The other 11

By now, you know all about Kent State and the Flashes’ chances of winning the Mid-American Conference Tournament this week, but how much do you know about the other 11 teams in the MAC?

If you don’t know the difference between a Falcon and a RedHawk, don’t worry. That’s what we’re here for. Before the MAC Tournament begins tomorrow, here’s a quick look at the other 11 teams:



Coach: Keith Dambrot (fifth season)

Record: 19-12 (10-6 Mid-American Conference)

Finish: Fourth, MAC East

Leading scorer: Sophomore forward Brett McKnight (11.3 points per game)

Vs. Kent State: W 68-54, Jan. 24; L 67-63, March 8.

Outlook: Akron slipped from first place to fourth in the MAC East by dropping two of its final three games of the season. But the Zips still have balanced scoring, and their forward tandem of Brett and Chris McKnight can give teams McKnight-mares.

Bowling Green

Coach: Louis Orr (second season)

Record: 18-12 (11-5 MAC)

Finish: First, MAC East

Leading scorer: Senior forward Nate Miller (12.7 ppg)

Vs. Kent State: L 72-48, Jan. 14; W 67-66, Feb. 26.

Outlook: Sure, the Falcons won the MAC East by virtue of the tiebreaker system, but let’s be honest here: Bowling Green’s colors are orange and brown, and teams with those colors never win in Cleveland.


Coach: Reggie Witherspoon (10th season)

Record: 19-10 (11-5 MAC)

Finish: Second, MAC East

Leading scorer: Junior guard Rodney Pierce (14.7 ppg)

Vs. Kent State: W 64-53, Jan. 21; L 77-71 (OT), March 5.

Outlook: The Bulls started out strong but were derailed by a four-game losing streak in February. Buffalo’s success in this tournament will be determined by how well Pierce plays, as he is the team’s best player by far.


Coach: Charlie Coles (13th season)

Record: 17-12 (10-6 MAC)

Finish: Third, MAC East

Leading scorer: Senior guard Michael Bramos (17.7 ppg)

Vs. Kent State: W 66-55, Jan. 17; W 68-63, March 1

Outlook: The RedHawks were the only MAC team to defeat Kent State twice, so they must be doing something right. Also, no matter what Miami’s record is, the RedHawks are always a major force in the MAC Tournament.


Coach: John Groce (first season)

Record: 14-16 (7-9 MAC)

Finish: Sixth, MAC East

Leading scorer: Senior forward Jerome Tillman (17.9 ppg)

Vs. Kent State: W 71-65, Jan. 11; L 64-51, Feb. 17.

Outlook: If you didn’t know already that it’s March, here’s a sign: Ohio is struggling going into the MAC Tournament. The Bobcats lost five of their final six games to continue their yearly trend of fading down the stretch.


Ball State

Coach: Billy Taylor (second season)

Record: 13-16 (7-9 MAC)

Finish: Second place, MAC West

Leading scorer: Freshman forward Jarrod Jones (11 ppg)

Vs. Kent State: L 63-56, Feb. 7

Outlook: Even the best of the West will not be able to keep up with the MAC East’s teams. Jones can create problems for the opposition, and he will provide the Cardinals’ only chance to make some noise.

Central Michigan

Coach: Ernie Zeigler (third season)

Record: 11-18 (7-9 Mid-American Conference)

Finish: Second place, MAC West

Leading scorer: Senior forward Marcus Van (12.8 ppg)

Vs. Kent State: L 61-57, Feb. 14

Outlook: The Chippewas have the most balanced scoring attack of any MAC team: Three players average double figures, and another averages 9.5 points per game. Still, the Chippewas manage to lose to teams such as Missouri State, and the lack of a true star will hurt them here.

Eastern Michigan

Coach: Charles E. Ramsey (fourth season)

Record: 8-23 (6-10 MAC)

Finish: Fourth place, MAC West

Leading scorer: Sophomore forward Brandon Bowdry (14.8 ppg)

Vs. Kent State: L 68-46, Jan. 27

Outlook: What a streaky year. Losing skids of six, seven and eight games during 2008-2009 pretty much sum up the Eagles’ chances of winning the MAC tourney. Look for junior forward Justin Dobbins, a Cleveland native, to pick it up in his hometown.

Northern Illinois

Coach: Ricardo Patton (second season)

Record: 10-19 (5-11 MAC)

Finish: Fifth place, MAC West

Leading scorer: Sophomore guard Darion Anderson (16.9 ppg)

Vs. Kent State: L 86-83 (2OT), Feb. 10

Outlook: If the Huskies want any chance of going deep into the tournament, Anderson had better score at least his average. The Huskies need him to score in order to win, and the statistics prove it. Northern Illinois is 0-11 when Anderson scores 15 points or fewer.


Coach: Gene Cross (first season)

Record: 7-24 (5-11 MAC)

Finish: Tied-sixth place, MAC West

Leading scorer: Senior guard Tyrone Kent (14.9 ppg)

Vs. Kent State: L 81-53, Feb. 3

Outlook: If Toledo wins the MAC tournament, I will walk to its campus and personally congratulate Coach Cross – mark my words. I know I just made a couple people Toledo fans.

Western Michigan

Coach: Steve Hawkins (sixth season)

Record: 10-20 (7-9 MAC)

Finish: Third place, MAC West

Leading scorer: Junior guard David Kool (18.2 ppg)

Vs. Kent State: L 65-47, Jan. 31

Outlook: Kool’s game is as smooth as his last name. The scorer is a threat every time he touches the ball, though he can’t make up for his teammates’ lack of scoring. But there’s always that chance one player can make that much of a difference. Remember, it’s March – anything can happen.

Contact sports editor Doug Gulasy at [email protected] and sports correspondent Michael Moses at [email protected].