Ho-hum, just another outing where Josh Akognon leads the team in scoring, rebounding, assists and minutes played. TitanCentral.com's Player of the Game did all of this with constant shadowing from Central Michigan players throughout the game. He rarely had more than a foot or two of freedom the entire contest. A truly amazing performance under the circumstances and coach Bob Burton agreed.
"I think Josh Akognon had one of his best games that he's ever had here, not just because he had 27 points, but more importantly because he had seven assists and six rebounds," Burton said. "That's a really good focal point for him, trying to get his teammates involved."
Marcio Lassiter continued his sparkling play since injuring his knee a couple weeks ago. Would like to see him take more open three's but he's a team player who hustles, rebounds and gives you a needed basket. He is also play very good defense.
Aaron Thompson can look so good at times it makes you grin. He had one tough rebound-follow for two which he made look so effortless but then he can frustrate you the next moment by making 3 of 8 free throws. It was also good to see him hit a three. The important thing is he keeps getting better each game.
Five blocked shots in a game? When was the last time that has happened? Papa Guisse keeps getting it done. He also has added another move to his repertoire. He sets up for his patented 15-18 foot baseline jumper, fakes the shot and then drives in for an easy two. Nice move Papa. He -- as do all the Titans -- just need to box out on the defensive side of the ball. Letting opponents get 20 offensive rebounds in the game won't get it done in the Big West where the Titans will be facing bigger and stronger foes.
The Titans other five, Raymond Miller, made some steady progress as he had a couple nice dunks and looked much more comfortable out on the floor. More importantly, he seems to be able to handle the crisp passes from Akognon and Jacques Streeter. Again, he just needs to prevent some of those offensive rebounds.
Streeter was looking good until he too sprained an ankle. He was able to stay in the game but was not the same player. Ameer Shamsud-din even came in late in the game as the ankle was stiffening up. Hopefully this does not become anything serious. Streeter's was really pushing the offense last night but also led the Titans with 5 turnovers. Ameer played admirably but he seems to have dropped off a notch since his reduced playing time.
Chris Rhymes played his most minutes of the season as he came in for the injured Anderson (see below). He looked much better and more smooth than he had at the 76 Classic but not sure if he can play the four against bigger opponents. Rhymes is making good progress and is on track to becoming a great player for the Titans in the future.
Fullerton, we have a problem
Gerard Anderson rolled his left ankle in the first minute of the game on an athletic move which resulted in an easy layup. Looked like he may have landed on a foot. The extent of the injury is not known but Burton is concerned to say the least.
"Usually if a kid gets his ankle, he's back in the game," Burton said. "They re-tape it and maybe he's back in the game. As soon as he did it, he couldn't walk on it and the trainer said he's done. That's not a good sign, and I think it's going to be awhile."
Adam Thomas failed to get in the game despite the injury to Anderson. Not sure if this is a sign of things to come or because CMU was more undersized than the Titans.
TitanCentral.com Spin. Not to take anything away from Akognon's great game but if Anderson is out for a significant amount of time our chances of competing in the Big West are over. It's a real shame as it appeared the coaches had worked really hard in changing the offense to get him more involved and you could see it in his eyes he was going to be a force last night. All Titan Christmas wishes should be for Santa to get you a healthy Gerard by the time conference begins.