Kent State senior guard Al Fisher had a game for the ages last night in the Flashes 76-74 overtime win over St. Louis at Chaifetz Arena.
Thirty minutes. Thirty five points. One big overtime win on the road, early in the season.
The points sound gaudy enough, but it sounds even better when you look at the overtime period alone. Fisher scored 16 of the team’s 17 points in overtime. Mike McKee hit a foul shot for the other point early in the extra session. Fisher also scored the last 12 Kent State points of regulation.
“I can’t describe in words the way Fisher played down the stretch tonight. It was the best offensive performance I have ever seen in person. He hit tough shot after tough shot and made all seven shots he took in overtime. It was like something you would see on ESPN Classic,” coach Geno Ford said after the game in an e-mail distributed by Athletic Communications.
I caught the game on the Internet and he seemingly couldn’t miss. He shot over people, he drove past people; he even showed signs of his scoop shot in traffic against St. Mary’s last year. He also did it on a bum ankle, which he hurt late in the fourth quarter.
Here is St. Louis coach Rick Majerus’ take of Fisher last night via Tom Timmerman of the St. Louis Post Dispatch, who sent the quote to KSU Athletic Communications. Who then e-mailed the quotes to us (did every body get all that?):
"The first half we had him under control, the second half, we told (our players) at halftime he'd come out, and he did come out. Part of it (was), we didn't get a hand up on him. Some guys didn't get a hand up. He's MVP of the league …We told our guys, he's really good. We wanted (Fisher) to drive the ball to the basket, we didn't get a hand up on some shots and our ‘bigs’ didn't get out there for whatever reason. Some were too slow; some weren't smart. It's no one man; it's men together. ... (KSU is) good. They went to (NCAA Tournament last year)."
I wasn't able to attend the season opener on Monday night, but I'll be in the house for Sunday's game against UNC-Wilmington.
With that being said, the hot-button issue with this team has to do with the eligibility of junior JUCO transfers Anthony Simpson and Tyree Evans. Simpson, as I am sure everyone has seen, has played in the first two games and played moderately well. He has a bit more scoring ability then last year's big men from what I understand.
Evans is another story. Here is the press release issed by Kent State Athletic Communications before Monday's season opener:
Evans Expecting Certification After The Fall Semester
KENT, Ohio — Kent State junior guard Tyree Evans (Richmond, Va.) is expected to be certified eligible at the conclusion of the fall semester.