Kent State Men's Basketball 2017 NCAA Tournament Capsule


Kent State Golden Flashes

Mid-American (22-13, 10-8)

Kent State got off to a rough 1-4 start in MAC play. But this team has only lost once since slipping past Miami (OH) on Valentine’s Day. That 9-1 run to end the season included a road win at eventual regular season champions Akron and another win over the Zips to claim the conference’s automatic bid to the NCAA Tournament.
Big Wins: 12/27 at Texas (63-58), 2/18 at Akron (70-67), 3/10 vs Ohio (68-66)
Bad Losses: 12/21 at Oregon State (50-69), 1/10 Northern Illinois (70-74), 2/7 Bowling Green (83-84)
Coach: Rob Senderoff
Why They Can Surprise:
Jimmy Hall is a beast in the paint. The 6-8 senior averages 18.9 points and 10.5 rebounds. This offense can become stagnant at times, but the Golden Flashes are always in good shape if they remember to work through their talented big man in the paint. Hall can pass too and dishes out 2.6 assists per game. He is also the best shot blocker on the team. Coach Rob Senderoff also has the luxury of playing Hall most of the game since he rarely gets into foul trouble. Adonis De La Rosa is the only other traditional big man who sees any serious playing time. De La Rosa is not a scorer, but he can play tough defense. Deon Edwin and Jaylin Walker are big time scoring threats too and they do a lot of work on the glass for guards. Despite only having two players over 6-5 in the regular rotation, this is a very strong team on the glass thanks to Edwin and Walker.
Why They Can Disappoint:
Edwin and Walker are great scoring threats, but this team lacks consistent three-point shooters. Walker, a 6-1 sophomore, will take quite a few shots from long range, but he hits only 33.1 percent of those attempts. In the conference tournament final win over Akron, the team went 4-of-14 from beyond the arc. That was enough to beat Akron, but it will not be enough to win a game in the NCAA Tournament. Turnovers have been another issue for the Golden Flashes this year. They average 13.5 per game, but have done better in that department during their winning streak. Jalen Avery is a young sophomore, but he has done a great job of keeping the turnovers down and his playing time has increased as the season has progressed. If turnovers are not an issue and Hall and company can match the opposition’s physicality on the glass and defensively, then this is a Kent State team that can make things very interesting.  
Probable Starters:
Jalen Avery, Sophomore, Guard, 5.1 ppg, 2.2 apg
Mitch Peterson, Freshman, Guard, 5.3 ppg
Deon Edwin, Senior, Guard, 13.0 ppg, 2.4 apg, 5.6 rpg
Jaylin Walker, Sophomore, Guard, 15.6 ppg, 4.3 rpg
Jimmy Hall, Senior, Forward, 18.9 ppg, 10.5 rpg, 2.6 apg, 1.4 bpg
Key Role Players:
Kevin Zabo, Junior, Guard, 5.4 ppg, 1.5 apg
Adonis De La Rosa, Sophomore, Center, 3.8 ppg, 3.7 rpg
Desmond Ridenour, Junior, Guard, 4.3 ppg, 1.6 apg
By the Numbers:
Scoring Offense: 76.5 (105th in nation, 8th in conference)
Scoring Defense: 71.9 (168, 4)
Field-Goal Percentage: 42.6 (265, 10)
Field-Goal Defense: 42.9 (132, 5)
Three-Point Field Goals Per Game: 7.0 (214, 7)  
Three-Point Field-Goal Percentage: 31.0 (323, 10)
Free-Throw Percentage: 71.9 (120, 4)
Rebound Margin: 6.0 (26, 1)
Assists Per Game: 12.6 (236, 8)
Turnovers Per Game: 13.5 (224, 9)
Recent Postseason Appearances:
2015    CIT      First Round win over Middle Tennessee
2015    CIT      Second Round win over Texas A&M Corpus Christi
2015    CIT      Quarterfinal loss to Northern Arizona
2013    CIT      First Round win over Fairfield
2013    CIT      Second Round loss to Loyola (MD)
2012    CIT      First Round loss to USC Upstate
2011    NIT      First Round win over Saint Mary's
2011    NIT      Second Round win over Fairfield
2011    NIT      Quarterfinal loss to Colorado
2010    NIT      First Round win over Tulsa
2010    NIT      Second Round loss to Illinois
2009    CIT      First Round loss to Oakland
2008    NCAA Round of 64 loss to UNLV
2006    NCAA Round of 64 Loss to Pittsburgh
*all team stats through 3/5