Last season, the Kent State Golden Flashes showed some promise before ultimately finishing the season at .500. Quite a bit of talent returns, as 4 of the top 6 scorers return. However, they lost their big man in Adonis De La Rosa, and also lost second leading scorer Kevin Zabo. The leading scorer Jaylin Walker returns, as does Jalen Avery. The problem for the Golden Flashes last season was scoring points, so while they do return a large portion of their scoring, they don’t return a lot of points. Simply put, the team struggled to put the ball in the basket. That is only going to get tougher without the 7 footer taking up space in the middle and opening up jumpers, which this team loves, for some reason.
The good news is that Rob Senderoff is a good coach, and had the team playing better toward the end of the season. More good news is that the team has talent, even if it was a bit cold shooting last season. Yet another bit of good news is that the team was 13-3 at home. When comfortable, they could actually knock down those jumpers.
The last hunk of good news, which might be the most important, is the non-conference schedule. With the exception of Louisville, there are a lot of cupcakes with a few solid tests sprinkled in. This team could be sitting at 10-2 going into MAC play, with loads of confidence. Confident teams knock down their jumpers, and when Kent State knocked down their jumpers last season, they tended to win. 10ish wins are where I put them in conference play, so I think this will be another solid season. Once the conference tournament rolls around, I don’t think they have the talent to stand with some of the big dogs, but you never know in a one off type of situation.