Who's Next (Blog Post 2/22/2012)
by SportsTime Ohio's/ESPN Cleveland's Michael Reghi
To perform as Miami's RedHawks did Tuesday night, that is! Standout performances from sophomore point guard Quentin Rollins, and the MAC's leading scorer and rebounder Julian Mavunga paced the thrilling 62-60 win over Kent State, ending the Flashes 7 game MAC win streak. Might that type of trouble lie ahead for many of the league's 'heavy hitters'
in the final two weeks of regular season play? A must that you pay very close attention MAC hoop fanatics!
Charlie Coles squad has now won 4 of their last 6 in conference play, as the veteran head coach continues to be a master at controlling tempo, and giving his young squad opportunities to win games late.
Bodes very well for the basketball fortunes in Oxford!
So, time to roll north tonight, into the the western shores of the state of Michigan, as the MAC West comes into focus. We see you on Sportstime Ohio from University Arena in Kalamazoo, as the beleaguered Ball State Cardinals, losers of 7 straight in MAC play after a 4-1 start, look to flip the script against Western Michigan's Broncos.
Tough to figure the troubles of Ball State, as senior standouts Jarod Jones and Randy Davis are quality young men, who rank among the top talents we have in the MAC.
They won't find an easy environment to right themselves in, as the Broncos, at 5-7 in MAC play, seem to be primed to lower the boom on someone. Ready for this? Of those 7 setbacks, 3 have come in overtime, including back to back at Kent State, and at home to Akron, while all seven have been by 6 points or less! You can make a very strong case that Steve Hawkins and his squad could easily be looking at, say, 8-4 in the league, with a multi game lead in the MAC West. Senior dominated, Western Michigan still has designs on first place in the West, as seniors Flenard Whitfield, Michael Douglas, and Demetrius Ward have shown the capabilities during their careers to finish with a flourish.
Gotta' get on the road to Kalamazoo, yet I can't leave Oxford without a shout of recognition to Wally Szczerbiak! Great to see the Miami standout, who captivated the college hoops world in March of 1999 with his thrilling exploits in the NCAA Tournament, as he dropped 43 big ones on the Washington Huskies in a Miami first round win! So sweet!
Wally and his lovely wife Shannon, also a Miami alum, were honored Tuesday night in Millet Hall for his Hall of Fame career, and contributions of excellence to the university. My privilege to call many of his games at Miami, and the same during his productive NBA career, that wound down with the Cleveland Cavaliers. Hope you enjoyed our visit with him during the telecast. Szczerbiak's now entered ' my world', calling games for a living as a studio and game color analyst for CBS College Sports Network. Never any 'losses' to deal with when you have the headset on, Wally! Just the delight of staying connected with college basketball. Nothing better.