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cschierh Offline
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Post: #1
Women's basketball wrap-up
I’ve started to post season wrap-ups on the women on the blog at http://wbbFlashes.com.

The first lists eight games that made a difference in KSU’s 19-11 season.

Here are the top three:

No. 1, of course, was Kent State’s 72-66 win over Buffalo in the MAC quarterfinals. The game had all the elements that — when they were there — led to the Flashes’ 19-11 season: balanced scoring, solid defense, lots of points off turnovers, and lots of points on foul shots.

No. 2: Kent State’s 75-63 victory over Western Michigan on Jan. 11. The Flashes had just lost their first two MAC games. This win righted the ship. (The losing streak was also KSU’s only one of the season. Every other loss was followed by a victory.)

No. 3: Kent State’s 81-77 win over Ohio that clinched the third seed in the MAC Tournament and a tie for first in the MAC East. A month earlier it was iffy on whether KSU had a chance at fourth and the final bye in the tournament.

The rest are at http://wbbFlashes.com.
03-27-2020 05:11 PM
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Post: #2
RE: Women's basketball wrap-up
(03-27-2020 05:11 PM)cschierh Wrote:  I’ve started to post season wrap-ups on the women on the blog at http://wbbFlashes.com.

The first lists eight games that made a difference in KSU’s 19-11 season.

Here are the top three:

No. 1, of course, was Kent State’s 72-66 win over Buffalo in the MAC quarterfinals. The game had all the elements that — when they were there — led to the Flashes’ 19-11 season: balanced scoring, solid defense, lots of points off turnovers, and lots of points on foul shots.

No. 2: Kent State’s 75-63 victory over Western Michigan on Jan. 11. The Flashes had just lost their first two MAC games. This win righted the ship. (The losing streak was also KSU’s only one of the season. Every other loss was followed by a victory.)

No. 3: Kent State’s 81-77 win over Ohio that clinched the third seed in the MAC Tournament and a tie for first in the MAC East. A month earlier it was iffy on whether KSU had a chance at fourth and the final bye in the tournament.

The rest are at http://wbbFlashes.com.

I got a little more interested in the women's team and attended some games. I enjoyed this team and Starkey is the real deal. Thank you for your coverage of the team and I always look forward to your knowledgeable reports.
03-28-2020 11:47 AM
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cschierh Offline
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RE: Women's basketball wrap-up
(03-28-2020 11:47 AM)GFlash68 Wrote:  
(03-27-2020 05:11 PM)cschierh Wrote:  I’ve started to post season wrap-ups on the women on the blog at http://wbbFlashes.com.

The first lists eight games that made a difference in KSU’s 19-11 season.

Here are the top three:

No. 1, of course, was Kent State’s 72-66 win over Buffalo in the MAC quarterfinals. The game had all the elements that — when they were there — led to the Flashes’ 19-11 season: balanced scoring, solid defense, lots of points off turnovers, and lots of points on foul shots.

No. 2: Kent State’s 75-63 victory over Western Michigan on Jan. 11. The Flashes had just lost their first two MAC games. This win righted the ship. (The losing streak was also KSU’s only one of the season. Every other loss was followed by a victory.)

No. 3: Kent State’s 81-77 win over Ohio that clinched the third seed in the MAC Tournament and a tie for first in the MAC East. A month earlier it was iffy on whether KSU had a chance at fourth and the final bye in the tournament.

The rest are at http://wbbFlashes.com.

I got a little more interested in the women's team and attended some games. I enjoyed this team and Starkey is the real deal. Thank you for your coverage of the team and I always look forward to your knowledgeable reports.

Thank you for reading.
03-28-2020 12:12 PM
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cschierh Offline
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RE: Women's basketball wrap-up
Key numbers that made the women's season:

• KSU three freshmen averaged a combined 27.2 points a game. Last year everyone was excited about a five-person class that averaged 30.

• Kent's final RPI was 96 of 351 teams, the third time in Starkey's four years it has been under 100. The year before he arrived it was 318.

• The team averaged five more points a game than it did in 2018-19.

• Asiah Dingle's shooting percentage over the last 12 games, when she came off the bench, was 54.7%. In 2018-19, it was 37.6%. Her assist and steal totals also improved. But her turnovers, fouls and 3-point shooting didn't. But her scoring at the end of the season was a key factor in KSU's late run.

• Kent State ranked 295th in assists per game, which was slightly better than last year, when it was 314th.

• Home attendance averaged 1,830, which I think is the highest ever. (The official records are very spotty.)

Many more numbers (I've always been a statistics junkie) are on the blog at http://wbbFlashes.com.
03-28-2020 07:25 PM
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Post: #5
RE: Women's basketball wrap-up
I've reposted a KentWired story on the end of the women's season.

It turns out that the team was on the bus back to campus for a day of rest when it learned the season was over.

Story by Kathryn Rajnicek includes interviews with coach Todd Starkey and players Megan Carter, Lindsey Thall and Mariah Modkins.

It's on the blog at http://wbbFlashes.com.
04-04-2020 05:20 PM
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cschierh Offline
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RE: Women's basketball wrap-up
Asiah Dingle, the point guard who was women's leading scorer last season, announced Thursday she was transferring from Kent State.

In a tweet, Dingle said, "After much thought with my family, I will be transferring and pursuing a new home."

She thanked her coaches and teammates for "an amazing two years."

In her two years at Kent, Dingle was a main spark of the Flashes' offense and defense. She scored 785 points, averaging about 13 points a game in both seasons. Opposing teams often struggled with her aggressive drives to the basket, and she was fifth in the MAC in steals last season.

Dingle made the MAC all-freshman team her freshman year.

There's a lot more detail on the blog at http://wbbFlashes.com.

I don't think this was a coaching failure. Dingle did not talk or play like an unhappy person during the last month of the season. One of the major factors in her transferring, I'm pretty sure, was the health problems of a close family member. She did serve a two-game suspension in early February.

She and fellow sophomore Mariah Modkins shared the point guard position last season, with much help from senior Megan Carter. KSU's only other point guard for next season is incoming freshman Casey Santoro, a four-time all-state selection from Bellevue High School. Santoro scored more than 2,100 points in high school and averaged 25.2 points her senior years.
(This post was last modified: 04-09-2020 08:33 PM by cschierh.)
04-09-2020 08:32 PM
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Post: #7
RE: Women's basketball wrap-up
Kent was looking poised to be the cream of the MAC crop next year. I wonder if that changes now. Dingle is a great player, but I can imagine a couple of ways this doesn't hurt the Flashes much. One is the fact that Kent will have a lot of other scoring options next season. If Modkins can be a good distributor, it is possible that the loss of Dingle's scoring isn't a problem. The other scenario is that Santoro comes in ready to play at a high level, which is certainly possible given her states and accolades, not to mention the high-level success of her older sister.
04-10-2020 05:55 AM
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RE: Women's basketball wrap-up
I expected this would happen after her suspension. The silence from the coach and the fact she never started another game seemed to indicate it was fairly serious from Starkey’s point of view. She was a fun player to watch but extremely frustrating at times. Made great plays and terrible plays. Very inconsistent. At only 5’4” with no outside shot she had some weaknesses that showed up against better teams. She reminded me of Murchie Robinson (I think that was his name) who transferred to Cal St. Northridge. He drove the coach crazy also.
04-10-2020 12:37 PM
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cschierh Offline
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RE: Women's basketball wrap-up
I have doubts that tension between Starkey and Dingle was the main factor behind Dingle's transfer.

Here's what Starkey had to say about it (from an interview by Allen Moff in the Record-Courier):

“She’s looking for a fresh start. She’s trying to get closer to home, where she has family going through some significant health situations (not related to the coronavirus). I think that played a pretty big part in her decision. We weren’t blindsided by it. We knew it was a possibility. We wish her all the best.”

The family problems are real. Hours before Starkey's quote, I heard from the same thing from a good source in Boston (Dingle's home town). She does indeed have a close family member with significant health problems, and Boston is a long way away for a 20 year old.

It will be interesting to see where Dingle winds up. If it's in New England, that will tell us a lot. If it's in Kentucky, it's a different story. (I know nothing about Kentucky; it's just an example.)

Starkey and Dingle had an interesting relationship. He pushed her; one time he said in so many words it in a postgame interview with Dingle in the room. He thought she could be one of the best guards in the MAC (he really did say potential player of the year once). Her sometimes out-of-control play ("reckless turnovers," he said after one victory) could drive him crazy. So did her tendency to foul too much. And her lack of 3-point shooting limited KSU's offense.

But there's no doubt in my mind that she was an absolutely critical factor in KSU's success the last two seasons. Her drives could break down defenses. Her defense could change a game. (Her back-to-back steals at Akron changed the game.) Her 12-point average her freshman season was more than the freshman average for all but four of Kent State's 1,000-point scorers, including Larissa Lurken, Jordan Korinek, Lindsay Shearer, Julie Studer and Dawn Zerman.

And the way she played when she started to come off the bench was far from that of an unhappy player. She played the best basketball of her career in those 12 games -- more points, far better shooting, more assists. Her attitude in postgame interviews was the same as it was before. She was never a particularly articulate interview, but she was fun to be around.

What I heard about the suspension was that it wasn't for any grievous event.

Starkey's silence about it was a pain for a reporter, but he can be like that. When Katie Shumate sat out the Hiram game, he wouldn't talk about that, either. Sometimes when a regular didn't start, it was a "coach's decision" without elaboration. (That's not dumping on Starkey. He's one of the best coaches to cover I've known -- accessible and articulate.)

I'm not saying that the suspension or her coming off the bench had nothing to do with the transfer.

But my best guess is that the decision was at least as much family related as it was basketball related and maybe a lot more.
04-10-2020 03:36 PM
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RE: Women's basketball wrap-up
How will the loss of Dingle affect next year's team?

I'm not sure we could say the Flashes "were poised to be the cream of the crop" in the MAC.

A lot of other good teams have at least as much back as Kent State.

Central Michigan loses one senior -- their first player off the bench. Ohio loses only its third-leading scorer. Ball State has four starters back. Buffalo loses only one player -- a good one, but not its best -- and should get back Summer Hemphill, one of the MAC's best post players. She missed the whole season with an injury.

(Of course, any of those teams could lose key players to transfer, too.)

With or without Dingle, the Flashes will certainly be in the mix.

But there's even less of a favorite now than there was at this time last season, when Ohio clearly had the strongest returning roster. (And the Bobcats finished fourth.)

The dynamics will be different without Dingle. She could be flashy enough on offense and defense to change a game. But she was part of a cluster of players that were very good at creating their own shots. And that's why the Flashes -- at times to their detriment -- were 295th in the country in assists.

Modkins is a better distributor (and a better 3-point shooter). But most of the time, the Flashes were a better team with Dingle on the floor. I'm glad she's on the team, but I'm not sure she's a championship guard in Division I.

I think Santoro will be very good, but you never know with freshmen. Hannah Young scored 1,998 points in high school, but it took her almost a season and a half to find herself at Kent State.

The person who may change the team dynamics as much as anyone next season is 6-4 Indiana transfer Linsey Marchese. She has the potential to step in and quickly be one of the best centers in school history.

And you want something that will really change the dynamics of Kent State and every Division I team:

The NCAA is close to approving a rule change that would give every player a one-time transfer without having to sit out a season. There could be a vote on it in May, and it could take effect this summer.

There are already more than 200 women in the transfer portal. That could double if the new rule takes effect. Recruiting is already a mess because of a freeze on travel due to the coronavirus. Potential transfers simply haven't been able to visit a potential landing site.

We could see significant roster changes on 300 teams by the end of the summer.
04-10-2020 04:37 PM
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Post: #11
RE: Women's basketball wrap-up
(04-10-2020 03:36 PM)cschierh Wrote:  I have doubts that tension between Starkey and Dingle was the main factor behind Dingle's transfer.

Here's what Starkey had to say about it (from an interview by Allen Moff in the Record-Courier):

“She’s looking for a fresh start. She’s trying to get closer to home, where she has family going through some significant health situations (not related to the coronavirus). I think that played a pretty big part in her decision. We weren’t blindsided by it. We knew it was a possibility. We wish her all the best.”

The family problems are real. Hours before Starkey's quote, I heard from the same thing from a good source in Boston (Dingle's home town). She does indeed have a close family member with significant health problems, and Boston is a long way away for a 20 year old.

It will be interesting to see where Dingle winds up. If it's in New England, that will tell us a lot. If it's in Kentucky, it's a different story. (I know nothing about Kentucky; it's just an example.)

Starkey and Dingle had an interesting relationship. He pushed her; one time he said in so many words it in a postgame interview with Dingle in the room. He thought she could be one of the best guards in the MAC (he really did say potential player of the year once). Her sometimes out-of-control play ("reckless turnovers," he said after one victory) could drive him crazy. So did her tendency to foul too much. And her lack of 3-point shooting limited KSU's offense.

But there's no doubt in my mind that she was an absolutely critical factor in KSU's success the last two seasons. Her drives could break down defenses. Her defense could change a game. (Her back-to-back steals at Akron changed the game.) Her 12-point average her freshman season was more than the freshman average for all but four of Kent State's 1,000-point scorers, including Larissa Lurken, Jordan Korinek, Lindsay Shearer, Julie Studer and Dawn Zerman.

And the way she played when she started to come off the bench was far from that of an unhappy player. She played the best basketball of her career in those 12 games -- more points, far better shooting, more assists. Her attitude in postgame interviews was the same as it was before. She was never a particularly articulate interview, but she was fun to be around.

What I heard about the suspension was that it wasn't for any grievous event.

Starkey's silence about it was a pain for a reporter, but he can be like that. When Katie Shumate sat out the Hiram game, he wouldn't talk about that, either. Sometimes when a regular didn't start, it was a "coach's decision" without elaboration. (That's not dumping on Starkey. He's one of the best coaches to cover I've known -- accessible and articulate.)

I'm not saying that the suspension or her coming off the bench had nothing to do with the transfer.

But my best guess is that the decision was at least as much family related as it was basketball related and maybe a lot more.

He was silent AND never started her again even though she clearly has more talent than Modkins. Shumate was one game against Division 3 Hiram. He wasn’t happy about something and I suppose she wasn’t either. I’m not saying she doesn’t have a sick relative but if that’s all it was she wouldn’t have been suspended. I obviously don’t know I’m just guessing.
04-10-2020 05:55 PM
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cschierh Offline
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Post: #12
RE: Women's basketball wrap-up
I'd argue bringing her off the bench turned out to be the best thing for the team and perhaps for Dingle herself.

They had been getting very few bench points and not much energy from the bench. Dingle brought that and played her best basketball. I'm sure it hurt her feelings some, but many good players relish being the sixth man (woman) who makes a difference. Ali Poole got bumped from the starting lineup by Merissa the last three weeks a year ago.

Here's a feature from Dingle's hometown paper from early March. Both she and Starkey say the right things, but of course they would.

https://www.enterprisenews.com/sports/20...tar-dingle


I heard the suspension came from missing a team activity -- not an essential meeting or anything but something players are expected to do consistently. That's from one source, and I make no guarantees that it's 100% accurate. But it rings right to me.

The sick relative is a completely different issue. I would think both would play a role in her thinking, but my reading is the family issue was a stronger factor.
04-10-2020 06:07 PM
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RE: Women's basketball wrap-up
(04-10-2020 04:37 PM)cschierh Wrote:  How will the loss of Dingle affect next year's team?

I'm not sure we could say the Flashes "were poised to be the cream of the crop" in the MAC.

A lot of other good teams have at least as much back as Kent State.

Central Michigan loses one senior -- their first player off the bench. Ohio loses only its third-leading scorer. Ball State has four starters back. Buffalo loses only one player -- a good one, but not its best -- and should get back Summer Hemphill, one of the MAC's best post players. She missed the whole season with an injury.

(Of course, any of those teams could lose key players to transfer, too.)

With or without Dingle, the Flashes will certainly be in the mix.

But there's even less of a favorite now than there was at this time last season, when Ohio clearly had the strongest returning roster. (And the Bobcats finished fourth.)

The dynamics will be different without Dingle. She could be flashy enough on offense and defense to change a game. But she was part of a cluster of players that were very good at creating their own shots. And that's why the Flashes -- at times to their detriment -- were 295th in the country in assists.

Modkins is a better distributor (and a better 3-point shooter). But most of the time, the Flashes were a better team with Dingle on the floor. I'm glad she's on the team, but I'm not sure she's a championship guard in Division I.

I think Santoro will be very good, but you never know with freshmen. Hannah Young scored 1,998 points in high school, but it took her almost a season and a half to find herself at Kent State.

The person who may change the team dynamics as much as anyone next season is 6-4 Indiana transfer Linsey Marchese. She has the potential to step in and quickly be one of the best centers in school history.

And you want something that will really change the dynamics of Kent State and every Division I team:

The NCAA is close to approving a rule change that would give every player a one-time transfer without having to sit out a season. There could be a vote on it in May, and it could take effect this summer.

There are already more than 200 women in the transfer portal. That could double if the new rule takes effect. Recruiting is already a mess because of a freeze on travel due to the coronavirus. Potential transfers simply haven't been able to visit a potential landing site.

We could see significant roster changes on 300 teams by the end of the summer.

I agree about Modkins. Nice 8-12 minute player but I can’t see her playing 30 per game. Even if she could I would think she would physically wear down by game 20 or so. Unless we get an unexpected transfer we have to hope Santoro is ready. It can happen. Zerman started game 1 and was switched to the point by game 5 or so (replacing a damn good senior point guard Billie Jean Smith King, or was it King Smith, I don’t feel like looking it up). Let’s hope Santoro can do it.

If that transfer rule goes into effect who knows? It won’t even be worth talking about until you see who shows up for the first practice!
04-10-2020 06:08 PM
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cschierh Offline
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Post: #14
RE: Women's basketball wrap-up
I've posted a full analysis of Asiah Dingle's impact on Kent State basketball and where the team goes after her on the blog at http://wbbFlashes.com.

It covers a lot of the same ground I did in posts here yesterday but in a more organized matter.

One thing new: In the 30 years I've followed KSU women's basketball, I can't think of a more significant transfer. I mention a couple of other of the big ones, though there have been remarkably few.
04-11-2020 06:11 PM
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Post: #15
RE: Women's basketball wrap-up
Asiah Dingle tweeted today that she was headed for Stony Brook University, which last year went 28-3 and won the American East Conference.

Under current NCAA rules, she's have to sit out a year. I suspect she will apply for a hardship waiver to become eligible immediately. Moving closer to home because of urgent family circumstances is one of the reasons allowed for a waiver.

If the NCAA passes a "one-time transfer" rule in May, any player could transfer once in her (or his) career and be immediately eligible. The NCAA has meetings schedule on that this month and in May. I've seen credible national sources say that such a rule could go into effect this summer.
04-13-2020 07:12 PM
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Post: #16
RE: Women's basketball wrap-up
I've posted a really nice story by Kathryn Rajnicek, the Kent Stater/KentWired women's basketball beat reporter this semester and a student I work with in class.

It's about how the team is recruiting (from kitchen tables), training (with whatever is at home) and keeping in touch (Zoom, of course) when no one can leave home.

It's on the blog at http://wbbFlashes.com.
04-22-2020 03:48 PM
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