Per @MikeDyer on Twitter, Kennesaw State has offered class of 2014 combo guard Grant Benzinger of Moeller High School in Cincinnati Ohio. TripleDoubleProspects.com said in August of 2011 that Benzinger is “a talented guard with a passion for the game, and will most likely be one of Cincinnati’s top players by his junior year.” KSU is the second team to offer Benzinger, with Wright St. being the first when they pulled the trigger last week. He also has interest from Belmont, Davidson, Toledo and Akron.Follow @KSUOwlHowl
The Owl Howl: I’m here with Delbert Love, a 6’0” rising sophomore combo guard out of St. Edward High School in Ohio. How are you doing today Delbert?
Love: I’m doing good, how are you doing?
The Owl Howl: I’m doing well. You’re originally from Cleveland Ohio, tell me a little bit about where you grew up.
Love: I’m from Cleveland, born and raised, I lived there my whole life. I went to St. Edward High School located in Lakewood, which is about 30 minutes away. I grew up in Cleveland and went to public middle and elementary school until high school.
The Owl Howl: When did you start getting into basketball?
Love: I started getting into basketball around middle school. I played with my friends through 6th grade but football was my first love. I was playing football seriously until about 7th or 8th grade when I started playing basketball for my team and I kept going with that.
The Owl Howl: Were you better at basketball or were there more realistic expectations that you would succeed in basketball?
Love: That’s funny because everyone I talked to said that they pictured me playing football but I ended up playing basketball because I was feeling it a little more, so I just stuck with basketball.
The Owl Howl: What positions were you in football?
Love: Depends on what year. I played quarterback, running back, wide receiver.
The Owl Howl: At what point in high school did you realize you were going to be playing Division I basketball?
Love: Probably my freshman year. My high school was nationally ranked, we had great players who taught me a lot such as Delvon Roe who was a top five player in the country, Thomas Pritchard who was top 100 went to Indiana, Frankie Dobbs who went to Ohio University for a year and then went to Bryant, so there were a whole bunch of great players who I learned a lot from. I had gotten some college interest from that.
The Owl Howl: It sounds like a nationally recognized program with good coaches, which explains your well rounded game
Love: St. Edward Head Coach Eric Flannery is one of the best coaches in Ohio and in the country. He coaches the USA Under-17 basketball team. He’s just a great coach
The Owl Howl: What colleges recruited you out of high school
Love: My senior year I had my list down to Indiana-Purdue Fort Wayne who called me late to get into the mix, and I took a visit there and was interested and that’s when I got the call from Coach Preston and Coach Lallathin so I decided to make a visit down to Kennesaw State and I fell in love with it.
The Owl Howl: Why did you choose Kennesaw State?
Love: When I got down here from Ohio, I had never been to Atlanta or down south for that matter but I kind of fell in love with the area, the campus and most importantly I felt a great connection with Coach Preston and Coach Lallathin from the jump which is important in picking a college.
The Owl Howl: What was the toughest part for you in transitioning to the college game from the high schools ranks?
Love: Probably speed and strength because the college game is much faster. Everybody is stronger and faster and when going to the hole you have to be smarter about your decision making process.
The Owl Howl: For all the fans who have never seen you play, tell them a little about your game and style of play.
Love: I’m a combo guard, but last year I played more point guard than shooting guard which was new for me, but the coaches really helped me into that role. If I’m open I can knock down the three but I’m always looking to get my teammates involved. We’ve got great scorers on the wing and great scorers down low so just helping the team out and getting my points and assists where I can.
The Owl Howl: You averaged 12 points, 3 assists, and 1.7 steals as a freshman. What have you worked on this off-season in order to improve your game?
Love: This off-season I have really been focusing on my explosion and conditioning. I played around 30 something minutes last year and it really took a toll on me so I have been working hard this off-season to make sure I’ll be in better shape and be prepared for whatever happens this year. As for my explosion, just first step movement and getting my crossover quicker. I also have been practicing my catch and shoot and getting my shot up quicker.
The Owl Howl: Give the fans a little insight into your weekly routines and how much work you put in.
Love: I wake up every day at 5:20 a.m., workout at 6:00 a.m., then I go to class and eat and try and get back in the gym later on to play pickup or get shots up. I do this routine Monday through Friday.
The Owl Howl: How many shots a day do you put up?
Love: 700-1000 is what I try to get per day.
The Owl Howl: What are your goals this year as a team and how do you think it will be different from last year which didn’t go as anybody wanted it to?
Love: Last year nobody really saw the season going like that and it was really a learning experience. Team goals…we definitely want to win the Atlantic Sun conference. I mean we have a lot of freshmen, a lot of new people, new talent. I feel like with the people we have returning joining the new freshmen we can pull everybody together and get the job done.
The Owl Howl: Belmont leaving the conference definitely has to help your odds a little bit.
Love: Belmont was a great team, they played great together and had a great coach. I love to play against good competition, but with them leaving it definitely helps us out a bit.
The Owl Howl: Mercer is going to be a tough test this year because of their size.
Love: Yeah Mercer’s always tough. Last year was my first year learning about the Kennesaw State and Mercer rivalry, but it was a great rivalry. At home we had a sellout crowd and a lot of fans came out to support us and I hope they do again this year.
The Owl Howl: What are your goals this year individually?
Love: Cutting down on turnovers. I averaged close to three turnovers and around three assists so that’s not a good ratio. I’m trying to improve my to assist to turnover ratio.
The Owl Howl: You were named to the Atlantic Sun All Freshman team, and that’s a big honor you must be proud of.
Love: Yeah, that really meant a lot to me. I remember when my coaches told me I was named to the team, I was really excited. I remember calling my mom and her being so proud of me. I have to thank my coaches for pushing me and I have to continue to work hard so I don’t let my team down.
The Owl Howl: Speaking of honors, you were named a captain as a freshman. What does that mean to you and what are the expectations that you have to fulfill?
Love: It means a lot to me. Coach Preston trusts me to make the right decisions and to be a leader out there.
The Owl Howl: Since you’re now an established player in the Atlantic Sun, do you feel there’s a target on your back?
Love: Not really a target, but I’m definitely on more scouting reports than last year with me being one of the returning players.
The Owl Howl: There are many more shooters on the team this year to space the floor. Do you think that will help you in getting to the basket?
Love: Oh yeah, definitely. That’s going to help me, Markeith (Cummings), Aaron (Anderson) cutting and Myles (Hamilton) slashing. It will enable us to run some motion where you can get one post up player and get some easy buckets.
The Owl Howl: Speaking of Myles, tell us a little bit about him since he was on your high school team at St. Edward.
Love: I’ve known Myles for a long time, I can’t even count the years. I remember when coach first came up to me and asked about Myles, the first thing I said was “get him”. I mean, his game is really hard to define because he does everything really well. The thing that puts him past other players is how much fire he has and I think that will take him a long way.
The Owl Howl: I’ve seen his high school highlights and he has passion on both ends of the floor.
Love: I know coaches really love his defense because he’s got that defensive mindset and won’t let anybody take advantage of him, and he will never back down from a challenge. As long as I’ve played with him I’ve never seen him back down from anybody.
The Owl Howl: You averaged nearly two steals per game, do you pride yourself on your defense as well?
Love: Oh yeah. I definitely turned my defense up this past season. Coach Preston and Coach L (Lallathin) were big on defense, I know they told us in the beginning the season that we were going to defend if nothing else. I worked on moving my feet, sliding and playing passing lanes so that resulted in me averaging nearly two steals per game.
The Owl Howl: Thanks for your time Delbert
Love: Thank youFollow @KSUOwlHowl
“Explosion.” That was the first word Delbert Love used when I asked what he was working on this off-season. That word might also be the one to describe the increased offensive output that many predict will take place for the Love fueled Owls in the 2012-2013 season.
There is a lot of optimism around the team right now and I could tell by the tone in Love’s voice that he thinks the future is looking good at Kennesaw State. The Owls are returning their top three players from last year and are adding a talented freshman class to the mix.
A native of Cleveland Ohio, Love attended nationally recognized St. Edward High School for all four years and was a teammate of former Michigan State Spartan Delvon Roe and class of 2013 standout Elijah Brown, the son of Lakers Head Coach Mike Brown. “(St. Edward Head Coach) Eric Flannery is one of the best coaches in Ohio and in the country,” said Love. Under Flannery’s tutelage, Love captained his team during his senior year and led them to the Ohio Division I state tournament by averaging 17 points per contest.
Love’s solid foundation of fundamentals and understanding of the nuances of basketball helped him transition successfully during his freshman season at Kennesaw State when he averaged 12.4 points, 3 assists, 1.7 steals and 2.1 three point field goals per game to go along with shooting 34.1% from beyond the arc.
Everybody at the Division 1 (D1) level of basketball has some kind of special talent but that doesn’t mean everybody will succeed. There are many players in D1 basketball who can match and raise Love’s size and speed, but if the one thing that sets him apart from many others is his desire to get better. That is one of the qualities that helped him become one of the Owls three team captains during his freshman season; “It means a lot to me, Coach Preston trusted me to make the right decisions and be a leader out there and not let my team down.”
A typical weekday in the life of Delbert Love involves waking up at 5:20am, working out at 6am, going to class and then heading back to the gym in the evening. Love informed me that he shoots anywhere from 700 to 1,000 shots per day. If those numbers sound familiar it’s because Kobe Bryant told MensFitness.com that he shoots between 700 to 1,000 made shots per day. Having a similar routine to arguably the greatest player to ever play the game can only bode well for him.
Specifically, one of the things he is working on this off-season is his explosion, which involves “first step movement, getting my crossover quicker, and really getting my shot up quicker.”
In addition to explosion, he emphasized conditioning, “I played around 30 something minutes last year and it really took a toll on me, but I’ve been working hard this off-season to make sure I’m in better shape to be prepared for whatever happens this year.” It’s apparent to me that Love isn’t exaggerating, as he looks to have added muscle onto a leaner frame; the updated KSUOwls.com roster page lists him as ten pounds heavier than last year’s weight.
This coming year Love wants to make better decisions with the basketball, “My one goal that’s been on my mind for a long time is to cut down on turnovers. I think I averaged around three (turnovers) and I was only averaging about three and a half assists, that’s not really a good ratio.” Last season he played point guard which he was pushed into because of circumstances, but began to feel more comfortable in the role later in the season.
The additions of freshmen guards Yonel Brown and Myles Hamilton will mean the ball won’t have to be in Love’s hands as much as it was this past season, however, the 2011-2012 experience that was gained at the position could prove to be invaluable and undoubtedly adds to the roster’s versatility. We will see a lot of three guard looks from the Owls this year and having a trio of players who can handle the ball and get to the basket could make for some exciting fast paced match-ups in the Atlantic Sun conference.Follow @KSUOwlHowl
This weekend we are going to sit down with rising sophomore Delbert Love and find out what he’s doing this off-season to improve his game. Love averaged over 12 points per contest last season.
As you may know by now, we have added message boards to discuss Atlantic Sun conference basketball and the upcoming football program.
We have updated our basketball roster page to include player numbers. We have also added links to YouTube highlight videos of your favorite Owls.
We have put up an alumni section for active Owls baseball players that are currently in the major, minor or independent leagues. Their statistics will be updated regularly so check in daily and find out how they did in their last ten outings!
We have also adjusted the mobile version of the Owl Howl to be more compatible.
Give us a shout out on Twitter Follow @KSUOwlHowl
Per @CoachCW_Iceball on Twitter, Kennesaw State has offered 2014 combo guard Jarvis Calhoun out of Hewitt Trussville High School in Trussville Alabama. Calhoun, 6’0” 155, is a sharp shooting lefty who can also take the ball to the rim. He filled up the scoring column by averaging 18.6 points per game in his sophomore season and was named to the 2011/2012 Birmingham News All North/East Boys basketball team. Calhoun also has offers from Murray St., UAB and a pair of SEC schools, in addition to others. The rising junior is the sixth player from the 2014 class to receive an offer from KSU, and is the fourth guard.
To learn more about Calhoun and view some of his recent highlights, check out our 2014 prospects section. You can discuss Owls Basketball and Jarvis Calhoun with other fans in our brand new message boards which can be found here!Follow @KSUOwlHowl
The Owl Howl has learned this afternoon that Kennesaw State has offered class of 2014 forward Grant Bryant from Kell High School in Marietta. Bryant is an extremely skilled 6’6” player who causes mismatches on the low block due to his advanced back to the basketball skills, quick feet and left handed shot. He averaged 15.5 points per game and nine rebounds per contest in his sophomore campaign. KSU is the second team to offer Bryant, with only Jacksonville beating them to the punch. He is the second 2014 forward to receive an offer after Collins Hill John Carlos Reyes acquired one last weekend, and is the fifth offered 2014 prospect. The rising junior also has interest from Ohio St., Florida St., Marquette, Stanford, Xavier and Tennessee among others.
There is much more about Bryant in our 2014 prospects section, which you can find here. To discuss Bryant and Owls basketball, check out our BRAND NEW MESSAGE BOARDS! I will leave you guys with some freshman highlights from the 2010-2011 season.Follow @KSUOwlHowl
The Owl Howl is hearing that Kennesaw State has offered power forward/center David Onuorah. The 6’8” 220 lb Onuorah is a rising senior out of the Marist School in Atlanta Georgia who averaged 12 points, 9 rebounds, 2 assists and 2 blocks per game during his junior year. In addition to Kennesaw State, Onuorah has offers from a handful of schools and was recently offered by Auburn University. To learn more about Onuorah and find out which schools have offered, head over to our 2013 recruiting section!Follow @KSUOwlHowl