Head Coach: Geno Ford (70-47 career, 19-15 at Kent State)
2008-2009: 19-15, 10-6, L 74-80 @ Oakland in CollegeInsider.com Tournament
- Kent State is returning two starters and eight letterwinners from last season.
- KSU has six seniors on the roster, which is the most since the 1991-1992 season.
- Last season Kent State led the MAC in scoring at 68.9 points per game. It was the first time KSU had led the MAC in scoring since joining the league.
Chris Singletary- 6-4, 220, Sr.: team's leading returning scorer at 12.1 points per game, ranks 10th all time at KSU with 138 career steals, has increased scoring average in every season he has played, physical presence who is a matchup nightmare for defenses with his passing and perimeter skills to go along with his post ups and strength, pre-season All-MAC East first team
Anthony Simpson - 6-8, 215, Sr.: most dynamic front court player and best athlete in the front court, led the team and ranked 9th in the MAC at 6.3 rebounds per game, possesses a solid perimeter shot, with his second year in the system will hopefully become more comfortable and consistent night in and night out, had breakout game at Akron last season with 16 points and 16 rebounds
Tyree Evans - 6-3, 210, Sr.: one of the most prolific perimeter shooters in the MAC, has unlimited range on shot, second season at Kent State, averaged 11.7 points per game and shot 39.9 percent from three point range, supposedly improved overall game - mid-range game, ball handling, etc. during the off-season, took some difficult shots last season that didn't always make sense but I suppose you have to live with some of those because when he get's hot he can carry a team
Mike McKee - 6-5, 190, Sr.: along with Evans is the best three point shooter on the team, fifth year in the program, been around a lot and seen a lot being apart of two MAC Championship teams, etc, developing a reputation as a gritty, glue guy who makes a lot of winning plays to help a team, played in every game for KSU the past two seasons
Brandon Parks - 6-10, 255, Sr.: dropped another 20 pounds as he continues to reshape his body and get in better shape, Parks got an opportunity to play last season and made 19 starts with 5.9 points and 4.7 boards a game, can control a game for small portions when he get's on a roll while controlling the boards, the paint and then posting up on offense, developed a nice right handed hook shot last season that became his go to move, really took to coaching and improved a lot throughout the year
Frank Henry-Ala - 6-5, 210, Jr.: known as a defensive oriented player, can hopefully knock down open shots on the perimeter when given an open look, is capable of playing both forward positions but the coaches would prefer to just play him at the 4, posted highest GPA on the team in Spring 2009, should benefit from being in his second year in the program
Justin Greene - 6-8, 230, Sr.: Coach Ford says he is the most improved player on the team, has great hands and athletic ability for his size, was a key contributor during KSU's eight game winning streak last season, played in 31 games last season, averaged 2.2 points per game and 1.8 rebounds per game last season
Alex Grimsley - 6-7, 220, So.: will hopefully benefit from second year in the program, will provide depth on the front line, has a chance to develop into a guy with a reputation as a tireless worker, high motor, hustling big man with some perimeter skills, appears to have gotten a little bigger and stronger
Rod Sherman - 6-2, 185, Jr.: perhaps the biggest key to a successful season for Kent State, makes the transition from wing to point guard, known as a tough perimeter defender, has transformed his game from the last time he suited up for the Flashes, ran the scout team last year in practice and was the best player on the floor on several occasions, sat out last season as he recovered from a knee injury, is hoping to recover from a dislocated elbow suffered a couple weeks ago, gives KSU a different look at PG with his size and strength, was helped a lot by playing four games in Italy and getting his feet wet at point guard
Cameron Joyce - 5-8, 160, Fr.: capable of stepping in at point guard if called upon, good basketball knowledge, good guy to have around with a lot of basketball savvy, intelligence, brother played at Akron, non-scholarship player
Greg Avila - 6-6, 235, Jr.: athletic, physical, wide bodied post player, has a 7 foot wing span, will be expected to step in and play as a backup forward, JC transfer from Harcum College in Bryn Mawr, PA
Randal Holt - 6-1, 180, Fr.: top impact newcomer on Kent State's roster, from Cleveland Glenville High School, only true scholarship point guard on the roster, quick, athletic, can shoot the basketball and slash to the hoop, ranked as 32nd best point guard in the country by Rivals.com, wouldn't be surprised to see him on the floor more and more as the year goes on and he becomes more comfortable, explosive in the open floor, very quick with the basketball
Justin Manns - 6-11, 215, Jr.: a big man project, has only played three seasons of organized basketball, his physical gifts are undeniable, best attribute is shot blocking ability at this point, expected to redshirt
Ian Pinckney - 6-3, 195, So.: perhaps the best athlete on the team, great leaping ability, has the potential to be a good perimeter defender due to athleticism and strength, sophomore with three more years of eligibility after redshirting at Motlow CC last season, Chicago native
Brian Frank - 6-5, 225, So.: walk on player, will provide depth on the wing, son of Kent State provost
Jordan Wilds - 6-4, 180, Fr.: just added to the team as a walk on, from Hickory High School in Pennsylvania, saw action in exhibition game at Wooster, not expected to dress for games this season
Projected Starting Lineup
G - Rod Sherman
G - Tyree Evans
G - Chris Singletary
F - Anthony Simpson
F - Justin Greene
Bench guys who should play every night...
G - Randal Holt
G - Mike McKee
F - Greg Avila
C - Brandon Parks
I feel like Chris Singletary needs to be "the guy" this season. Hopefully an ankle injury doesn't linger this season for him. Chris has the ability to be the best player on the floor. The key is he needs to be on the floor. He battled foul trouble all season long last year. He has his entire senior season in front of him to write his final chapter, and go down in Kent State history with some other great players. In the off-season Singletary declared he wanted to be an All-MAC Defensive player. He has the ability to do that. Singletary needs to be the ultimate leader this season with his production on the floor and in all other facets. Players have always respected Chris a lot for his talent and his passion for the game. The perfect scenario for Kent State has the Golden Flashes in contention and hopefully winning the MAC Championship, with Singletary front and center as a MAC Player of the Year candidate with a season stat line that looks like 14 points per game, 5 rebounds per game, 4 assists per game, improved free throw shooting and three point shooting and a leader on the defensive end of the floor. Singletary has been much maligned for some off the floor incidents and on the floor incidents. The University of Akron fans won't be sending him a Christmas card this holiday season. Singletary doesn't owe the fans, the officials, the opponents anything. All he owes is his team, coaches and school to have the best senior year he can have and walk off the floor at the M.A.C. Center this season knowing he can be proud of himself and his team.
Kent State needs to get back to being known for defense, toughness and rebounding this season. These were all things lacking last season and uncommon for a Kent State team not to be able to do. The program has always prided itself on playing "nitty-gritty" basketball as Jordan Mincy would say. While I know this is a different type of team, and the team led the MAC in scoring last season, Geno Ford will be the first person to tell you that his team will go far if defense, rebounding and toughness improve.
The MAC East is tough as always. While Akron is the favorite, and they should be, once again every team is capable of winning it. It will come down to key stops, key shots, being able to steal some wins on the road, etc.
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