#69 Cleveland State Men's Basketball 2014-2015 Preview

Cleveland State Vikings

2014-2015 Overall Rank: #69
Conference Rank: #1 Horizon

Cleveland State Team Page#69 Cleveland State Men's Basketball 2014-2015 PreviewBuy Cleveland State Basketball Tickets

Until March, Cleveland State was having a great year. The Vikings went 12-4 in Horizon League play and had some nice wins over fellow mid-majors in non-conference play. But the Vikings were upset by Wright State in the conference tournament and lost at Ohio in the CIT. Charlie Lee will look to carry this team to more success in March in 2015. The point guard is a very good outside shooter and also dished out 4.1 assists per game, while committing just 1.9 turnovers. While his shot was not falling last March, Lee did dish out 16 assists and committed a mere two turnovers during the team’s three games in the month of March.

2013-14 Record: 21-12, 12-4
2013-14 Postseason: CIT
Coach: Gary Waters
Coach Record: 157-112 at Cleveland State, 328-247 overall

Who’s Out:
Some unexpected departures have hurt Cleveland State’s talent level, most notably that of Bryn Forbes, who opted to transfer to Michigan State. Forbes led the team with 15.6 points per game and was a big reason why this team ranked third in the country in three-point field-goal percentage. Also gone is versatile sixth man Jon Harris, who averaged 10.2 points and 5.8 rebounds. Sebastian Douglas and Devon Long were also reserves for much of the 2013-2014 campaign. On a team with a slew of talented guards who could shoot, the slashing Douglas fell out of favor during his junior campaign. He still averaged 8.1 points per game and did give Coach Gary Waters some size on the perimeter though. Ismaila Dauda, Raphael Veira and Ludovic Ndaye all saw just a few minutes here and there during the final season with CSU.

Who’s In:
Four starters are back, but after that this team does not have a lot of bodies. Just about all of the depth, and then some, must come from this group of newcomers. However, all but two of the newcomers are freshmen. The exceptions are Creighton transfer Andre Yates and junior college transfer Vinny Zollo. Yates played one season at Creighton and barely saw the floor. But he is a talented combo guard who can do a lot of things. CSU fans should also like the fact that he hails from Dunbar High School in Dayton, the same program that brought recent stars Norris Cole and Aaron Pogue to Cleveland State. Zollo, who also spent a season at Western Kentucky before hitting the juco ranks, is a versatile 6-8 forward who can stretch out the opposing defense with his shooting ability. The five freshmen are led by shooting guard Terrell Hales. The 6-4 guard is versatile and a great defender. Coach Waters could put him in the starting lineup for his defense alone. But the team needs some shooters on the wing too and Kenny Carpenter, Derek Sloan and walk-on Tim Hasbargen will look to fill that void. Power forward Jonothan Janssen could be thrown into the frontcourt fire right away but, unlike in the backcourt, the frontcourt does have a little returning depth.

Who to Watch:
Trey Lewis, Anton Grady and Marlin Mason figure to join Lee in the starting lineup again this season. Lewis transferred in from Penn State and had a great debut campaign for CSU, averaging 13.1 points, 3.4 assists and 3.7 rebounds. Lewis shot 36.9 percent from long range, which is very low for this team, but he can certainly make shots both inside and out. Anton Grady is the interior scorer. The 6-8 junior averaged 10.4 points and a team high 6.8 rebounds as a sophomore and came back strong from an injury that sidelined him during the 2012-2013 campaign. Grady is a great talent and he should develop into one of the better scorers in the Horizon League. He is also a pretty good defender. So is Grady’s frontcourt mate Marlin Mason. Mason, like Grady, averaged 1.0 block per game last season. While Mason is not going to score too much, he is a nice complimentary piece to Grady.

Final Projection:
The four key returning players are extremely good and they could beat some conference foes five-on-four. But that is not going to win this team many games. Coach Waters has to find more players who can be productive…preferably four players so there is actually some decent depth. Outside of the newcomers, CSU can look to Demonte Flannigan and Aaron Scales for minutes. Flannigan, a 6-7 forward, played just 100 minutes during his freshman season, but at least he has some experience. Scales is the biggest player on the roster at 6-9 and 260 pounds. He redshirted last season after averaging 1.5 points and 1.2 rebounds as a freshman back in 2012-2013. If all goes well and the development of the underclassmen happens quickly, this will be the team to beat in a what should be a very good and competitive conference.

Projected Postseason Tournament: NCAA Tournament

Projected Starting Five:
Charlie Lee, Senior, Guard, 9.8 points per game
Trey Lewis, Junior, Guard, 13.1 points per game
Terrell Hales, Freshman, Guard, DNP last season
Marlin Mason, Senior, Forward, 5.9 points per game
Anton Grady, Junior, Forward, 6.8 points per game

By the Numbers:
Scoring Offense: 73.0 (105th in nation, 4th in conference)
Scoring Defense: 66.2 (73, 3)
Field-Goal Percentage: 46.9 (48, 2)
Field-Goal Defense: 41.8 (83, 3)
Three-Point Field Goals Per Game: 7.3 (75, 3)
Three-Point Field-Goal Percentage: 40.4 (3, 1)
Free-Throw Percentage: 75.3 (14, 1)
Rebound Margin: 1.9 (121, 3)
Assists Per Game: 14.2 (64, 4)
Turnovers Per Game: 12.5 (201, 4)


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