Toledo

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Toledo

Postby Commissioner » Fri Dec 13, 2019 10:53 pm

Toledo

When: Saturday, December 14, 3:00 p.m.
Where: Historic Calihan Hall
TV ESPN+
Radio: 910 AM; 1370 AM (Toledo)

The University of Detroit's fall semester officially ends at noon on Saturday, which means the MBM should be ready to suit up for the 3:00 p.m. tip-off against Toledo.

It's just in time, too, because Toledo is anchored by a pretty good big man, 6-11 senior Luke Knapke. Knapke has already hit a couple of milestones this year, scoring his 1000th career point, and becoming Toledo's all-time leader for blocks. He's averaging 3 blocks per game, to go along with 16.8 points and 9.1 rebounds. Knapke has a good all-around game--he's a career 56% shooter (never below 51% in his 4 years), but can also stretch out the defense and knock down the occasional three (a career 40% shooter in over 200 attempts). He's also a career 75% shooter at the stripe. Toledo likes to run its offense through Knapke at a high post, and we'll need to keep the Rockets from getting the ball in to him, though they probably just throw it over our guys. In last year's Rocket blow-out, he had 8 points, 9 rebounds, 3 assists and a block in 25 minutes. As a sophomore back in 2017 he had 15 points and 5 rebounds against us. In Toledo's last game, a 10 point win over Marshall, Knapke had 33 points.

Despite his size and some pretty good numbers, Knapke isn't the Rockets' best rebounder. That's 6-6 senior forward Willie Jackson. Last year Willie was 4th in the MAC with 8.5 boards per game; this year, he's currently third in the country at 12.3 per game. Toledo has a couple of big guards from Michigan in the lineup, juniors Spencer LIttleson and Dylan Alderson. Both are knocking down over 40% from three. The final starter is a small guard, 6-0 junior Marreon Jackson, who leads the Rockets in scoring at 18 ppg and is 12th in the nation in assists per game.

The Rockets are not terribly deep. Only one other player averages double-figure minutes, redshirt freshman Keshaun Saunders. Two other players who should see action are 6-8 freshman TJ Smith, and 6-10 freshman Luke Maranka. I was a bit surprised that the Titans didn't seem to recruit Maranka, who is big, from Michigan, and was a bit under the radar as a home-schooled player, something with which Coach Davis has experience. Another freshman from Michigan, guard Donovan Moore from West Bloomfield, has appeared in 4 games.

Toledo comes in at 7-2 against a relatively easy schedule. They've lost two games, both on the road. Valpo--which has played better than most projected--surprised them in the season opener, 79-77, and Notre Dame beat them in overtime, 64-62. Their wins don't scream "at large bid," but they do include two wins over CUSA-member Marshall, and except for a 65-63 win over Oakland, they've won them all by double digit margins. Still, their overall SOS ranking is an unimpressive #320. The Rockets have been one of the best shooting teams in the country, expecially from outside the arc, where they are hitting at better than 40%.

The Titans will be looking for revenge for last year's 44 point shellacking, but the way things have been going, we may do well just to avoid another drubbing. Last year Antoine Davis had one of his poorer performances against the Rockets, making just 2 of 16 two-point shots, although he did make 5 of 10 from deep to finish with 19 points. He even missed both his free throw attempts. That Toledo win boosted the Rockets advantage in the series to 35-25.

I'm going out on a limb. Titans are playing at home. The law of averages says some shots should start to fall. Titans spring the upset.

Starters
PG: Marreon Jackson, 6-0 Jr. (18.0 ppg, 6.7 apg, 33.8% 3Pt)
SG: Spencer Littleson, 6-4 RS Jr. (13.1 ppg, 44.2% 3Pt)
SF: Dylan Alderson, 6-5 Jr. (8.4 ppg, 4.7 rpg, 42.9% 3Pt)
F: Willie Jackson, 6-6 Sr. (9.9 ppg, 12.3 rpg)
C: Luke Knapke, 6-11 Sr. (16.8 ppg, 9.1 rpg, 3.0 bpg, 37.5% 3Pt)

Key Reserves
G - Keshaun Saunders, 6-5 RS Fr. (9.7 ppg, 44.4% 3Pt)
PF: T.J. Smith, 6-8 RS Fr. (2.2 ppg, 2.2 rpg)
C: Luke Maranka, 6-10 Fr. (2.1 ppg, 1.8 rpg)
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Re: Toledo

Postby NC Titan » Sat Dec 14, 2019 8:44 am

Thanks, Commish. Sounds like we should use our big guys (??) to rebound and pass the ball back out rather than add to Knapke's block total. Especially Miller, who doesn't get very far off the ground. Just rebound and maybe collect fouls.

Any word on Maxwell?
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Re: Toledo

Postby titanmac » Sat Dec 14, 2019 4:54 pm

nice first half without ad
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: Toledo

Postby Commissioner » Sat Dec 14, 2019 4:59 pm

titanmac wrote:nice first half without ad

Less standing around. It helps that the threes are dropping. But 10 assists on 12 field goals. Entering this game, we were averaging less than 1 assist for every two field goals.

They've played good "D," too.
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Re: Toledo

Postby ptctitan » Sat Dec 14, 2019 6:11 pm

Two questionable calls and a bad possession when the game was on the line vs a very experienced team. Good effort. 15 assists. We battled hard. Played mostly man defense. A great game by Brandon. Calipari almost shot us over the finish line.
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Re: Toledo

Postby titanmac » Sat Dec 14, 2019 6:22 pm

better.
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: Toledo

Postby udballer » Sat Dec 14, 2019 6:26 pm

I didn't see any reason that we should not be playing Brandon 32+ minutes per game moving forward. He's a sophomore, plays big and always brings energy.
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Re: Toledo

Postby titanmac » Sat Dec 14, 2019 7:13 pm

another fair game relying on the three. we all know what happens when they don't drop and they don't drop often....
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: Toledo

Postby ptctitan » Sun Dec 15, 2019 6:40 am

titanmac wrote:another fair game relying on the three. we all know what happens when they don't drop and they don't drop often....


Are you saying that we're supposed to rely on our stellar low post game? :roll: :lol:
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Re: Toledo

Postby titandave » Sun Dec 15, 2019 2:46 pm

ptctitan wrote:
titanmac wrote:another fair game relying on the three. we all know what happens when they don't drop and they don't drop often....


Are you saying that we're supposed to rely on our stellar low post game? :roll: :lol:


I was hoping Boe Nguidjol would be effective in the low post. Unfortunately; that has not been the case.
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Re: Toledo

Postby titandave » Sun Dec 15, 2019 3:46 pm

udballer wrote:I didn't see any reason that we should not be playing Brandon 32+ minutes per game moving forward. He's a sophomore, plays big and always brings energy.


Brandon definitely brings energy. He's a solid defensive player and good at rebounding the basketball. Although we doesn't shoot often (only 25 attempts) he's very efficient (69%).
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Re: Toledo

Postby NC Titan » Sun Dec 15, 2019 7:11 pm

titandave wrote:
ptctitan wrote:
titanmac wrote:another fair game relying on the three. we all know what happens when they don't drop and they don't drop often....


Are you saying that we're supposed to rely on our stellar low post game? :roll: :lol:


I was hoping Boe Nguidjol would be effective in the low post. Unfortunately; that has not been the case.


The problem with our low-post defense was that Knapke scored 12 of his 21 points from behind the arc, and he did most or all of them in the stretch that killed our game. The announcers said more than once that the Titans couldn't leave Knapke unmarked, but there he was again and again. Detroit scored more paint points and Toledo; that doesn't happen much.

The challenge is going to be figuring out how to mesh this offensive performance with AD's game. Brandon needs more minutes, Miller needs fewer. But Coach needs to play his strong defenders and still keep some variety of offensive weapons on the floor.
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Re: Toledo

Postby NC Titan » Sun Dec 15, 2019 7:31 pm

titanmac wrote:another fair game relying on the three. we all know what happens when they don't drop and they don't drop often....


I disagree, Mac. The Titans hit 46% of their three-point shots. We lost the game inside the arc: Miller was 1-for-8 on two-point shots and Rose was 3-for-11. I like Miller but he's not efficient shooting inside: too slow and does have hops. Rose did a nice job driving, but it rarely turned into points. I prefer to see LeGrand driving; he's bigger and he finishes and his driving will set up AD's game.

Next game start AD, Moore, LeGrand, Bo, and Brandon. That's one pure guard, two guard-forwards, two forwards. Bring Calipari, Isiani and Miller off the bench.
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Re: Toledo

Postby udballer » Sun Dec 15, 2019 9:11 pm

It may have been just me and my son, but we got nervous each and every time LeGrand handled the ball. If he is supposed to take ball handling pressure off of AD, it will require much improvement.
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Re: Toledo

Postby JDetroitTitan » Mon Dec 16, 2019 9:15 am

udballer wrote:It may have been just me and my son, but we got nervous each and every time LeGrand handled the ball. If he is supposed to take ball handling pressure off of AD, it will require much improvement.


You must of been reading my mind. Also did you notice how all are guards love going right when driving. It appears most of them can't do a layup with there off hand.
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Re: Toledo

Postby ptctitan » Mon Dec 16, 2019 10:14 am

LeGrande's first made layup was left handed. His assist on Gorman's 3-pointer in the first half came off a left-handed drive and dish. He had 7 assists and 2 turnovers. 6 points. 6 rebounds. 2 steals. I'm not saying he's the second coming of Magic Johnson; but I think he played a much better game than you suggest. In fact, against Toledo, he used his left hand better than Rose and Gorman. When Antoine returns, having Alonde bringing the ball up 10-15 minutes per game should not be a negative for us in most games. The offense flowed pretty well when he ran the point.
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Re: Toledo

Postby JDetroitTitan » Mon Dec 16, 2019 11:00 am

ptctitan wrote:LeGrande's first made layup was left handed. His assist on Gorman's 3-pointer in the first half came off a left-handed drive and dish. He had 7 assists and 2 turnovers. 6 points. 6 rebounds. 2 steals. I'm not saying he's the second coming of Magic Johnson; but I think he played a much better game than you suggest. In fact, against Toledo, he used his left hand better than Rose and Gorman. When Antoine returns, having Alonde bringing the ball up 10-15 minutes per game should not be a negative for us in most games. The offense flowed pretty well when he ran the point.




I am not trying to say he is a bad player. But he needs to work his handles because he was fumbled the ball during the game when no one was on him (maybe you could pick it up on the TV but at the game you it was clear). LeGrande did go left during the game (and made a layup left"+1"). I was making my statement for "all of the guards" in general that the go right a lot compare to left. (also "SOME" of the guards don't do a left handed layup in the game even when attacking the hoop from the left.)

I do agree letting Alonde take some of the load of handling the point but not when being press hard I would prefer AD.

One thing I learn this weekend is that it looks that we are going to have a strong Sophomore class. We are just missing a big man on this squad to really make some noise. Last year watching this sophomore group playing without AD was really rough to watch but this time they looked like a completely different group. I like the improvement in all the players.
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Re: Toledo

Postby udballer » Mon Dec 16, 2019 1:16 pm

Well said, JDetroitTitan.

Nobody is saying he is a poor player, simply calling out the ballhandling for what it appeared to be. I was in Calihan and noticed exactly what you noted... which was why I made my initial comment. He was excessively dribbing between his legs and regularly fumbling it before getting back under control. He didn't pay for it because he was doing this with nobody pressuring him. Made me think that he may have some issues when facing pressure. His handles were perfectly fine to contribute to the team... just not what I'd expect from someone charged with getting the ball up court successfully.

That said, that is simply something he'd need to improve on (in my opinion) if he's charged with running the point. I don't think it was a TV vs. Calihan thing. If you were paying attention to the game, you'd have noticed even though it didn't show itself in the stat line.

To me, the Sophomore class does look better than expected at this point. Looking forward to seeing them continue to develop. There were a lot of positive takeaways from what I saw watching them perform without AD on Saturday. I just wish all of the positives would have resulted in a victory. Unfortunately, we had about a 4 minute stretch midway through the second half that sealed our fate against a more talented Toledo squad.
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Re: Toledo

Postby titandave » Mon Dec 16, 2019 3:37 pm

NC Titan wrote:Next game start AD, Moore, LeGrande, Bo, and Brandon. That's one pure guard, two guard-forwards, two forwards. Bring Calipari, Isiani and Miller off the bench.


I really like this starting line up and players off the bench. :D
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Re: Toledo

Postby ptctitan » Mon Dec 16, 2019 3:51 pm

All I disagreed with was the general statement that all of the replacement PG's went right all the time. I did not take issue with any other statement pro or con about LeGrande, including his missed dribbles. I saw his missed dribbles; but, in that game, those mistakes were outweighed by the fact that our offense seemed to run the best when he was distributing the ball. Against a different team playing a pressing defense on a different day, who knows which one of those players could handle the job - if any of them. I just hope we play even better on Thursday vs Northeastern.
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