Wednesday, February 5, 2014

One Long Trip to Central and Eastern Michigan

By David Carducci
Director of New Media

The Kent State men's basketball team is on the road for its longest trip of the Mid-American Conference season with stops at Central Michigan tonight and Eastern Michigan on Saturday.

Equipment loaded into team bus

The five-day trip started off Tuesday with a long, six-hour bus trip to Mount Pleasant. Lunch is always waiting for us when we board the bus at the M.A.C. Center, and like most teams, movies help us pass the time while we travel to each visiting town. The Rush Hour and Bad Boys movies are player favorites, with coaches mixing in movies like Captain Phillips from time to time.

Darren Goodson arrives at the M.A.C.
Center to catch team bus to Michigan
After a short stop for dinner, the Kent State team bus rolled in to the McGuirk Arena at around 8:30 p.m. for a short practice that opened with Darren Goodson beating head coach Rob Senderoff in a free-throw shooting competition as the rest of the Kent State players were pulling on their practice gear.

The pre-practice Goodson vs. Senderoff battles from the foul line have become a staple of every road trip with coach getting the better of player most of the time. Tuesday night's win led to a celebration by Goodson that was almost as animated as his dash to the south stands on Saturday night when he beat Akron University on a banked-in, 28-foot three-pointer with 1.6 seconds on the clock.

Radio voice Ty Linder and trainer
Brad Pruett wait for lunch on team bus
"I never beat him at free throws," said Goodson. "We've done this probably 20 times now, and I think I've only beaten him once before tonight."

On Tuesday, Goodson and Senderoff both made 8-of-10, forcing five extra shots with Goodson making four compared to the the coach's three.

Goodson stayed on a roll as he sank a shot from half court during practice as the Flashes moved form one drill to another.

After practice, we checked into the team hotel with players meeting late to go over film on Central Michigan.

Pre-practice battle of free throws: Goodson vs. Senderoff
Today is a typical game day schedule:

10:15 a.m. ... breakfast

11:45 a.m. ... depart for McGuirk Arena for a 12-to-1 p.m. shootaround

2:45 p.m. ... Film study with a personnel edit and a pre game meal.

Then a little after 5 p.m. we will head back to McGuirk to face Central Michigan.

We stay in Mount Pleasant again tonight before leaving for Ypsilanti on Thursday morning.

With that extra day on the road, Kent State's coaches were able to schedule a practice Thursday afternoon at the Detroit Pistons practice facility.

It will also a busy study day with two academic counselors along for the trip to keep players focused on their schoolwork.

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