Men’s Basketball hosts Bowling Green on Senior Night


Randal Holt shoots the ball against the Bowling Green defense on Sunday, Jan. 13, 2012. The Flashes came out with a victory against Bowling Green at the M.A.C. Center. 92-87. Photo by EMILY MARTIN.

Tim Dorst

The Mid-American Conference tournament is one week away, and the Kent State men’s basketball team has two more chances to gain ground and build more momentum heading into the tournament.

The Flashes have an opportunity to avenge an early season loss when they host Bowling Green on Senior Night with tip-off scheduled for 7 p.m. Tuesday at the M.A.C. Center.

Seniors Chris Evans, Randal Holt and Brian Frank will play their last regular season game on their home floor with the Flashes (17-12, 7-7 MAC), who currently hold a No. 4 seed in next week’s MAC Tournament with two games remaining. Kent State can clinch that tournament seed with wins over the Falcons and the Akron Zips on Friday.

Of the three seniors on the team, Holt is the only one who has been at Kent State for all four years. Head coach Rob Senderoff said Holt has done more than enough in his four-year career to leave his mark on the team’s history.

“His legacy is somewhat cemented with what he’s accomplished,” Senderoff said. “He’ll certainly be missed when he graduates.”

Holt broke the Kent State record for career 3-pointers in a game against Eastern Michgan on Feb. 2, surpassing the mark set by former standout Trevor Huffman. The senior guard currently sits at 234 career 3-pointers and ranks second all-time in free throws made with 196.

Evans transferred to Kent State in 2011 after playing one season at Wabash Valley Community College [Ill.] and has since become one of the most improved players in team history. Senderoff said Evans, who leads the team in scoring this season at 17 points per game, has come a long way to be where he is now in his career.

“He’s having an all-conference-level season, which is a big improvement from his junior to his senior year,” Senderoff said. “Nobody thought he was going to be an all-conference player in the preseason. Nobody voted for him. But he’s worked incredibly hard, and he’s had a great year because of that.”

Evans is currently fourth in the conference in scoring as well as rebounding, averaging 7.6 rebounds per game this season.

Perhaps the most unique story among the seniors is that of forward Brian Frank, who joined the team as a walk-on in 2009 and has played just 19 games in three seasons. Despite rarely stepping onto the floor for the Flashes, Frank has garnered much popularity from Kent State fans that come to support him with the hopes to see him play.

“He’s one of those guys who is obviously a fan favorite, but equally as important are his contributions to the team,” Senderoff said. “He’s a guy who practices every day hard, who comes to practice every day with a great attitude and a great work ethic. He is asked to do a lot of different things in practice knowing that he’s not going to get into many games, and he does it happily. He gets a lot of respect from his teammates for doing that.”

Senderoff said Frank will get his first ¬– and likely last — start as a member of the team as all three seniors will take the floor in front of the M.A.C. Center crowd for the last time.

Evans said while the seniors’ college careers are coming to an end, there is still one particular goal they want to accomplish in the time they have remaining.

“The seniors here, myself, Randal and B-Frank, we don’t want to be considered the class that doesn’t get to 20 wins,” Evans said. “We want to keep the tradition going and just build our momentum. We want to win as many games as we can.”

The Flashes had a disappointing performance against the Falcons in their last meeting, falling 70-55 on the road on Jan. 23. In order to come away with the win this time around, Senderoff said the team will have to simply be better at every aspect of the game.

“We have to do a better job offensively and move the ball at a better rate,” Senderoff said. “There’s not one particular part of the game that I can point at and say we did a great job and that we can carry over to this game. They had a lot to do with why we didn’t play well, but we need to play better at absolutely every facet.”

While the team is on the verge of possibly clinching the fourth seed in the MAC Tournament, Senderoff said that is not a main focus for the team at this juncture.

“To me, what’s important is that we play our best basketball going into the MAC Tournament and play our best in the tournament,” Senderoff said. “I don’t know how much [the seeding] matters, but we want to win each of our games. Playing well and trying to win these games is more important than the seed.”

Contact Tim Dorst at [email protected].