Saturday saw nine of the nation's 14 undefeated teams take the court, and all of them won. Arizona won at Michigan. Oregon beat Illinois. UMass cruised once again. These teams are getting press, and deservedly so. But scroll down the list of box scores and you'll see 'Toledo: 9-0'.
Not many people outside the MAC know the Rockets. They haven't played in the NCAA tournament since Sugar Hill Gang's 'Rapper's Delight' was just hitting the radio. And last year, even had they qualified, they couldn't have participated because of a woeful APR score which precluded them from dancing.
But here they are, 9-0. They won at Boston College, they won at Detroit. They won at Robert Morris. This certainly isn't a murderer's row, but they've played nine games and won them all.
Their current projected RPI is 70, and that's with them losing eight games. It's not impossible that with a little luck mixed in they could finish with a better RPI and perhaps the MAC could be a 2-bid league for the first time in 15 years.
Toledo is getting it done on offense, where they have the 10th most efficient attack in the nation. Defensively, they're awful (264th), but for neutral observers this just means their games are fun to watch.
They're led by junior point guard Juice Brown who became the MAC's best point guard when Ohio's D.J. Cooper graduated. He's averaging 14.6 points and 7.2 assists, and his assist rate is 13th in the nation. Justin Drummond, a 2-guard who transferred from Loyola (MD) is averaging 15.2 per game, and 1st Team All Conference Rian Pearson is bettering that at 17.2 per game.
The Rockets next take the court on Tuesday, on the road at 5-3 Arkansas State.
@CHJournal Lol, touched on that last night. Should be considered every bit the WCC contender.
@RunTheFloor Was referring to the brunt of national pundits who reacted to Gaels' win in Boise as if they'd emerged from under a rock lol.
@raphiellej Kerry Carter's been playing really well. Not the point guard Cullen Neal would've been, but he can really shoot it/good defender
@RunTheFloor That would make such a brilliant Geico commercial.
@CHJournal death, taxes, and underrating St. Mary's
@CHJournal Elorriaga’s awesome. You know he’s not shooting inside of the arc often but he still knocks down shots.
@raphiellej And Jeff Elorriaga keeps shooting at absurdly prodigious clips. Haha.
@CHJournal Limiting teams to about 29% from three, too. Significant improvement from last season.
@raphiellej Yeah. Strange give and take when seen w/ Kentucky game. Drmic scores big, Marks struggles; vs. Saint Mary's it's flipped.
@raphiellej Their defensive game plans are excellent. Shut down La Tech's Appleby, Drake's R. Carter, but nullifying Drmic is v. impressive
@CHJournal But it is telling that he only got six FG attempts. Wouldn’t expect that from a shooter of his caliber.
@CHJournal Yes I did. Thought it was a combo. Got a few decent looks, but SMC did a good job on him.
@raphiellej Did you catch yesterday's game against Boise? Only caught the end, and wondered if Drmic struggled due to good defense.
@CHJournal Agreed. That combo with Holt and Walker III has been good.