Keno Davis will be looking to do something Saturday that Ernie Zeigler and Jay Smith never could, and that’s beat Kent State.
It has been 16 years since the men’s basketball team has beaten the Golden Flashes (Leonard Drake was head coach, 1997) and 24 years since it beat them in Kent, Ohio, when Charles Coles was manning the Chippewas sidelines in 1989.
The Chippewas are on a five-game losing streak but might have made a turnaround Tuesday night after giving the lone Mid-American Conference unbeaten Akron a scare on its home floor.
KSU is going through some struggles of its own as well, losing five of its last six games.
Much like CMU, the Golden Flashes gave the Zips a scare, too, but they did it on their own floor. They also started MAC play at 2-1, just like the Chippewas.
Overall, KSU is dangerous on the offensive end of the floor. Its 69.8 points per game is good for No. 3 in the MAC behind Akron and Ohio, and it’s ranked No. 3 from beyond the arc as well, making 35 percent of its shots.
Senior guard Randal Holt leads the Golden Flashes offensive attack by averaging 14 points per game and making 57 three-pointers on the season, the most in the MAC.
Twenty-four of those three-pointers have come during conference play, where he’s only been better, averaging 15 points per game and shooting 38 percent from beyond the arc.
Holt has been productive, but it hasn’t been enough for the Golden Flashes, whose offensive numbers dropped during conference play; they are still a respectable fifth-best offense against MAC opponents.
CMU will look to answer with a Randall of its own.
Senior guard Kyle Randall is third in the MAC overall in scoring with 17.1 points per game, and, he too, has just gotten better in conference play.
He is the top scorer in the MAC in conference play, averaging 19.4 points per game after his team-leading 22-point game against the Zips.
In conference play, Holt isn’t KSU’s leading scorer. That honor goes to senior forward Chris Evans, who is averaging 16.9 points per game. He is also No. 10 in rebounding in in-conference play with 6.1 per game.
Evans is also leading the team in steals in conference play and is second in assists.
Much like the Chippewas, KSU is a young team under second-year head coach Rob Senderoff. The Golden Flashes have three seniors — even CMU has four seniors — four juniors, five sophomores and four freshmen.
Tip-off is set for 7 p.m. at the Memorial Athletic and Convocation Center.