PROGRAM SCHEDULE PROPAGANDA: PRESS RELEASE
THIS IS WHY WE FIGHT: THE SCHEDULE
Great Lax State already provided some thoughts on Detroit's 13-game agenda, so consider this piece merely supplemental to what you may or may not already think.
Here are some schedule highlights and games of note:
February 16: Mercer; February 19: Michigan; March 1: @VMI; March 8: @Wagner; March 15: Marquette
Detroit took an important step forward at the apex of the Titans' season in 2013: Making the MAAC Tournament, Detroit accelerated its performance, knocking off top-seeded Marist and putting together a memorable comeback against Siena to earn the right to make Notre Dame poop their pants in the first round of the NCAA Tournament. That scenario did not appear likely through much of last year, a campaign that began with six straight losses and featured only two victories at April's sunrise. The Titans are still a relatively young program, but where Detroit finished 2013 is a potential building block for 2014 success. The driving factor in determining where the Titans reside in Division I's hierarchy hinges strongly on Detroit's efforts against fresh faces and teams that have struggled to bootstrap themselves out of the cohort's basement. Luckily for the Titans, five of the team's first seven games in 2014 are against such competition, opportunities to assert dominance and create momentum toward a valuable MAAC season. There are no guarantees here -- the Titans have an uneven history against these clubs, losing to Marquette last season and VMI in 2012 -- but the chance to find freedom against programs that are in the same crab bucket as the Titans a circumstance that Detroit needs to excel within.
Embrace the Chaos
March 22: @Canisius; March 29: Quinnipiac; April 5: Marist; April 12: Siena; April 19: @Manhattan; April 26: @Monmouth
All kinds of shade gets thrown at the MAAC but this much is clear: There aren't three conferences that are more exciting -- from a chaos standpoint -- than what the league provides. There is a valuable level of competitive consistency in the conference, a fact that allows the MAAC to exist in comfortable insanity. For Detroit, this is both a chance to take advantage of bonkers scenarios -- which drove the Titans' late-season push in 2013 -- and an element of serious danger. It's unclear what the magic win total for postseason participation will be (three seems to be the absolute minimum, but tiebreaking scenarios may come into play given the conference's seven-member constitution), and that means that the Titans are going to need to come correct from late March through the end of April to ensure a shot at the league's automatic NCAA Tournament invitation. Where those wins come from matters, but it's imperative that the Titans avoid brain farts at the start of their league season against Canisius and finish strong against Manhattan and Monmouth, two of the conference's assumedly weaker teams. The middle of the league slate is tough -- back-to-back-to-back dates against Quinnipiac, Marist, and Siena is difficult, but Detroit gets those three teams at home -- but it's still manageable in the overall. Navigating all of this nonsense is unquestionably Detroit's most pressing task this coming spring.