Men’s basketball starts regular season

Rachel Jones

The Kent State men’s basketball team officially starts its season at the World Vision Classic at Cleveland State this weekend.

The Flashes tip off Friday against Iona at 5 followed by Bryant on Saturday at 3:30 p.m. They will round out the tournament against local rival Cleveland State at 6 p.m. on Sunday.

Senior guard Rodriquez Sherman said he is excited to start off the season with such a different team.

“It’s going to be a little hard because it’s really going to be our first time going around,” Sherman said. “We’re going to be a little jittery, but once we get the jitters out, I think we’ll be all right.”

The nine new players on the team will most likely be the nervous ones, but Kent State coach Geno Ford said that’s why he scheduled this tournament.

“We did this on purpose,” he said. “We knew we were going to have a young team, (and) only three guys returned that played at all last year. That’s the lowest number of any team in the country.”

While the Flashes defeated Rochester 81-44 in their exhibition game, Ford said that’s not really an indicator for how the season will turn out.

“Those games are hard,” he explained. “It’s good to get guys in uniforms, but the downside is you (usually) play teams you can beat convincingly, so a lot of times, guys can lose focus and play sloppy. That’s not going to work in a tight game.”

Sherman said he thinks the weekend will turn out in the Flashes’ favor, especially if they bring the same offensive style from Friday’s exhibition game. Kent State shot 51.5 percent from the field, including 33 percent from the 3-point line.

“We could shoot the ball like we did on Friday,” Sherman said. “That would be something.”

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