First off, Detroit Mercy sounds like something that owns the Wednesday 8 p.m. time slot on NBC, not a major university. But, none the less, you play who is on the schedule.
With Coach Travis Ford running the team, and junior Javon Bess leading his fellow Billikens on the floor there is a 0.0% chance SLU will take this team lightly.
Let’s look at some numbers and facts, shall we?
Why SLU should whip them like the potatoes I will gorge myself on tomorrow
Detroit Mercy Titans: The nickname is a bit of a stretch, but I digress. The Horizon league members come into the STL sporting a 2-2 record with wins over Dearborn and the Houston Baptist Huskies? Their two losses came against Virginia Tech to open the season and against Seattle, two squads the Bills have already defeated this season.
Why SLU needs to be concerned like turkeys in the early autumn
The aforementioned Titans have put up some impressive offensive numbers this year, and if SLU’s defense looks like it did against Providence, they could be in for a battle before tomorrow’s feast. The Titans have four players averaging in double figures led by 6’3” sophomore guard Corey Allen’s 19.5, and Michigan transfer, 225 lb, 6’9” junior forward Kameron Chatman’s 16.5 points and 8.5 boards a game. The matchup between Chatman and SLU freshman Hasahn French will be the most interesting of the evening. Muscle vs. muscle.
What SLU needs to work on like my Dad works on a honey baked ham:
The fine fellows of Chaifetz are averaging 14 turnovers a game. As Coach Ford told me earlier this season, that is far too many for a team that struggles offensively. In contrast to tonight’s opponent, SLU only has one player, Javon Bess, averaging double figures in points. This is due in large part to his attacking the tin and getting to the line. He is shooting 84.6% from the charity stripe on a total of 39 attempts through only four games.
THREE POINT ACCURACY
As a team the Billikens are shooting 29.2% from three. That is historically bad. The lone bright spot from distance has been the Tennessee Trey, senior guard Davell Roby. He is shooting 7/17 from area code range, which comes to a 41.2% clip. You know what Steph Curry shot from three for his career at Davidson? 41.2%. That’s good company.
From this point forward, there are no more games for SLU that you can just chalk up to a W before the ball is tipped. There may be some easy wins here or there, but those will be flukes of effort and circumstance, not talent. SLU needs to move to 4-1 and set themselves up for their final run of seven non-conference opponents to pad their record before the daunting A-10 season begins. Looking ahead to the likes of Butler, SIU, Murray State, and Oregon to name a few, SLU needs to rack up every single “should win” to increase their chances of returning to the post-season. The march to either the NCAA Tourney or the NIT hangs in the balance with every single one of these “should wins,” and SLU cannot afford to drop one.
So, when these Titans from Detroit Mercy (Wednesdays at 8 on KSDK!!) show up in their warm up scrubs, just pull an Elvis and TCB. Feast on them like me on an entire pecan pie tomorrow…but, without the post feast shame and self-loathing.
HAPPY THANKSGIVING MY FELLOW ST. LOUISIANS!
And as always, drive safe.
Follow Will Saulsbery on Twitter @Will_KSDK