#80 Toledo Men's Basketball 2019-2020 Preview

Toledo Rockets
2019-2020 Overall Rank: #80
Conference Rank: #1 Mid-American
 Toledo Logo
Under Coach Tod Kowalczyk, Toledo has had a lot of success. They have won at least a share of the MAC West four of the last seven seasons. However, that has not resulted in any NCAA Tournament appearances. This is not the deepest Rockets team during that stretch, but Coach Kowalczyk does have the talent to win the West again and make a push for a tournament berth.
2018-19 Record: 25-8, 13-5
2018-19 Postseason: NIT
Coach: Tod Kowalczyk
Coach Record: 149-124 at Toledo, 285-236 overall
Key Departed Players:
Jaelan Sanford, Guard, 15.5 ppg
Nate Navigato, Forward, 12.7 ppg
Chris Darrington, Guard, 9.4 ppg
Key Returning Players:
Marreon Jackson, Junior, Guard, 11.7 ppg
Luke Knapke, Senior, Center, 10.5 ppg
Willie Jackson, Senior, Forward, 8.5 ppg
Spencer Littleton, Junior, Guard, 4.2 ppg
AJ Edu, Sophomore, Forward, 3.6 ppg
Dylan Alderson, Junior, Guard, 1.3 ppg
Key New Players:
Mattia Acunzo, Freshman, Guard
Aaron Etherington, Freshman, Forward
Luke Maranka, Freshman, Forward
Donavan Moore, Freshman, Guard
Keshaun Saunders, RS Freshman, Guard
T.J. Smith, RS Freshman, Forward
Gavin Bizeau, Sophomore, Forward, Transfer from Duquesne, not eligible
The three returning starters will form the heart and soul of the team this year. Marreon Jackson averaged 11.7 points, 4.2 assists, 1.4 steals and 3.9 rebounds. The point guard is not afraid to hoist up some three-pointers and can score in a variety of ways. Luke Knapke and Willie Jackson are back to dominate the frontcourt. Those two were the main reason Toledo was third in the MAC in rebounding margin and this group should again be among the best in the MAC on the glass. Knapke can stretch the defense with his outside shooting ability too and averaged 10.5 points per game. The development of Spencer Littleon will be extremely important. He is mostly a shooter and will have to keep shooting a high percentage while seeing more playing time. A large group of freshmen will need to find at least a couple contributors, especially while sophomore AJ Edu deals with an injury. If those freshmen are prepared to at least make a positive impact, Knapke and the two Jacksons will lead this group back towards the top of the MAC and potentially their first NCAA Tournament berth since 1980.
Projected Postseason Tournament: NCAA
By the Numbers:
Scoring Offense: 76.9 (67th in nation, 4th in conference)
Scoring Defense: 68.4 (89, 2)
Field-Goal Percentage: 45.2 (125, 5)
Field-Goal Defense: 41.1 (44, 2)
Three-Point Field Goals Per Game: 9.8 (20, 1)
Three-Point Field-Goal Percentage: 37.8 (33, 1)
Free-Throw Percentage: 77.2 (12, 1)
Rebound Margin: 3.8 (60, 3)
Assists Per Game: 16.3 (18, 2)
Turnovers Per Game: 12.2 (101, 7)