Men's Basketball Preview: Miami at Kent State

By Allen Moff | Staff Writer Published:

What: Senior Night.

Records: Miami (11-16, 7-9 MAC), Kent State (16-13, 7-9 MAC).

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

Radio: WHLO 640 AM.

Head Coaches: John Cooper, Miami (20-38, 2nd year at Miami; 63-89 overall); Rob Senderoff, Kent State (58-39, 3rd season).

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

Series: Miami leads 86-47, but the Flashes have won three in a row, including a 75-61 triumph in Oxford on Feb. 19.

Scouting Miami

After dropping their fifth game in a row to Kent State on Feb. 19, the RedHawks bounced back with home wins over Bowling Green (55-52) and Akron (65-61) — but then got drubbed 78-55 at Buffalo on Saturday. They are 4-11 on the road this season. ... Miami leads the MAC in free-throw shooting at 75 percent, including 77.5 percent against league foes, and is second in steals (8.7 spg) behind MAC leader Quinten Rollins (6-foot senior guard, 2.5 spg). ... Senior forward Will Felder (6-7), one of the conference’s better big men, leads Miami in scoring (14.4 ppg) and rebounding (6.7 rpg). He scored 23 points (11-of-13 free throws) in the first matchup with KSU this year. Other top performers include 6-3 sophomore guard Geovonie McKnight (9.8 points, 3.7 rebounds) and 6-3 junior guard Will Sullivan (8.7 points, MAC-best 43 percent from 3-point). ... Miami ranks last in the MAC in 3-point field-goal percentage defense (38.6 percent), while Kent State ranks first in 3-point field-goal percentage (35.5 percent).

Flash Facts

Kent State will honor seniors Mark Henniger and Darren Goodson before tonight’s regular-season home finale. If the Flashes win tonight, they’ll have an excellent chance to secure a top-eight seed and a first-round home game in the MAC Tournament on Monday. ... KSU is fresh off an impressive 75-61 victory at Ohio on Saturday, turning in arguably its best overall performance of the season. ... The Flashes are 203-42 at the M.A.C. Center over the past 16 seasons, but are just 11-6 overall and 4-4 against MAC foes at home in 2013-14. ... Junior guard Kris Brewer leads Kent State in scoring at 12.2 points per game, followed by fellow junior guards Derek Jackson (11.3 ppg) and Devareaux Manley (9.7 points, 39.7 percent 3-pointers). Goodson’s average has slipped to 9.3 points, as he’s failed to crack double figures in six straight games. Henniger leads the team in rebounding (5.1 rpg), and averages 7.3 points per contest. ... The Flashes are making a run at reaching 19 wins for the 16th consecutive year. They close the regular season Friday at Akron.

Senderoff on Miami

“They turn teams over a ton. They play four guards for about 60 percent of the game, so they’re going to have some matchups that they can exploit. We’ll have to do a good job as a team defensively, keeping them out of the lane, limiting their points off turnovers and creating turnovers ourselves. They’re willing to give up some (good) looks to create turnovers. We’ll need to handle their pressure and take care of the basketball, and we’ll have to do a good job on the glass. Defensively, Felder went to the free-throw line 13 times (in the first game this year) so we’ll have to do a better job on him while also getting out to their shooters.”

Senderoff on Senior Night

“It’s gonna be a special day for Mark and Darren. As you want to do with all seniors, you want to honor their commitment to the program. Our players need to find a way to play hard and play well for those guys and for everything they’ve meant to our program.”

Countdown to Akron: 3 days.

Email: amoff@recordpub.com

Phone: 330-541-9445

Twitter: @AllenMoff_RC

Facebook: Allen Moff, Record-Courier

Want to leave your comments?

Sign in or Register to comment.