With apologies to Clint Eastwood fans, I think yesterday’s Kent State men’s basketball game can be dubbed “The Mediocre, The Awful and . ” well, actually, “ugly” does fit in this case.
Luckily for Kent State fans, the Flashes are the mediocre part of the equation. Eastern Michigan was the awful, and the game itself was the ugly.
Yes, the Flashes won and won big last night. But that doesn’t mean the Flashes are about to go 11-0 to close out the regular season.
For one thing, Kent State was playing a team that had just one win against Division I opponents coming into the game, and it was very clear from watching the game why that was the case. The Eagles shot 28.1 percent from the field, 14.3 percent from behind the arc and 57.1 percent from the free-throw line.
And it’s not as if Eastern Michigan had bad luck offensively. I think I would need two hands to count the number of air balls the Eagles chucked up last night. I haven’t seen so many air balls since the last time I played at the rec center.
Another reason why Kent State fans shouldn’t plan their Mid-American Conference championship parties just yet?
Well, the Flashes still don’t resemble a team ready to make a big run before the MAC Tournament. They still gave up 20 offensive rebounds, they still clanked a lot of jump shots and they still got into early foul trouble in the second half.
If not for Jordan Mincy’s sudden offensive explosion (13 points? Really?) and Eastern Michigan’s woes, who knows what the outcome would have been last night?
But fear not, fans. Kent State is not a bad team. A bad team would have folded when Eastern Michigan went up 9-4 early in the game. Instead, the Flashes responded and went into halftime up by six points.
A bad team could have let Eastern Michigan back into the game in the second half. But the Flashes pulled away.
So the Flashes aren’t bad – they’re mediocre. But maybe being mediocre isn’t that bad this season . especially this season.
The MAC is awful this season. Just five squads in the 12-team conference have winning records this season. Another team is right at .500. One team couldn’t climb back to .500, even if it won the rest of its games.
(I’m looking at you, Eastern Michigan . )
Simply put, there are no “good” teams to run away with the MAC this season. With that being the case, a mediocre team can step up to win the conference. A mediocre team in an awful conference is an equal contender to a good team in a good conference.
The Flashes have shown flashes this season. They just haven’t done it with any semblance of consistency. If they start to put it together, though, they might be able to give the main contenders in the conference a fight.
And hey, if a mediocre team can win an awful conference, well…
That won’t be quite so ugly, will it?
Contact sports editor Doug Gulasy at [email protected]