11-8 (2-4 MAC)
The Flashes best non conference win this year was Temple early in November. Although the Owls have underperformed, it was still a solid win on the road against a power conference team. Kent State also put together a nice six game winning streak including wins on three consecutive days in the Coaches vs. Cancer Classic.
The Flashes also have two nice conference wins against Ball State and Northern Illinois. Although neither team is expected to finish in the top of the pack in the MAC, both game required big time come from behind efforts for the Flashes.
Without a question the worst loss this year was against a very average Western Michigan team at home. The Broncos embarrassed Kent State on their own home court, winning by 16 in a game that was never really in question.
Kent State hasn't been able to finish games either. Six of their eight losses this year have been decided by less than eight points. The most heartbreaking losses this year were the two point loss against Seton Hall and the three point loss at Toledo.
Of the ten players who receive significant playing time, any one of them can be the best player on the floor depending on the night. The depth for Kent State has been a blessing and a curse.
At the beginning of the season, it appeared that Derek Jackson would be the go to guy for Kent State but that slowly changed. Kris Brewer started taking over games and Derek Jackson started to sit back and watch more. Now it seems like Jackson and Brewer are cooling off and Devareaux Manley is getting hot. Some nights Darren Goodson is lights out and other nights he is ice cold. It really has been a guessing game this year when deciding who will step up.
Player Who Needs To Step Up:
Darren Goodson. Plain and simple. When Darren Goodson brings his A game, the Flashes are a tough team to beat. Unfortunately, Goodson has a tough time recognizing when he just doesn't have it and continues to force bad shot after bad shot. If Goodson can get any type of consistency back into his game, the Flashes have a real chance to turn things around.
Side note: One player who doesn't necessarily need to step up, but needs to take a larger role, is Mark Henniger. Henniger is averaging eight points and five rebounds a game this year. Those numbers are up from last year, but as a senior forward, the Flashes will rely on him to be more dominant in order to get back into the mix.
Glass Half Full:
I applaud your fanhood if you are still glass half full with this team after this losing streak. The good news is that there is reason to be optimistic. The Flashes have a dangerous arsenal of shooters. If they can just get hot, it will be a sight to see. On top of that, Kent State is only two games out of a double bye spot. The way they are playing now, it doesn't look good, but it is not out of the question by any means.
Glass Half Empty:
Kent State is so deep with shooters that they almost seem to be indecisive on who should take over games late. With two games against Akron and a game against Ohio remaining, the Flashes have no easy task ahead of them. They will need to find a way to start winning against good teams to stay in the hunt for a bye.
Next Four Games:
January 29th vs. Northern Illinois (7-11, 1-5 MAC)
February 1st vs. Akron (13-6, 5-1 MAC)
February 5th @ Central Michigan (7-11, 0-6 MAC)
February 8th @ Eastern Michigan (11-8, 3-3 MAC)
I have a feeling the Flashes can get this ship turned around. Last year the Flashes started MAC play 2-5 but were able to finish the season strong winning seven of their last eight regular season games. Unfortunately I think the MAC is just much deeper than it was last year. I think the Flashes get the 5th seed with a favorable position to make a run deep into the MAC tournament. Ultimately I think they will fall in the MAC semifinals.