The result looks even worse for the Titans when you consider Syracuse lost to Div. II LeMoyne College last week. The negatives far outweighed the positives in this game but let's start out with what looked good. The defense and rebounding are much improved over last year.
But that's where the positives end for the most part.
The major negative was the shooting. Not a big shocker as everyone knows this is weakness of our starting wings, Aaron Thompson and Gerard Anderson. It's not so much that they can't shoot, it's more that they believe they can't shoot. There were way too many wide open looks that were passed up only to settle for contested or blocked shots. The Eagles knew this as they packed it in and were able to hold the Titans to 35% shooting and 17% from long range.
Extremely hard to watch, especially since we have had such great shooting guards of year's past.
Anderson finished with a respectable 5-for-8 shooting and even hit a couple 15 footers. The problem is that's not his first instinct and defenses are always going to play off him since he is so explosive. If he can prove he can consistently hit that shot it will open up things for JerVaughn Johnson and Bryce Webster.
And that's really where the problem lies. Johnson and Webster missed numerous close range shots but a lot of this was due to being double and triple teamed whenever they got the ball. Once the wings start hitting from the outside, things will open up inside and it would not be unreasonable to expect both Johnson and Webster to hit 60-65%. If that happens, we will be in the upper half of the Big West, otherwise we are in for a long season.
The other two wings with significant playing time also could not get it done from the outside. Orane Chin's shot looked flatter than it did when he lit it up in the scrimmage and Devon Peltier hit 1 of 7 from 3-point range. I do love the fact that at least Devon was not afraid to put it up. He looked a little nervous coming in but he has the best looking shot and the most potential of anyone on this team, from the outside.
Other random notes:
* Jamel McGuire was fun to watch and look forward to seeing how he progresses. I was extremely happy to see him finish after he missed an earlier one.
* I though we played better once Anderson moved to the four. He got beat off the dribble, going to the baseline, numerous times when playing the three.
* Orane played decent defense and had a couple nice rebounds in traffic.
* Jacques Streeter did not have his best offensive game -- passing or shooting -- but he played hard, played great defense and there are no worries about how good he will be. Even after this game I still came away amazed with his ability and potential.
* Robbie Robinson didn't play until the last five minutes but he actually looked okay, hitting his only three. He did have 2 turnovers though and it's probably his defensive ability which is currently limiting his time.
* Unless D.J. Shelton can hit 50% from the three and get's Peltier's quickness, his best bet is to redshirt. There's just too much depth at this point and he could use a few pounds of muscle.