Illinois-Chicago 63, Toledo 62 — Curse you, Robo Kreps. CURSE YOU INTO OBLIVION. In a rematch of UT's home opener in their hosted tournament, Kreps nailed a threeball with 9 seconds left to give us our final score. This means that, yes, Toledo had a two-point lead (on the road!) with the game 99.7 percent done and Malcolm Griffin's 15-footer clanked off the rim as time expired. Oh, dammit, they were so close to snapping this road losing streak, which now hits 36. But Griffin did bring his game with 18 points and just one turnover. (In fact, the team had just eight.) But the Rockets were outrebounded 37-20 (UIC had 16 on the offensive glass).
Call me a Northwest Ohio homer, but ... this 0-7 team is improving. Griffin is becoming the leader, and if seniors Justin Anyijong, Anthony Wright, and any one of a slew of freshmen have a good day ... they're gonna have a win. This isn't a dismal blind leap of faith I'm taking like I did last year under Gene Cross and a senior-less team. New honcho Tod Kowalczyk is making this team better with every game, not unlike the way Rob Ianello is doing with Akron football. They can't be this bad forever. They won't be. Next game: Saturday 11/4 vs. Cincinnati
Albany 56, Bowling Green 55 — And then there's this program, which I'm still trying to figure out. Okay, yes, they responded from an 8-point loss with a narrow affair against the Great Danes, an America East foe who are now 3-5. Just like in the UT game, Bowling Green had a chance to win, but the Dee Brown 3-pointer didn't sink through. The marquee stats were brought down by freshman Cameron Black, emerging as a center with 14 points (all in the second half) and 10 rebounds. So they finish the Legends Classic 0-3 in three days.
But between Black and Torian Oglesby, BGSU is starting to find some large men who can address that original concern. Scott Thomas is solid great forward too, but he's more of a wing (3-of-7 on three-point shooting for 13 total points, 6 assists, 6 rebounds) Now let's put it all together. Bowling Green's next game: Saturday, 11/4 at Michigan State