 1 shot taken every 2.74 minutes played.

Josh may make a few more spectacular plays, but he also makes more mistakes per minute than JJJr. And he does not shoot 3-point FG's significantly better than JJJr. JJJr averages 8 minutes more per game than Josh, but he has more than 2x the assists than Josh.
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Re: Let's make rooting fun again

Postby udballer » Wed Jan 03, 2018 8:12 am

First, you're assuming that Josh's stat line would remain the exact same per minute if he were named the starter and given the additional minutes. That's probably a bad assumption.

Secondly, I wonder why JJJ was getting more minutes and the start when his career stat line was 0-0, 0 assists, 0 turnovers, etc. Saying it is based strictly on stats when (at that point) he had none is silly.

Who has more wins as the starting PG? That may be relevant. Also, I noticed you didn't discuss defense when comparing the two, outside of steals. That was a good move. :)
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Re: Let's make rooting fun again

Postby TitanTarHeel » Wed Jan 03, 2018 8:48 am

Commish - thank you, this is long over due and its in line with how I've been feeling about the board.

Each thread lately devolves, quickly, into the same conversation. It's not bad to have the conversation on here about the root cause of our lengthy troubles, but we are so overwhelmed in negativity that it does make coming on here less fun. I'm not saying my rose colored glasses are on and I don't see the issues -- there are many as you detailed in terms of where we are at the moment.

People come and post on the board because they want the university and its sports teams to see success. That's what we are all here for. Well most of us at least as a few posters (who are obvious) have axes to grind and thus grind that ax in each and every thread/post they are a part of. There's also a poster or two who doesn't seem to watch any of the actual games and merely adds snark to each and every thread. You don't have to watch every minute of Titan hoops to participate here but we are talking hoops and if you aren't watching the games then I don't quite get what you are doing.

The ONLY minor issue I see with the proposal to not have every discussion devolve is that at the end of the day we will want answers or to put blame somewhere. So even a discussion about JJJ vs Josh minutes will ultimately end up with "well, I guess its coaching staff's fault that it is the way it is". Same with our poor defense. Or lack of accountability on offense. Etc. We do have some smart basketball minds on this board and it is most enjoyable when we are breaking down the games.

Again, we are all Titan fans and want the proverbial Great Things for the school and athletic programs. We have that bond that ought to bring us together and not make this board an unpleasant experience or shout fest of negativity, especially at one another. Amen. Go Titans.
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Re: Let's make rooting fun again

Postby ptctitan » Wed Jan 03, 2018 9:51 am

udballer wrote:First, you're assuming that Josh's stat line would remain the exact same per minute if he were named the starter and given the additional minutes. That's probably a bad assumption.

Secondly, I wonder why JJJ was getting more minutes and the start when his career stat line was 0-0, 0 assists, 0 turnovers, etc. Saying it is based strictly on stats when (at that point) he had none is silly.

Who has more wins as the starting PG? That may be relevant. Also, I noticed you didn't discuss defense when comparing the two, outside of steals. That was a good move. :)


OK. So you are a better evaluator of this team's talent than the coaching staff. ;) How many practices have you attended? On the radio last month, Bacari cited some of those stats when saying positive things about his freshman PG. A:TO is why JJJr starts over Josh in the bigger line-up. They did start 9 games together when we played the infamous small 3-guard line-up.
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Re: Let's make rooting fun again

Postby MooseGuy1 » Wed Jan 03, 2018 8:27 pm

MooseGuy1 wrote:SMD, Commish. ;)


You know I was just kidding, right? Glad to have you back, Commissioner.
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Re: Let's make rooting fun again

Postby Commissioner » Wed Jan 03, 2018 8:58 pm

MooseGuy1 wrote:
MooseGuy1 wrote:SMD, Commish. ;)


You know I was just kidding, right?

Yes. But we don't have a "like" button and it didn't seem worth another post just to put a smiley face.

Glad to have you back, Commissioner.


Thanks. But I feel like Wally Pipp.
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Re: Let's make rooting fun again

Postby MooseGuy1 » Wed Jan 03, 2018 9:30 pm

Yeah, I imagine you do. Truth is, I envy both of you. The previews are uniformly excellent. I enjoy every one.
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