#115 Kent State Men's Basketball 2013-2014 Preview

Kent State Golden Flashes

2013-2014 Overall Rank: #115
Conference Rank: #3 MAC

Kent State Team Page#115 Kent State Men's Basketball 2013-2014 PreviewBuy Kent State Basketball Tickets

The power in the MAC could be switching a little bit from the East to the West. Although with teams like Akron, Ohio, Buffalo and Bowling Green joining Kent State in the East, it will still be an extremely competitive division. The Golden Flashes finished third in the division last season and have some rebuilding to do with the loss of their top two scorers. However, Coach Rob Senderoff has done a great job of filling in the holes and this is a group that should get back to the postseason. Much will depend on the play of point guard Kris Brewer. Brewer performed quite well as a sophomore, proving to be a capable scorer, shooter and distributor. Yet, his turnover numbers were a little high and it will be interesting to see if he spends any time off of the ball to help replace the departed scoring provided by Chris Evans and Randal Holt.

2012-13 Record: 21-14, 9-7
2012-13 Postseason: CIT
Coach: Rob Senderoff
Coach Record: 42-26 at Kent State, 42-26 overall

Who’s Out:
Evans was pretty much unstoppable in MAC play. The 6-8 forward had a very developed offensive game and he could shoot over smaller defenders or back them down in the paint. Against tougher defenders, he could use his quick first step to get around them. On top of his scoring, Evans averaged a team high 7.7 rebounds and 1.9 steals. He even dished out 2.1 assists per contest. Holt was the most prolific shooter on the team and would take many of the big shots for Kent State. He did much of his scoring from beyond the arc, but he could get to the basket and finish as well. Bryson Pope, who never got his game going effectively last season but did play in all 35 contests, and freshman wing Earvin Morris have left the program.

Who’s In:
Coach Senderoff needed to find some immediate impact players in the backcourt and he found three of them. Transfers Derek Jackson, K.K. Simons and Devin Carter will all suit up for Kent State this season. Jackson spent the 2010-2011 and the 2011-2012 seasons with conference foe Central Michigan. He was a starter most of those two seasons. During his last season with the Chippewas, Jackson averaged 11.5 points and 1.8 steals. He is a superb outside shooter and will be as close as this team can come to replacing Holt. Simons averaged 7.0 points per game two years ago as a freshman with UNC-Wilmington. At 6-4, he has nice size and will use it to attack the basket and help out a little on the glass too. Carter spent one season in the junior college ranks and will bring a ton of versatility to the Flashes backcourt. Carter can run the point or play anywhere on the wing. He is a big time scorer and could end up providing depth all over the backcourt this season. The other newcomers are redshirt freshman wing Tyler Scott and incoming freshman power forward Marquiez Lawrence. With the overall depth the team has returning, neither will be asked to provide too much help right away.

Who to Watch:
The frontcourt may need some help off of the bench from Lawrence or Scott, but they can also play a little smaller and move a player like Darren Goodson to the four spot in a pinch. Goodson, a 6-5, 245 pound senior is a wing, but he has the strength to battle in the paint against most opposing power forwards in the Mid-American Conference. He is a capable shooter, but is generally more productive pushing people around in the paint and creating space for himself that way. Mark Henniger could emerge as the top traditional post scoring threat. The 6-9 senior only averaged 4.7 points per game last year, but there are more shots to go around now. Melvin Tabb, another 6-9 senior, will look to boost his production as well. He averaged just 13.6 minutes per contest last season, but proved to be quite productive during those minutes. With sophomores Chris Ortiz and Khaliq Spicer gaining valuable experience as freshmen, it is unlikely that Coach Senderoff will have to rely on Goodson or the freshmen to spend much time at the power forward or center positions, barring a rash of injuries.

Final Projection:
Devareaux Manley and Kellon Thomas will compete with the newcomers for minutes. Thomas is dealing with some injury issues, although he is expected to be back to 100 percent by the time the season kicks off. He will be the primary backup for Brewer at the point if he can stay healthy. Manley is an interesting prospect. He will probably stay with the sixth man type of role again this season, but that is what he is good at. He came in off of the bench last season and knocked down 42.9 percent of his attempts from long range. Even if the newcomers are ready to go from day one, Manley will find a role with this team as a shooter who can spark the offense. And with the top two scorers gone from last year, Kent State does need to find some new scorers. Thus, the offense could be surprisingly stagnant at times and make Manley’s offense even more important. By conference play, Coach Senderoff will have his rotation figured out and the new guys will be moving along nicely. Replacements will be found for the scoring lost with Evans and Holt and once again Kent State will be right in the mix for a MAC title. They may fall short, but they should be good enough to get back to a postseason tournament like the CIT.

Projected Postseason Tournament: CBI/CIT

Projected Starting Five:
Kris Brewer, Junior, Guard, 9.1 points per game
Derek Jackson, Junior, Guard, DNP last season
Darren Goodson, Senior, Guard, 8.4 points per game
Mark Henniger, Senior, Forward, 4.7 points per game
Melvin Tabb, Senior, Forward, 3.9 points per game

By the Numbers:
Scoring Offense: 71.0 (82nd in nation, 3rd in conference)
Scoring Defense: 67.8 (201, 8)
Field-Goal Percentage: 42.8 (196, 7)
Field-Goal Defense: 43.4 (205, 9)
Three-Point Field Goals Per Game: 6.9 (97, 4)  
Three-Point Field-Goal Percentage: 36.0 (76, 1)
Free-Throw Percentage: 70.9 (118, 4)
Rebound Margin: 1.2 (139, 5)
Assists Per Game: 11.5 (265, 10)
Turnovers Per Game: 12.8 (134, 3)


See All Top 144 Basketball Previews