I should've gone. I absolutely should've gone to this game. Toledo beat Illinois-Chicago 82-67. But after our family had prime-seating season tickets for every year since Centennial Hall was built, we finally downgraded our plan to nosebleeds, making it so we wouldn't have to go every time. Why make the trek for a team as bad as this?
But maybe we shouldn't be so quick to judge. Toledo is now 4-1, and while it's against the Schedule of Least Resistance, it is exactly as many wins in November as they had all of last season, finishing 4-28. Wins are wins. Three of them were in the state of Texas, shrouded from visibility in Northwest Ohio, except through box scores.
A victory over UIC (who fell to a non-D1 school, admittedly) did two things: showed the Rockets fans that they have a decent team (perhaps a contending team?), and helped 'em understand who these players names were.
For the handful who came to games, they probably didn't recognize Rian Pearson sitting on the bench, for he was sitting out his transfer year. He finished with 27 points on 16 shots. Freshman Julius Brown ended up with 17 points.
A wrinkle in this game was Hayden Humes, a former Toledo forward who lost his scholarship to an APR penalty, transferred to UIC and was allowed to play immediately. He led the Flames with 11 points. Things are working out for everybody!
And here's a nerd Toledo stat for you: Toledo had only 11 points scored by players who played for 2011-12 Rockets (transfers excluded). Because of Humes, the same goes for UIC.
It's probably best to wait before seeing what the Rockets are really capable of. Their next two opponents (UNC-Wilmington, Chicago State) are a combined 0-9, but they get a home game against Temple on December 7. It's the ultimate test, but one they might be able to snare from the A-10.