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Detroit Mercy Men’s Basketball To Retire Earl “The Twirl” Cureton’s Jersey On Jan. 23

January 04, 2020

Re-posted from a U-D Mercy Press Release

DETROIT (1/3/2020) — One of the greats in Titan history will see his jersey hang from the historic Calihan Hall rafters as the University of Detroit Mercy Department of Athletics has announced that Earl “The Twirl” Cureton’s jersey will be retired on Jan. 23.

The men’s basketball team will face IUPUI that day in a 7 p.m. tip and Cureton’s jersey’s ceremony will take place at halftime.

“This is a long time coming to honor Earl with this great moment of appreciation for everything he has done, as a Titan, as a professional and, more importantly, as a great member of the community,” said Director of Athletics Robert C. Vowels, Jr. “His career speaks for itself, helping get the Titans back to the NCAA Tournament and then as a member of two NBA championship teams, but his work in the community and his commitment to earn his college degree speaks to his high morals.”

A 12-year NBA veteran and a two-time NBA champion, Cureton suited up for the Titans from 1977-80, playing two seasons after sitting out following his transfer from Robert Morris. He helped U-D back to the NCAA Tournament in his first year as the Titans went 22-6, capturing wins over Oregon, Georgetown and Marquette before coming back to lead another winning season with 14 victories in his senior campaign.

He averaged 11.7 points and a team-high 9.0 rebounds with 1.3 assists, 1.1 blocks and 1.0 steals per game in 1978-79 and then topped the team in scoring (20.0) and rebounding (9.1) to go with 1.6 assists, and 1.7 blocks and steals in 1979-80. He is still 12th all-time in school history in career blocks with 79 – second when he graduated – and was inducted into the Titan Hall of Fame in 2007.

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— 2020 —

December 31, 2019

By Tony Dixon, for COLLEGE FOOTBALL WRAP-UP(c)

Ypsilanti, MI —

Alabama versus U-M in a bowl game!

If I had said that at the start of the season, who among us wouldn’t have envisioned a College Football Playoff semi-final or…dare I say, the CFP Championship game!

Ok, let that soak in and perhaps savor it for a few moments……that’s enough!

Let’s get back to reality. The Vrbo Citrus Bowl is not a CFP game. But, to be honest, this still has the chance to be a great match-up. Two traditional powers, two storied programs, members of two powerhouse conferences clashing for a little respect for their less than anticipated season outcomes.

Michigan (9 – 3, 6 – 3 B1G) and it’s somewhat embattled Head Coach Jim Harbaugh, appears to be a team that is suffering from Detroit Lion’s fever, (that strange sport’s malady whose symptom’s break down to a pattern of: A – fill the stadium every game day, B – get that big check for TV rights, C – go through the motions and rhetoric of telling the media and fans…”it was a good season, it could have been better, we were leading in every game, etc, etc.) hopefully in this case it can still be treated and cured, unlike the professional football team that it is named after, where it is the business model and not the aberration.

U-M has a talented and driven group of student-athletes that will/should be well prepared and ready to show the world what they can bring to the gridiron. Led by QB Shea Patterson (3,828 yds, 22 TDs and 6 INTs) the offense can be potent and really stretch the field with Wide Receivers like Ronnie Bell (44 catches, 705 yds, 1 TD), Nico Collins (33, 681, 7 TDs) and Donovan Peoples-Jones (33, 404, 6). Running Backs Zach Charbonnet (642 yds, 11 TDs, 4.7 YPA) and Hassan Haskins (561, 4, 5.4 YPA) will have the tough task of keeping the Bama defense honest and assisting the offensive line in giving Patterson time to throw to his talented wide-outs.

— The Michigan Music Hall Of Fame, “Preserving The Past, Promoting The Future(c)” —

Alabama, on the other hand, finds itself in the unique position of having to accept the harsh reality of what a two loss season means to a perennial powerhouse program. Most college football fans, if they are being honest with themselves almost always put Bama in the CFP playoff bracket, along with Clemson and the Big Ten Champion and the years darling (LSU?) or their alma mater, if applicable/realistic.

Coach Saban, well known in the state of  Michigan, as well as an icon in the current era of college football coaches reality, has a reputation for getting the most out of his Assistant coaches, players and almost anybody else that he interacts with. But, a season like this one will probably bring out the…”is Saban going to the NFL” rumors. If so, it’s a safe bet that the pro team from Michigan would NOT be a preferred destination. Even with the size of that possible paycheck, he is probably wise enough to realize that he would go insane in that “sports-as-business” atmosphere.

On the field, the Crimson Tide is currently led by QB Mac Jones(?) (1,176 yds, 11 TDs and 3 INTs), he will be searching for Wide Receivers Jerry Jeudy (71 catches, 959 yds, 9 TDs) and DeVonta Smith (65/1,200/13 TDs, with a long of 85 yds). Alabama’s featured Running Back is Najee Harris (1,088 yds, 11 TDs and a 5.9 YPA average) he is spelled by Brian Robinson (425 yds, 5 TDs and a 4.6 YPA average).

— Intelligent Fitness Design, “The Bootcamp For Body and Brain(c)” —

The numbers for this game breakdown like so; Points per game, Bama 48 points per game for, 19 PPG against, U-M averages 33 PPG while surrendering an average of 19 PPG. Total offense also favors Alabama 513 YPG versus U-M’s 402. Defensively U-M does have a slight advantage in the numbers 293 total yards to 318 for the Tide.

The strength of schedule numbers are likewise similar; U-M was 5th, Bama was 7th. The poll positions are just as tight, U-M is ranked #14, Alabama is #13.

Bottom line, it’s not for a championship, but the bragging rights that will come from the clash of these two programs/head coaches/brand names will be worth it’s weight in cachet.

— 30 —

     Tony Dixon is a Co-host for The College Football Wrap-Up(c), MISPORT-TV’s original content vehicle that reviews the past week’s college football games played by Michigan based colleges and universities across all divisions and conferences. The show also utilizes the TPR(c) (Team Performance Rating) to measure a team’s performance in the past game and also to quantify it’s performance over the seasons games. The teams are then ranked according to their TPR number, the higher the number, the stronger the performances.

December 30, 2019

By Tony Dixon, for COLLEGE FOOTBALL WRAP-UP(c)

Ypsilanti, MI —

So, I guess that I will do the obvious quote here just to get it out of the way, “Go west young man…”, there that part is over with. There are so many “wests” to this story line, both schools have “western” in their name, the bowl game is being play west of both school’s campus/stadiums in University Park, Texas, one team even has a player with the last name of West on their roster!

The similarities do not end there, these two teams are well matched and promise to make an intriguing start to the bowl frenzy that is the end of the year-New Year’s Day bowl games week.

Let’s start our deeper look at the teams with…Western Kentucky (8 – 4, 6 – 2 C-USA), The Hilltoppers. The team averages 26 PPG while giving up only 20 PPG, a defensive total that led the C-USA. WKU is lead by QB Ty Storey (2,209 Yds, 12 TDs and 5 INTs), a cagey grad student who is also completing 70% of his passes AND is second on the team in rushing with 246 yards and 7 TDs.

Storey will be looking at a good group of Wide Receivers led by the tandem of Lucky Jackson (985 Yds Rec, 3 TDs) and Jahcour Pearson (772 Yds, 6 TDs). His Running Back is Gaej Walker (1,115 Yds, 8 TDs).

— Intelligent Fitness Design, “The Boot Camp For Body And Brain(c)” —

Western Michigan’s Broncos (7 – 5, 5 – 3 MAC) will counter with a more prolific offense, 34 PPG scoring, while giving up an average of 26 PPG. WMU’s attack is balanced with 213 YPG Rushing and 245 YPG Passing.

The Broncos are led by senior (Grand Rapids, South Christian) Jon Wassink (2,904 Yds, 19 TDs and 7 INTs). Wassink has recorded four 300+ yard passing games so far this season. He will be throwing to a group of Wide Receivers including, Skyy Moore (734 Yds, 3 TDs) and Giovanni Ricci (622 Yds and 8 TDs).

In featured Running Back LeVante Bellamy (1,412 Yds and 23 TDs, with a long gain of 75 yds), WMU has a star quality RB that is both talented and determined.

–The Michigan Music Hall Of Fame, “Preserving The Past, Promoting The Future(c)”–

Both teams were successful over the last 3 to 4 games of the regular season, winning at least 3 of those games. Both teams have stud running backs and savvy quarterbacks who will not take a lot of chances with the ball, leaning more upon their defenses to keep the game close. The Strength of Schedule is also a push, 96 for WKU and 98 for WMU.

Bottom line, this game starts off the Bowl Week Frenzy and will start the week off right. But, we will give the edge to the team that went so far west as to have a “West” on the roster…Western Michigan’s Addison West, a 6’4″ 290 lb, freshman offensive lineman.

— 30 —

Tony Dixon is a Co-host for The College Football Wrap-Up(c), MISPORT-TV’s original content vehicle that reviews the past week’s college football games played by Michigan based colleges and universities across all divisions and conferences. The show also utilizes the TPR(c) (Team Performance Rating) to measure a team’s performance in the past game and also to quantify it’s performance over the seasons games. The teams are then ranked according to their TPR number, the higher the number, the stronger the performances.

December 27, 2019

By Tony Dixon, for COLLEGE FOOTBALL WRAP-UP(c)

Ypsilanti, MI —

The Spartans of East Lansing (6 – 6, 4 – 5 Big Ten) have certainly had an up and down season so far, but can put this year to rest with a positive spin, if they can turn aside the hopes of Wake Forest (8 – 4, 4 – 4 ACC).

MSU picks up the torch that has been dropped by the other Michigan based college football teams; Hope, Concordia-AA, Ferris St.*, Central Michigan and most recently Eastern Michigan, who all dropped their bowl or playoff games. (*Ferris St. did win their first playoff game, but dropped the second game.)

In Wake Forest’s Demon Deacons, the Spartans will find a foe that has a capable offense, two near 1,000 yard receivers and a chance to win nine games for the first time since 2007. But, much like MSU, this season could have been a lot better that it turned out for the Forest, their season ending loss to Syracuse is still a sore point.

— Intelligent Fitness Design, “A Bootcamp For The Body and Brain(c)” —

They will be missing their true thousand yard receiver, Sage Surratt (66 catches, 1001 yards and 11 TDs), but Kendall Hinton (70, 953 and 3 TDs) is a still a weapon that the Spartan’s defense will have to keep in check. QB Jamie Newman (2,693 yards, 23 TDs and 10 INTs) leads a potent offense and should have a number of players ready to assist in the absence of Surratt. Running backs Cade Carney (556 yards, 5 TDs) and Kenneth Walker (555 yards and 4 TDs, including a long of 96 yards) will keep the pass rush honest.

MSU will counter with an offense that is led by QB Brian Lewerke (2,759 yards, 16 TDs and 12 INTs.) who will be trying to locate Wide Receivers Cody White (58/825, 5TDs) and Darrell Stewart Jr., (47/694, 4 TDs). Running back Elijah Collins leads the MSU rushing attack (892 yards, 5 TDs), but the next runner with over a 100 yards is…the QB Brian Lewerke! The Spartan’s offense has been much maligned but have averaged 22 PPG vs the 23 PPG that their defense has surrendered. To give credit where due, the defense did run into a few buzz saws during the Big Ten season that included losses to Ohio State, Penn State, Wisconsin and U-M.

— The Michigan Music Hall Of Fame, “Preserving The Past, Promoting The Future” —

The stats show an edge to the Demon Deacons who average 33 PPG while giving up 29 PPG as well as in Total Offense with a 473 YPG average. The Spartan’s defense which averages 319 YPG will be tested throughly. But, there is a quirk that both teams will face…both appear to be first half teams, they score most of their points in the first two quarters. MSU only scored 35 points total in the 3rd quarter for the season. So maybe a good, paint peeling halftime speech will be needed, if the Spartan’s are behind or even ahead at the half.

— 30 —

Tony Dixon is a Co-host for The College Football Wrap-Up(c), MISPORT-TV’s original content vehicle that reviews the past week’s college football games played by Michigan based colleges and universities across all divisions and conferences. The show also utilizes the TPR(c) (Team Performance Rating) to measure a team’s performance in the past game and also to quantify it’s performance over the seasons games. The teams are then ranked according to their TPR number, the higher the number, the stronger the performances.

December 26, 2019

By Tony Dixon, for COLLEGE FOOTBALL WRAP-UP(c)

Ypsilanti, MI —

With bowl trips becoming the norm for the EMU football team’s season ending wrap-up, the Eagles are solidifying the Coach Creighton era as easily the best football coaching stint in the school’s history. Creighton has certainly led an increase in pride, execution and even brand awareness in Michigan’s hot bed of college football excellence that is Washtenaw county.

With that said, the Quick Lane Bowl does NOT look to be a walk in Riverside Park for  the Eagles and their fans and alums.

The Eagles (6 – 6, 3 – 5 MAC-West) face will face a quality foe in the Univ. of Pittsburgh (7 – 5,  4 -4 ACC). The Panthers are strong defensively, as you would expect with Coach Pat Narduzzi leading the team. The former DC for MSU’s Spartans was/is known for a solid, if not suffocating defense and in this year’s Panthers, the trend continues. The defense gives up an average of 22 points per game. The numbers break down to 107 YPG Rushing and 196 YPG Passing for a Total Offense Average of 302 YPG defensively.

The Eagles will counter with an offense that averages 29 PPG on the strength of 281 YPG Passing and 122 YPG Rushing for an average of 403 YPG of Total Offense.

— The Michigan Music Hall Of Fame, “Preserving The Past, Promoting The Future” —

In senior QB Mike Glass III, EMU has a solid passer that leads a balanced group of receivers that includes; Dylan Drummond who lead the team with 51 catches for 483 yards and 3 TDs. He is complimented by Quian Williams who has 50 catches for 593 yards and 5 TDs. Shaq Vann is the Eagles workhorse in the ground game with 667 yards and 8TDs, Willie Parker is the next most popular name to call for the ground game with 142 yards and 2 TDs.

On the defensive side of the ball, EMU is more generous than the Panthers averaging 30 PPG against. Foes of the Eagles have averaged 202 YPG on the ground and 226 YPG Passing for a Total Offense of 428 YPG against.

Pitt’s QB Kenny Pickett (2,737 Passing Yds., 10 TDs and 9 INTs.), if given time will be looking down field for his favorite wide receivers, Taysir Mack (62 catches for 711 yards and 2 TDs) and Maurice Ffrench [no typo, that is how his last name is spelled], (84 catches, 685 yards, 3 TDs).

On the ground, the Panthers are led by A.J. Davis (532 yards/4 TDs) and V’Lique Carter (271 yards/0 TDs).

— T-Square Lending; “Real Estate Investment Loans, For Investors, By Investors(c)” —

These two teams appear to be pretty evenly matched, at least on paper, with perhaps the ‘Strength Of Schedule’ metric providing any real difference in the stats. Pitts S.O.S. is at 59, or the 59th hardest schedule in the FBS ratings. The Eagles ‘Strength Of Schedule’ is 108th in the country…so the Panthers played foes whose cumulative strength was almost twice EMU’s foes strength.

The Quick Lane Bowl is December 26th, 2019 at 8PM, at Ford Field in Detroit, MI. The game will be broadcast by ESPN.

— 30 —

Tony Dixon is a Co-host for The College Football Wrap-Up(c), MISPORT-TV’s original content vehicle that reviews the past week’s college football games played by Michigan based colleges and universities across all divisions and conferences. The show also utilizes the TPR(c) (Team Performance Rating) to measure a team’s performance in the past game and also to quantify it’s performance over the seasons games. The teams are then ranked according to their TPR number, the higher the number, the stronger the performances.

December 20, 2019

By Tony Dixon for COLLEGE FOOTBALL WRAP-UP(c)

Ypsilanti, MI —

The highlight of tomorrow’s college football viewing could easily be the New Mexico Bowl (2PM, ESPN), a game featuring the rejuvenated Central Michigan Chippewa’s against the Aztecs of San Diego State.

The Chips, who were a less than stellar 1-11 in 2018, find themselves kicking off the opening weekend of the official college football bowl season of 2019, a pretty good one year turnaround for their new coach and their new attitude. Coach Jim McElwain and his staff, took a solid defensive foundation and juiced up a languid offense, flipping 1-11 into 8 – 5 and first place in the MAC’s-West Division.

CMU’s offense doubled it’s offensive production going from 15 PPG in 2018 to almost 32 PPG in 2019. They were led by two near thousand yard rushers (Jonathan Ward – 1082 and Kobe Lewis – 977). The senior Jonathan Ward is a bullet point for the opposition’s defensive coaches, he has good speed, agility and definite power at 6’2, 200 pounds. He also has that determination that you want to see in your featured running back. Kobe Lewis, is a sophomore that does not have the same size, but has the speed and moves that give the backfield that thunder & lightening combination.

— The Michigan Music Hall Of Fame(c) “Preserving The Past, Promoting The Future” —

Under center, senior QB Quinten Dormady (2,148 – 14TDs, 6 INTs) is part of a two-headed monster at the quarterback position along with junior David Moore (1,143 – 5TDs, 4 INTs).

The CMU defense is led by sophomore LB Troy Brown (85 Tackles, 16 TFL, 1 Sack), a linebacker from Flint (Carson-Ainsworth), senior DL Sean Adesanya (15.5 TFL, 7 Sacks) and redshirt freshman DL LaQuan Johnson, also from Flint (Burton-Bendle) (13 TFL, 6 Sacks).

In the San Diego Aztecs, the CMU offense will find a stern test. SDSU only gives up an average of 13 PPG, with the strength of their defense being against the run (72 YPG average). CMU averages 187 YPG on the ground and with a near thousand yard rusher in the backfield. On almost every offensive down, the Aztecs will have to think ‘defend the run’ first, then look for the more exotic stuff.

— T-SQUARE LENDING, “Loans For Real Estate Investors, By Real Estate Investors(c)” —

The SDSU offense is less explosive than CMU’s averaging 19 PPG, and 329 yards of Total Offense in a fairly balanced attack (134 YPG Rushing/196 YPG Passing). With these numbers the goal for Coach McElwain’s staff should be a fast start, with points of any kind early and often. CMU’s defense should be able to handle the Aztec’s offense if they get ahead and force SDSU into a one-dimensional (throwing the ball) style of play.

The Aztec’s offense is led by senior QB Ryan Agnew (2,175 – 11 TDs – 5 INTs) who has played in 11 of the 12 SDSU games. His back-up, Carson Baker, a redshirt freshman was 19 of 24 for 172 yards and 1 TD in the only game that he appeared in this season, a game that Agnew did not play in.

SDSU has 4 RBs who along with the scrambles of QB Agnew, have at least 120 yards rushing each. But, only sophomores Chance Bell and Jordan Byrd have at least one 100+ yard game on their resume for this season. The Aztec’s top performing back, Juwan Washington, had a total of 500 yards for the season.

— Intelligent Fitness Design(C), “The Bootcamp for Body and Brain” Tuwan Jones,CPT–

Overall, this game is a good match up of styles, CMU’s averages 446 YPG of offense, while SDSU’s defense only gives up an average of 289 YPG.

SDSU’s offense averages 329 YPG, while CMU’s defense is around 352 YPG allowed.

As stated before, if CMU can score early (TDs or FGs) and often, the advantage will really shift to their side of the field. But, if they allow themselves to be slowed down by the SDSU defense, it could become a game that they will have to really work hard at, in order to end this successful season with a bowl victory.

— 30 —

Tony Dixon is a Co-host for The College Football Wrap-Up(c), MISPORT-TV’s original content vehicle that reviews the past week’s college football games played by Michigan based colleges and universities across all divisions and conferences. The show also utilizes the TPR(c) (Team Performance Rating) to measure a team’s performance in the past game and also to quantify it’s performance over the seasons games. The teams are then ranked according to their TPR number, the higher the number, the stronger the performance.

Calipari Nets 20 As Titans Play Tough In Saturday Setback To Toledo

DETROIT (12/14/2019) — From Official Release

The University of Detroit Mercy men’s basketball team saw nine players score and played some inspired ball despite being shorthanded as the Titans fell, 80-72, to Toledo on Saturday at Calihan Hall.

The Titans played the game without sophomore Antoine Davis(flu) and senior B.J. Maxwell (arm).

Graduate senior Brad Calipari led the way with 20 points draining five more 3-pointers, a career high, while sophomore Willy Isiani had 11. Junior Dwayne Rose Jr. had 10 points and sophomore Alonde LeGrandfinished with six points, six rebounds and seven assists.

The Titans (1-9) led for a majority of the first half and 36-33 at the break. Detroit Mercy was then up 58-51 with when Toledo (8-2) went on a 17-5 lead to jump out in front.

A plethora of Titans would join in the scoring fracas as play was frenetic and fast-paced. Back-to-back blocks by sophomore Chris Brandon as well as a 3-pointer from Isiani put the Titans in front by seven 29-22 in the first half.

Detroit Mercy would then go on a 7-1 scoring run to close out the last three minutes of the first, making the score 36-28 before going into the break up three.

In the second, the Titans saw their lead dwindle down to one, but raised it back to eight on two occasions, the latest at 53-45 as Rose Jr. drove to the rim for a score with 13:28 on the clock. That is when Toledo started to make its run and eventually took the lead.

The Titans had just 10 turnovers and hit 13, 3-pointers, while going 11-of-13 at the line and handing out a season-high 15 assists. Brandon finished with two points, a season-high nine rebounds and a career-best four blocks.

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Ferris State’s D2 Playoff Run Comes To Finish In National Semifinals

Re-posted From FERRISSTATEBULLDOGS.COM Release –

Big Rapids, Mich. – The Ferris State University Bulldogs’ NCAA Division II Playoff run came to a finish on Saturday (Dec. 14) night as West Florida pulled out a 28-14 run over FSU in the national semifinals at Top Taggart Field.

In a battle between the last two national runner-ups, the Bulldogs took a 14-7 lead in the third quarter and were driving towards another potential score near the end of the period before a fumble bounced thru the endzone and resulted in a touchback.

The fumble was one of six turnovers in the game for Ferris State in the Bulldogs’ trip to the national semifinals in the past four years. It denied FSU a return trip to the national championship game in McKinney, Texas.

West Florida struck first as the Argonauts marched 75 yards in eight plays on the opening drive of the contest to take an early 7-0 lead on quarterback Austin Reed’s 34-yard scoring pass to Tate Lehtio.

However, Ferris State answered back near the end of the opening stanza when tailback Tyler Minor found paydirt on a six-yard scoring run to finish an 11-play, 61-yard FSU drive.

The score stood until the opening drive of the third period when FSU moved 65 yards in seven plays to surge ahead 14-7 on senior slot receiver Dion Earls‘ 11-yard scoring run.

After a 21-yard West Florida field goal from Austin Williams pulled UWF back within four points, erris State got the ball back and drove down the field and was nearing another score when senior QB Travis Russell found wideout Xavier Wade at the one-yard line on a long throw. However, the ball popped loose thru the endzone, resulting in the touchback and momentum changed.

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December 7, 2019

(Reposted from FERRISSTATEBULLDOGS.COM)

Big Rapids, Mich. – For the second-straight season and the third time in four years, the top-seeded Ferris State University Football team advanced to the Division II National Semifinals with a 25-3 victory over the third-seeded Northwest Missouri State Bearcats on Saturday (Dec. 7) at Top Taggart Field.

With the win, FSU will be the top seed for the national semifinals and host West Florida on Saturday, Dec. 14, with kickoff set for 3:30 p.m. (ET) at Top Taggart Field.

Through 45 minutes of play, just 13 combined points had been scored in the contest as the defensive units owned the day. Ferris State tacked on 15 fourth quarter points to eventually pull away from Northwest Missouri State. The Bulldog defense stonewalled the Bearcat offense all day, as Ferris State allowed only 158 yards on 61 plays for an average of 2.5 yards allowed per play.

— The Michigan Music Hall Of Fame, preserving the past, promoting the future! —

Both teams battled through the first quarter scoreless. The Bulldogs took advantage of good field position early in the second quarter when junior defensive back Sidney McCloud picked off Northwest Missouri State quarterback Braden Wright out near midfield. Ferris State senior kicker Jackson Dieterle drilled a 35-yard field goal to draw first blood with 9:02 remaining in the first half.

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