Ever since Saturday, there's a lot of whining about the 1-2 start, KenPom/NET rankings, beating teams by a certain amount and a good amount of "we should win comfortably" out there in the podcast university. And then we lost our ass in San Marcos. Now those things don't matter much. Did y'all translate "Juego de trampa" ? It means "trap game" in Spanish, or at least that's what Google Translate tells me. Lo siento, no habla español.
Had a bad feeling about this one when after Statesboro, Kerns said the team emptied the tank for that one. Empty the tank, bus to Boone, then turnaround and fly to southwest Texas. The trappings were there and were sprung. As such, App State is now 0-2 when trying to win a 9th game in a row, which is weird that it happened twice.
With Troy beating a Marshall team that refused to make shots, App State is in a tie for first place and right now would be a No. 2 seed in Pensacola, playing No. 3 JMU in the semis. The only good news is that with Marshall and Louisiana losing, the Top 4 is a bit separated from the rest, so the odds of that double bye are better. Always look up.
Now we take a detour into the Sun Belt/MAC Challenge, bringing back memories another not-good App performance back in November in Dekalb. Regardless of that, this game is No. 2 vs No. 2. This time, the Toledo Rockets come to Boone and Holmes Sweet Holmes.
Here's an amateur scouting report from last week on this very message board. Not in mood for a Holy Toledo.
It's a bit obvious looking at Toledo's scores that they score points. They lead the MAC in scoring at 79.7 points per game and have four players averaging 10+ points a game. FG% is 48%, tops in the MAC, but they give up 48.7%, 11th in the MAC. They're decent at 3-point % but don't actually make a ton of em. They do shoot from the line well, 76% as a team.
Defense is third from last in the MAC, are 11th in the MAC in rebounds, dead last in defensive rebounds and give up rebounds.
No common opponents, although they beat Louisiana and Marshall both at home. The Rockets are 6-3 on the road, with both their MAC losses on the road. Their 0-3 trip to Vegas doesn't look as bad now as both New Mexico and Indiana State are really damn good.
Also important is that they played Tuesday is Ypsilanti, pulling out a tough win before travelling southeast.
Does this game mean much in the grand scheme of things? Maybe not, but with Marshall and Louisiana coming to Boone next week and an undefeated home court record this season, it means something. Always does. Plus, we only are guaranteed eight more games (seven regular season, one Sun Belt tourney game) of hoping for greater glory. It's all still in reach. Just gotta take some stairs.
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