Men’s basketball shows off new team in exhibition game

Cody Erbacher

The Kent State men’s basketball displayed a full list of new players to the M.A.C. Center in the teams’ exhibition game for the season against Rochester.

The Flashes have only three players on their roster that posted consistent minutes last season.

Senior guard Rodriquez Sherman, junior forward Justin Greene and sophomore guard Randal Holt, the only Kent State members to play and post numbers returning this season, lead the Flashes’ new roster with experience from last season’s Mid-American Conference East Division Championship team.

Last season, the Flashes rotated Holt and Sherman at the point guard position.

Kent State coach Geno Ford said Holt is the team’s best shooter after offseason workouts.

Holt scored 15 points while sinking three heavily contested 3-point shots, in Kent State’s 81-44 win over Rochester in Friday’s exhibition game.

Since Holt is transitioning into more of a shooter’s roll, junior Michael Porrini will get a chance to prove his skills at the point guard from at the start of the season.

Porrini, who played 25 minutes against Rochester and posted eight points, three steals, three rebounds and three assists, is a junior transfer from the Gulf Coast College, where he averaged 11.1 points at the point guard position last season.

“He’ll (Porrini) play the point the most,” Ford said. “He’s a very good on the ball defender and he’s got a toughness that you like defensively.

Sherman displayed his arsenal of skills against Rochester, as he scored 14 points shooting 6-for-8 with a combination of contested jumpers and drives through Rochester’s defense for easy shots at the hoop.

Ford said Porrini playing the point guard position will “free up” Sherman and Holt at the wing.

Kent State fans also saw the Flashes’ tallest member on the court for the first time after he sat the bench last season.

Junior Justin Manns, the 6-foot-11 center who transferred from Owens Community College before last season, scored six points. He redshirted last season because of NCAA transfer rules.

His height over the Rochester defenders provided multiple opportunities in the post for both him and Greene.

Greene recorded a double-double, with 14 points and 10 rebounds.

The Flashes begin regular season play next week at the World Vision Classic at Cleveland State. Kent State’s first game is against Iona next Friday. The Flashes return to the home next Tuesday at 8 a.m., as they host Robert Morris for the ESPN Tip-Off Marathon.

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