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Game 15- Ball State


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Wow, how can we already be 15 games into the season?

 

The Zips head to Muncie Friday night to face the 10-4 Ball State Cardinals.  Ball State started the MAC season with an impressive 90-83 win at Toledo.

 

This matchup features two of the MAC's top big men in Enrique and Payton Sparks.  Sparks, a 6'9" sophomore center, was named to the MAC's preseason first team and is averaging 13.1 ppg and 7.7 rpg on the season.  He is one of 4 players on the BSU squad averaging between 13 and 14.5 points.  Scoring is led by 6'4" sophomore guard Jaylin Sellers at 14.5 ppg.  6'5" junior guard Jarren Coleman  is the second leading scorer at 14.2 ppg.  The team is led by their new coach, Michael Lewis, previously an assistant at UCLA.

 

The Cardinals were predicted to finish fourth in the MAC pre-season poll.  They played a pretty weak OOC schedule.  The game is at 8:30 p.m. on CBSSN (grrrrrr).

Edited by clarkwgriswold
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On the road against a tough Ball State team was going to be tough as is. Assuming Castaneda is out, this is going to be an uphill battle. We're going to need more out of Hankerson this game and hope Tavari, Tribble, Hunter, and company can all chip in if we hope to win.

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58 minutes ago, kreed5120 said:

On the road against a tough Ball State team was going to be tough as is. Assuming Castaneda is out, this is going to be an uphill battle. We're going to need more out of Hankerson this game and hope Tavari, Tribble, Hunter, and company can all chip in if we hope to win.


Last night definitely showed that Hank is solidly in his role as a complimentary player. And he’s a good one, but he’s ultimately not going to be a guy that can replace any of X’s production, and his offensive production is hurt most by X being out.
 

Tavari has absolutely got to be better. NIU has one decent guard, but Tavari was still pretty bad last night. He nearly fouled out on stupid reaches at midcourt. And he was alligator arming bunnies he started the year hitting. A couple open 3s weren’t even close. After the Nevada game, I assumed we’d see pretty steady growth out of him, but this team’s ceiling is far smaller at this moment with him in charge. And that’s fine, as: 1. X should be back soon, and 2.  He’s a true freshman PG. 

 

Tribble was good yesterday, but it took him so long to get going. That first half was yet again full of missed shots within 5 feet. Friday will be a lot tougher against a better team. Hunter was pretty invisible, but did show some nice hustle and good body language. Maybe he’ll come around, my hopes are not high. 
 

This should be a great college basketball game to watch on Friday, I’m glad it’s on national TV as it is well deserved. 

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5 hours ago, LoyalZIP said:


Last night definitely showed that Hank is solidly in his role as a complimentary player. And he’s a good one, but he’s ultimately not going to be a guy that can replace any of X’s production, and his offensive production is hurt most by X being out.
 

Tavari has absolutely got to be better. NIU has one decent guard, but Tavari was still pretty bad last night. He nearly fouled out on stupid reaches at midcourt. And he was alligator arming bunnies he started the year hitting. A couple open 3s weren’t even close. After the Nevada game, I assumed we’d see pretty steady growth out of him, but this team’s ceiling is far smaller at this moment with him in charge. And that’s fine, as: 1. X should be back soon, and 2.  He’s a true freshman PG. 

 

Tribble was good yesterday, but it took him so long to get going. That first half was yet again full of missed shots within 5 feet. Friday will be a lot tougher against a better team. Hunter was pretty invisible, but did show some nice hustle and good body language. Maybe he’ll come around, my hopes are not high. 
 

This should be a great college basketball game to watch on Friday, I’m glad it’s on national TV as it is well deserved. 

GoZips.com schedule does NOT show any TV.  What network is it?

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This game worries me.  Ball State has decent, good sized, guards and a rare good MAC big man.

 

I still don't have a real comfort level with this Zips squad.  I trust Groce to get the most out of them and I am confident they will give effort, I'm just not sure of the talent level as compared to some of the other recent Groce Zips teams.  I hope to hell I am wrong and this is one of my annual mid-season panics!

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The Zips on the road have sucked this year.  They may be without their best player.  They have started slow on offense even when they have their best player.  I will be impressed if they can keep it competitive in the first half after a slow start.  I hate to be a pessimist but would not be surprised if they are down by double digits in the first half and spend the 2nd half trying to recover.

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2 hours ago, clarkwgriswold said:

Good, they seem to do well when we both have a bad feeling!

I'm being a bit more serious this time.  Coach Lewis impressed me when he was able to bring Sparks back into the fold.  Lewis, a former UCLA assistant, I'm sure sees Muncie as a transition job to something much bigger.  He may be the only coach in the MAC still wearing a suit and tie during games and his assistants do the same.  He's building his brand.  On "Over the Pylon" someone commented that Akron's lost to the tough teams.  However, looking at Ball State's record, Toledo's been there toughest match up apart from San Jose State.  

Edited by NWAkron
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Tribble said the Zips need a hit-first mindset, challenging opponents from the outset beginning Friday.

“We just been getting off to slow, flat starts. It starts with me and some of the older guys on our team,” he said. “We just got to come out in, set the rules and get that intensity. The younger guys feed off us.”

 

GT also gives an update on X & Clarke, but please give the article a click.

Edited by Blue & Gold
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