Markeith Cummings | 6’6” | 240 | Forward | Sr. | Beach HS | Birmingham ALFollow @KSUOwlHowl
Markeith Cummings is a 6’6″ 240 pound senior forward who has led the Owls in scoring for the past three seasons. Here are Coach Tony Ingle’s words on Cummings from 2008: “We are obviously excited to have a talented player like Markeith join our squad. He gives us a good size wing guard and is probably the most athletic player we have signed in the recruiting period.”
He was named one of three team captains by Coach Preston last season.
Here are Cummings numbers from his first three seasons at Kennesaw State
He has been the Owls top scorer for the past three seasons and helped lead the eighth seeded Owls to a victory over the number one ranked Lipscomb Bisons during his freshman season. The biggest improvements on his stat line could come from his percentages, rebounding numbers and assist to turnover ratio.
After little improvement from year 1 to year 3, look for Cummings to improve on his field goal percentage this season. The additions of slashers Yonel Brown and Myles Hamilton at the guard spots will give him easier looks inside. He will be relied on a little less than in previous years because there will be a handful of other players who can put the ball in the basket this season which will give him more time to catch his breath.
Under Tony Ingle from 2008 through 2011, the entire offense was all about dropping it in the post to Cummings and working from there. He was used to being the focal point for his first two years at KSU until last season when Coach Preston started to emphasize ball movement. There are few if any players in the Atlantic Sun who possess the size, strength and athleticism combination that he does.
He is a freakish athlete who excels in transition and can finish easily at the rim with thundering dunks that give little hope for the defender to do much except foul.
On the offensive end, he does his best work with his back to the basket and commands double teams. However he must be more decisive in the post, as he often stops to survey before going into his move/passing and occasionally tries to do too much by attacking straight into a double team and turning the ball over. The addition of a natural point guard and distributor like Yonel Brown will put Cummings in favorable positions around the basket where he can finish with the best of them.
He has enough handles to bring the ball up the floor on occasion, and even take his man to the basket off the dribble although he must prove that he can go to the left. He has shown the ability to knock down the open three pointer but it is not one of his strengths as his shot is often inconsistent and has a slow release.
Defensively he can be a liability, but with his offensive talents, it can easily be overlooked. He needs to forget about foul trouble and play tougher on defense which includes taking charges and getting his rebounding totals to at least seven per game to help out Owls center Aaron Anderson.
Cummings is easily the best athlete to ever play for Kennesaw State basketball, and might be the most talented player to ever suit up for the black and gold to this point in time. He is a captain and leading scorer but he can’t be content with last season and must push to get better if the young Owls roster wants to make a deep postseason push this season. Look for him to continue his career overseas in 2013, and be a highly valued “import” for a European club.Follow @KSUOwlHowl