PantherU

A Titan of a Job

Entering the 2015-2016 season, some fans of the Milwaukee Panthers were concerned about the point guard situation. Steve McWhorter had been a great floor general, helping lead the Panthers to the NCAA Tournament in 2014. He didn’t abandon Milwaukee when the APR ban came down, even though he could have. The definition of a “program guy,” McWhorter had entrenched himself as one of the greatest point guards in school history. So there were fears, fears that the Panthers couldn’t replace a man who led the team in scoring and assists as a senior.
As incredible as it is, those fears were almost immediately removed thanks to the arrival of Jordan Johnson, who transferred in from John Wood Community College. He has taken the reigns to the Panthers offense seamlessly. Johnson has accumulated ten or more assists on five occasions and nine on four others. He has recorded point-and-assist double-doubles on three occasions already this season. Johnson will now lead the Panthers into three important home games to close out January beginning Saturday afternoon against the Detroit Titans. 
The Titans have spent the majority of the conference season on their home floor, playing five of their first six at Calihan Hall. Their record for the season and for conference are both in the range of .500. Their offense has both inside and outside options as there are five players on their roster who average over ten points per game scoring. They have the third best offense in the conference averaging almost 84 points per game. Two players for the Titans take the majority of their three pointers. Anton Wilson averages 15.4 points per game. 110 of his 180 shots have been three-pointers. That makes 61% of his shots to be from downtown. Also freshman guard Josh McFolley has also attempted almost 60% of his shots from three point land as well.
The Titans also have inside scorers who are equally dangerous. Sophomore guard Paris Bass is second in the conference in scoring, leading the Titans at 19 points per game. Also sophomore forward Jaleel Hogan has doubled his scoring in comparison to last season. He has not attempted a three-pointer in his career but he is hitting 62% of his field goals this season.
If you compare the stats of the Panthers and Titans in terms of finding an advantage for the Panthers everything comes out almost even expect for two important categories. One of those areas is turnovers. The Titans average 14 turnovers per game while the Panthers commit an average of just nine. It is important for the Panthers to continue doing what they have done a good job with most of the season and protect the ball. If those turnover averages hold the Panthers will need to take advantage of the additional five possessions they have been averaging over the Titans. The other area the Panthers have a significant advantage in this game is at the free throw line. The Panthers shoot free throws almost five percent as a team better than the Titans. The Panthers must attack and get to the line in order to win this game. Not only do the Panthers have advantages in percentages but they need to expose the Titans lack of bench depth by putting a couple of their starters in foul problems. While all five Titans starters average in double figures scoring after that their scoring drops off significantly. The Titans have lost three consecutive games including a nail bitter on Monday night. If the Panthers take care of areas they should be able to extend the Titans losing streak to four games while opening a very important three games for themselves with a victory.  

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