The 3rd Man In

Tiby provides the spark

Milwaukee Panthers men’s basketball is back to playing games at the U.S. Cellular Arena, and in their return, they made a statement. Although it was only an exhibition games against Marian, they controlled both sides of the ball, winning 80-52.

“Tonight, regardless what the stat sheet said we got a lot out of this game,” said Milwaukee head coach Rob Jeter. “To play a team that moves the ball as well as Marian does, I thought they slipped the screens well, they have multiple guys that can put it on the deck, they put us in a lot of help and recover situations.

“This is going to be a great teaching film for us. I really thought that just our size really started to overwhelm them a little bit. “

Sophomore forward, Matt Tiby, was a difference maker for Milwaukee using his size to be affective on both sides of the ball, but something that stood out was his energy.

“He (Tiby) doesn’t have a problem with energy, not at all. I am excited about that. I really am, rubs off on the other team, its contagious,” said Jeter.

“I see myself as an energy giver,” said Tiby. “As you can see the team feeds off of that.

“In practice its been repetition and everything like that. I have just been trying to speak up and trying to do the things that maybe not everyone is so comfortable of doing, so I just kind of speak out for everybody else so they pick up on it, and its just contagious and great out there.”

Tiby started for the Panthers and although he only played 26 minutes, he was always around the ball. He scored 11 points, with seven rebounds, two blocks, four assists and two steals.

He is someone to keep your eye on when he is in the game because he is always finding ways to contribute, but even if he takes a quick breather he still keeps his energy up.

“I like to keep my energy on and off the court,” said Tiby. “My energy doesn’t stop when I come out. I don’t just sit off the bench and just be quiet because I want my teammates to keep on that energy and just keep the talking. A quiet gym is a loosing gym.”

The team seemed to feed off of the energy. On the offensive side they did an exceptional job on second chance opportunities. They recorded 22 offensive rebounds, and were able to score 31 second chance points.

“That means we are getting the shots that are going to create those fouls,” said Jeter. “If you shoot a lot of jump shots you are not going to get to the free throw line. We have been talking a lot about our rebounding and putting ourselves in position to get more shots.

“I think you get more shots in a couple of ways: one, you got to take care of the ball, two, you got to get the ball inside so you can get fouled, three, you got to offensive rebound. So tonight we hit those three points. “

The Panthers only turned the ball over 13 times tonight, and did a good job making their free throws. They finished the game with making 24 out of their 31 chances for 77.4 percent from the charity stripe.

With the Panthers starting three guards, Steve McWhorter, Jordan Aaron and Thierno Niang, sophomore forward Austin Arians came off the bench. While some might be surprised that he was not starting after putting up good numbers last season as a freshman, he looks like he could really be a spark off the bench.

In only 14 minutes, Arians scored 12 points while recording three rebounds. He was able to knock down two of his four chances from long range, while also displaying better ball handling skill from a season ago.

“Twelve points, fourteen minutes, he is a shooter for us,” said Jeter. “I thought his ability to catch and shoot and be spaced, I think is another dimension to this team. Because if we are really going to throw it inside like tonight, I thought we drew some double teams, we through some extra bodies at our bigs, we were able to make some good passes.”

The Milwaukee Panthers looked impressive tonight winning by 28 points, and were led in scoring and rebounding by J.J. Panoske who had 12 points and nine rebounds.

It was an exciting game with the way the Panthers performed and the energy Tiby brought to the game. If they continue to play Milwaukee basketball, while making game-to-game improvements, this will be a fun team to watch.

“I knew we just had to stay committed to our style of basketball, and buy in to what we’ve been telling our guys that if we can share the ball, we can rebound the basketball, we can get post touches, that those are the things,” said Jeter. “We cannot allow anyone to come in and have any more energy, effort, or passion than us.

“Then we have the makings to build something that can get better over time. I thought tonight we displayed a lot of those characteristics. “

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