The beginning of Great West play hasn't been kind to Chicago State. The Cougars are 0-4 in league play and by my numbers (yes I track them for the GWC) Chicago State has the worst offense, by far, in conference play.
The Cougars have been hampered by playing each of their first four conference games on the road. After a close loss to Utah Valley things spiraled out of control as the margins got larger and larger against Houston Baptist, Texas-Pan American and N.J.I.T.
Playing on the road definitely took something out of the Cougars. That was very evident against the Highlanders when Chicago State scored 37 points, the fewest N.J.I.T. had ever allowed against an NCAA Division I opponent.
Thursday the Cougars finally get some home-cooking. Tonight they'll take on the Wolverines at the Jones Convocation Center.
The last time these two teams met in Chicago it ended up being a 123-121 quadruple overtime affair that Utah Valley eventually took behind 63 points from Ryan Toolson. Toolson of course isn't playing for the Wolverines anymore. He's taken his game to Turkey after playing with the Sacramento Kings' Summer League squad. Ironically he's playing on the same team as former Chicago State star David Holston, who scored 41 points in 40 minutes before fouling out in that epic overtime game. Holston, by the way, is 6th in the league in assists per game and 7th in steals per game. Their team is currently .500. (All stats from EuroBasket.)
(In related news. I found this blog, which certainly appears to be by Toolson about his experience in Turkey, while searching for more information about his career after the Great West.)
The Cougars and Wolverines played a much more conservative game this season with Chicago State dropping a 48-43 decision. Carl Montgomery had 14 points and 11 rebounds in the game, while Victor Scott added 12 points. That loss came in the middle of Chicago State's current 9-game losing streak.
We'll see if Chicago State can get back on track at home tonight. I'm sure it's good for the Cougars to be on their home court again.