Men strive for consistent guard play

Chris Gates

Flashes work to steady backcourt

The Kent State men’s basketball team has discovered its inconsistencies have been the catalyst to a slow start.

The Flashes (8-9, 1-2 Mid-American Conference) have been unable to build upon positive performances and, consequently, find themselves under .500 in both their overall and conference records going into tonight’s game at Buffalo.

During winter break the Flashes started off strong, with wins in four of their first five games. Since then they have cooled off considerably, losing three of four.

“It seems like every time we take a step forward, we find a way to take one back,” Kent State coach Geno Ford said after Saturday’s 66-55 loss to Miami.

“It’s a team game and you’ve got to have multiple guys step up.”


Kent State (8-9, 1-2 MAC) at

Buffalo (10-5, 2-1 MAC)

When: 7 p.m. tonight

Where: Alumni Arena, Buffalo, N.Y.

Listen: WNIR 100.1 FM (Tom Linder)

Scoring has been an area where the team has struggled to be consistent. Senior guard Al Fisher (15.6) and junior guards Tyree Evans (14.3) and Chris Singletary (13.7) average the most points per game on the team.

Their production is largely responsible for the team’s fate in each game. When they fail to produce, the Flashes struggle to win.

Against Miami, Evans went 0-of-8 from the field and finished with zero points. Additionally, Singletary and Fisher each shot 4-of-11, hurting the Flashes’ chance at winning.

“We haven’t won a game all year when we have those three guys struggle,” Ford said. “They take the majority of the shots.”

After losing to Miami, junior guard Mike McKee said he thinks that taking some pressure off of Fisher, Singletary and Evans might help.

“We just have to concentrate maybe on getting them more touches,” McKee said. “There will be four or five possessions in a row without getting a touch inside. I just think we’ve got to start paying a little more attention to that because we’ve got good post players.

“Whoever goes in, we’re behind them 100 percent. There’s no reason that we would shy away from them. We know they’re great players, so we’re going to keep going to them.”

The team has played inconsistently on the defensive side of the ball as well. In the last two games, Kent State struggled at the outset. They trailed 9-3 to Bowling Green and 15-4 to Miami in the first five minutes of each game.

Ford said the slow starts might force him to make some changes in the way he uses his players.

“We may have to revisit our starting lineup or something to try to figure out a way because we’ve had a couple of bad starts in a row,” Ford said. “But the game before that at Ohio we got off to a really good start.

“We’re playing hard, but you’ve got to take the second to focus on the ball and make the play on the ball, not just go after it hard.”

Ford said he believes his team has the potential to be consistent and contend for the conference championship. Miami coach Charlie Coles agreed and said he expects the Flashes to improve.

“They’re going to be good this year,” Coles said after Saturday’s game. “They’ve got too good of players to stall. When (they) get going, they’re going to be great.”

Contact principal sports reporter Chris Gates at [email protected].