Ball State Men's Basketball Mid-Season Report Card

Jeff Hanisch-USA TODAY Sports

Ball State first-year coach James Whitford has gone through plenty of growing pains with his young Cardinals team, but there are a few glimmers of hope for the future.

RECORD SO FAR

4-13 (1-5)

BEST WIN(S)

The only Division-I teams Ball State have beaten this year are Southeast Missouri State, who, believe it or not, has a winning record (11-10), and they also just pulled off a thrilling victory against Buffalo on January 23.

IMPORTANT LOSS(ES)

The Cardinals almost pulled off a huge upset at home against Butler, but let the lead get away from them late to take a 59-58 loss.

Then they could have made a major statement in beating traditional MAC power Akron in their conference opener, but ended up falling to the Zips 72-68.

BEST PLAYER(S)

Freshman Zavier Turner is making a run for FOTY in the MAC. He leads the Cardinals in scoring with 12.4 ppg. and ranks among the top in the country in free throw percentage at 89.5%.

Majok Majok is doing fairly well down low, averaging a double-double (10.8 ppg 10.2 rpg).

PLAYER(S) WHO NEED TO STEP UP

Senior Jesse Berry has fallen flat this year. After averaging nearly 13 points a game last season, he's barely above 10 this year. His three point shooting is down as well, only hitting on 34.1% of his attempts.

GLASS HALF-FULL

First-year coach James Whitford has a nice group of young players to hopefully build into a system. Turner is playing remarkably, and fellow freshmen Mark Alstork and Franko House are showing promise. Maybe next year they can win more than 10 games.

GLASS HALF-EMPTY

Where do I start? The Cardinals can't score, can't defend, and turn the ball over as if they'll get in trouble for holding the ball too long. Ball State averages only 65.9 points per game, good enough for 305th nationally.

NEXT FOUR GAMES

January 29 - @ Akron

February 1 - Northern Illinois

February 5 - @ Buffalo

February 8 - Toledo

PROJECTION

I honestly don't know if Ball State will win another game this year, but crazier things have happened. So 1-3.

GRADE

D-

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