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Kent State Flashes

MAC tournament thoughts

By admin Published: March 13, 2010

After watching as many games as I did the past couple days at The Q in Cleveland, it seems like the Kent State men's team lost about a month ago.  After being at the arena for about 13 hours each of the past two days, I didn't have much time to sit down and give any coverage of the disappointing quarterfinal loss...So I'll give you random thoughts.

- Thursday night's KSU loss had to be the worst performance of any Kent State team in that building (Gund Arena/Quicken Loans Arena) ever, including MAC tournaments and Rock N' Roll Shootouts.

- What a bizarre scene it was for all us Kent State fans.  Suddenly, it was like all the core values and beliefs, the cornerstones of the Kent State program were non-existent against OU.  Defense, toughness, getting to 50/50 balls, playing well in the MAC tournament, it all had evaporated.

- It was like I was watching a movie, a horror movie. 

- It was like my worst nightmare was becoming a reality as it played out before me, except I couldn't wake up.

- Its a sad bit of irony that Chris Singletary's final MAC game was plagued by his poor free throw shooting and foul trouble, two things that haunted him in his entire career.  With that said, Kent State loses that game by 30 without him.  Even though it doesn't end in a MAC tournament championship, Singletary re-wrote his story this season and the final chapter was a good one for him.

- Mike McKee did not have a great senior year individually.  But that's where it ends.  I don't know that there has been a better representative of the Kent State men's basketball program in the last 12 years. 

- The joke made by Geno Ford before the tournament now makes me a little sick with the way it played out.  Before the tournament, Ford joked how Bassett (who is at his third school after IU and UAB) is playing so well that he wishes he would go find a fourth school.  We couldn't guard him in Kent and he really exploded Thursday night. 

- It's hard to really game plan much for a perimeter player.  I would have liked to see something done with a little more urgency, a little more radical to try and slow down Bassett.  Pressuring his ball wasn't working.  In fact, he said it played right into his hands after the game.  Outside of doubling him off ball screens, not much was done.  Maybe we could have dusted Ian Pinckney off the bench earlier and said, "Whatever you do, deny him the ball, if he gives it up don't let him get it back."   

- OU is far from your typical nine seed.  They play with a confidence and they expect to win.  They went 0-4 in the regular season against Kent State and Akron with the most lopsided point spread being a seven point loss.  They were everyone's dark horse for the tournament, so much so that they can't even be considered much of a dark horse.

- Next year is definitely a transition year for Kent State but they have two pretty good building blocks coming back with Sherman on the perimeter and Greene inside. 

- I hate to say it, and Kent State fans don't want to hear this, but suddenly these past two seasons the tide has turned and now the MAC tournament is Akron's turf.  Watching them win these close games, I knew they were going to win.  They make winning plays down the stretch, and yes, they get some breaks and bounces.  The key is, they put themselves in position to have some good luck. 

- The difference is this year, and the part that really stings, is that Kent State was the best team in the league for the entire grind, the entire four month process of the season and couldn't get to the semis for the second straight season. 

- Do I hope KSU gets a home NIT game?  I am not sure.  Sometimes its better to have your last impression of the team at the M.A.C. Center be that Miami game.  Packed house, Hall of Fame night, life was good.  An NIT game that brings in maybe 3,000 people...maybe they play on the road.

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