Men's Basketball Preview: Kent State at Miami

By Allen Moff | Staff Writer Published:

Records: Kent State (14-11, 5-7 MAC), Miami (9-14, 5-7 MAC).

When/Where: Tonight, 7 p.m./Millett Hall in Oxford.

Radio: WHLO 640 AM.

Head Coaches: Rob Senderoff, Kent State (56-37, 3rd season); John Cooper, Miami (18-36, 2nd year at Miami; 61-87 overall).

2012-13 Records: Kent State 21-14, 9-7 MAC; Miami 9-22, 3-13.

Series: Miami leads 86-46. The Flashes earned a pair of lopsided victories last year, 87-70 in Kent and 78-58 in Oxford.

Scouting Miami

After getting off to a surprisingly solid 4-2 start in MAC play the RedHawks have struggled, losing four in a row and five of their past six. They are 5-4 at Millett Hall, where the Flashes have traditionally struggled (14-49). ... Miami leads the MAC in free-throw shooting at 76.2 percent, including 81.1 percent against league foes, and also tops the conference in steals (8.6 spg) behind MAC leader Quinten Rollins (6-foot senior guard, 2.4 spg). ... Senior forward Will Felder (6-7), one of the conference's better big men, leads Miami in scoring (14.3 ppg) and rebounding (7.2 rpg). Other top performers include 6-3 sophomore guard Geovonie McKnight (9.9 points, 3.7 rebounds) and 6-3 junior guard Will Sullivan (8.8 points, 45 percent from 3-point). ... Miami ranks last in the MAC in 3-point field-goal percentage defense (37.8 percent) and rebounding margin (-3.1).

Flash Facts

After falling to 3-7 in league play, their worst MAC record after 10 games since the 1994-95 season, Kent State bounced back with home wins over Bowling Green and Central Michigan last week. But the Flashes have dropped four straight on the road and are just 3-6 away from the M.A.C. Center. ... Junior guard Derek Jackson is KSU's leading scorer by one point over junior point guard Kris Brewer. Both average 11.4 points per game. Jackson, the team's top perimeter defender, also contributes 3.6 rebound and 2 steals per contest. Brewer emerged from a lengthy shooting slump by shooting 5-of-7 from the field and 4-of-5 from 3-point range for 14 points in the victory over CMU on Saturday. He averages a team-high 3 assists per game. ... Senior forward Darren Goodson also averages double-figure points (10 ppg) along with 4.1 rebounds and 2.6 assists, while senior forward Mark Henniger leads the team in rebounding (5.2 rpg). ... Senderoff started sophomores Chris Ortiz, Khaliq Spicer and Kellon Thomas against CMU, and they are expected to remain in the lineup tonight. Ortiz and Thomas both set career highs with 17 points against the Chippewas.

Senderoff on Miami

"They're really, really good at turning you over, and they're very good at creating points off of your turnovers. So taking care of the basketball is a huge key for us. We're gonna have to attack inside-out, similar to the way we played against Central Michigan (83-75 win on Saturday). They're not a great interior defensive team. Then we're gonna have to get to the offensive glass. They're not a very good rebounding team, and neither are we, but we have to do a good job there. They play a lot of times with four perimeter players, similar to us. They play a lot of zone and mix up their defenses. But the biggest issue for us is taking care of the basketball. It's a game where if we have 10 turnovers or less we will have a good chance to win, but if we're at 18 turnovers like we were at Central Michigan (78-73 OT loss) then it's gonna be really difficult for us to win."

Senderoff on Kent State

"We've had a couple good days of practice. Our guys are actually in a pretty decent state of mind right now."

Email: amoff@recordpub.com

Phone: 330-541-9445

Twitter: @AllenMoff_RC

Facebook: Allen Moff, Record-Courier

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