Men's Basketball Preview: Kent State at Miami

By Allen Moff | Staff Writer Published:

Men's Basketball

Kent State at Miami

n Who: Kent State (16-12, 6-7 MAC) vs. Miami (8-18, 3-10 MAC).

n When/Where: Today, 3 p.m./Millett Hall in Oxford.

n Radio: WHLO 640 AM.

n Head Coaches: Rob Senderoff, Kent State (37-24, 2nd season); John Cooper, Miami (8-18, 1st season).

n First Matchup: Kent State defeated the RedHawks 87-70 in Kent on Feb. 13.

n Series: Miami leads 86-45.

n Kent State Leaders: Senior forward Chris Evans ranks among the top five in the MAC in scoring (4th, 16.9 ppg), rebounding (5th, 7.6 rpg) and steals (4th, 1.9 spg), and is shooting 50.2 percent from the field. Senior guard Randal Holt is second on the team in scoring (14.3 ppg) and leads the MAC in 3-pointers made (71) while shooting 37.4 percent from long range. Sophomore guard Kris Brewer is third on the team in scoring (9.4 ppg) and leads the MAC in 3-point field-goal percentage (44.6 percent).

n Scouting Miami: The RedHawks are struggling, dropping six in a row and 10 of their last 11. They have also lost five straight and seven of their last eight at home. ... Miami is led by 6-foot-3 junior guard Allen Roberts, who averages 13 points per game, followed by 6-7 junior forward Will Felder (11 points, 5 rebounds). Six-foot junior guard Quinton Rollins averages 3.9 assists per game off the bench and ranks third in the MAC in steals (2 spg). The RedHawks rank second in the conference in steals (8.7 spg), but are last in rebounding margin (negative-5.2). They are also 11th in 3-point field-goal percentage defense (.380), while Kent State ranks first in 3-point field goal percentage (.364). The Flashes made 10 shots from long range in the first meeting of the season between the two teams, which was never close.

n Flash Facts: Kent State has won four of its last five games and finished 5-2 in the month of February, the second-best record in the MAC. However, the Flashes have lost four straight in Oxford. ... Evans banked in a five-footer at the buzzer in overtime to give Kent State an 83-81 come-from-behind home victory over Buffalo last Wednesday. ... The Flashes currently own the No. 4 seed for the upcoming MAC Tournament, which would give them a bye into the quarterfinals. They can secure the fourth seed by winning their last three league games, and have a great shot at nailing that seed down by winning two of their last three. They close by hosting Bowling Green on Tuesday, then visiting MAC unbeaten Akron on Friday.

n Senderoff on Miami: "It's different because we played them just a couple weeks ago. We're gonna have to take care of the basketball, we're gonna have to play really hard for 40 minutes, and we're gonna have to defend in the half court and keep them out of the paint. They play four guards, and if they turn you over they get easy baskets. And if you extend your defense too much and get out of position, they have four guards that can drive you and make plays. They have a good post player in Will Felder, and we've had problems with post players. We're gonna have to dig the ball out and not let him get deep position. We've just gotta go out there and try to find a way to take care of business on the road. If we can gut out a road win like we did against Loyola that'll get us to .500 in the league and continue the momentum that we've built in February. That's what you want, to be building momentum in February and March."

n Next: The Golden Flashes will host Bowling Green (12-16, 6-7 MAC) Tuesday at 7 p.m.

-- Allen Moff

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