Random Notes, June 13

| June 13, 2009

… I had a chance to watch Mark Henniger and Randal Holt play for the first time this week, and I think Kent State hit big with both players.


Holt will help this year. He already plays with real maturity. He can score all over the court. Great court sense.


Henniger would help KSU right now, too, if he didn’t have his senior year of high school ahead of him.  He reminds me a little of Akron’s Nate Linhart. Very smart. Very good around the basket. Crafty with the way he gets the ball to the rim, making his shot very tough to block. Good passer. Showed good range making several pick-and-pops. I really like this kid. He is very close to 6-foot-8 with a good frame. Add a little more muscle and he could be very special. If he adds a little more muscle and still has a little growing spurt in him, he would be a real steal.


… I also saw Robert Johnson play this week. He is as good as I remember him from his junior year of high school. 


… Brandon Parks weighed in this week at 20-pounds less than his playing weight from the 2008-09 season. It’s a good sign that he’s working hard and keeping the weight off during the offseason. The commitment should pay off in his senior year, and that could make it easier for KSU to redshirt Justin Manns. 


… (From my notebook in Saturday’s Record-Courier) Seven members of Kent State’s men’s basketball team are on campus for the “Summer 1” session of summer school.

“All of our first-year players will be enrolling in Summer 3, which starts in the middle of July,” said KSU head coach Geno Ford. “They will be here and be part of our strength program, then they’ll stay for the beginning of school in August.”

The first-year players will not, however, be allowed to participate in the team’s 10 days of practice in August. Those sessions are preparation for the Flashes’ late-August trip to Italy. Freshmen-to-be are not permitted on the trip.

“Those guys can observe practice when we are in Kent, but in no way shape or form can they be on the court,” said Ford. “They can’t rebound a ball. They can’t throw a pass. If they want to do any weight lifting with our strength coaches, they cannot even come up to the gym to do conditioning on one area of the gym we aren’t using. The rules are very strict.”

… (Also from my notebook in Saturday’s Record-Courier) Kent State’s summer strength and conditioning program is underway with 64 members of the Golden Flashes football team in town to participate.

“Those 64 players are either going to summer school or working, but staying here so they can workout with our strength coach,” said KSU head coach Doug Martin. Included in that group are true freshmen Brian Wagner, Brian Winters and Kent Walker.

Wagner is a tight end from Crestwood High School, Winters is an offensive lineman from Hudson, and Walker is linebacker from Hargrave Academy in Virginia, who could battle for a spot in the rotation in his first college season.

“Beginning in July, we’ll have about 12 more freshmen on campus,” said Martin. “Some of those guys are busy playing in all-star games.”

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Category: General Discussions

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Comments (17)

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  1. Kent 76 says:

    Thanks, Dave! Holt’s knee problem must be pretty well resolved. Frankly, I got lost – could you please go over again what new players Kent State has signed for this coming season in basketball, what additional players are expected to be enrolled but not eligible to play as yet, and what players have “verbaled” for the following season?

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  2. fallsdog says:

    It sounds like Kent State is will have some talent on the floor for the next couple of seasons. This is good news.

    I especially like reading about Brandon Parks dropping weight…now if you can tell us anything about his hands?? How has Sherman looked playing the point and in general?

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  3. fallsdog says:

    I may be able to help you out 76: First the guys that have signed for this season:
    Greg Avila (6’6 power forward)
    Ian Pinckney (6’2 guard)
    Holt (as you know)
    Justin Manns (6’10 center)
    Manny Cass (6’7 forward, eligible in December?)

    For the following year:
    Kenny Knight (6’7 highly regarded forward from Cinci)
    Henninger (6’8 kid from Massilon Jackson)
    Robert Johnson (should be ready to go in 2010??)

    I think that does it.

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  4. DavidCarducci says:

    Fallsdog’s report is exactly right, although Manny Cass is a bit of a question mark to see if he sticks it out. It’s a tall order asking him to pay for his own school while raising a young child and working all at the same time. There have been some rumors he will go to junior college simply because its easier, less expensive and a shorter commute from his home. There’s no way KSU can scholarship him since he has another full semester before he can be eligible, and a lot of work to do just to get eligible. I wouldn’t blame him if he decides to go to junior college.
    With what I saw from Henniger and what they have in Knight, KSU is going to be set at the four anyway after this year.
    That would clear another scholarship for next year’s class for another point or another five. I’d like to see KSU go after Cameron Black from Kent Roosevelt as a project at the five. I like what I’ve seen from him. He’s 6-foot-9. Local. Good hands. A coach’s son.

    I’ve loved what I’ve seen of Rod at the point. He is far, far better than you remember him after his year off. He’s really a different player with an offensive game to match his defense, a better jumper and much more confidence. I think he’ll be able to step right in at the one. I haven’t seen him in a while, though. He’s home in Indianapolis right now for part of the summer.

    I’m looking forward to Rod getting back here and having a chance to play pick-up against DeAndre Haynes, who is in town and working Kent State’s summer camps and staying at coach Ford’s house. Dre is coming off a really good season in Europe. Rod would really benefit from working the point against with Dre defending him.

  5. fallsdog says:

    i hope everything works out for Cass. its funny how sometimes we think athletes have it great.

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  6. Flash Fan says:

    Seems like we still have a few more scholarships to offer this fall or spring. Could be an interesting recruiting season.

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  7. Thanksjim says:

    I’m curious to your thoughts on the interiview that Elton Alexander had with the new commissioner. There was a lot of activity on the MAC board today.

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    • DavidCarducci says:

      Sorry Thanksjim,

      I’ve been in and out of town the last few days … I haven’t had a chance to read Elton’s interview yet. Been a crazy week. Going to look at it today after the U.S. Open.

    • DavidCarducci says:

      Sorry it took so long to get back to you on Elton’s interview with the new MAC commissioner.

      It’s a scary interview if you make some educated assumptions.
      I’m not at all excited by the direction the MAC is taking. Too many presidents are interested more in scaling back than on improving athletics, and Lester Lefton is one of the ringleaders. They appear to have hired a commissioner with questionable vision. The league could take some significant steps back in the not too distant future, especially in football.
      It’s a shame because there are some presidents in this league who have some vision and are eager to push ahead. They are going to be held back. You look at what Akron is doing with its new stadium, and schools like Ball State and Toledo with their recent renovations. Those schools and a few others want to improve the product while others want to cut back. Unfortunately, those others appear to be setting the agenda.
      I’m looking forward to talking with Elton this week about the things that didn’t make the Q&A. Those interviews are always shortened for space once they hit the page, and sometimes some telling things are cut out by an editor trying to fill a hole in a page.

  8. Bulldog says:

    Any update on Robert Johnson coming to Kent, going to JC, or Prep School?

    Also, any word on the walk on candidate from Solon?

    Your random notes are very encouraging, especially the # of football players on campus, 64, with 12 more coming to campus soon, to hit the weights and improve their conditioning.

    Who are the 7 basketball players on campus? Here is my guess, Singletary, Sherman, Parks, Greene, Simpson, Grimsley, and Henry-Ala??

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    • DavidCarducci says:

      With Robert Johnson, I believe its just a matter of the school accepting his application.
      I haven’t heard anything lately about the potential walk-on from Solon … I’ll have to see what’s going on with that.
      I think there are now more than seven on campus … Sherman isn’t one of them, though. He’s been back home in Indianapolis since he doesn’t need summer school.

  9. Bulldog says:

    That would be a huge boost if Robert Johnson is accepted to KSU and able to play next year, he is very versatile and skilled, and looks like the sky is the limit both in the gym and in the workout room (he looks very skinny and long in pictures that I have seen).

    That’s great that there are more than 7 on campus and only more to come when Rod and the first year players return in the middle of July.

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  10. TheWJ says:

    Cam Black has committed to akron………..

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  11. Bulldog says:

    When did Cam Black commit to Akron? I have seen recent postings that show he was offered a grayshirt from Akron and that KSU, CSU, and some other teams were close to offering after evaluating him during the AAU summer season and seeing if he improved his strength.

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  12. TheWJ says:

    I was told he had committed to Akron earlier this week. I did see Cam Black and his father with Coach Dambrot at the Akron Shootout. But you could be right also.

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  13. Thanksjim says:

    Thanks Dave, I was assuming that you wouldn’t be too pleased with the interview.

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  14. George Flasher says:

    Confirmed from another source this weekend that the departure of Chryst was related to his having a vision for improvement of the conference. The political landscape of the Presidents has changed. I can easily imagine that our own is leading the race to the bottom.

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