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Women's basketball 2017-18
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cschierh Offline
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Post: #41
RE: Women's basketball 2017-18
Kent State has the ninth best record and RPI ranking in the MAC going into the conference season, which starts Saturday at Eastern Michigan.

There's a full conference preview on the blog at http://wbbflashes.com. Here are the numbers and capsules:

Ball State (11-0, RPI 22). As impressive a non-conference season as we've seen in the MAC since Bowling Green's glory days. Cardinals have beaten two top 50 RPI schools and two more in the second 50. Last season the entire MAC beat one team in the top 50.

Buffalo (9-2, RPI 30). Clear favorites in the Mac East. Of course at this point last year, they were, too, and finished third. They have four starters back.

Toledo (9-3, RPI 66). Defending tournament champs have lost to No. 3 Louisville and top mid-major programs Duquesne and Western Kentucky.

Northern Illinois (8-3, RPI 167). Good record but worst strength of schedule in the conference. Still scoring (and giving up) a lot of points.

Central Michigan (9-3, RPI 104). Preseason favorites have lost to three teams in the top 100 RPI.

Bowling Green (8-3, RPI 101). Falcons have best non-conference record in four years but not a strong schedule.

Miami (8-3, RPI 115). Redhawks have new coach and conference's leading scorer.

Kent State (7-5, RPI 165). Flashes have beaten seven teams with RPIs of more than 200 and lost to five with RPIs in the top 100.

Western Michigan (7-5, RPI 75). Record belies the toughest preseason schedule in the MAC. But three wins were against non-Division I competition.

Akron (6-5, RPI 253). Zips keep playing weak non-conference schdules and fading in MAC. We'll see if this year is any different.

Ohio (5-5, RPI 127). Team that dominated the MAC from 2014-16 leads league in turnover margin by far but otherwise has terrible offensive numbers.

Eastern Michigan (4-7, RPI 288). Eagles were at bottom of conference last year and, despite good freshman class, are still there.
(This post was last modified: 12-28-2017 11:05 AM by cschierh.)
12-28-2017 01:16 AM
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GoFlashes7 Offline
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Post: #42
RE: Women's basketball 2017-18
Nice preview cschierh. Thanks for all that you do covering the Kent State Women's Basketball.

Do you think that the return of Megan Carter will be enough to allow Kent State to repeat as MAC East Champions? Do you think this 11 day break between the Robert Morris game & EMU game has allowed enough rest and improvement to spring board them into a successful MAC Conference schedule?
12-28-2017 10:24 AM
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cschierh Offline
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Post: #43
RE: Women's basketball 2017-18
Writing is a lot more fun with a good team.

Can the Flashes repeat? My annual "Keys to the Conference Season" preview is up on the blog at http://wbbflashes.com.

Megan is a key. If she can make five points a game difference (very possible), KSU has a realistic chance.

Two other key factors: Cut down turnovers (they're last in the conference in margin right now), and play with the consistency on defense they showed against Michigan and Robert Morris. Before those last two games, they always had at least one bad quarter.

Buffalo also looks like very tough competition. They have to at least split with the Bulls.
(This post was last modified: 12-28-2017 12:39 PM by cschierh.)
12-28-2017 10:44 AM
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cschierh Offline
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Post: #44
RE: Women's basketball 2017-18
Flashes (7-5) open MAC play at Eastern Michigan Saturday.

Eastern (4-7) has the worst record and lowest RPI in the conference. Kent State ought to win, but Eagles are among best in MAC in forcing turnovers. And turnovers have been a big weakness for KSU this season.

Second-year EMU coach Fred Castro is still building his own team in Ypsilanti. Nine of the 13 players on his roster will be playing their MAC first game. Besides what was supposed to be the best recruiting class in the conference, he has transfers from Syracuse, Michigan, Kansas and Rutgers.

Kent State will have redshirt guard Megan Carter, the Flashes best offensive perimeter player, available for the first time this season. She had been ineligible for academic reasons the first semester.

Full preview is on the blog at http://wbbflashes.com.
12-29-2017 09:12 PM
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cschierh Offline
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Post: #45
RE: Women's basketball 2017-18
Megan Carter scored 16 in her first game of the season and McKenna Stephens and Alexa Golden both had double-figure rebounds as Kent State beat Eastern Michigan Saturday, 67-60.

It was the Mid-American Conference opener for both teams. On the season, KSU is now 8-5, Eastern 4-8.

Jordan Korinek had 21 points for the Flashes.

Kent State had strong first and fourth quarters. In between, Eastern Michigan dominated and led by five points late in the third quarter. But KSU went on a 5-0 run to end the quarter and a 6-0 run to start the fourth.

In her first game back after sitting out the fall for academic reasons, Carter made 6 of 15 shots and had three assists and three rebounds in 29 minutes. Her 16 points were a career high.

Stephens had 17 points and a career-high 12 rebounds. Golden had nine points and 10 rebounds and made three foul shots in the last minute.

Story on the blog at http:/wbbflashes.com.
12-30-2017 04:40 PM
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GoFlashes7 Offline
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Post: #46
RE: Women's basketball 2017-18
Interesting that none of Starkey/staff's recruits have played much last season or this season. They will be counted on to produce next season and beyond, so hopefully they are getting good reps and experience in practice.
01-02-2018 02:10 PM
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cschierh Offline
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Post: #47
RE: Women's basketball 2017-18
He had no recruits last season. All the scholarships were taken when he arrived.

There are six freshmen on the team, including one walk-on. Best is Monique Smith, a 5-10 guard-forward from San Diego. She averaged a double-double for three years in high school. She was among the first off the bench for most of the non-conference season.

I'm pretty sure the two freshman post players are being redshirted. They're playing behind three seniors and a junior. Both were hurt late in their senior year of high school and were making slow progress in the off-season.

Point guard Erin Thames saw more action as non-conference went on, but that was before Megan Carter was eligible. Carter is much better player.

Guard Kasey Toles played early more than I expected, actually. But she's behind Carter now, too.

Starkey didn't start recruiting until this group was going into the summer before their junior year. That's very late these days. None were even second-team all-state, though California is so big it's had to get reading on Smith. I think she'll contribute -- maybe even start -- before she graduates.

But hers was a late class that I don't expect a huge amount from.

2018 recruiting class is the one to watch. It's potentially spectacular. One of best players in Virginia, top point guard in Massachusetts, 1,000-point scorer from Cortland, three-star post player from Strongsville.

They already have commitments from two current juniors. One is best player at Newark, one of top high school teams in state.

I'm quite happy with what I've seen from this staff as recruiters.
01-02-2018 03:00 PM
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cschierh Offline
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Post: #48
RE: Women's basketball 2017-18
The women, 5-1 on the road this season, play at Northern Illinois Wednesday.

The teams look very well-matched. Kent State is 8-5 with an RPI of 139; Northern is 8-4 with an RPI of 138.

NIU lost its MAC opener on the road to Miami Saturday, 67-65. Kent State beat Eastern Michigan at Eastern, 67-60.

As they did last year, the Huskies score a lot of points (81 a game, second in the MAC) and give up a lot (75, worst in the MAC).

Kent State, on the other hand, gives up the fewest points in the MAC but also scores the fewest (both about 61).

Full preview is on the blog at http://wbbflashes.com.
01-03-2018 12:21 AM
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cschierh Offline
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Post: #49
RE: Women's basketball 2017-18
Kent State let a four-point lead slip away in the last four minutes and lost at Northern Illinois Wednesday, 81-79.

The Flashes led 76-72 before Courtney Woods scored NIU’s last nine points on two three-pointers and three foul shots, Woods had 39 points, the second highest in Mid-American Conference this season.

Jordan Korinek had 27 points for Kent State. Megan Carter had 17, Ali Poole 14 and McKenna Stephens 10.

Both teams are now 1-1 in the early conference season. Overall Kent State is 8-6; Northern is 9-4.

The Flashes play their first home game of the MAC season at 4:30 p.m. Saturday against Western Michigan.
01-03-2018 09:35 PM
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cschierh Offline
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Post: #50
RE: Women's basketball 2017-18
You have a chance to see both the women and the men's team Saturday.

The women host Western Michigan at 4:30 p.m. The men's game against Central Michigan starts a half hour after the women end, probably about 7:15.

Both Kent State and Western Michigan are 8-6 and 1-1 in the MAC. Western has played one of the conference's tougher schedules and has an RPI of 82. Kent State's RPI is up to 130, its highest of the season. Nine MAC teams have RPIs of 130 or better. The conference has the eighth best RPI of 31 Division I leagues.

Full preview is on the blog at http://wbbflashes.com.
01-05-2018 07:32 PM
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cschierh Offline
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Post: #51
RE: Women's basketball 2017-18
Western Michigan dominated Kent State inside and beat the Flashes 66-61 in Kent.

Western outrebounded KSU, 40-27, blocked nine Kent State shots and outscored the Flashes in the paint 38-22.

Kent State drops to 8-7 on the season and 1-2 in the Mid=American Conference. Western is 9-6 and 2-1 in the conference.

Western led almost the entire game. Kent State pulled within two points at the end of the third quarter, but the Broncos scored the first nine points of the fourth quarter.

Western jumped to a 10-2 lead and never trailed.

Jordan Korinek had 22 points for Kent State, 18 in the second half. Megan Carter had 15 and Ali Poole nine.

Center Marley Hill had 15 points, six blocked shots, four rebounds and three steals for Western Michigan. All-MAC forward Breanna Mobley had 12 points and 11 rebounds.

Story on the blog at http://wbbflashes.com.
01-06-2018 06:53 PM
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burden Offline
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Post: #52
RE: Women's basketball 2017-18
Just some impressions after seeing the team for the third time.

WMU was a bad match up for us as they are a very physical team. We had to shoot well from outside to make up for our early 10-2 deficit and we just did not. Slow starts seem to be an issue with this team. Call me old fashioned if you like but the way the team approaches pre-game warm-ups annoys me. They appear to be at least as concerned with the music being played as with focusing on the drills. They are not the only team that does it but maybe a little more seriousness would help their starts. Just a thought.

After watching this team in three games it is essentially last years team without Lurken. Thats like the Cavs without LeBron. It’s going to be tough to make up for.

The freshman are getting zero minutes now that Carter is back (from what I saw in the first two games 0 minutes for the freshmen seems appropriate). I’m afraid there wasn’t much time for Starkey to put this class together so there won’t be much help from them this year. In addition Tyra James hasn’t played significant minutes (also 0 the last few games)so she must not be back to her form from two years ago. Hopefully next years class will be as good as advertised.

With the MAC being one of the best conferences this year (8th) I think 0.500 will be a challenge.
(This post was last modified: 01-06-2018 10:22 PM by burden.)
01-06-2018 10:14 PM
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cschierh Offline
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Post: #53
RE: Women's basketball 2017-18
Most of the MAC may struggle to hit .500. Central is the only team at 3-0. Northern Illinois beat Buffalo in overtime at Northern, Eastern Michigan beat Toledo at Eastern. Ohio beat Akron in overtime at Ohio.

East standings: Buffalo (11-3 overall) and Ohio (8-6, 2-1) at 2-1. Kent State (8-7) and Miami at 1-2. Akron (6-8) and Bowling Green (8-6) at 0-3.

West: Central Michigan (11-3) at 3-0. Ball State (13-1), Northern Illinois (10-4), Western Michigan (9-6) and Eastern Michigan (6-8) at 2-1. Toledo (10-5) at 1-2.

--

Burden's characterization of this team as last year's without Lurken is pretty accurate. Golden, Poole, Carter and Cross are all improved, but not enough to make up 24 points a game.

But at this time last season, KSU was 7-8 and 1-2 in the MAC. It lost its next game to go 1-3, then finished 13-5, winning its last seven. I can't even guess the final MAC standings except that Central and Ball State are likely to be at the top.
01-06-2018 10:29 PM
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burden Offline
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Post: #54
RE: Women's basketball 2017-18
I’m talking overall record. I hardly think CMU, Toledo, Ball St., NIU and WMU will struggle to reach 0.500 overall. Maybe one will falter but not all 5. Also it’s not a major criticism of anyone. When you lose a Lurken your not going to make up for it by everybody else improving. You need an influx of freshman talent and it’s just not there. Yes Poole has improved and I give you Carter is at least TBD. I see nothing in the rest that forces the league to play us any differently. I’d like to see Barber Smith become a force or Korinek really start to hit some outside shots but neither seems to be happening enough to really help. I think what’s happening is fairly predictable when you lose a Lurken quality player and I would be more than pleased with a 9-9 MAC record and 16-14 overall.

Last night was just a bad match up. Korinek always has some issues with people who can match her size. She eventually adjusted and got her points but there was no Lurken to help her out early when she and the team struggled. The only thing that really made me scratch my head was that 4th quarter start by WMU. That hurt and usually won’t happen to a well coached and prepared team. I hope not to see that again.
01-07-2018 10:22 AM
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cschierh Offline
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Post: #55
RE: Women's basketball 2017-18
My guess would by 10-8 and 18-14, but I've always tended to be more optimistic. (A year ago we would have been delirious at even 16-14.)

10-8 might even get a top four seed if the tie breakers work out, though the Western loss will hurt there. The MAC is so loaded and well-balanced.

In his pregame Saturday, Starkey pretty much said his rotation is four posts (starters plus Barber-Smith and Bess) and four guards (starters plus Carter). Someone else may sneak in; my guess would be James or Monique Smith. Nobody has gotten into foul trouble yet, and there have been no injuries.

I'm have played Barber-Smith more Saturday. They just got killed inside offensively and defensively. Buffalo and Central have the same kind of front lines.
01-07-2018 10:59 PM
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burden Offline
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Post: #56
RE: Women's basketball 2017-18
(01-07-2018 10:59 PM)cschierh Wrote:  My guess would by 10-8 and 18-14, but I've always tended to be more optimistic. (A year ago we would have been delirious at even 16-14.)

10-8 might even get a top four seed if the tie breakers work out, though the Western loss will hurt there. The MAC is so loaded and well-balanced.

In his pregame Saturday, Starkey pretty much said his rotation is four posts (starters plus Barber-Smith and Bess) and four guards (starters plus Carter). Someone else may sneak in; my guess would be James or Monique Smith. Nobody has gotten into foul trouble yet, and there have been no injuries.

I'm have played Barber-Smith more Saturday. They just got killed inside offensively and defensively. Buffalo and Central have the same kind of front lines.

Yes 10-8 is more optimistic than 9-9. Like we can be that precise. How about 9.5-8.5 as a compromise.
01-08-2018 08:51 AM
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cschierh Offline
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Post: #57
RE: Women's basketball 2017-18
Tie games are boring.
01-09-2018 05:57 AM
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cschierh Offline
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Post: #58
RE: Women's basketball 2017-18
Kent State hosts Eastern Michigan at 7 p.m. Wednesday.

It's a game that coach Todd Starkey says illustrates his point that there are no easy wins in the MAC this season.

Eastern looked as if it could be one when the Flashes won in Ypsilanti 67-60 in the season opener Dec. 30. But since then, the Eagles have beaten Bowling Green at BG and Toledo at Eastern. Their 2-1 record is better than that of Kent State, which lost by two at Northern Illinois and by five to Western Michigan in Kent.

The Flashes (8-7 overall) are probably still favored because it's a home game. Eastern is 6-8 overall.

On the blog at http://wbbflashss.com, we talk about how good the MAC is this season: seventh in conference RPI, with eight teams in the top 100 RPI and three teams in the top 10 in the latest Mid-Major poll.
(This post was last modified: 01-09-2018 06:05 AM by cschierh.)
01-09-2018 06:04 AM
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burden Offline
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Post: #59
RE: Women's basketball 2017-18
Nice win, 76-69 over EMU tonight. We had a rough first half trailing 34-27 after 20 minutes but came back nicely in the second half. Cross had 24 (and we needed them) and Korinek had 23 playing all 40 minutes. Basically played 6 players as Barber-Smith was in street clothes and Bess, Toles and Smith each played only a few minutes each. Almost all in the first half (actually it might have been all).
01-10-2018 09:48 PM
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cschierh Offline
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Post: #60
RE: Women's basketball 2017-18
Barber-Smith is sick and may be out for a while, coach Todd Starkey said.

Cross’s 24 was a career high.

KSU made 29 of 33 free throws. Korinek was 17 of 19 after going 15 of 15 last week.

Both Kent State and Eastern Michigan are 2-2 in the MAC. KSU is 9-7 overall.

Story on the blog at http://wbbflashes.com.
01-10-2018 09:58 PM
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