We hope to have the blog back up and running in the not too distant future.
Sorry for any inconvenience.
Can KSU play the role of spoiler tonight and force Akron to sweat out tomorrow night’s Buffalo-Bowling Green game to see if it will claim the MAC tournament’s No. 1 seed as the outright regular-season champion?
A few weeks ago I wrote that Akron would have to lose its last three and “that’s not going to happen,” so I’m pretty stunned by this recent slide. My guess is that they’ll be ready to turn it around tonight, and that will mean KSU will need to put together a 40-minute game – something the Flashes haven’t done of late.
A big key will be how much Justin Greene can do on his injured ankle and on short rest just 48 hours after the win over Ohio. Greene has had a difficult time with Akron 7-footer Zeke Marshall in the past when he has been at full strength. We’ll also see what the emotion of playing the last game at the M.A.C. Center can do for Greene, Porrini, Guyton and Manns. Maybe a little extra adrenaline will ease the pain in Greene’s ankle.
The crew is veteran with Terry Wymer, Larry Scirotto and … wait for it … Bo Boroski.
The coaches were leaning towards going back to the traditional lineup of Greene, Porrini, Holt, Guyton and Manns after shaking things up a bit against Ohio with three new starters.
Note: The postponement of Miami vs. Ohio University to tomorrow night means KSU will have to wait another day to learn if it is the No. 3 seed should the Flashes beat the Zips tonight.
Rob Senderoff is expected to make a few changes he hopes will light a fire under his Golden Flashes and bring an end to their three-game slide.
A win to get to 20 would solve a lot of problems.
I’ll have more information on the changes as it gets closer to tip.
Keys for tonight … Value the basketball… Play unselfish basketball… Know your defensive rotations… and most of all, don’t try to do too much.
The officials for tonight are Glenn Mayborg, Chris Beaver and Joe Tyburski. Mayborg and Beaver are pretty good and experienced. Tyburski has experience, but he has little-to-no experience with the MAC. This will be his first MAC game after working Colonial and Northeast games this season.
UPDATE 7 PM … Starters: Gaines, Evans, Guyton, Jackson and Manns.
That’s the shakeup I was eluding to … but we had an embargo on reporting it until now.
This place is perfect for the Mid-American Conference.
I was just talking to Toledo Blade beat writer John Wagner, and he said one of the few complaints about the Stroh Center in its first year has been the size. Actually it’s been more of a question, along the lines of “if you are building brand new arena, why make it so small?”
But to me this is the perfect size. It’s a very intimate setting. They would probably only need more seats for one game (Toledo), but for the rest the 4,700 seats is perfect for a program that doesn’t threaten to sell out. Smaller crowds will look larger in this place. If KSU were to build a new place or renovate, something between 5,000-and-6,000 would probably be ideal. Who knows, a little smaller may create enough demand for the Akron game that KSU may end up selling a few more season tickets.
So, will a renovation or a new construction ever happen in Kent?
The pressure is on with Akron starting to move forward on a new arena.
Someone just pointed out to me that Kent State is giving its donors a tour of the Stroh Center, presumably to show just how much of a have-not KSU is.
On to more important topics … blog-unsanctioned black uniforms tonight.
I just arrived at Millett Hall for tonight’s performance of the Pirates of Penzance. The part of Major General Stanley will be played by Justin Greene.
The staff here at the Theatre would like to have everyone seated by the second dimming of the lights.
No, none of that’s true. Although this always feels like dinner theatre whenever I’m here at Millett Hall with its dark setting and soft cushiony olive green seats set far away from the floor. It actually reminds me of the old Front Row Theatre, which would mean the floor should turn … Hey, there’s an idea. Make it like Hank’s Look-Around Cafe from the old Larry Sanders Show. Only problem is the mechanics to that kept breaking down for old Hank.
Dinner Theater is what Jim Christian always used to call basketball at Millett Hall, and he coached here. It’s just such an odd setting. There is actually some truth to the above, though, in that the part of Justin Greene will not be played by an understudy. Greene is in costume … I mean uniform … and he’ll be ready for curtain.
Obviously the matchup to watch is Greene vs. Julian Mavunga.
Experienced crew tonight with Lamont Simpson as the referee and Larry Scirotto and Bill Ek playing the roles of umpires.