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Eastern Michigan

PostPosted: Sat Dec 07, 2019 1:55 am
by Commissioner
Eastern Michigan

When: Saturday, December 7, 1:00 p.m.
Where: Calihan Hall
TV: ESPN+; WADL Channel 38
Radio: 910 AM

EMU is one of the Titans oldest rivalries, the two teams having played 77 times since 1910. The Titans hold a lopsided edge in the series, 59-18. The Titans won last year in Ypsi, 78-74, in what was probably Cole Long's finest game as a Titan. Before that, the Eagles had won a couple in a row, in the 2017 and 2016 seasons.

Rob Murphy is now in his 9th year at EMU, and the fans are getting restless. He took over a program that had had just 1 winning season in 11 years before his arrival, and got it to 22 and 21 wins in his 3rd and 4th seasons at the helm. But they Eagles haven't been able to break through that ceiling, despite having some talented players. Murphy's Eagles have played in three CBI/CIT tournaments, but no NIT or NCAA bids, and they've gotten past the quarterfinals in the MAC tournament just once in Murphy's 8 years, back in 2014, when they lost to Toledo in the semi-finals.

This year's team, however, is off to a 7-1 start, and that has quelled some of the discontent. Eastern is using a lot of juco transfers this year, and rather than throw them to the wolves with a bunch of difficult road games, to toughen them up, Murphy has brought his team along slowly. It's been a creampuff schedule, though that is Murphy's norm--he routinely plays the maximum allowed 4 games against non-D1 competition. Three of Eastern's wins are over non-D1 competition. They've also beaten Maryland-Baltimore County (NET rank #226) and North Carolina A&T (NET 294). But they do have a couple of nice wins, beating CUSA member North Texas on the road and, in their last game, MVC member Valparaiso at home. The Eagles one loss came on the road to the one team the Titans have beaten--UC-Irvine--by 21 points. So there's a bit of a clash on Satuday of scheduling philosophy--Coach Davis's "play the best" approach vs. Murphy's "bring 'em along slowly, get some wins, build confidence" approach. We'll see who gets the better of things Saturday.

This will be the Titans first home game, and after a terrible performance at Kent State earlier in the week, the Titans seem in some disarray. Simply put, no one has really stepped up to replace the departed Darien King, let alone the departed Josh McFolley. Some might be surprised to discover, however, that Antoine Davis is not taking more shots than he did a year ago. Well, OK, I lied--he's averaging 22.0 shots per game this year, after averaging 21.9 shots per game a year ago. He's also averaging fewer minutes per game than a year ago. Still, it seems like he's bearing an even bigger load than a year ago.

Eastern features a much more balanced attack--five players average between 10 and 13 points per game. Two others average at least 7.5 ppg, and 9 players are averaging 15 minutes or more. Eastern has a big man in the middle in Boubacar Toure, and lots of size in its guards. They got a boost for the Valpo game when 6-10 forward Tom Binelli came off the injured list after missing the first 7 games. He responded with 12 points in just 9 minutes of playing time. The Eagles are short on three point shooting, they turn it over a lot, and they don't shoot foul shots well,. The comparative results against UC-Irvine suggest that the Titans win this one easy, but the Eagles wins over North Texas and Valpo suggest otherwise.

The Titans badly need a win.

Probable Starters
G - Noah Morgan, 6-5 Jr. (10.6 ppg, 3.3 rpg, 2.3 apg, 33.3% 3PFG)
G - Darian Spottsville, 6-3 Jr. (2.4 ppg)
SF - Yeikson Montero, 6-5 Jr. (10.0. ppg).
PF - Ty Groce, 6-8 RS Jr. (12.5 ppg, 5.1 rpg)
C - Boubacar Toure, 7-0 RS Sr. (10.1 ppg, 8.3 rpg)

Key Reserves
G - Chris Barnes, 6-4 RS Jr. (8.8 ppg)
G - Chris James, 6-2 Fr. (7.5 ppg, 3.5 rpg, 61% 3PFG in 18 attempts)
G - Shamar Dillard, 6-6 Fr. (5.9 ppg)
PF - Jalen King, 6-10 Jr. (3.1 ppg, 3.4 rpg)
PF - Tom Binelli, 6-10 Jr. (12.0 ppg)

Re: Eastern Michigan

PostPosted: Sat Dec 07, 2019 11:28 am
by 1975SHjoe
Eastern by -3.5 Over/ Under 145

Re: Eastern Michigan

PostPosted: Sat Dec 07, 2019 3:09 pm
by NC Titan
The two big guys are killing us, one inside and one outside.

Of course, if our shots would fall.....

Re: Eastern Michigan

PostPosted: Sat Dec 07, 2019 4:24 pm
by ptctitan
Our man-to-man defense together with EMU's decision to shoot late in each possession helped keep the score close. On offense, it looked like our players had no clue on how to attack the zone. Which is puzzling since we played the same defense last year. All those missed lay-ups cost us the game. Our post players had so many chances to throw it back out to the near corner when the defender doubled down but they always seemed to choose to move away from the open shooter. AD made many poor decisions in attacking the zone. Maxwell looked very rusty. Given how this game was going, down the stretch we should have been looking for Calipari, Isiani, and Gorman. The only positive about the game was that the team never gave up. But they still have not learned how to come from behind. Offense was very disappointing. And not all of that ugliness was caused by EMU's defense.

Re: Eastern Michigan

PostPosted: Sat Dec 07, 2019 4:30 pm
by NC Titan
Way too many missed opportunities. We could've won this game.

I hope Maxwell shakes off the rust.

Re: Eastern Michigan

PostPosted: Sat Dec 07, 2019 5:02 pm
by Dick Vitale
It was disappointing. Happy that we stayed in the game but we trailed the whole way though often at double digit levels.

No strategy to score against their zone, no inside game, very few shots falling. We're lucky it appears that it was a close game but it seemed far from it for 38 minutes. There zone play was so good we could barely get a decent shot off in time.

Not sure I want to see what the shooting percentage looks like.

Highlight - Mikail Youdin accepting the TR award.

Re: Eastern Michigan

PostPosted: Sat Dec 07, 2019 6:06 pm
by uofdfan1983
You picked a good highlight - Mikail is a great guy and we are so lucky to have him and all he brings to the school. I can't say enough about him but he's an example of all that is good with people and an example of why controlled immigration is good for our country and in this case, our school.

My other bright spot was Marquis Moore. He kept us in the game with his hustle. He was all over the court. A perfect glue guy. If we could just get some height (someone like the EMU 7 footer would be fine) and some shooters and some confidence on offense.

Key person in the game had to be Mondro. Surprised nobody has mentioned him yet, but maybe those of you who had to watch from afar didn't notice him on the bench. Watson always said he was a great X and O guy, especially on defense, and I have no doubt that he did the scouting/preparation against us on this game.

Re: Eastern Michigan

PostPosted: Sat Dec 07, 2019 6:33 pm
by NC Titan
EMU must be thanking their stars that they escaped with a win. The Titans outrebounded them, EMU had more turnovers. The only thing that broke their way was the score -- mostly because DetMer had too many 0-xx players and couldn't hit an outside shot to break their zone. Too many times a Titan drove the baseline and then missed the layup. And if we don't develop a reliable post scorer, we'll face shutdown zones all year.

I hope this was not indicative of what Maxwell can do. Anyone know why Hofman isn't playing? He has just two minutes in the past three games.

Re: Eastern Michigan

PostPosted: Sat Dec 07, 2019 7:34 pm
by JDetroitTitan
Much improvement from the last game. Ball movement improved. The shots were not falling for us. Hard to drive when a 7 footer is clogging the lane. Miller played great against him even being undersized. We lost this game because we shot 23.2% FG.

Re: Eastern Michigan

PostPosted: Sun Dec 08, 2019 1:48 pm
by 1975SHjoe
Well the good news is we shot 10 of 33 from three, an improvement over the last few games. Bad news we were 3 of 23 inside the arc. Many mussed layups. Maxwell size on the perimeter allowed AD to stay down low and conserve some energy. He just is not the same as last year IMO. Fatigue injury the other teams defense? I suspect all three.