Wright State Raiders Preview and Game Thread

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Wright State Raiders Preview and Game Thread

Postby Motor City Sam » Thu Jan 04, 2018 9:34 pm

After a break that seemed longer than it actually was, Titans return to the court on Friday to take on the Wright State Raiders. Tip off is at 9:00 PM and the game will be broadcast nationally on ESPNU and on 910 AM. It's Motown Night at Historic Calihan Hall, and hopes among the faithful are that the Titans will reign "Supreme". (Yes, I know how bad that was.)

The atmosphere around the Titan program is not good right now. We've seen insults, backstabbing, unprovoked attacks, cliques forming, etc....and that's just on the message board. (I kid because I care.) However, it is true in athletics that winning cures most ills. Each game provides a new opportunity to get a victory and start changing the narrative. Winning is as contagious as losing, and a victory over Wright State would get us back on the right track and provide a tangible result to some of the subtle improvement we've seen from last year.

Our old friends the Wright State Raiders stand in the way of the beginning of a new narrative. And the Raiders have been a pain in the neck for us previously. I still wince at the memory of their upset win over us in the first round of the HL tournament 2013. Yeah, we still went to the NIT that year, but I was hoping for a winning streak to secure that automatic NCAA bid. Overall, the Raiders have won 29 of the 55 matchups in the series, and 9 of the last 12.

Wright State enters Friday's action with a record of 10-5, 2-0. The Raiders are on a three game winning streak with close wins over Georgia Tech, UIC, and IUPUI. Earlier in the season, the Raiders beat Toledo and lost to Murray State. They obviously present a serious challenge, even with the Titans at home. The Raiders started the season 0-3, so they have hit their stride since then.

The Raiders are led in scoring by a familiar name: Grant Benzinger. The senior guard has upped his scoring average, from 12 per game to 14, but his field goal and three point shooting percentages are down from last season. However, his free throw percentage is almost literally off the charts at .956. He's taken 45 free throws this year and made 43. He'll be a test for the Titans free throw defense. Wright State doesn't score a lot (just over 68 ppg) but they defend and generally keep the pace to their liking.

Probable Starters:
Loudon Love: 6-9, 275 freshman center. 9 points, 8 rebounds, per game. Solid now and going to be a really good one. Put up 16 and 12 against a good Georgia Tech front line. Foul him if you can; he's a 41 % free throw shooter.
Parker Ernsthausen: 6-11, 235 junior forward. 5 points, 2 rebounds. Big, but not really productive. Has only cracked double figure scoring twice this year. (Hope I didn't just jinx us.)
Justin Mitchell: 6-4 senior guard. 12 points, 8 rebounds, 3 assist, 2 steals. Stat stuffer, but turnover prone. Look for Josh to get a couple of steals off of him.
Mark Hughes: 6-4 junior guard: 10 points, 3 rebounds, 3 assists. Solid three point shooter at 35%. Excellent free throw shooter at 85%.
Grant Benzinger: 14 points, 4 rebounds. Local kid (Cincinnati) has had a solid career. Has played his best ball against the best teams on the schedule. Hit 8-13 from three against the Titans last season.

Key Reserves:
Everett Winchester: 6-6 freshman forward. 8 points, 3 rebounds per game. Started fast with 15 points in the season opener against Loyola - Chicago, but has scored only eight points in the past four games.
Cole Gentry: 5-10 sophomore guard. 6 points, 3 rebounds, 2 assists per game. He and JJ Jr. will see eye to eye.
Jaylon Hall: 6-5 freshman guard. 9 points, 2 rebounds per game.

After opening the conference season on the road, the Titans face a four game home stand. That's the good news. The bad news is that in Wright State and NKU, Detroit faces two of the better teams in conference. Of course, a couple of wins here gives the team some much needed momentum. Haven't seen the line yet, but ESPN's Basketball Power Index puts Wright State's chances of victory at 66%. With both teams having almost a week to prepare, this should be a good game.
Last edited by Motor City Sam on Thu Jan 04, 2018 10:19 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Wright State Raiders Preview and Game Thread

Postby Tacitus651 » Thu Jan 04, 2018 9:47 pm

I'm pretty sure this game is at 9pm.
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Re: Wright State Raiders Preview and Game Thread

Postby Rogobob77 » Thu Jan 04, 2018 10:11 pm

The 9:00 p.m tip-time was locked in about ten days ago, dictated by television considerations (game to be broadcast on ESPNU). I think as soon as that happened, a notification message should have gone out to all Titan Club members, season ticket holders, and other fans Athletics has email addresses for. In addition to announcing the game time, the message could have reminded the core fanbase of the importance of attending the nationally televised game, previewed anything special taking place for “Motown Night,” etc. Specific to Titan Club members, perhaps there could have been information on what to expect in terms of refreshments that will be offered in the TC room given the atypical start time. Not sure how much taking those few extra steps would help with attendance, but it seems like a relatively simple thing to do that couldn’t hurt. I did see information about the game time on Facebook, but not everyone is on that platform.
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Re: Wright State Raiders Preview and Game Thread

Postby Motor City Sam » Thu Jan 04, 2018 11:00 pm

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Re: Wright State Raiders Preview and Game Thread

Postby dennycrane » Thu Jan 04, 2018 11:25 pm

You made several good points in your message, rogobob. I only found out about the later starting time today and, while I understand the reason for it, 9PM is uncomfortable for some older fans. I know a few who won't be attending for that reason.
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Re: Wright State Raiders Preview and Game Thread

Postby Rogobob77 » Thu Jan 04, 2018 11:51 pm

Projected temperature tomorrow night at game time: three degrees Fahrenheit.
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Re: Wright State Raiders Preview and Game Thread

Postby udballer » Fri Jan 05, 2018 12:37 am

Motor City Sam wrote: provide a tangible result to some of the subtle improvement we've seen from last year.


In all honesty, Sam, I'm still trying to find any bit of improvement at all. I'm hoping for a first glimpse of improvement beginning on this home stretch.

Year over year, there would be a slight improvement in record, but the team finished league play last year looking much closer to a .500 team than they have during the first half of this season. On top of that, we didn't lose much from that squad (outside of an underperforming Jenkins) and we've added the two guys leading the team in minutes and a solid player in Tariiq.

I picked this team to go 21-10 (I think) this year based on hopes of better coaching and the additions. The start is extremely troubling and we are running out of time to start turning the season around. I think we need to win 3 of the next 4, minimally, to get on any potential roll. I'm planning on being in attendance tomorrow and hope to witness the start of the turnaround.
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Re: Wright State Raiders Preview and Game Thread

Postby JimmyChitwood » Fri Jan 05, 2018 8:49 am

Motor City Sam wrote:the game will be broadcast nationally on ESPNU

If you are going to the game try to sit behind the benches and baskets downstairs, and below the rail in those spots if you are upstairs. Those are the areas seen on TV. I know if I am flipping through stations and come across a basketball game with an empty or tiny arena (or dark with a blinding glare) I keep surfing. If we can't make a good impression on the court, lets make one in the stands. ;)

Are the students back from break yet?
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Re: Wright State Raiders Preview and Game Thread

Postby uofdmik2008 » Fri Jan 05, 2018 9:32 am

The students are back next week Monday!
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Re: Wright State Raiders Preview and Game Thread

Postby UDDRUMMER » Fri Jan 05, 2018 9:38 am

JimmyChitwood wrote:
Motor City Sam wrote:the game will be broadcast nationally on ESPNU

If you are going to the game try to sit behind the benches and baskets downstairs, and below the rail in those spots if you are upstairs. Those are the areas seen on TV. I know if I am flipping through stations and come across a basketball game with an empty or tiny arena (or dark with a blinding glare) I keep surfing. If we can't make a good impression on the court, lets make one in the stands. ;)

Are the students back from break yet?


Students come back to school next week 1-8.

Yes, when ESPN does the close up of the players on the free throws, you can see the fans in the stands over the shoulder of the player. When I was in the pep band, I made many great signs that ended up on TV...one of the many was the Titan Reggie sign. The drum set location is a great spot to be seen on TV.

The temperature might be could outside, but hopefully the Titans turn up the heat on the court. Our guards need to get hot and make some shots.
I got a fever..the only prescription is more COWBELL!

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Re: Wright State Raiders Preview and Game Thread

Postby ptctitan » Fri Jan 05, 2018 9:44 am

These next two games will be good tests for measuring any defensive improvement over last year. Both WSU and NKU are well-coached, screen well, and get the ball to the open shooter. Both have a strong man in the middle who will give the 2018 version of Jaleel problems. Last year against those teams, we played defense like a soccer team of 8 year old's where everyone runs to ball and forgets about the open man. We made Grant Benzinger and Cole Murray legendary Pistol Pete Maravich-like shooters with that lack of defensive discipline. On the plus side, as noted above, Tariiq gives us more length and athleticism on the wing to run at Benzinger and contest his shots. Maybe Tariiq can make Benzinger whiff as much as his old man did for Cincy. Plus Prince and Tariiq give us more rebounding potential. Hogan vs Love will be a big key tonight.

Since the SLU road win, we have not shown enough maturity down the stretch to win these competitive games. That has been a team effort across the roster. We need to win the final 8 minutes of one of these close games like we did at SLU.

On the other hand, last night's HL results again proved that there is no dominant team in the league. Youngstown St beat Milwaukee and Cleveland State beat GB. UIC beat IUPUI in an empty Indy arena. There exists an opportunity here. The teams that get hot and create a win streak can contend in this year's HL. There is no dominant team. Even NKU and OU are beatable.

Go Titans!
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Re: Wright State Raiders Preview and Game Thread

Postby udballer » Fri Jan 05, 2018 10:02 am

As Sam mentions in the preview, Wright State likes to play at a slower pace and is averaging only 68 points / game. Further research shows that to this point they are shooting 42.5% from the field and only 32% from deep. It would be a good start to see us hold them near those percentages and to less than 75 total points tonight.
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Re: Wright State Raiders Preview and Game Thread

Postby Tacitus651 » Fri Jan 05, 2018 10:11 am

udballer wrote:As Sam mentions in the preview, Wright State likes to play at a slower pace and is averaging only 68 points / game. Further research shows that to this point they are shooting 42.5% from the field and only 32% from deep. It would be a good start to see us hold them near those percentages and to less than 75 total points tonight.


Well, I'm sure our chaos defense will prevail as always.
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Re: Wright State Raiders Preview and Game Thread

Postby ptctitan » Fri Jan 05, 2018 10:43 am

FWIW, Wright State lost its home game to Murray State 80-61 at the Nutter Center.

Wright State's win over Toledo was a road win in which WSU outscored Toledo from the foul line 22-7.
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Re: Wright State Raiders Preview and Game Thread

Postby Commissioner » Fri Jan 05, 2018 1:43 pm

ptctitan wrote:FWIW, Wright State lost its home game to Murray State 80-61 at the Nutter Center.

Wright State's win over Toledo was a road win in which WSU outscored Toledo from the foul line 22-7.

They apparently took advantage of the proverbial "road cookin''" by the refs.
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Re: Wright State Raiders Preview and Game Thread

Postby bctitans1987 » Fri Jan 05, 2018 2:16 pm

Tonight's score:

Wright State - 91, Detroit Mercy - 58.

Book it.

They won't win another game this year. Bacari has lost the team and JJ is a backstabbing a-hole. Let's not get into the ineptitude of the President and AD...
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Re: Wright State Raiders Preview and Game Thread

Postby Motor City Sam » Fri Jan 05, 2018 2:40 pm

udballer wrote:
Motor City Sam wrote: provide a tangible result to some of the subtle improvement we've seen from last year.


In all honesty, Sam, I'm still trying to find any bit of improvement at all. I'm hoping for a first glimpse of improvement beginning on this home stretch.

Year over year, there would be a slight improvement in record, but the team finished league play last year looking much closer to a .500 team than they have during the first half of this season. On top of that, we didn't lose much from that squad (outside of an underperforming Jenkins) and we've added the two guys leading the team in minutes and a solid player in Tariiq.

I picked this team to go 21-10 (I think) this year based on hopes of better coaching and the additions. The start is extremely troubling and we are running out of time to start turning the season around. I think we need to win 3 of the next 4, minimally, to get on any potential roll. I'm planning on being in attendance tomorrow and hope to witness the start of the turnaround.


I don't disagree with what you're saying; I'm just taking the glass is half full approach. :)
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Re: Wright State Raiders Preview and Game Thread

Postby udballer » Fri Jan 05, 2018 3:32 pm

Motor City Sam wrote:
udballer wrote:
Motor City Sam wrote: provide a tangible result to some of the subtle improvement we've seen from last year.


In all honesty, Sam, I'm still trying to find any bit of improvement at all. I'm hoping for a first glimpse of improvement beginning on this home stretch.

Year over year, there would be a slight improvement in record, but the team finished league play last year looking much closer to a .500 team than they have during the first half of this season. On top of that, we didn't lose much from that squad (outside of an underperforming Jenkins) and we've added the two guys leading the team in minutes and a solid player in Tariiq.

I picked this team to go 21-10 (I think) this year based on hopes of better coaching and the additions. The start is extremely troubling and we are running out of time to start turning the season around. I think we need to win 3 of the next 4, minimally, to get on any potential roll. I'm planning on being in attendance tomorrow and hope to witness the start of the turnaround.


I don't disagree with what you're saying; I'm just taking the glass is half full approach. :)


Good plan. I could only get to the "glass is 1/3 full" approach. :D
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Re: Wright State Raiders Preview and Game Thread

Postby TitanTarHeel » Fri Jan 05, 2018 5:11 pm

bctitans1987 wrote:Tonight's score:

Wright State - 91, Detroit Mercy - 58.

Book it.

They won't win another game this year. Bacari has lost the team and JJ is a backstabbing a-hole. Let's not get into the ineptitude of the President and AD...


Another high quality post from BC. Swearing, name calling, banging the drum yet again against Pres/AD. After his petulant "I'm taking my big money donation and going home" post from the other day I'm not really sure why he even comes on here.

Can we check the ISP if BC87 is actually also Titan96?? They share much of the same sad bitterness. Find peace gents, find peace. Have a great weekend, call some friends or family to grab dinner with. Head outside and enjoy the world and this marvelous weather! Don't let the Titans hurt you anymore.
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Re: Wright State Raiders Preview and Game Thread

Postby Motor City Sam » Fri Jan 05, 2018 6:01 pm

[quote="udballer
In all honesty, Sam, I'm still trying to find any bit of improvement at all. I'm hoping for a first glimpse of improvement beginning on this home stretch.

Year over year, there would be a slight improvement in record, but the team finished league play last year looking much closer to a .500 team than they have during the first half of this season. On top of that, we didn't lose much from that squad (outside of an underperforming Jenkins) and we've added the two guys leading the team in minutes and a solid player in Tariiq.

I picked this team to go 21-10 (I think) this year based on hopes of better coaching and the additions. The start is extremely troubling and we are running out of time to start turning the season around. I think we need to win 3 of the next 4, minimally, to get on any potential roll. I'm planning on being in attendance tomorrow and hope to witness the start of the turnaround.[/quote]

I don't disagree with what you're saying; I'm just taking the glass is half full approach. :)[/quote]

Good plan. I could only get to the "glass is 1/3 full" approach. :D[/quote]

Understood. We're all doing the best we can. :D
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