After winning the MAC tournament in 2017, the Kent State Golden Flashes did not have a particularly great season last year. While they finished .500 on the season, they were absolutely abysmal on the road, finishing 2-11. This season there are some key parts back, though the 7’ Adonis Del La Rosa is not one of them. However, the roster is not empty, so the Golden Flashes could certainly be a contender this season.
Even though the 7 footer is now plying his trade in Champaign, there is still plenty of height for Kent, though not a dominating inside presence. Danny Pippen was the Golden Flashes second leading rebounder, with 6.8 per last season. Guards Jaylin Walker and Mitch Peterson contribute on the glass, while BJ Duling has shown some promise.
However, the little guys might be the engine that drive this train. Jalen Avery is a 6’ guard that averaged 10 points per last season. He was tied as the team’s leading scorer in their exhibition game against Robert Morris. The other leading scorer was Antonio Williams, a 6’ community college transfer. Each had 16.
This team is 9 in our power rankings and a title run is not out of the question. I have seen coach Rob Senderoff make runs before. This particular team has a lot of guards that can score a variety of ways, and enough height that they shouldn’t get killed on the glass. The Golden Flashes held a slight rebounding edge last season over their opponents, and that trend should be similar this season. While De La Rosa was 7’ tall, he wasn’t particularly dominating on the glass. The stat I would focus on early if I were a Golden Flashes fan is 3 point field goal percentage. Last season they hit just under 33%. If that number creeps up to 36 or 37%, look for Kent to be much more competitive this season.