Kennesaw State vs. Northern KentuckyFollow @KSUOwlHowl
Kennesaw State takes on NKU tonight at 7:00 p.m. at the Convocation Center. The Owls are 0-2 all-time vs. the Norse, including a loss earlier in the year, but they are looking to change that.
- NKU has lost three in a row by a combined 41 points.
- They rely heavily on their top four players, who are all upper classmen.
- The fifth spot in their lineup has been up for grabs ever since sophomore Jalen Billups went out of their lineup in December (injury or ineligible?). NKU has no options for that last spot and rotate seven freshmen to fill up those 40 minutes, plus bench minutes for the other starters.
- NKU has two guys who can score the rock in Nebraska transfer Eshaunte Jones and James Madison transfer Chad Jackson. Jones is shooting 39.5% from three this year, and takes the second most attempts in the Atlantic Sun Conference. He has the ability to take over any game with his shooting, but has been only 8-26 during NKU’s three game losing streak. Jackson on the other hand is a slasher, who does not have the ability to take over games. He is a strong guard, but is turnover prone.
- If KSU can hold Jones to under 15 points, they will win this game.
- The other veterans on the roster are Stretch Watson and Ethan Faulkner. Watson’s biggest attribute is in his nickname and Faulkner is a steady but unspectacular point guard who can run an offense.
- The most impressive freshman on their roster is Tyler White from Lima Ohio. White is athletic with some size for the guard position, but like most young players, he is battling consistency issues. He easily has the most upside among their freshmen.
- Another freshman who may contribute is Jack Fluornoy. Fluornoy had offers from Delaware, Marshall, Ohio, West Virginia before suffering a second ACL injury that sapped him of his athleticism. He doesn’t move very well, and has been more famine than feast, but his residual talent shines through every now and then.
- The rest of their freshmen are far from impressive with the best of the bunch probably being guard Nate Snodgrass. Undersized point guard Todd Johnson and plodding forward John Staley round out their top freshmen.
Why Kennesaw will win
- KSU played really well in the first half vs. South Carolina Upstate before the depth and talent issues caught up with them.
- It was a long bus ride from Northern Kentucky.
- The 6’4″ Eshaunte Jones has been struggling, but is still a shooter and should be forced to take his game inside the arc by the long arms of 6’7″ forward Nigel Pruitt. Pruitt helped hold Parker Smith to 14 points when North Florida came to the Convocation Center two weeks ago.
- Markeith Cummings has played much better on both ends of the floor since coming back from his suspension. He’s been a real asset.
- Aaron Anderson’s parents are in town from Arizona, so expect him to put up a big double-double.
- Pruitt is playing well and has averaged over 9 points in his last 6 games. Things are clicking for him, which gives Kennesaw a solid option for 30 minutes if he can avoid foul trouble.
- Myles Hamilton has also been solid. He had a collegiate career high of 6 assists last game.
- Yonel Brown should be placed in the game whenever NKU goes with the 5’9″ Todd Johnson.
- Expect a lot of Anderson at center tonight against Stretch Watson.