Just three games into the season and there’s no doubt that the Kent State basketball team understands the kind of effort it needs to play with in order to have a successful season.
After dominating Division III Ohio Northern 84-48 in the season opener last weekend, the Golden Flashes went on the road and upset Temple 81-77 and nearly did the same to Seton Hall in a 78-76 loss.
Junior guard Derek Jackson, a newcomer to the program, led the Flashes in scoring in the first two games before junior point guard Kris Brewer had a career-high 28 points at Seton Hall.
Maintaining the same kind of poise and scoring distribution when KSU (2-1) hosts Saint Peter’s (0-2) at 2 p.m. today at the M.A.C. Center shouldn’t be a problem. But summoning the same kind of energy from the start? That’s something coach Rob Senderoff will be watching closely.
“It’s going to be a really important game for us coming off back-to-back road games where we played with a ton of energy,” Senderoff said. “We’re going to need to do the same thing at home. Saint Peter’s is a really good defensive team. They have one of the best frontcourt players in the country that people don’t know about named Marvin Dominique, who sat out last year and is going to put up monster numbers for them.”
Dominique, a junior forward, sat out last season under NCAA transfer rules after leaving Fordham. In his first two games with the Peacocks, the 6-foot-7, 215-pounder is averaging 21.5 points to lead the team.
Against Long Island University-Brooklyn Nov. 9, he had his first career double-double with 31 points and 14 rebounds, followed by posting 12 points and seven rebounds in the next game against Hampton on Tuesday. This from a guy who never surpassed 10 points and 11 rebounds in his first two college seasons with Fordham.
The addition of an athletic player such as Dominique makes the Peacocks a much different type of team than the one the Flashes have topped twice in the past, most recently a 67-58 victory in 2011.
“Coach [John] Dunne is a very good coach who’s won that league before,” Senderoff said. “We played them a couple of years ago and we were fortunate to win the game. You can’t be deceived by their record. I know they haven’t won either this year, but they’re a dangerous team. I think they’re going to be a big challenge for us, especially making sure that we play with the right mindset and compete at a high level.”
Stephanie Storm can be reached at email@example.com. Read the Kent State blog at http://www.ohio.com/flashes. Follow her on Twitter at http://www.twitter.com/SStormABJ and on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/sports.abj.