Northeastern Preview

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Northeastern Preview

Postby Commissioner » Wed Dec 18, 2019 6:57 pm

Northeastern

When: Thursday, December 19, 7:00 p.m.
Where: Historic Calihan Hall
TV: ESPN 3, WADL 38
Radio: AM 910

The Titans next two games will give us a big clue as to whether or not the "road warrior" scheduling philosophy has paid dividends. So far, it has not--the Titans have lost both their home games, to Eastern Michigan and Toledo. Or maybe it has paid off and we don't know it yet--those losses were by 4 and 8 points, respectively, the Titans' two closest defeats of the year, and they came to teams with a combined 17-4 record. In any event, the Titans face Northeastern on Thursday and SIU-Edwardsville on Saturday, with both games in the cavernous but familiar confines of Historic Calihan Hall. If we can't win these two games, it suggests that Horizon League Conference play is likely to be a long string of losses with one or two upsets.

Northeastern is first and should be the tougher of the two. It also includes a marquee matchup of two the nation's top scorers--the Titans Antoine Davis (third at 24.1 ppg) and the Huskies Jordan Roland (4th at 23.8 ppg). It's a bit of a shame they couldn't be 1/2, but Antoine's play certainly hasn't merited the scoring title yet (It's scary to think how many point he would have if he were shooting three at 38%, as last year. OK, answer: he'd be averaging a nation best 28.4 ppg. So it's not really scary, but it is a big difference.)

The Huskies are coming off a road loss at Eastern not all that dissimilar from our loss at Eastern. We fell 55-51, the Huskies 60-55. As in our game, EMU had trouble scoring, but so did Northeastern. The Huskies had a very atypical shooting night (more on that below), connecting on just 33% of their shots, and had at least one scoring draught of 7 minutes.

Overall, Northeastern enters Thursday's game at just 5-6. The season started well for Northeastern, with wins over crosstown rivals Boston U. and Ivy favorite Harvard, as Roland scored 81 points. But their three wins since have come against Weber State (4-6, NET 292), Maine (3-8, 317) and Holy Cross (1-10, 328). Of course, Detroit (1-9, 306) would appear to fit neatly into that bunch. Meanwhile, they've lost six times, ranging from Davidson (NET rank 105) to Drake (180). A 12 point loss to South Alabama is the only time they've lost by double digits. Nothing too embarrassing, but nothing too exciting, either.

Roland is their key guy, of course. He's scored at least 24 points in each of their 5 wins, averaging 32.2 ppg while making 24 of 43 three point attempts (55.8%). In their 6 defeats, he's topped 24 points just once, and averaged 16.8 ppg while shooting 13-41 from three (24.1%). Roland is also a superb free throw shooter, ranking 11th in the country at 92.7%, after making over 90% a year ago. And he's hit 64% of his two-point attempts this year. Guard him too close, he'll slip past you, and he can finish. Aside: Jordan's father, Rasaah Jordan, graduated from UD Jesuit High in 1992.

Northeastern has been able to keep Roland as a pure shooting guard, thanks in part to freshman Tyson Walker, who stepped right in for last year's graduated point guard, the musically-named Vasa Pusica. Walker was the start of Northeastern's recruiting class, a 3-star per Rivals, and he's started every game. He's a very good three point shooter, though selective in his shots, and he's second to Roland in scoring at 10.2 ppg. The third Huskie to start all 11 games this year is 6-6 senior Bolden Brace, the team's leading rebounder and a third 40 percent plus three point shooter. He's second to Jordan in 3 point attempts and can't be left unguarded. The other starters of late have been 6-6 junior Shaquille Walters, and 6-5 redshirt junior Maxime Boursiquot.

If you're keeping score, you'll note that that's a short lineup--even shorter, perhaps, than the Titans, with no starter over 6-6. There is some size on the bench, and one player may be familiar to Titan diehards--6-9 forward Greg Eboigboden, who helped lead UDJ to a 28-0 record and state title back in 2017, and was a top recruiting target of Ray McCallum before his dismissal. Eboigboden has started 5 games this year and is second on the team in rebounds, but did not play against EMU. I can't find a reason why, and it would have been expected to make every effort to let him play back where old friends could make the game. So I don't know if we'll see him on Thursday. Even less likely to play may be 6-8 junior power forward Tomas Murphy, who has been missed the last 7 games with a leg injury. With those two out, the Huskies really have just one true forward, 6-8 soph Jason Strong. Strong averages about 11 minutes per game. Myles Franklin, a 6-4 junior guard, will see action as well. He had 5 assists against EMU.

Despite their shooting woes against EMU, the Huskies are a excellent shooting team, ranking 10th in the country in 3 point shooting, 27th in overall field goal percentage, and 3rd in free throw percentage. However, since Eastern plays a zone, we can hope that perhaps that played a role in Northeastern's uncharacteristically cold shooting, and hence will work to the Titans' favor on Thursday.

Of course, the bigger question mark is the status of Antione Davis, who is listed as questionable after missing Saturday's game with the flu. Without Davis, many thought the Titans looked like a much better team--more fluid on offense, better effort. Yet I think very few would say the Titans are truly a better team, or likely to be a factor in the Horizon, without Davis. If AD shoots like last year's AD, and the rest of the Titans play as they did against Toledo, we could make some noise yet. Whether the problem lies with AD, the coaching, the other players, or some combination (or none of the above), I don't know. Alonde LeGrande had 7 assists against just 2 turnovers on Saturday--perhaps he needs to be the primary ball handler bringing the ball up court. OTOH, Toledo didn't pressure him much, especially after Marquis Jackson got his 4th foul early in the second half. Northeastern's guards, Walker and Roland, both have quick hands and read the passing lanes well (a good way to think about Roland, come to think of it, is as a similar player to Josh McFolley, but a better shooter and finisher). The coaches know this stuff a helluva lot more than I do. I just hope that when AD returns, whether it's Thursday or Saturday, that we can keep alive some of that movement and energy from last Saturday's loss.

Anyway, we circle back. It will be a shame if AD isn't able to play and we miss a possible shootout with Roland; and if Greg Egg can't play back in front of his old UDJ buddies. This will be the 5th meeting between the schools, all in the last 15 years. The Titans lost back in the fall of '04, 73-68 to a Huskie team that would win 21 games. We've won the last 3, including a win over the Huskies' 23-win NCAA team in the 2014-15 season, and a 3-point win the next year.

The Titans need to win some games. Northeastern is a solid mid-major team. But they're obviously not world beaters, and if the Titans can't beat the Huskies in Calihan I can't imagine there's much for fans to do but wait till next year.

Probable Northeastern Starters
PG: Tyson Walker, 6-0 Fr. (10.2 ppg, 3.3 apg, 41.4% 3PtFG)
SG: Jordan Roland, 6-1 RS Sr. (23.8 ppg, 44.0% 3PtFG)
SG/SF: Bolden Brace, 6-6 Sr. (8.4 ppg, 6.0 rpg, 43.1% 3PtFG)
SG/SF: Maxim Boursiquat, 6-5 RS Jr. (7.2 ppg, 3.9 rpg)
SG/SF: Shaquille Walters, 6-6 Jr. (6.6 ppg, 3.6 rpg)

Key Bench
G: Myles Franklin, 6-4 Jr. (4.8 ppg, 47.6% 3PtFG)
F: Jason Strong, 6-8 RS Soph (3.5 ppg,

Questionable
PF: Greg Eboigboden, 6-9 RS Soph. (4.3 ppg, 5.7 rpg)
PF: Tomas Murphy, 6-8 Jr. (9.3 ppg)
Titan All Americans Calihan Swanson Sparrow Ebben DeBusschere Murray Haywood Long Tyler Duerod Phillips Green McCallum
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Re: Northeastern Preview

Postby NC Titan » Wed Dec 18, 2019 8:00 pm

What are the statuses for Pink and Maxwell? Anyone know?
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Re: Northeastern Preview

Postby titandave » Wed Dec 18, 2019 8:24 pm

As suggested by NC Titan in a previous topic; I'm hoping we see a rotation along the lines of the following:

AD, Moore, LeGrande, 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: Northeastern Preview

Postby ptctitan » Thu Dec 19, 2019 8:53 am

In his postgame radio interviews, Coach Davis has mentioned in general that Antoine has been trying to play through an injury in addition to fighting the flu. This undisclosed injury has been a factor in his poor 3-point shooting percentage because his effective range is clearly less than it was last season. I would rather see Antoine fully rested and his injury fully healed for the Oakland game on December 28th than have him play in these next two games which are relatively unimportant in the scheme of things for this season.

As to which players start, I don't think it makes a big difference on this team - except for AD if he's healthy. I just want to see an even more intense effort from them tonight than they showed on Saturday. And continue the team play they showed then. When these guys start proving on the court that strong effort and team play are not just sporadic one-game wonders, then they will be ready to take the next step towards becoming a good team and a contender for the upper division in the HL.
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Re: Northeastern Preview

Postby udballer » Thu Dec 19, 2019 4:20 pm

ptctitan wrote:In his postgame radio interviews, Coach Davis has mentioned in general that Antoine has been trying to play through an injury in addition to fighting the flu. This undisclosed injury has been a factor in his poor 3-point shooting percentage because his effective range is clearly less than it was last season. I would rather see Antoine fully rested and his injury fully healed for the Oakland game on December 28th than have him play in these next two games which are relatively unimportant in the scheme of things for this season.


I agree. In fact I'd question why he was allowed to play through injury in the non-conference at all.
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Re: Northeastern Preview

Postby NC Titan » Thu Dec 19, 2019 4:48 pm

udballer wrote:
ptctitan wrote:In his postgame radio interviews, Coach Davis has mentioned in general that Antoine has been trying to play through an injury in addition to fighting the flu. This undisclosed injury has been a factor in his poor 3-point shooting percentage because his effective range is clearly less than it was last season. I would rather see Antoine fully rested and his injury fully healed for the Oakland game on December 28th than have him play in these next two games which are relatively unimportant in the scheme of things for this season.


I agree. In fact I'd question why he was allowed to play through injury in the non-conference at all.


Possibly because all those schools that paid us big bucks to go to their arena paid to see AD.
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Re: Northeastern Preview

Postby udballer » Thu Dec 19, 2019 5:33 pm

NC Titan wrote:
udballer wrote:
ptctitan wrote:In his postgame radio interviews, Coach Davis has mentioned in general that Antoine has been trying to play through an injury in addition to fighting the flu. This undisclosed injury has been a factor in his poor 3-point shooting percentage because his effective range is clearly less than it was last season. I would rather see Antoine fully rested and his injury fully healed for the Oakland game on December 28th than have him play in these next two games which are relatively unimportant in the scheme of things for this season.


I agree. In fact I'd question why he was allowed to play through injury in the non-conference at all.


Possibly because all those schools that paid us big bucks to go to their arena paid to see AD.


Hoping we don't set our roster based on who other teams fans are hoping to see...
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Re: Northeastern Preview

Postby upbasketballfan » Thu Dec 19, 2019 7:21 pm

udballer wrote:
ptctitan wrote:In his postgame radio interviews, Coach Davis has mentioned in general that Antoine has been trying to play through an injury in addition to fighting the flu. This undisclosed injury has been a factor in his poor 3-point shooting percentage because his effective range is clearly less than it was last season. I would rather see Antoine fully rested and his injury fully healed for the Oakland game on December 28th than have him play in these next two games which are relatively unimportant in the scheme of things for this season.


I agree. In fact I'd question why he was allowed to play through injury in the non-conference at all.


I think the game in front of us is always the most important. Sandbagging can come back to bite you in the a. Someone earlier on this post felt the Oakland game is more important than the Northeastern game and maybe it is to that individuals ego but the team if they truly are a team should feel that every game is equally important.
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Re: Northeastern Preview

Postby udballer » Thu Dec 19, 2019 7:59 pm

The conference games are most important to our coach, based on his scheduling philosophy. The only path to the tournament he sees in this conference is a win in the conference tourney. My only point is that if an injury is the contributing factor for AD's 25% 3fg, then he should have been healing up since the initial injury.
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Re: Northeastern Preview

Postby Tacitus651 » Thu Dec 19, 2019 9:56 pm

Image
“We gotta get some guys that love Detroit Mercy more than just being on a basketball team, playing basketball and going on trips.” - Head Coach Mike Davis
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Re: Northeastern Preview

Postby udballer » Thu Dec 19, 2019 10:06 pm

Classic Tacitus. That's why we love that guy.
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Re: Northeastern Preview

Postby upbasketballfan » Thu Dec 19, 2019 10:09 pm

Tacitus651 wrote:Image


As I said on the other board GARBAGE! Davis has recruited guys who can't run. jump, catch, pass or shoot.
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Re: Northeastern Preview

Postby Tacitus651 » Thu Dec 19, 2019 10:24 pm

Well, like Commish said at the end of his preview, if we lose to Northeastern at home the season is essentially over. That has come to be and the season is officially over if it was not so weeks ago. I think we will beat SIUe but it really doesn’t matter. SIUe is one of the worst teams in the nation (a dash school satellite campus of America’s party school) and was D2 until about 10 years ago and they still play like a D2 team.

We will get slaughtered by Gonzaga and then go into league play where we might get a few Ws over Cleveland State and YSU. The coaches should focus on recruiting, especially grad transfers as kids start declaring or signaling they are available. It’s still a very uphill battle. I know it’s still only year 2 and Davis got a late start in year 1 but this doesn’t appear to be working out well. And while the Davis formula calls for having a poor noncon record, it doesn’t or shouldn’t include losing home games to other mid majors by 13 or constantly getting blown out by the bigger teams. Hard to find anything at all to be excited about the future right now.
“We gotta get some guys that love Detroit Mercy more than just being on a basketball team, playing basketball and going on trips.” - Head Coach Mike Davis
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Re: Northeastern Preview

Postby titandave » Fri Dec 20, 2019 1:21 am

I thought Miller and Isiani played well in the first half, however, the second half was a different story. Brandon committing fouls early in the contest certainly limited his contribution over the course of the game.

It would have been interesting to see what LeGrand and Calipari might would done at the offensive end if they were afforded the opportunity.
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Re: Northeastern Preview

Postby dennycrane » Fri Dec 20, 2019 2:02 am

Dave, have you been watching the past several games or just tonight? Legrand is playing 17 minutes PER GAME and has 5 field goals for the season. In one recent game his line was 27 minutes and 2 points. He did have a nice game last Saturday with 7 assists however.
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Re: Northeastern Preview

Postby ptctitan » Fri Dec 20, 2019 5:24 am

Coach Davis' postgame comments on radio.

https://soundcloud.com/danielthasty/md-121919
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Re: Northeastern Preview

Postby Tacitus651 » Fri Dec 20, 2019 8:59 am

ptctitan wrote:Coach Davis' postgame comments on radio.

https://soundcloud.com/danielthasty/md-121919


Wow. Wow. I mean ... wow. I’ve never heard anything like that from a college coach. In my life. Said “we’re not very good” over a dozen times and just plain said he needs to get new players at least three or four times. Never heard a coach throw his players under the bus like that, especially mid season. We are looking at 2-4 wins this year.
“We gotta get some guys that love Detroit Mercy more than just being on a basketball team, playing basketball and going on trips.” - Head Coach Mike Davis
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Re: Northeastern Preview

Postby udballer » Fri Dec 20, 2019 9:32 am

I listened because I thought Tacitus must be exaggerating. I no longer think he's exaggerating.

Can't say I disagree with the coach's comments though. He should go after the guy who leads the recruiting efforts and get that situation corrected. It seems the only person who can resolve the problem he laid out is him.
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Re: Northeastern Preview

Postby ptctitan » Fri Dec 20, 2019 9:40 am

I'm glad he said those things publicly. Let's see how the players respond from this point forward.
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Re: Northeastern Preview

Postby Tacitus651 » Fri Dec 20, 2019 9:43 am

ptctitan wrote:I'm glad he said those things publicly. Let's see how the players respond from this point forward.


Uhh, have you ever coached, taught or mentored 18-22 year olds lately? They will NOT respond well to this.
“We gotta get some guys that love Detroit Mercy more than just being on a basketball team, playing basketball and going on trips.” - Head Coach Mike Davis
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