Man of Steel

Take away the red cape, blue tights and the “S” on his chest, and sophomore Justin Greene is the Man of Steel for the team donning blue and gold.

The 6-foot-8-inch forward with a wingspan that stretches longer than 7 feet is the dominant presence in the paint that the Kent State offense works with. To his teammates and coach, Greene is the team’s Superman.

“He looks like Clark Kent,” Kent State coach Geno Ford said. “You wouldn’t expect him to be much, but he finds a way to deliver when it matters.”

By day, Superman disguises himself as the reporter Clark Kent, but is able to change into his alternate persona to save the world at a moment’s notice.

Greene, who is a bit smaller than most of his defenders, is able to post team-leading numbers by using his greatest strength, which he claims is his “ability to score on the block.”

But the Flashes’ Man of Steel isn’t able to disown the idea of a weakness. Like all superheroes, with superb strength comes a certain vulnerability. Greene’s gameplay is negatively affected by one aspect — outside shooting.

“I can shoot it, but not as well as I want to shoot it,” he said about his “kryptonite.” “So I would say my deep outside shot is my weakness.”

Although he has a shot that needs work, Ford said Greene has super soft hands with an incredible touch. These characteristics compensate for what weakens the play of the superhero.

“He has a very good feel for how to play,” Ford said. “He’s one of the smartest post players we’ve ever had here.”

Just like the real Superman, it took Greene a while to discover what his greatest strengths were; he needed time to mature and learn his role on the basketball court.

“We saw flashes of it last year,” Ford said about Greene’s abilities. “He’s a guy that’s very hungry to go out and prove that he’s going to be a good player in this league and should be one for a long time.”

Q and A with Justin Greene

Justin Greene did not think he would be playing at the level he is playing at right now, but he thought he had the ability.

With the regular season complete, the sophomore forward received two votes for the Mid-American Conference Player of the Year and was named to the All-MAC Second Team.

Before the Flashes play their first MAC Tournament game tomorrow, sports reporter Cody Erbacher sat down with Greene to talk about his thoughts on his sophomore season.

Q: You always seem to be leading some type of category on the stat sheet following games, how do you manage to do that?

A: I just try to come out every game and play my game. I don’t really try to get outside of what I do. I just stay on the block, that’s where my bread and butter is at. I just try to score, rebound and play defense; do whatever coach (Geno) Ford tells me to do.

Q: What’s it like being a sophomore posting those types of numbers?

A: It gives me a real big confidence booster, to know that I can be so young and play so well. I’ve got a lot of leadership from Chris (Singletary), Brandon (Parks) and Mike (McKee) telling me a lot about staying humble and just trying to get better.

Q: For your position, you’re a little small. How are you able to play against the taller defenders?

A: Everybody thinks I’m short. I’m actually kind of tall, and I’ve got really long arms. I think 7-foot-2 and 3/4, something like that. So I use that to my advantage. I use my craftiness around the basket a lot to try to get a good shot off against taller defenders.

Q: What’s your biggest change from your freshman season last year?

A: I would have to say my confidence definitely because I think I could have done a lot of things last year but I didn’t have the confidence to do it. I didn’t think I could do it. I was just going through the motions just wondering if I would get in or not. And this year coach Ford is playing me a lot of minutes so my confidence is high, and I’ve got a lot of confidence in my abilities.

Q: Since the MAC Tournament is coming up soon I have to ask, how much pressure do you feel since you are a sophomore and one of the key components of the team’s success?

A: No pressure at all. I’m just going to do what I do: Play basketball. I’ve been doing this since my freshman year of high school now; I’m not going to say I’ve played in anything as big as the MAC Tournament, but I don’t think it’s any pressure. We’re the No. 1 seed, I feel like we’re the best team and now we just got to go out and prove it.

Q: Are you looking at the game against Ohio as a tournament game?

A: Yeah, you’ve got to. Some people can come out and say it’s just another regular season game, but it is a big game. If we lose, we go home. So we’re not trying to lose. We’re all going to come out there and leave it out there on the floor and try to get the win and move on to the semis.