Men's Basketball Preview: Central Michigan at Kent State

By Allen Moff | Staff Writer Published:

MEN'S BASKETBALL

CENTRAL MICHIGAN AT KENT STATE

Who: Central Michigan (9-13, 2-7 MAC) vs. Kent State (12-11, 3-6 MAC).

When/Where: Tonight, 7 p.m./M.A.C. Center.

Radio: WHLO 640 AM.

Head Coaches: Keno Davis, Central Michigan (9-13, 1st season at CMU); Rob Senderoff, Kent State (33-23, 2nd season).

2011-12 Records: Central Michigan 11-21, 5-11 MAC; Kent State 21-12, 10-6 MAC.

Series: Kent State leads 42-29.

Last Season: The Flashes earned a 67-60 road win over the Chippewas.

Kent State Leaders: Senior forward Chris Evans ranks among the top six in the MAC in scoring (4th, 16.7 ppg), rebounding (6th, 7.0) and steals (4th, 1.9 spg). Senior guard Randal Holt is second on the team in scoring (14.0 ppg) and leads the MAC in 3-pointers made (57), while sophomore guard Kris Brewer is third in scoring (8.9 ppg).

Scouting Central Michigan: The only team in the MAC that returns less minutes played than Kent State this season is Central Michigan, which has just 27 percent of its minutes returning compared to KSUs's 34 percent. ... The Chippewas have lost five in a row and seven of their last eight, and are 1-8 on the road (0-4 against MAC teams). However, they gave MAC unbeaten Akron quite a tussle on the road on Tuesday. Central Michigan led for most of the game and trailed by just one with 2:23 left before eventually falling 68-56. ... The Chippewas are led by 5-foot-10 senior guard Kyle Randall, who ranks third in the MAC in scoring at 17.1 points per game. Randall has scored 20 or more in each of the past three games. No other CMU player averages double-figure points, but 6-0 freshman guard Chris Fowler ranks fourth in the conference in assists (5.0 apg).

Flash Facts: Kent State will wrap up cross-division play tonight against Central Michigan. ... The Flashes have lost five of their last six games, and three of those losses have come against the top three teams in the MAC -- Akron, Ohio and Western Michigan. They were up by one or tied in each of those three games with around two minutes to play. They also lost to host Northern Illinois at the buzzer. ... Kent State has won 11 in a row and 18 of the last 19 games against the Chippewas. ... Junior forward Darren Goodson has emerged as a consistent third scorer for Kent State in the past seven games, averaging 12.3 points during that stretch.

Senderoff on Central Michigan: "They try to play as fast as anybody in the league, and they shoot the 3 from every position on the court. So our ability to get back in transition, and then our ability to guard the 3-point line, are going to be really key defensive things for us. We'll have to do a good job on the glass, especially the offensive glass, and we'll have to take care of the basketball, which we've done a good job of of late. We just can't have any slippage. We need to defend the way we're capable of defending. They're just as inexperienced as we are. They've shown some moments when they've played really well. (Randall) is a fifth-year senior, a transfer from UNC-Greensboro. He's a really, really good guard. He plays both guard positions and he has a lot of freedom offensively. He's a really good shooter, a phenomenal free-throw shooter (86.7 percent), and he does a good job of drawing fouls on his drives. He's gonna be an important guy for us to defend. Kris Brewer will start on him, and we'll probably at different points in the game have a number of different guys guard him."

Next: The Golden Flashes will host Miami (8-13, 3-6) on Wednesday at 7 p.m.

-- Allen Moff

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