Mittens’ Mitten Roundup – College Hoops, Week 12

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It was not a particularly strong week from the mitten’s seven major college basketball programs. The group managed just a 6-7 record collectively, with two local teams going winless.

The action continues this week with key games that will continue to impact the races in the Big Ten, Horizon League, and Mid-American Conference.

CENTRAL MICHIGAN CHIPPEWAS

RECAP: Central Michigan (13-6, 2-4 MAC) has really stubbed their toe since conference play began but they rebounded on Saturday with a big win at Bowling Green to snap a four-game slide. The Chips finally have a close affair go their way, the 84-75 win over the Falcons comes after three straight defeats decided by single digits.

UP NEXT (Click here for broadcast information):

  • 01/23 – vs. Miami-OH (10-9, 3-3 MAC) | 7 p.m. ET
  • 01.27 – vs. Kent State (9-10, 3-3 MAC) | 4:30 p.m. ET

PLAYER TO WATCH: By most accounts, senior forward Luke Meyer put together a career week for Central Michigan. The native of Addison, Michigan potted a career-high 26 points in a losing effort against Ball State. Meyer in that game also grabbed down 14 rebounds for just his second career double-double and first since December of 2015 when he was a sophomore.

DETROIT MERCY TITANS

RECAP: Detroit (6-15, 2-6 Horizon) ended up on the losing end of both contests last week, after collecting two wins the week before to snap what was an 11-game losing skid. While there has been an incremental improvement from last season, the Titans still have a long way to go and they will have arguably their toughest week of the season.

UP NEXT (Click here for broadcast information):

  • 1/26 – @ Wright State (15-6, 7-1 Horizon) | 7 p.m. ET
  • 1/28 – @ N. Kentucky (14-6, 7-1 Horizon) | 1 p.m. ET

PLAYER TO WATCH: Junior Kameron Chatman returned from his three-game absence due to a head injury he suffered back on January 5 in a home game against Wright State. Chatman tallied 10 points and nine rebounds in just 26 minutes against IUPUI before posting a 24-point, 10-rebound game against Oakland. The former Michigan transfer leads UDM in scoring through 11 weeks, averaging close to 18 points per contest.

EASTERN MICHIGAN EAGLES

RECAP: Eastern Michigan (11-8, 2-4 MAC) managed to split their two league games, downing Akron before stumbling against Ohio. The Eagles are now just 3-7 in their last ten games played, having not won consecutive games since mid-December. Now they go on the road for their next two contests, where they carry a 1-6 record away from Ypsilanti.

UP NEXT (Click here for broadcast information):

  • 1/23 – @ Buffalo (14-5, 6-0 MAC) | 7 p.m. ET
  • 1/27 – @ Miami-OH | 3:30 p.m. ET

PLAYER TO WATCH: Junior Paul Jackson was EMU’s most steady performer last week, as he was the only player to reach double-figures in both games. Albeit now his most efficient shooting performance overall, Jackson netted a combined 32 points on 11/28 shooting from the field. The former Eastern Kentucky transfer is nowhere near the outside threat he was two years ago (30.1 percent this season; 42.1 percent in 2015-16), but he’s been a reliable scoring option for the Eagles.

MICHIGAN WOLVERINES

RECAP: Michigan (17-5, 6-3 Big Ten) in their first week as a ranked club hit a wall in Lincoln, falling hard to an underrated Nebraska team. The Wolverines, however, did bounce back on Sunday with a win at home against a scrappy and much-improved Rutgers bunch. After playing five games in 12 days, U-M now plays just one game over the next seven days.

UP NEXT (Click here for broadcast information):

  • 1/25 – @ No. 3 Purdue (19-2, 8-0 Big Ten ) | 7 p.m. ET

PLAYER TO WATCH: It was night and day for senior transfer Duncan Robinson this past week. In Lincoln, Robinson was one of two players held scoreless and played just 11 minutes. He responded on Sunday, taking advantage of early foul trouble for freshman Isaiah Livers and logged 30 minutes against Rutgers and knocking down four triples. Robinson has really seen his playing time cut down lately, but he may have put together a good enough showing to get the start in the team’s next game.

MICHIGAN STATE SPARTANS

RECAP: No. 9 Michigan State (17-3, 5-2 Big Ten) broke out of their mini-funk in a big way in their lone tilt last week, pounding Indiana at home. The nation’s top defense in terms of field goal percentage (34.9 percent) held the Hoosiers to a season-low 33.9 percent shooting, after allowing Ohio State/Rutgers/Michigan to shoot nearly 45 percent.

UP NEXT (Click here for broadcast information):

  • 1/22 – @ Illinois (10-10, 0-7 Big Ten ) | 9 p.m. ET
  • 1/26 – vs. Wisconsin (10-10, 3-4 Big Ten) | 8 p.m. ET

PLAYER TO WATCH: Junior Matt McQuaid collected 11 points in 21 minutes of action against Indiana this past Friday. It comes after he recorded only three points combined over the team’s previous three times out. McQuaid has built himself a reputation as a “3 & D” type of player for Tom Izzo and has provided the team with sparks of the bench on various occasions this season.

OAKLAND GOLDEN GRIZZLIES

RECAP: Like a few teams on this list, Oakland (13-8, 5-3 Horizon) hit a mini rough patch earlier in the year but responded as of late, winning four straight games, including the last two on the road. And the Grizzlies have found a bit of a groove scoring, averaging over 86 points per game during their four straight wins.

UP NEXT (Click here for broadcast information):

  • 1/26 – @ N. Kentucky (14-6, 7-1 Horizon) | 9 p.m. ET
  • 1/28 – @ Wright State (15-6, 7-1 Horizon) | 2 p.m. ET

PLAYER TO WATCH: Now, normally this section is often reserved for Kendrick Nunn, but we’re going to give it to… well, yeah. As if a 32-point performance against UIC wasn’t good enough, Nunn followed that up with a career-high 38 points against Detroit Mercy, matching a career-high eight made triples. Nunn already has eight games of 30+ points and is second in the nation in scoring at 26.4 PPG.

WESTERN MICHIGAN BRONCOS

RECAP: Western Michigan (11-8, 3-3 MAC), following consecutive losses last week at Kent State and home to league leader Buffalo, has now lost three of their last four, following a stretch in which they won eight of 11. The Broncos, along with their directional rivals, are among 10 teams in the MAC with a record of 3-3 or 2-4 in league play this season.

UP NEXT (Click here for broadcast information):

  • 1/23 – vs. Toledo (13-6, 5-1 MAC) | 7 p.m. ET
  • 1/27 – vs. N. Illinois (9-10, 2-4 MAC) | 2 p.m. ET

PLAYER TO WATCH: Sophomore Reggie Jones turned in back-to-back games with double-digit scores last week, amassing 25 points and 11 rebounds off the bench. Jones has been an effective reserve for WMU in his first two seasons. In fact, he’s averaging close to 17 points per 40 minutes in his young career, despite starting in only 17 of 51 games played, including three starts this year.