Twenty wins not ultimate goal for Flashes

Cody Erbacher

Regular season record just a stepping stone for men’s basketball

Last year, extending a 10-season span of winning at least 20 games was the only thing on everyone’s mind surrounding the Kent State men’s basketball team.

Kent State coach Geno Ford said missing the mark was rough because of seniors like Jordan Mincy, who poured his heart into the program posting consistent numbers all four years.

But this season is a different story.

To the coaches and players, 20 wins isn’t a big deal. It’s just a minor step in the quest for a Mid-American Conference Championship.

“We played the 26th toughest non-league schedule in the country,” Ford said. “If we were trying to win 20 games we’d make sure we won 20 games by playing a bunch of home games and playing against people who aren’t very good. We don’t do that. We try to get ready to try to win the conference tournament.”

Following the BracketBuster game against Western Carolina, Kent State (20-8, 10-3 MAC) won its 20th game. The Flashes are one of 10 teams in the nation to win 20 games in 11 of the last 12 seasons.

Sophomore forward Justin Greene recorded 21 points against Western Carolina while shooting six of nine from the field. Greene ranks second in the MAC with a 52.7 field goal percentage.

“We just come out and play Kent State basketball every chance we get and we know that stuff will take care of itself,” senior guard Chris Singletary said. “We know that if we come out and play Kent State basketball, we can get to the 20 win spot for the next 5 to 10 years.”

Last season the Flashes missed that mark by one win.

“I’m not going to change my tune, we’ve never talked about winning 20 games,” Ford said. “It’s not a magical number to me personally.”

The next stop in the road to a MAC Championship is Bowling Green. If Kent State can manage a win, the Flashes will secure a bye in the first round of the MAC Tournament.

Singletary, who has been a key factor in the Flashes’ success, will need to turn in a big performance as he averages 14.6 points per game with a 57 percent (26-for-46) shooting percentage in the last five meetings against the Falcons.

After the first loss against Bowling Green on January 17, Kent State has won 10 of 11 games. The match-up has been split the past two seasons.

Contact sports reporter Cody Erbacher at [email protected].