Detroit Ices Penguins
A lot of folks thought Detroit would be the team to beat in the Horizon League coming into this season. Injuries, coaching, and depth have, at times, stopped the Motown ballers from living up to their potential in the regular campaign but hey, it’s all about the post-season baybay — I changed the spelling because I want you to pronounce it that way, it’s kind of a play on words and a kind of non-shoutout to that announcer that used to coach the Titans — and this group may have righted the ship just in time. 20-13 ain’t too shabby, just not good enough for the talent on this team in this writer’s opinion, of course when you have a beast like Eli Holman and refuse to play through him, well….that’s all for another time I guess.
Detroit made shots in this one and it’s really that simple. The Titans shot 60% and then made a lot of noise postgame about sending a message to Cleveland State with their performance, especially Ray McCallum Jr. The Vikings were watching the game and they will face the Titans today in one semifinal. Like I said, the Titans are talented and maybe they’ve turned it around. They beat Jerry Slocum’s team 93-76. We’ll see how they fare against Gary Waters and Crew.
Butler Pounds Milwaukee
71-49 was the score as, guess who, Butler is back in the semifinals hoping to upset league champ Valpo on the Crusaders floor later Saturday. Khyle Marshall had 17 points and 10 rebounds. Butler lost 71-59 last week to Valpo and Brad Stevens was channeling his inner-Jim Calhoun by addressing the fact that Valpo is a very physical team. “Nobody talks about this, but they’re really physical,” Stevens said. “They grab you, they get you, they hit you. They’re tough.” Bryce Drew has to love that!
Should be a great pair of games this evening.
By Raphielle Johnson
On paper Sunday’s slate of games in both the adidas Super 64 and Las Vegas Fab 48 looked to be locks for the top teams. But many learned (once again) first-hand that games are played on the floor and not on some poster-sized sheet of paper in a gym lobby. The list of victims included the Oakland Soldiers, who dropped their first round playoff game to a Branch West Elite team that looked highly impressive in the first half against Play Hard Play Smart in the nightcap.
Also bounced from the Fab 48 were TP Elite and Team Loaded, both of whom fell victim to the Wisconsin Swing. Zak Showalter (2012) out of Germantown (WI), who scored 29 points in their 90-75 win over Team Loaded, can do a number of things on the floor from his guard position. He caught fire from deep but didn’t simply settle for those shots, also driving to the basket and setting up teammates for good looks as well. Ironically Showalter stated after the game that he’s working on becoming a better perimeter shooter, although he was referring to consistency as opposed to simply making the shot.
That matchup also featured a pair of excellent prospects in NC State commit Tyler Lewis (2012) and Andrew White (2012), who has many top programs after his services. When the ball was in Lewis’s hands things seemed to run smoother for Team Loaded, although the way in which Wisconsin Swing executed offensively it may have taken 100 points for Team Loaded to win the game.