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Know The Enemy: Kent State

Get to know Oregon State’s thirteenth opponent of the 2016-2017 season, Kent State.

NCAA Basketball: Las Vegas Classic-Southern Methodist vs Kent State Joshua Dahl-USA TODAY Sports

Kent State Golden Flashes (7-4)

  • Conference/Location: Mid-American Conference (Kent, OH)
  • Head Coach: Rob Senderoff (6th Season)
  • Top Performer: Jimmy Hall (18.6 PPG, 10.5 RPG)
  • Points For: 82.5 PPG (41st)
  • Points Against: 68.3 PPG (T-110th)
  • Last Game/Streak: 68-63 Loss v. Wright State (1L)

The Skinny

Fresh off the heels of their ninth consecutive loss against Division I opponents, in a 53-45 defeat at the hands of Portland, the Beavers will attempt to regroup once again and hope to finally break their losing skid against a solid Kent State team.

Ridiculed in the off-season for a lackluster non-conference strength of schedule, a myriad of untimely injuries and unfortunate setbacks have turned Oregon State’s less-than-stellar slate into a living house of horrors. Head coach Wayne Tinkle and company have lost their last four games by a combined 18 points, signifying their inability to close the door against lesser opponents. Now, with the beginning of Pac-12 play on the horizon, a showdown with the Golden Flashes is the Beavers’ final out of league tune-up before newly ranked USC comes to town on December 28th.

For Wednesday night’s opponent in Kent State, the Golden Flashes come into this one with a 7-4 mark on the season, which includes wins over Cleveland State and Wofford, as well as losses to the likes of South Dakota and Wright State. In head coach Rob Senderoff’s sixth season at the helm, the Golden Flashes are hopeful to build off last year’s 19-win campaign and potentially become a sleeper team in the MAC, where they were selected to finish fourth in the East Division in the preseason poll.

Kent State is led by an All-MAC East Division Team Preseason Team selection in senior forward Jimmy Hall (18.6 PPG), as well two other double-figure scorers in sophomore guard Jaylin Walker (14.1 PPG) and senior guard Deon Edwin (10.9 PPG).

Keys To The Game

⇛ Bad News For The Beavers? Kent State Is Top Heavy

The Golden Flashes have their guys that they will continuosly feed the ball to over and over again, starting with the aforementioned Hall, who is incredibly tough to slow down once he gets going. Oregon State has struggled against superbly gifted star players (here’s looking at you, Quinndary Weatherspoon) all season long and Hall could be the next name added to that prolific list. The Beavers will need a plan of attack to slow down the talented Kent State forward.

⇛ Oregon State (Still) Needs To Find An Identity

It’s been said over and over again through this trying season but the fact of the matter is that the Beavers need to find an indentity that will define this team before the season goes on much longer. Oregon State tried to run with Savannah State to no avail. They played more methodical against Portland with little success. They’ve forced the ball inside. They’ve heaved up threes. They've tried seemingly everything but becoming a hard-nosed and disciplined defensive unit. If the Beavers can take the Golden Flashes out of their flow offensively, they might be able to hand Kent State their fifth loss of the season and pick-up their own first win against a Division I opponent since November 13th.

Player To Watch

Guard - Jaylin Walker (Sophomore)

A walking contradiction, sophomore guard Jaylin Walker could be considered the best-of-both-worlds, as Walker fills the role of both a crafty playmaker and a steady backcourt presence on the court for the Golden Flashes. Currently averaging 14.1 PPG and 3.0 RPG on the season despite his small frame, Walker finds ways to contribute to this Kent State team and he's been a huge reason for their success through their first eleven games. If the Golden Flashes are to get themselves going tonight against Oregon State, look for Walker to be a main piece in the Golden Flashes’ puzzle.

Game Info

Date: Wednesday, December 21st
Time: 8:00 PM PT
Location: Gill Coliseum (Corvallis, OR)
Coverage: ESPNU