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2017-18 Men’s Basketball Preview and Prediction: #7(tie) Kent State Golden Flashes

Can the Golden Flashes win the MAC again?

NCAA Basketball: NCAA Tournament-First Round-Kent State and UCLA Bruins Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports

Last season, the Kent State Golden Flashes turned it on at the end of the year and were able to win the MAC tournament. They were led by a trio of great players, Jimmy Hall, Jaylin Walker, and Deon Edwin. Only Walker returns from the team that finished the regular season 18-13, and 10-8 in the MAC.

For the Golden Flashes to recreate the success of the team last season, they are obviously going to need some other players to step up. There is plenty of potential players that could do exactly that.

Adonis De La Rosa is the first place I would look. The 7 foot center from the Bronx possibly has the highest ceiling of anyone in the conference. In the exhibition game against Wooster, he was 5-7 from the floor and finished with 15 points and 6 rebounds in only 14 minutes. Jaylen Avery and Mitch Peterson were starters last season and both scored in double figures in the exhibition game.

I am confident that coach Senderoff will find enough talent to make a solid starting 5, but depth will be an issue with this team. As a rule, I don’t pay much attention exhibition games, however a troubling stat emerged from contest against Wooster. The Wooster bench outscored Kent 37-25. I don’t think that’s solely because of the nature of exhibition games.

Overall, I expect this team to be a bit of a work in progress that gets better as the year goes along. There is a solid enough core that they will win some games early, but by the end of the season, I expect them to move higher than 7th place in our power rankings.