Men’s basketball team looks ahead after Zips end KSU’s season


Chris Ortiz lays on the court after failing to get the final shot off in time at the quarter-final MAC Tournament game against the University of Akron on Thursday, March 12, 2015 in Quicken Loans Arena. The Flashes lost to the Zips 53-51.

Stephen Means II

The Kent State men’s basketball team’s season came to an abrupt end last Thursday night as Akron defeated the Flashes 53-51 in quarterfinals of the Mid-American Conference tournament.

The Flashes finished the season with a 22-10 record and 12-6 in the MAC. Their record gave Kent State a share of the MAC regular season championship and an overall No. 3 seed in the MAC tournament. Buffalo and Central Michigan also held a share of the conference title in the regular season, but the Bulls would be the ones to qualify for the NCAA Tournament.

Kent State seniors Kris Brewer, Craig Brown, Derek Jackson, Devareaux Manley and Blake Vedder will graduate.

Manley was named Second Team All-Conference and graduates with the record for most three-pointers made in a single season with 102. Brewer also was named MAC Sixth Man of the Year and Honorable Mention All-Conference player.

Redshirt sophomore forward Jimmy Hall and junior center Khaliq Spicer will be the Flashes’ returning starters next season. Hall led the team in points, with 15.5 per game, and rebounds, 7.2 per game, and was named First Team All-Conference. Spicer finished third in the MAC in blocks with 1.6 per game.

Junior forward Gary Akbar and sophomore forward Marquiez Lawrence are also expected to see more time next season.

Junior guard Kellon Thomas is the lone returner in the backcourt for the Flashes. Thomas played in eight games this season before having season-ending surgery on an orbital bone fracture.

Transfers Deon Edwin (Laramie County Community College, Wyoming), Xavier Pollard (Maine) and Marvin Jones (Highland Community College, Illinois) will also be eligible to play next season.

Additionally, the Flashes feature three guards in this years recruiting class. Jalen Avery from Kentucky is considered the 42nd best point guard in the country and Devon Andrews from Lorain High School in Ohio the 72nd best shooting guard by ESPN. Shooting guard Jaylin Walker (Romulus High School in Michigan) is also a part of this year’s recruiting class.

Hope still exists for the Flashes, as they may have an opportunity to play in a postseason tournament this season.

Contact Stephen Means II at [email protected].