Opinion: Men’s basketball missing their x-factor

Ty Sugick

Kent State men’s basketball suffered a major set back in their road game against Ohio on Jan. 29, when senior guard Xavier Pollard went down with a foot injury in the first half of the game. 

Pollar later found out that his season was over due to  a fracture in his foot. Since the loss of Pollard, the Flashes have been winless; they’ve managed to slip from first place in the Mid-American Conference all the way down to third place in the past week.

This season Pollard appeared in 21 games, starting in seven of those games. Pollard was second on the team in minutes per game at 25.5 minutes and second in scoring with 12.2 points per game. He currently leads the team in three-point percentage at 38.5 and with three assists per game.

It seems as if the team has struggled to light the spark in the backcourt since Pollard’s abrupt exit to the season. No one has really stepped up as of yet to show the capability to fill Pollards big shoes. Notable freshmen Jaylin Walker is hurt as well and will most likely have to be the fill in for Pollard when he returns.

Since the loss of Pollard, the team hasn’t shown the will to step up and defend the perimeter, which has been a problem for the Flashes all season. The offense seems to be stagnant, with a lot of one-on-one ball instead of moving it around and getting to the hoop like the guards on this team are clearly capable of doing.

The backcourt has relied heavily on 5’11” redshirt junior guard Kellon Thomas. Thomas plays hard and is reluctant to take the ball to the rim, but at times his height prohibits him to be a major threat in at the rim. 

If Kent State wants a real chance at being a MAC Tournament contender they must defend on the perimeter and find ways to get guards open and score the ball. 

This team will need to rely on more than Jimmy Hall in order to win. It will take a team effort and it starts with the guard play.

Ty Sugick is a columnist for The Kent Stater, contact him at [email protected].