2008 Kent State Blue Jays Basketball Preview
The Kent State Golden Flashes (28- 7 overall, 13- 3 Mid-American) won the MAC Tournament last year, which got them an invite to the Big Dance. Under coach Jim Christian, the Golden Flash lost to UNLV in round one 71- 58. Christian is gone and has been replaced by four-year assistant Geno Ford. The Flashes’ former head coach leaves Kent State as the guy with the best winning percentage ever—70.4%. But fans should not worry about losing the coach who brought the Golden Flashes program to national prominence. Ford has been mentored by the master and looks ready to go.
The Golden Flashes’ frontcourt lost two big time talents from last season—forwards Haminn Quaintance and Mike Scott. Quaintance had 10.0 PPG, 7.5 RPG and 2.0 BPG, while Scott put up 13.2 PPG and grabbed 6.3 RPG. Junior college forwards Frank Henry-Ala and Anthony Simpson will provide immediate assistance. Dynamic freshman Justin Greene arrives ready to start. Senior forward Rashad Woods (12.5 MPG, 5.2 PPG, 1.8 RPG, 0.3 APG) is solid around the basket, offering able scoring chops. The Kent State frontcourt is definitely in transition.
Guard Al Fisher (31.7 MPG, 13.9 PPG, 3.8 RPG, 4.0 APG), now a senior, was the 2007- 2008 MAC Player of the Year. He’ll anchor the backcourt. Junior Chris Singletary (23.3 MPG, 10.3 PPG, 3.2 RPG, 1.6 APG) lost 15 pounds in the off-season and is expected to be a more dynamic contributor this year. Senior guard Jordan Mincy (22.9 MPG, 2.2 PPG, 1.1 RPG, 2.5 APG) is a fine defender, great ball handler and energizing spirit. Junior Mike McKee (15.8 MPG, 5.5 PPG, 1.4 RPG, 0.5 APG) offers a fine three-point shot.
The backcourt is solid and deep while the front is talented but
a work-in-progress. Kent State looks to take the conference crown
and get back to the Big Dance once again. But it will be tough for
this team to get out of the first round of the Big Dance. One and
done looks to be the forecast. If the young guys upfront mature
quickly, a round two appearance is possible.