This one could get ugly, fast. On Monday the Ball State Cardinals host Grambling State. Let's just say the Tigers aren't very good at basketball.
The Tigers are two years removed from the worst statistical season in Division I history. Last year the improvement was there, but slow coming. The Tigers finished 5-24, with the highlight of their season being a first-round SWAC tourney victory over Jackson State.
Things aren't too much better this season, either. Grambling started 2014-15 by traveling to play George Washington and walked out with a 92-40 defeat. Things should have been a lot easier when the Tigers went back home to take on the NAIA's Lyon College, but the Tigers struggled and trailed the small school with under two minutes to play before grabbing a narrow, 55-49 victory. Grambling would score just 30 points in their next game, a 52-point loss to Purdue.
Grambling State has been led in scoring this season by A'torri Shine, who is averaging twelve points per game. Last year, Shine shot 43% percent from the field and averaged fourteen points. Freshman Kyle Williams is worth a look as well, getting at least fifteen minutes of playing time in all three games on the young season. Sophomore Raymond Brown only had sixteen minutes of playing time in each of Grambling's two blowout losses, but he had a large impact on the close win over Lyon College, producing a good effort in 33 minutes of playing time.
The Cards are coming off of a 71-69 overtime loss to IUPUI, and the Cardinals will have to adjust once again, as sophomore guard Zavier Turner remains out after being suspended indefinitely by the team on Friday.
Freshman Sean Sellers is looking to have another fantastic game, starting the season out with performances of 26, 18 and 22 points on the season. Three Ball State starters got into double figures in against the Jaguars, with Matt Kamieniecki and Jeremie Tyler joining Sellers.
The Cards two other games were a hard fought loss to #25 Utah and a 101-62 tromping of IU-Kokomo.
There's not much to say about this one. Ball State might have had only five wins as well last year, but as we know, the Cards don't play in the SWAC. Expect more large minutes from bench roles as Ball State easily moves to 2-0 at Worthen Arena.
Grambling State 44, Ball State 89