The tall get taller. Marvin Jones, who signed with Kent State Wednesday afternoon as the final piece of an already large Kent State recruiting class, marks the sixth player measuring in at 6'8 or taller on next year's roster.
Jones, a Chicago, Ill high school product, should be able to battle for some serious minutes with Mark Henniger and Darren Goodson leaving due to graduation. I wouldn't expect to see Jones in the starting lineup, but you should hear his name a lot.
Jones averaged 9 points and 7.9 rebounds a game at Highland Community College this past season. He was also in the top thirty in all of Junior College in defensive rebounds and blocks. If he can translate these junior college numbers into production at the MAC level, I think Golden Flashes fans should be pleased.
One glaring issue with Jones is his weight. To put it in perspective, KSU 6'4 guard Dev Manley is only 10 pounds lighter than Jones. If Jones was able to but on 15 pounds before the season, it is safe to say that that would go a long way for him. Another issue is his poor free throw shooting. Jones shot around 65% last year at the stripe. Free throw shooting was a weakness of the Flashes, and if Jones can't figure that out, he will be a foul target late in games.
I can see Jones being working in a platoon at forward and center with Chris Ortiz, Khaliq Spicer, Marquiez Lawerence, and Jimmy Hall. Ultimately I see Blake Vedder adding depth, but not significant minutes. Spicer and Hall will probably get the nod in the starting lineup. Where Jones falls in after that is to be seen. Ortiz had a promising campaign while Lawerence saw limited minutes. I can see Jones falling in between those two, but with so many new pieces, it is impossible to tell.
The Flashes have the largest incoming class next year as it now moves to seven players. It will also be the tallest class in the MAC, capped off by the tallest player in conference history, 7'4 transfer out of Indiana University of Pennsylvania, Blake Vedder.
Five of the seven incoming players are junior college transfers, which means they will have less time to learn the system at Kent State, and will need to develop immediate cohesiveness. Only time will tell if this will be an issue for the Flashes, but for now, you have to love the size of the new Flashes frontcourt.