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Women's basketball wrap-up
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cschierh Offline
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Post: #1
Women's basketball wrap-up
On the blog at http://wbbflashes.com is my wrap-up of the women's season.

Among "magic numbers" for the Flashes:

• Coach Todd Starkey won more games (19) than any first-year women's basketball coach in KSU history.

• Larissa Lurken scored more points than any player — men's or women's — in KSU history (752). We could easily argue that she had the best single season ever in Ken State basketball.

• Kent State had the biggest RPI improvement in the country (219 spots) and the third-biggest improvement in record (+13 wins).

• KSU — and Lurken — averaged almost 10 points a game more than last season.

• When the Flashes held opponents under 70 points, they were 16-3.

The blog has more detail and more numbers.

(Sorry this is sort of ancient history. I came back from the WNIT with the flu, then went out of town, then had to catch up with my teaching.)
04-11-2017 05:48 PM
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Muskrat Offline
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RE: Women's basketball wrap-up
Thanks, cschierh. Interesting numbers. Proof that the right coach can make a major difference.
04-12-2017 05:29 AM
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cschierh Offline
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RE: Women's basketball wrap-up
Some catch-up on the women's team on the http://wbbflashes.com blog:

Mike McKee becomes an assistant coach, making the same move from the men's to women's team head coach Todd Starkey did 15 years ago. McKee had been director of basketball operations for the KSU men.

The Flashes added a 6-1 forward from Cincinnati to their 2017 recruiting class.

And the team got its first verbal commitment for 2018 from a 5-11 shooting guard from Cortland, who already has scored 1,000 points in high school.
04-23-2017 09:16 PM
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GoFlashes7 Offline
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RE: Women's basketball wrap-up
Thanks cschierh. I was wondering why McKenna Stephens wouldn't be back next year. Stephens & Korinek would have made a nice 1-2 punch for Starkey next year. It will be interesting to see how much Poole, Golden, Bess, Carter, Barber-Smith, & Cross improve and how good Toles, Sape, Smith, & Thames will be in their 1st years @ KSU.
04-24-2017 08:57 AM
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cschierh Offline
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RE: Women's basketball wrap-up
Two of Kent State's incoming freshmen averaged double-doubles their senior year, but none of the team's five recruits made an all-state team.

Best numbers of the group came from 5-10 forward Monique Smith of San Diego, who averaged 18 points, 10 rebounds and 5 steals. It was the second straight season she's averaged a double-double, and she was called the league's best player by the city's top prep writer. She was an all-county and all-section player; there were probably more teams in her section than in some states.

Amanda Sape, a 6-3 center from suburban Detroit, averaged 13 points and 9.9 rebounds on a team that went 20-2. She's a big, strong player who's also been a shot putter and discus thrower on the track team. She was all-state honorable mention two years running.

Kasey Toles, the sister of assistant coach Morgan Toles, made all-county and all-regional teams in Georgia. She averaged 11 points, 4 rebounds and 3 assists on a team that went to the state semifinals. She's a 5-9 guard.

Point guard Erin Thames of suburban Charlotte, N.C., is one of the hardest players to figure out. She was recruited seriously by four other Division I schools, including Rhode Island and Boston College. But her statistics are ordinary -- 7 points, 2 rebounds, 2 steals and just 1.4 assists.

Fifth recruit was just signed in April. She's 6-1 forward Kennedy Roberts-Rosser of Fairfield High School in Cincinnati. Her numbers aren't impressive -- 8 points and 4 rebounds. She's supposed to show good athleticism, but my guess is that she'll be a bit of a project.

All of the players' senior statistics are quite comparable to their junior years. The class impresses me less now than it did last summer, but it still looks better than Danny O'Banion's first class. Only one member of that class will graduate as a Flash. But she's Larissa Lurken, who just had what may be the best single season in Kent State history.

More on the recruits on the blog at http://wbbflashes.com.
05-01-2017 06:29 PM
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cschierh Offline
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RE: Women's basketball wrap-up
At team's end-of-year banquet Saturday, most valuable player went to (no surprise) senior guard Larissa Lurken, the MAC's player of the year. Top offensive player was junior forward Jordan Korinek, top defender was sophomore guard Alexa Golden, most improved senior forward McKenna Stephens and sophomore center Merissa Barber-Smith, and "Golden Flash" award senior center Lacey Miller.

Plus how Lurken decided against pro basketball, some players' anecdotes, and the seniors' plans for life after basketball is on the blog at http://wbbflashes.com.
05-08-2017 08:21 PM
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cschierh Offline
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RE: Women's basketball wrap-up
A first look at next year's team:

The Flashes graduated half their scoring -- mostly from Larissa Lurken and McKenna Stephens.

Where can they make it up?

Forward Jordan Korinek will be one of the best players and scorers in the conference.

But can KSU find 15 to 20 points from three wing players -- none of whom played major minutes last season. They're:

-- Sophomore Ali Poole, who played about 10 minutes a game in conference action. Lurken often would say Poole reminded her of her younger self.
-- Redshirt sophomore Tyra James, who missed all last season with her second major knee injury. She was the team's third-leading scorer two years ago, and actually scored more points her freshman year than either Lurken or Korinek.
-- Incoming freshman Monique Smith, who averaged close to a double-double for three years at her San Diego High School.

All have the track record and potential to be good scorers. Can one or two develop quickly enough?

And can 6-4 Merissa Barber-Smith, who played very well off the bench in about five MAC and WNIT games, move into the starting lineup?

Those two positions will determine how good Kent State women's basketball will be in 2017-18.

An early player-by-player, position-by-position rundown is on the blog at http://wbbflashes.com.
05-22-2017 09:04 PM
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burden Offline
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Post: #8
RE: Women's basketball wrap-up
If Barber Smith becomes a starter that move Korinek to power forward. I'm not sure she is quick enough to play that position against a lot of teams. I assume we will find out soon enough.
05-23-2017 06:30 AM
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cschierh Offline
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RE: Women's basketball wrap-up
I'm not smart enough to evaluate that. Korinek did play the 4 when Cici Shannon was here.

As I said on the blog, I wouldn't be surprised to see two basic lineups -- a big one with Korinek and Barber-Smith -- and a smaller one with two of their 5-10 or 5-11 wings -- James, Poole and incoming freshman Monique Smith. Smith averaged double-digit rebounds for her last two years in high school and 8.5 her sophomore year (along with 18 points or so).

Other alternatives are Bess and freshman Amanda Sape. At Sape's size (she's the shot putter), I can't imagine her being quicker than Korinek. Bess is undersized at 6-foot and didn't show me much last year.

Korinek could struggle against 6-4 posts. In a small sample, Barber-Smith seemed to thrive against them.
(This post was last modified: 05-25-2017 12:34 PM by cschierh.)
05-25-2017 12:32 PM
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burden Offline
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RE: Women's basketball wrap-up
I'm not smart enough either but Korinek isn't as quick as Shearer who could play the 4 especially when a 6'6" mobile center played next to her. Don't know if our two potential centers are that good (talking on the defensive side only). If they are let's go for it.

I know Korinek played the four with Shannon but then again that team had 6 or 7 wins and so many issues Korineks defense at the 4 had to be near the bottom of the list. I prefer Korinek at center being helped by the two big centers when she needs it. Stevens was more of a 3 than a 4 last year and things worked pretty well. Your right they will do a little bit of both based on match ups and foul trouble but I hope the basic line up is her at center.
(This post was last modified: 05-25-2017 02:56 PM by burden.)
05-25-2017 02:55 PM
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