2006 Toledo Rockets Basketball Preview
2006 Toledo Rockets Basketball Predictions
The Toledo Rockets (20- 11 overall and 10- 8 in MAC) aren’t the best team in the conference; the Akron Zips are. But they are the best in the MAC’s West Division. Last year, the Rockets posted a fine beginning and ending to their season. But in the middle of the year they sagged into the doldrums. Coach Stan Joplin (173- 123 in 10 years), whose job was on the line until the team reeled off 10 consecutive MAC wins and made it to the conference finals, looks to have his guys discover consistency in 2006- 07.
Senior guard Justin Ingram (14.6 PPG, 3.2 RPG, 2.9 APG) will be the scorer in the backcourt. Junior Kashif Payne (8.4 PPG, 2.0 RPG, 4.3 APG) is quick and a fine ball handler. Last year, Jonathan Amos (4.5 PPG, 2.8 RPG, 1.2 APG), Ridley Johnson (1.6 PPG, 0.9 RPG, 0.2 APG) and Tyrone Kent (3.7 PPG, 1.5 RPG, 0.5 APG) saw important backcourt minutes. As sophomores each of these players should expand on last season’s contributions.
In the front, senior forwards Keonta Howell (11.3 PPG, 4.3 RPG, 1.1 APG) and Florentino Valencia (12.0 PPG, 4.4 RPG, 0.6 APG) bring scoring skills that are well honed. More rebounding would be helpful from both.
Coach Joplin acknowledges that last year’s team seemed to finally kick it into gear once the season was on the line. He has various upperclassmen returning who have enough experience to find a good rhythm for the entire season. Joplin knows that this Rocket team must rebound much better than last years, playing much tougher under the basket.
This Toledo club is talented and experienced. They should handle every team in their division and most of the teams in the MAC East. But Akron will be a tough nut to crack. The NCAA will be difficult for the Rockets to attain but the NIT is certainly a possibility.
If you want more info on the 2006 Toledo Rockets College basketball team check out the NCAA's official basketball team page of the program or check view other mid major previews from MadduxSports.com of universities like the UAB Blazers and Wichita State Shockers.