Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Preparing for the Princeton Offense


Following practice Monday night, we talked with Kent State assistant coach DeAndre Haynes about today's game against Princeton. Haynes was the designated scout for the game against the Tigers, who are known for running an offensive system different than every other teams int he country. While there are imitators, there is only one Princeton Offense....

DeAndre Haynes
Princeton runs an offense that you rarely see. And they have a really good team. We’re not used to playing teams that have guys 1-5 who can dribble the ball and shoot the ball. One of their strengths is shooting the ball. They’re probably one of the best 3-point shooting teams in the country. Our guys haven’t really played a team like this and tomorrow is going to be a challenge for us.

We didn’t prepare any differently for this game than others. Last game, we didn’t give enough effort on the defensive side. Going into this game our coaching staff has stressed to our guys that we have to play 40 minutes of defense and 40 minutes of great communication.

They’re patient and run their offense. We have to do a much better job of defending for 35 seconds at a time and then making sure we get the rebound when they miss. It can be deflated to defend well for that long and then allow them to get another chance at soring the ball. Princeton is a tough team to defend because of how skilled all of their players are. Their point guard will look to postup on the block and their bigs can shoot and pass. Our guys have to do a good job of pressuring the ball but not get beat off the dribble.

If you play off their guys, it allows them to make better reads in their offense and find a guy for a layup off a backcut. Not putting pressure on their post players when they catch the ball away from the basket is like allowing Peyton Manning to stand in the pocket and shred the defense down the field. If we come out and pressure them the way we’re supposed to, we will have a chance to win the game on the road. It would be a really big win for us since they haven’t lost at home. We’ve really stressed playing defense. One thing we can do is score the ball, but we have to get stops.

It’s good that were in the road against a top 100 RPI team to get us ready for MAC. Our first game is against Ohio University, which is a good team and a well-coached team as well. It’s going to be another big challenge for us so this game should give us confidence and motivation going into the league. 

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Temple wins gives early boost in confidence

By Kris Brewer
Junior, Point Guard


We beat Temple Monday night, which was a really good win for us. It was the first road game of the year and the game was on ESPNU, so it’s always extra special to be able to win on national TV.

Temple is a really good team and doesn’t lose much at home. We were down most of the game, but we knew we could get the victory if we kept playing hard. In the timeout huddles, I kept telling my teammates to keep playing with confidence.

I wasn’t clicking on offense, but my teammates believed in me and told me to shoot with confidence. That’s what I did at the end. On the play scored, we ran a ballscreen for me with D-Good at the top of the key. I just dragged the screen out and saw the lane open, so I just took it with confidence and made the shot.

Then we got a stop on D and they fouled me. We huddled up before the free throws and everybody was just telling me to be a pro and make the free throws. So I just had to make them for my teammates.

On the big charge, I knew he was going to come into me, so I just did what I had to do for the team and we came out victorious. The coaches expect me to make big plays, so I just had to do it for my coaches and teammates.

The win as very big for us and gives us a lot of confidence going into the game tonight. It’s going to be a great game. I think we can really beat Seton Hall. 

Monday, November 4, 2013

Looking back on some of the top moments from 2012-13


With the beginning of a new season only a few days away, we will be taking a look at three of the top moments of Kent State basketball from last season.

It was certainly an exciting season, as the Golden Flashes recorded their 14th 20-win season in the last 15 years and advanced to the second round of the CollegeInsider.com Tournament.

In 18 home games at the M.A.C. Center, fans were treated to some great finishes. Three games went to overtime and five games came down to the final possession. Randal Holt made a pair of game-winners with only a few seconds to play against Bethune-Cookman and Fairfield. And then there was Chris Evans’ buzzer-beater that kissed off the glass against Buffalo. 

Speaking of Evans, remember when his dunk over Zeke Marshall at the MAC Tournament made it on the #SCTop10? In case you forgot, it looked something like this.

While Chris is now playing professionally in Greece, you can expect the Flashes to continue to make plays above the rim. Check out these plays by Khaliq Spicer and Mark Henniger from this summer.

video

video


What was your favorite moment from the 2012-13 season? Let us know in the comments below and be sure to check KentStateSports.com to see if your moment is among the three that we’ve chosen. We will reveal one moment each day with the first video being released this afternoon.

Friday, November 1, 2013

Media Day Outtakes


With the beginning of the 2013-14 basketball season just around the corner, the Kent State basketball programs met with members of the media this past Wednesday to discuss their outlook on the season. On the men's side, 3rd-year head coach Rob Senderoff was joined by this year's captains: senior Mark Henniger and Darren Goodson and junior Kris Brewer. Here is some of what they had to say....


Head coach Rob Senderoff
Opening statement:
"We're looking forward to the season starting a week from Friday. For a basketball fan, this is a great time of the year. I think our kids are ready to start it up soon. Our coaches are, and hopefully our students and fans in the community will be there with us starting next Friday."

What the starting lineup looks like for opening night:
"These 3 guys are returning starters from last year. There are still some decisions to be made regarding the other 2 spots, although I’d say I’m 90% sure with both of them. But more importantly, the rotation behind them is still very much up for grabs. It changes day-by-day. This isn’t like football where the starter gets most of the reps and the backup rarely plays. "

Expectations of a more balanced offense this season:
"We played 4 games in the Bahamas this summer, and we had nobody average over 13 points and 7 guys that averaged 9 or above.  I think there’s certainly more balance than last year’s team. But at the same time, guys have to step up."

Overall versatility of the this year’s team:
"Kris (Brewer) can play at any of the perimeter positions. He’s most comfortable playing the point because that’s his position. K.K. Simmons has received a ton of reps at the point in our practices. Devin Carter is very comfortable with the ball in his hands. So there’s a lot of versatility around the perimeter, and even up front. Melvin was strictly a center last year. I think the way that we’re playing and the things that we’re doing I could play any combination of frontcourt guys, including Marquiez Lawrence whose been playing well as of late."

Expectations of his 3 captains:
"I’m not expecting them every night to be the 3 best players on our team, but they need to lead our team every night whether it’s going well for them or not going well for them.

Darren has to be a facilitator and score when the opportunity arises for him. I’ve told him many times that I think he’s the passing frontcourt guy in the conference, but he has to go out and do that every night.

Mark has to be our most vocal defender, our best frontcourt defender, he’s got to become a better rebounder, and he’ll get the ball thrown to him a bit more than he did last year. Defensive rebounding is going to be huge for us.

I’ve told Kris this a lot, I expect him to be the best player on the floor most nights that we play. If he’s not the best player on the floor, then he certainly can’t be any worse than the 3rd-best player on the floor.

That’s pretty high expectations for all of them, and now they have to go do it. That’s what I want from these guys, and I know that’s what they want. Nobody else thinks that of these guys except me. Otherwise, they would have gotten some kind of recognition. But that’s fine because that’s why you play the games."

The defensive ability of junior guard Derek Jackson:
"He’s got great anticipation skills. He’s got great feet. He’s active. And it’s a priority for him. Kris (Brewer) could be the best defensive player. He’s biggest, most athletic, fastest guard in the league."

The improvement of senior forward Mark Henniger:
Mark’s been much better than last season. He’s more confident in the post and just a more confident player. This is the most he’s weighed at this point in his career. He’s at about 230 right now. And he’s always dropped down, but now he’s been pretty consistently at 230.

Keys for success this year:
"Unselfishness is going to be important because I don’t know that we have a guy that will average 17 points per game like Chris Evans did for us last year. Everybody has individual goals, so sometimes you have to take a little bit of a backset to your individual stuff for the team stuff. I think we have a very unselfish team this year. We also have to play with a defensive mindset and a rebounding mindset. We’re not very big. Darren starts at the power forward spot, so to speak, and we don’t have a big wing like Chris Evans. We have to defensive rebound as a team, positions 1-5."

Senior forward Darren Goodson
What he wants to be known as this season:
"I just want be able to step up when the team needs me. Whether it’s being vocal in the game or getting a bucket or and 1, I want to be that person they can go to."

What he learned from focusing on being more of a distributor late last season:
"I saw that my passing helped somebody else get a shot. To see Dev Manley or Randal knock down a wide open shot, it got the team up to play defense. Becoming more of an unselfish player helped my game out as well. When I see the lane open, defenders have to stay with guys because they know I’ll pass it, and it helped me get to the hole easier."

Senior forward Mark Henniger
His improvement in the offseason:
"Last year, I got more playing time so I got more experience in the league. I think that helped my confidence out. Just being in the weight room more was really big because I could play more how I want to play when I got stronger. This year, I was here all summer long and was lifting all of the time to get stronger."

 
Junior guard Kris Brewer
His role on defense this season:
"It’s more of a focus this season. As one of the team leaders, I should be one be one of our best defenders on the court."

How he can contribute on nights he's not at his best:
I just want to be the leader out there and be vocal. I have to get my teammates going and have them on their ‘A’ game.