Greene monster

Cody Erbacher

Sophomore impresses in first four games

Sophomore forward Justin Greene might play like an old man at the recreation center, but he could be the big man down low that the Kent State men’s basketball team needs.



Where: The M.A.C. Center

When: 7 p.m. Sunday

“We tease him all the time because he plays like a 40-year-old at the YMCA,” Kent State coach Geno Ford said. “He’s got all the fakes, jukes and moves. He’s not a super explosive athlete, but he’s a really smart player.”

Greene is four games into his second year of collegiate basketball, but it would be hard to separate him from a more experienced post-player.

“He has the absolute softest touch you’ve ever seen,” Ford said about Greene’s shot. “His shooting form might not be perfect, but every shot he shoots that hits the front of the rim, I just assume its going to rattle in because it’s so soft.”

In the Flashes’ first four games, Greene has already topped the amount he started last season. He is one of only three players on the roster to start every game this season.


&bull Kent State: Rodriquez Sherman has been, as Ford would say, “stuffing the stat sheets.” After winning the Hispanic College Fund Classic MVP honor last weekend, he looks to continue his run in the final game of the classic this Sunday.

&bull Rochester: Ricky Doran led Rochester with 15 points and six rebounds in the team’s loss against Green Bay last Monday in the Hispanic College Fund Classic. Green Bay defeated Kent State with a last second desperation shot last Sunday.

On Wednesday, when the Flashes traveled to face Youngstown State, Greene posted 17 points, which would have been a career-best five days ago, before he dropped 20 points against Green Bay on Sunday.

Last season, Greene totaled 67 points. This season he already has 53 points. With 30 games left in the regular season, Greene only needs 0.47 points per game to get there.

Greene is averaging 13.3 points and 4.5 rebounds a game, and he leads the team with five blocks this season, giving Kent State the presence at the post that was sometimes lacking last season.

“He’s got a herky-jerky game down there,” Ford said. He can go over his left shoulder. He can go over his right shoulder. That makes a tough match-up.”

Ford said the key for the Flashes’ offense is to work from the inside to the outside, meaning they want to give their big guys the ball to open up shots for the 3-point shooters.

The team is shooting 32.5 percent from behind the arc so far this season.

“Coach wants us to go inside out,” senior guard Rodriquez Sherman said. “The offense runs more fluently when we go inside, so we want our bigs to get touches.”

Greene leads the team in field goal percentage shooting 19-for-30 (.633), free throws made (15) and blocked shots (5).

“Justin is shooting a great percentage down there and he’s assisting the ball well,” Sherman said. “When we get the ball to him we either know he’s going to score, or dish it.”

Contact sports reporter Cody Erbacher at [email protected].