The Titans begin their 2018 Dale Bates Classic schedule with the Tacoma Titans.
Tacoma stats: Tacoma is 1-6, with their lone win coming against Peninsula; who they would later lose to by double-digits.
They are last in the NWAC in scoring, 34th, averaging 68.1 ppg. Overall Tacoma is in the bottom ten as a team in: FG's made, FG%, FT's made and attempted, rebounding and rebound margin, steals, blocks, opponent FG and 3PT%.
Tacoma does do a good job of defending without fouling, averaging the 6th fewest per game at 16.1, which has helped them to be in the middle of the pack in points allowed despite allowing a high opponent shooting percentage, 47.1 percent.
Individually Tacoma has three players averaging double-figures: Garrett Kingman, Travis Parker-Lopez and Austin Kingman. Garrett Kingman, a 6-6 sophomore guard, leads with 16.7 ppg on 42.9 percent shooting and 35 percent on five three point attempts; he contributes a team high nine rpg.
Parker-Lopez, a 6-0 freshman guard, leads in field goal attempts at 15 a game and scores 15.6 ppg on 33.3 percent from the floor and 30 percent from three. He averages two rpg and a team high 1.2 spg.
Austin Kingman, a 6-7 freshman forward, leads Tacoma in shooting from three at 42.9 percent, which is better than his field goal percentage, 41.3 percent. He is 3rd in rebounding at 5 rpg.
Gio Walker has been the most efficient player for Tacoma this season; shooting 59.2 percent on nine attempts. Walker is a 6-5 freshman forward. He contributes 9.6 ppg and is 2nd in rebounding at 6.9 rpg.
Lane stats: They are 5-0, but have yet to play an NWAC opponent.
They are 1st in scoring at 122.4, FG makes and attempts (45.6 and 79.8), FG % (57.1 percent), 3PT made and attempted (15.6 and 35), 3PT % (44.6 percent), and assists. Lane is 2nd with 13 spg, 4th at 4.2 bpg. As a whole the Titans have given up the 18th most points per game, 78.6, due to 24th most fouls per game committed, 20, but they hold their opponents to 38.8 (6th) from the field and 31.8 from three (14th); pointing to the high number of possessions their offense creates and the defense being out of position as to the high points allowed.
The Titans have many standouts individually; six players average double-figures: Tarik Cool, Rodney Hounshell, Lezjon Bonds, Will Graves, Tashon Brown and Cody Mathis; and none of them average more than 26.6 mpg.
Cool leads the Titans and is 4th in the NWAC at 23.4 ppg. He is top Lane passer and 3rd in the NWAC at 6.4 apg and T4th in the NWAC at 2.8 spg. He is 9th in NWAC in 3PT makes per game at 3.6 and shoots 48.6 percent.
Lane's 2nd leading scorer is Hounshell. He is averaging 18.8 ppg and is shooting 66.1 percent from the floor (8th and 2nd among players with 10 or more attempts per game in the NWAC); and he shoots 48.3 percent from three on 5.8 attempts. He adds 3.8 rpg and 1.4 spg.
Cody Mathis is 6th is scoring for Lane, but leads the Titans at 7.6 rpg and 2 bpg (T2nd in the NWAC). He shoots 65.8 percent from the field (10th overall and 4th among players with equal or more FG attempts in the NWAC) and is one of five players that shoot 60 percent or better in the NWAC.
Tashon Brown averages 12.2 ppg, but is 6th in assists at 5.4 and T12th in steals at 2.2 (only three players ahead of him average fewer minutes and more steals in the NWAC), all in 25.2 mpg.
Key match-up points: The Titans should look to push the pace, even if that allows Tacoma to score more than normal, because Lane is a more efficient team than Tacoma (57.1 to 42.5 percent shooting), so Lane should get a lot of open looks.
Ball movement will be important because many of Lane's open looks are created by quick and accurate passing. Tacoma averages an assist on every 2.1 FG makes and Lane does it every 1.7 makes.
Lane has eight players shooting 50 percent or better and Tacoma has two, so the more the ball moves for Lane and the more they make Tacoma pass, the more success Lane should have due to their depth, balance and style of play.
The point? Force as many different Tacoma players to shoot as possible, so the best players don't get all the attempts. Lane has eight players that could get 20 in a win, so the ball movement and shot distribution helps.