Preview: SIU-Edwardsville

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Preview: SIU-Edwardsville

Postby Commissioner » Fri Dec 20, 2019 8:16 pm

SIU-Edwardsville

When: Saturday, Dec. 21, 3:00 p.m.
Where: Historic Calihan Hall
TV: ESPN 3
Radio: AM 910

Yes, it's SIUE v. Detroit Mercy. In this case, the Union is suing the Hospital, alleging that management tolerated a harassing environment, including employees being told to perform certain sex acts on supervisors...

No wait, this isn't the caption of a lawsuit. It's actually an NCAA D-1 basketball game. Nothing spells NCAA excitement like having 2-9 SIU-Edwardsville come to town to face the 1-10 Titans. But don't despair--this is the game to get to if you want to see the Titans put one in the "W" column.

SIUE has a NET ranking of 343, 28 spots below our Titans. It's true that they do have 2 wins to our 1, but those are by 9 points over D-2 Quincy, and by 2 points over Incarnate Word, which has a NET ranking of 352 (in case you need a reminder, there are 353 D-1 teams) and has failed to beat a D-1 team (Incarnate Word ranks ahead of Lindsay Hunter's Mississippi Valley State squad). Among SIUE's losses is an 8 point home loss to Chicago State (NET 346). In their last game, they fell at Winthrop by 20. And so it has come to this: I'm not sure that we win this game, although I think we do.

SIUE is in its 10th season as a full member of D-1. Their best mark in those first 9 seasons was a 12-16 record in 2015, after which, perhaps daring to be great, they fired coach Lennox Forrester. After a 31-88 record in 4 seasons under Jon Harris, this year they named a new head coach. Given Harris's success, it seems natural that they chose to elevate one of his assistants, 42-year old Brian Barone, giving him his first head coaching job. Barone has some pedigree--he is the son of Tony Barone, former coach at Creighton and Texas A&M. The younger Barone was a star player for his dad at A&M, and then at Marquette for his last two seasons. He is also familiar with Calihan Hall--he spent 5 years on the staff of Brian Wardle at Green Bay before moving to SIUE.

Barone has been struggling to find a winning lineup with the Cougars. Only two players have started every game. They are guard Zeke Moore, the team's best player, and forward Anselm Uzuegbunem. Moore is a big (6-7) shooting guard who leads the team in scoring at 12.4 ppg. Uzuegbunem, also 6-7, is a senior forward. A third starter is likely to be senior point guard Tyreresse Williford. After that it's a bit of a crap shoot, although in the last couple games Barone has gone with 6-5 junior guard Mike Adewunmi, who is the team's leading rebounder, and 6-2 soph Kenyon Duling, who adds a bit of three point punch to a team that ranks 328th in the country in threes.

Assuming that's the starting lineup, look for 6-2 soph guard Cameron Williams and 6-7 forward Brandon Jackson to be first off the bench. Both have started several games this year, and both are scoring threats. In fact, Jackson led the team in scoring last year at 13.8 ppg and had five 20-point games, although he's averaged less than half that many points this year. Also playing regularly are Iziah James, a junior guard, and Shamar Wright, a freshman forward. Barone will go deep in the bench, even beyond these 9. Others who could see minutes include Shamar's twin brother, Lamar Wright, forward Treavon Martin, and guard Justin Benton.

I don't know what to say about this team beyond a few raw stats. I've never seen 'em play, and it's not easy to find revealing press coverage. The Cougars are near the bottom of the NCAA in nearly every stat category, but if they have strengths, they don't turn it over excessively, and they cause a few turnovers at the other end. But they are a very poor shooting team (41% from the floor, 29% from three, 67% from the line), and don't really do much well. Moore, the RS junior guard, is on his third team in three years--St. Louis to Tulsa to SIUE. He leads the team in 3 point attempts but connects just 32% of the time--which is an 11 point improvement over a year ago. Duling, Williford, and James are the other main three point shooters, but the latter two are both connecting at just a 25% rate. Adewunmi has actually made the highest percentage (40.0%), but averages just 1.5 attempts per game. The Cougars are also near the bottom of the NCAA ranks in field goal and three point field goal defense (313th and 315th, respectively). It even seems to rub off onto the free throw defense--opponents are connecting on 76% of their foul shots. SIUE has been out-rebounded by over 15 per game.

Can a 1-10 team have a "must-win" game? It seems like the Titans must win this one, and should, by 20 points or more.

Probable Starters
PG: Tyresse Williford, 5-10 Sr. (9.2 ppg, 3.8 apg, 24.0% 3PtFG)
SG: Kenyon Duling, 6-2 Soph., (5.4 ppg, 37.5% 3PtFG)
SG/SF: Mike Adewumni, 6-5 Jr. (8.6 ppg, 5.9 rpg, 40.0% 3PtFG in 15 attempts)
SG/SF: Zeke Moore, 6-7 RS Jr. (12.4 ppg, 3.8 rpg, 2.0 apg, 32.4% 3PtFG)
PF: Anselm Unzuegbunem, 6-7 Sr. (3.4 ppg, 3.7 rpg)

Reserves
G: Cameron Williams, 6-2 Soph. (9.0 ppg, 2.1 apg, 24.2% 3PtFG)
G: Iziah James, 6-0 Jr. (3.0 ppg, 25.0% 3PtFG)
G: Justin Benton, 6-4 RS Sr. (0.3 ppg)
F: Brandon Jackson, 6-7 Sr. (6.5 ppg)
F: Shamar Wright, 6-7 Fr. (2.5 ppg)
F: Lamar Wright, 6-7 Fr. (1.6 ppg)
Last edited by Commissioner on Sat Dec 21, 2019 9:57 am, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: Preview: SIU-Edwardsville

Postby Resurget Cineribus » Fri Dec 20, 2019 10:02 pm

Commish, thanks for all your support. I’m a bit staggered by what’s happened this season but I’ll always appreciate
what you do for us.
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Re: Preview: SIU-Edwardsville

Postby TerryTylerFan » Sat Dec 21, 2019 8:20 pm

Looks like Coach’s criticism may have helped a little. Brandon had one of his best games, great energy including a nice follow slam. Boe also looked good in more limited minutes, including a highlight sequence - blocked a shot and fell down holding his head (did he bang it on the backboard or rim?), quickly shook it off and hustled down for a tough and-1 layup. Antoine found his long range touch, Marquis hit 4 3’s. The team looked more connected on defense for most of the game.

A fun game to watch, and I bet the other several hundred people who were there agree. Very small crowd. Semester break and a poor record didn’t help. Hopefully a win at Oakland and avoiding a massacre at Gonzaga will help to bring better crowds for conference play.
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Re: Preview: SIU-Edwardsville

Postby The-Dude » Sat Dec 21, 2019 9:35 pm

Notice has been served to the rest of the conference after this great monumental victory and it’s a very emotional day for the franchise. Great things come to those who wait.
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Re: Preview: SIU-Edwardsville

Postby Dick Vitale » Sat Dec 21, 2019 9:43 pm

Agreed, great to see the team want to play today and I think it showed in the first few minutes.

A lot of their players were thinking of the break already because there was a lot of traveling taking place on the court.

Things were falling in nicely from 3 point land and closer in.

Rebounding was much better.

Team was vocal from the bench.

It's nice to win and get Buddy's but this was a weak team AND WE DIDN'T LOSE TO THEM. Optimistically, this could be the start of this team's turnaround.

Students aren't coming back from exams for this, they too are doing a lot of traveling as well. Dorms were closed a week ago.
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Re: Preview: SIU-Edwardsville

Postby udballer » Sun Dec 22, 2019 12:04 am

Great team effort today which led to the type of victory that we should have at home vs. SIU-E. Good to see us play to our potential. AD shot the lights out, which certainly paved the way.
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Re: Preview: SIU-Edwardsville

Postby ptctitan » Sun Dec 22, 2019 9:25 am

Although Coach Davis would say that Antoine's new haircut was his Christmas present, the real Christmas present for the Titans may be the news that Antoine's right hand injury is now healed. The 9 days off from the ND game to the Northeastern game was enough. Apparently, he had injured it pre-season (perhaps playing the scrimmage vs CMU). It then was aggravated even more in the NC State game. The injury had prevented him from following through properly on long-range jump shots.
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Re: Preview: SIU-Edwardsville

Postby uofdfan1983 » Sun Dec 22, 2019 12:42 pm

Always nice to enjoy free Buddys after a win. I was blessed to have both of my girls with me (and #1 sang the Anthem again and #2 brought a friend who experienced her first college game and had a great time and both of them played one of the TO games -- opening a gift with oven mittens on, and won nice gifts). The Christmas atmosphere was awesome -- the staff did a great job with the theme all day long (we were at both games). My little one won a really nice UDM Christmas shirt in the present unwrapping contest, and her friend won a $25 Borders Gift Certificate. And then they tossed us a "No Mercy" t-shirt which I gave to #2's friend and the girls waited outside the locker room to get their new shirts autographed by several players including #0.

The point of this personal story which is meaningless to those who don't know me is that there is still a reason to go to the games. We have a tremendous venue and a proud tradition and I so want the Davis clan and everyone who is a part of this mission to succeed and return the magic to Calihan. If you were there during the Vitale years, or even the Watson glory years when Rashad was slicing and dicing, you know what I mean. There is nothing like being in our arena when it is humming with lots of excited fans and a cocky, tough team taking ownership of its home court. With a couple million dollars of renovations and a few thousand more fans it can become again the most magical arena in the world -- which is what it is to me. All the TV and radio coverage in the world does not replace being there. Talking to your friends in the stands. Talking to them in the Titan Club. Wishing them Merry Christmas. Celebrating their ups, being a caring ear for their downs. Glancing at Reggie's Corner as you walk by on your way to the Titan Club. Being a part of the atmosphere. Enjoying the 100th Christmas Song of the day as the cheerleaders perform in their Christmas sweaters. Winning is the icing on the cake and will become the norm again.

Just as I believe in the spirit of Christmas, I believe in this University and I envision more NCAA wins against teams like St. Johns and UCLA. Go Titans!!

P.S. Talked to Rose afterwards. No one has mentioned his injury. It's a sprained ankle. He said it's improving so he'll probably be back in a week or two. He is one of our works in progress but he takes it to the hole better than anyone else on the roster, and we need everyone's contribution.

Keep the faith. Come to the games. We need everyone to come to the games and show support. It matters.
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Re: Preview: SIU-Edwardsville

Postby Resurget Cineribus » Sun Dec 22, 2019 1:02 pm

uofdfan1983 wrote:Always nice to enjoy free Buddys after a win. I was blessed to have both of my girls with me (and #1 sang the Anthem again and #2 brought a friend who experienced her first college game and had a great time and both of them played one of the TO games -- opening a gift with oven mittens on, and won nice gifts). The Christmas atmosphere was awesome -- the staff did a great job with the theme all day long (we were at both games). My little one won a really nice UDM Christmas shirt in the present unwrapping contest, and her friend won a $25 Borders Gift Certificate. And then they tossed us a "No Mercy" t-shirt which I gave to #2's friend and the girls waited outside the locker room to get their new shirts autographed by several players including #0.

The point of this personal story which is meaningless to those who don't know me is that there is still a reason to go to the games. We have a tremendous venue and a proud tradition and I so want the Davis clan and everyone who is a part of this mission to succeed and return the magic to Calihan. If you were there during the Vitale years, or even the Watson glory years when Rashad was slicing and dicing, you know what I mean. There is nothing like being in our arena when it is humming with lots of excited fans and a cocky, tough team taking ownership of its home court. With a couple million dollars of renovations and a few thousand more fans it can become again the most magical arena in the world -- which is what it is to me. All the TV and radio coverage in the world does not replace being there. Talking to your friends in the stands. Talking to them in the Titan Club. Wishing them Merry Christmas. Celebrating their ups, being a caring ear for their downs. Glancing at Reggie's Corner as you walk by on your way to the Titan Club. Being a part of the atmosphere. Enjoying the 100th Christmas Song of the day as the cheerleaders perform in their Christmas sweaters. Winning is the icing on the cake and will become the norm again.

Just as I believe in the spirit of Christmas, I believe in this University and I envision more NCAA wins against teams like St. Johns and UCLA. Go Titans!!

P.S. Talked to Rose afterwards. No one has mentioned his injury. It's a sprained ankle. He said it's improving so he'll probably be back in a week or two. He is one of our works in progress but he takes it to the hole better than anyone else on the roster, and we need everyone's contribution.

Keep the faith. Come to the games. We need everyone to come to the games and show support. It matters.


+1 Tom! I have to admit even I’ve been down a lot this year in the program, more than in other “down” eras of Titan basketball. I thought with Davis the coach by our second year in his regime we would be heading back up. Especially considering how good his son turned out to be as a freshman. I’m not sure how the NCAA penalty hurt the recruiting but I’m sure it had an impact which is maybe why Coach Davis threw his name in the hat for some other coaching jobs (which was disappointing to read about). I hope that issue is behind us for good. The two recruits for next year look promising but we need more. And I really bought into the Egyptian player rumor which is also a disappointment.

Maybe we can starting winning some games that we’re capable of and being more competitive in the upper echelons of the Horizon league. But yesterday’s win and your post started to fire me up again so thanks for that and Merry Christmas!!
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Re: Preview: SIU-Edwardsville

Postby Dick Vitale » Sun Dec 22, 2019 1:09 pm

+1 uofdfan1983
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Re: Preview: SIU-Edwardsville

Postby NC Titan » Sun Dec 22, 2019 4:08 pm

+2 uofdfan1983
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Re: Preview: SIU-Edwardsville

Postby Commissioner » Sun Dec 22, 2019 5:02 pm

uofdfan1983 wrote:Always nice to enjoy free Buddys after a win. I was blessed to have both of my girls with me (and #1 sang the Anthem again and #2 brought a friend who experienced her first college game and had a great time and both of them played one of the TO games -- opening a gift with oven mittens on, and won nice gifts). The Christmas atmosphere was awesome -- the staff did a great job with the theme all day long (we were at both games). My little one won a really nice UDM Christmas shirt in the present unwrapping contest, and her friend won a $25 Borders Gift Certificate. And then they tossed us a "No Mercy" t-shirt which I gave to #2's friend and the girls waited outside the locker room to get their new shirts autographed by several players including #0.

The point of this personal story which is meaningless to those who don't know me is that there is still a reason to go to the games. We have a tremendous venue and a proud tradition and I so want the Davis clan and everyone who is a part of this mission to succeed and return the magic to Calihan. If you were there during the Vitale years, or even the Watson glory years when Rashad was slicing and dicing, you know what I mean. There is nothing like being in our arena when it is humming with lots of excited fans and a cocky, tough team taking ownership of its home court. With a couple million dollars of renovations and a few thousand more fans it can become again the most magical arena in the world -- which is what it is to me. All the TV and radio coverage in the world does not replace being there. Talking to your friends in the stands. Talking to them in the Titan Club. Wishing them Merry Christmas. Celebrating their ups, being a caring ear for their downs. Glancing at Reggie's Corner as you walk by on your way to the Titan Club. Being a part of the atmosphere. Enjoying the 100th Christmas Song of the day as the cheerleaders perform in their Christmas sweaters. Winning is the icing on the cake and will become the norm again.

Just as I believe in the spirit of Christmas, I believe in this University and I envision more NCAA wins against teams like St. Johns and UCLA. Go Titans!!

P.S. Talked to Rose afterwards. No one has mentioned his injury. It's a sprained ankle. He said it's improving so he'll probably be back in a week or two. He is one of our works in progress but he takes it to the hole better than anyone else on the roster, and we need everyone's contribution.

Keep the faith. Come to the games. We need everyone to come to the games and show support. It matters.

Amen, Tom.

I had hoped to make the Toledo game and both games this past weekend--they were all on my calendar, and you recall my son is a UT grad. Unfortunately, family medical stuff got in the way, and will likely also block me from the OU game next weekend.

Anyway, yeah, it' SIUE, but it's still a win. A whole new season starts on Saturday. I've said many times that the HL--for all its woes--is still a better conference, by a significant margin, than the SWAC. But let's look at how Davis's 4 NCAA teams at Texas Southern did, anyway.

Davis's 2014 Texas Southern team got to the NCAA after going 4-8 in non-conference. It's 4 wins were over a non-D1 team, 2 MEAC teams, and Temple. They then went 12-6 to finish second in the SWAC, then won the conference tournament.

His 20-15 team went 3-10 in non-conference, then won the SWAC at 16-2 and won the conference tournament.

In 2017 they went 4-9 in non-conference, then 16-2 with a conference tournament win to reach the NCAA.

And in 2018 they were 0-13 in non-conference play, then went 12-6 in conference (2nd place) and won the tournament to reach the NCAA.

So far, we haven't played in a way that suggests 12 conference wins, but we shall see.
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