Kent State Golden Flashes (5-6)
- Head Coach: Rob Senderoff (7th Season)
- Top Performer: Jaylin Walker (16.1 PPG, 2.3 APG)
- Points For: 74.4 PPG (202nd)
- Points Against: 71.3 PPG (164th)
- Last Game/Streak: 81-69 Loss vs. Northeastern (3L)
A season ago, Kent State was one of the Beavers few victories on the season.
An exact year to the date of this year’s contest on December 21st, the Golden Flashes traveled to Corvallis and were blasted by a 3-9 Oregon State squad, for one of just the Beavers’ four victories against Division I opponents on the campaign.
For Oregon State, it was a much needed win.
For a future NCAA Tournament like Kent State, it was a somewhat confounding loss.
Fast-forward to 2017 and the Beavers and Golden Flashes will meet up again just a few days before Christmas, in Oregon State’s first true road game of what has been a very different season for head coach Wayne Tinkle and company.
The Beavers enter this year’s contest at 8-3 overall, a three-victory improvement from last year and with a six-game winning streak in tow.
Kent State is sitting at 5-6, with three straight losses to their name.
While on paper it seems that Oregon State should be able to handle Kent State, the Beavers task ahead could be a bit more difficult, considering this is the team’s first true road game of the 2017-2018 season. Sure, Oregon State has played away from Corvallis but in neutral sites in Orlando and Portland, they didn’t face a daunting, mid-major atmosphere like they will at Kent State.
Yes, Oregon State may be the better team. But they’ll have the prove that their early success is no fluke and try to enter conference play with a 9-3 mark to their name.
Players To Watch
Jaylin Walker (JR - Guard): A player who will emerge on some NBA Draft boards after next season, there’s some good reason to jump on the Jaylin Walker hype train now, as the savvy scorer from Kent State can surely fill the stat-sheet on a nightly basis. Walker has only played in eight of the team’s eleven contests this season and has scored at least 13 points on all but one of those occasions, which has included two twenty-plus point outings. Number one on the Oregon State scouting report will undoubtedly be Jaylin Walker.
Adonis De La Rosa (JR - Forward): Probably the closest thing to a double-double threat that the Golden Flashes have, seven-footer Adonis De La Rosa will be the force to be reckoned with from the Golden Flashes in the paint on Thursday night. A bruising and physical type of interior talent (who is a bit of switch up from some of the more recent perimeter oriented forwards that the Beavers have encountered), De La Rosa is a blue-collar type of talent who lives around the rim. The biggest concern with the 7-foot, 260-pounder may be his ability to put opposing big men in foul trouble, something the Tres Tinkle-Drew Eubanks combination will have to stay aware of.
Jalen Avery (JR - Guard): Kent State’s third leading scorer, averaging 10.2 points per game, junior guard Jalen Avery has the makings of the type of player who Oregon State usually struggles to contain. A capable scorer, it’s surprising at times to see that putting the ball in the basket isn’t even Avery’s biggest strength, as his ability to dish the rock comes into main focus. Avery averages a team-high 4.4 assists per contest, as the all-around best decision maker on the Kent State depth chart. Smart, versatile and smooth, expect Avery to get up at least ten shots on Thursday but also finish with at least 5 assists. He’ll be at the center of it all for the Golden Flashes, for better or for worse.
- Date: Thursday, December 21st
- Time: 4:00 PM PT
- Location: Memorial Athletic and Convocation Center (Kent, OH)
- Coverage: ESPN3