By Darren Goodson
We’ve been having really good practices to get ready for the season. Coach Senderoff is trying to get us used to playing hard all the time, just like it’s always been at Kent State. Other schools know that the teams here always play hard.
We’re trying to get back to playing Kent State D and that’s what the emphasis has been in practice. It’s not just worrying about yourself and your man not scoring. Playing team defense—being able to help and recover—is going to be important.
I don’t think offense is going to be a problem this year. It wasn’t a problem last year either, and I feel like we have so many guys that can score on this team. Kris Brewer is one of our captains and will be in charge of running the offense. He’s a really talented point guard, and I feel like people are sleeping on him going into the year.
A lot of the guys we have back are really stepping up their game and will be ready to impact this team positively. I have to start off with Dev Manley. He is a pure shooter. I’ve never played with anybody that can shoot the ball like him. It’s just crazy the way that man can shoot the ball. Another guy is Mark Henniger. Some people on the outside looking in might not believe in Henny, but I believe in him. Henny’s had a great offseason and has gotten stronger. He’s always had the game and its really starting to show. Every day in practice, he kills it going up against the other the bigs.
All of our newcomers have fit in well and are going to make us a better team. Derek Jackson is one of the best defenders that I have ever played with. That man loves to play defense! I think Coach Senderoff puts us on the same team in practice on purpose for defensive drills so that I get into trying to play defense. D. Jack cherishes defense. His defense is his offense. He’ll turn the ball over and then he’ll go get a steal the next possession.
K.K. Simmons is another one of our new guys that is really going to help us out. He practiced with us last year and is ready to contribute on game night. K.K.’s not playing his natural position but he’s getting better everyday at the point. And he’s another one that knocks down 3’s. Kris Brewer and I were talking about it the other day because he barely misses.
We want to show teams that Kent State is back. I honestly think that we are going to win the MAC. I know every player in the conference is saying the same thing, but I just feel like this team is so good and can’t wait to get out on the court and let our play do the talking for us.