YPSILANTI, Mich. —- Watching the Kent State University basketball team you might catch yourself asking – is there anything that this team needs to make them better?
The Golden Flashes have athletes that are big and physical and play bigger than they stand, they have experience in the back court that eases the mind of Kent State University basketball coach Geno Ford and they have a strong bench that Ford is not afraid to go to like a thirsty visitor in a desert looking for a cold drink of anything liquid.
After winning five straight games the Golden Flashes find themselves comfortable in first place in the East Division of the Mid-American Conference but it has not come without its moments for Ford and he knows if his team continues success that the Golden Flashes are going to have to keep the intensity pitch going for an entire game.
“One thing we have not been real good at is when we have gotten leads, really making it no-doubters,” Ford said about his team recent development. “It is hard to do. We have not all year been able to get a game where we have really finished with a thumb on a team and buried them.”
Unlike Kent State University, Eastern Michigan University let a 20 point lead wither away and let another chance for a victory escape them as Miami University walked off of the Convocation Center in front of 1,178 that had their hopes and dreams of a validation victory fall away to the wayside like the snow being pushed off to the side of the road and forgotten.
The RedHawks defeated the Eagles 58-56 but the ending of the game did have some drama as the Eagles guard Derek Thompson rose above the Miami defense at the last second and what appeared to be a shot of epic proportion turned out to be another bitter disappointment for Eagle basketball fans, the players and Eastern Michigan University basketball coach Charles Ramsey.
Ramsey said his team still needs a validation type of win, a statement saying that the Eagles have arrived and are a legitimate team.
Eastern Michigan University is ranked 11 out of 12 teams in the Mid-American Conference and ranked 328th in the nation with a field goal percentage of 38.9 percent only Central Michigan University shoots poorer than the Eagles.
The Eagles have a tendency to fall in love with their perimeter offense and force too many shots from beyond the three point arch and the shooting percentage of 38 percent ties the Eagles in the conference for eighth place with the University of Toledo
Is it a coincident that the field goal percentage and the three point percentage are relatively the same?
When the perimeter offense is not the answer the next option should be getting the ball down low and getting points in the paint but the middle is inconsistent the post play lacks productivity.
Eastern Michigan University senior power forward Brandon Bowdry is a load to handle and he is capable of producing points, he is second in the league scoring average of 20 points but too many opponents are now playing a gimmick style of defense that does not allow Bowdry too much freedom, the opposition is forcing the issue of any another Eagle is invited to become a scoring threat
Bowdry did record his 35th career double-double as an Eagle with 19 points and 11 rebounds against the RedHawks, Bowdry recorded his third Player of the Week in the West Division award from the Mid-American Conference.
The Eagles let too many golden opportunities for scoring points from the free throw line bounce off of the rim by only shooting an unimpressive 64.6 percent from the charity line.
“That is mental,” Ramsey said last Wednesday night. “We work on free throws at the start, in the middle and at the end of practice and that is just something that is just mental.”
The Eagles will be in Kent, Ohio Wednesday night at the M.A.C. Arena, the home of the Golden Flashes, the game scheduled to start at 7 p.m.
The game should be a physical game and played under the basket but Kent State has too much experience in the backcourt and a deeper bench that can produce points.
The physical play will keep the Eagles and the Golden Flashes busy under the glass to grab rebounds, Kent State just has too many offensive weapons and options to give the Eagle any chance of getting back on the Ohio Turnpike with a stolen victory.
“We have just got to keep this thing rolling,” Kent State University swingman Rodriquez Sherman said. “Right now is like a snowball rolling down a hill getting bigger and bigger and we have just got to keep winning and keep it going!”
The Eagles are hoping that their offense heats up long enough and melt that rolling snowball into a puddle of water.
About the Author
Written by Mel Suiter
Graduated from Eastern Michigan University in 2002 and have been working as a beat writer for The Ypsilanti Courier covering Eastern Michigan University football and men's basketball during my school career and after graduation. I like the Mid-American Conference and the rest of the mid-major conferences.