Share this article

print logo

Pregame Prep: Jimmy Hall-led Kent invades UB for key game

PREGAME PREP

Kent State at UB

7 p.m. Tuesday at Alumni Arena

Radio: 1520 AM

Records: UB 15-12, 9-5. KENT ST. 15-12, 7-7.

The Set-Up: Two hot teams meet in a key Mid-American Conference game. UB has won six straight and stands tied with Ohio for second in the MAC. Kent State just scored a huge win, snapping first-place Akron's 30-game home-court win streak. The Golden Flashes won Friday, 70-67. Both teams need this game in the tightly bunched MAC.

The Matchup: UB has won seven straight over Kent State but this one does not figure to be easy. Kent State is led by 6-8, 235-pound senior Jimmy Hall, first-team all-MAC last year. He's fifth in the MAC in scoring (18.0), third in rebounding (10.4), fourth in blocks (1.1) and 12th in field-goal percentage (.501). The Bulls need to defend him without getting too many guys in foul trouble. Kent has two other big scorers, 6-1 sophomore shooting guard Jaylin Walker (14.8 ppg) and 6-3 senior wing Deon Edwin (13.1 ppg). Walker played for UB coach Nate Oats at Detroit's Romulus High School.

Board Beasts: UB ranks No. 1 in the MAC in rebounding and Kent is No. 2. Hall is a beast on the offensive boards. UB and Kent are tied for sixth in the nation in rebounds per game (40.85). Kent is No. 2 in the nation in offensive rebound percentage but that stat is inflated a tad by the fact the Golden Flashes' non-conference schedule was 315th in the nation. UB's was 75th.

First meeting: UB won, 82-69, at Kent on Jan. 17. Kent at times is prone to turnovers. It has made the 10th most in the MAC and turns it over on 20 percent of its possessions. UB forced 19 turnovers in the first meeting. It was an odd game. UB's Willie Conner was ejected for getting two technicals and played only six minutes. UB made only 10 of 21 free throws and didn't shoot it great. Kent's Hall was outstanding but didn't get enough help.

Big-man factor: Kent likes to play three guards with Walker, Edwin and point man Jalen Avery. But the Flashes have the ability to go big. Sophomore Adonis DeLaRosa is a 7-foot transfer from St. John's via a Juco. He averages 17 minutes. Danny Pippen, a 6-9 freshman, averages 12 minutes. Kent also has transfers from San Diego State (6-2 Kevin Zabo) and Duquesne (Desmond Ridenour). Hall started his career at Hofstra.

There are no comments - be the first to comment