The Ball State men’s basketball team makes a second straight road trip to a Mid-American Conference East Division opponent to face Ohio in an 8 p.m. tipoff Wednesday.
The game will be televised as part of the MAC package on the Time Warner Cable Sports Channel. The broadcast will also be streamed on ESPN3 and the MAC Digital Network.
Ball State (3-10, 0-2 MAC) got off to a hot start Saturday at Kent State before eventually falling, 86-74. Ohio (11-4, 1-1 MAC) is coming off a double-overtime loss at Akron in a rematch of last year’s MAC Tournament championship game.
Ball State at Ohio
Wednesday, Jan. 15 at 8 p.m. -- Convocation Center (Athens, Ohio)
• Television: Time Warner Cable Sports Channel/ESPN3; Michael Reghi (play-by-play); Tony White (analyst)
• Radio (Flagship): Ball State Radio Network (104.1 FM WLBC); Joel Godett (play-by-play); David Eha (Analyst)
• Internet: Live audio available through the Ball State All Access package at ballstatesports.com; Live stats at ohiobobcats.com.
What You Need to Know
• Ball State visits 2013 Mid-American regular season co-champion Ohio for Wednesday’s game as the Cardinals continue a stretch of five straight games against MAC East Division opponents to open league play.
• The Cardinals dropped an 86-74 decision Saturday at Kent State in a game they led by double digits early in the second half.
• Freshman guard Mark Alstork led Ball State in points (15), rebounds (10) and assists (5) at Kent State, becoming the first Cardinal to lead the team in all three categories since 2008.
• Senior center Majok Majok is one of 15 players in the country averaging a double-double at 11.5 points and 10.5 rebounds per game. His rebounding average ranks 11th in the nation.
• Freshman point guard Zavier Turner leads the Cardinals with averages of 12.7 points and 4.0 assists per game.
• Seniors Chris Bond (11.1 ppg) and Jesse Berry (10.7 ppg) are also averaging double figures.
• Turner is the top free throw shooter in the country at 95.0 percent (38 for 40).
• For the season, freshmen have accounted for better than 42 percent of the Cardinals’ minutes and scoring.
• The Cardinals’ strength of schedule is rated No. 30 nationally by Ken Pomeroy and No. 38 by Jeff Sagarin.
• Ball State is playing its 93rd season of basketball and its first under head coach James Whitford.
• Ohio is 11-4 on the year after having a four-game winning streak snapped Sunday with a double-overtime loss to Akron.
• The Bobcats shared last year’s MAC regular season championship with Akron.
• Nick Kellogg (15.3 ppg) and Maurice Ndour (15.2 ppg) lead Ohio in scoring, while Ndour (7.6 rpg) tops the Bobcats on the boards.
• Kellogg shoots 43.3 percent from 3-point range and 89.4 percent from the free throw line.
• Ohio is holding opponents to 38.7 percent shooting from the floor and outscoring them by a margin of +7.4 (72.8-65.4).
The Series with Ohio
• Ball State and Ohio will be meeting for the 75th time with Ohio holding a 41-33 all-time lead.
• Ball State’s last win in the series came by a 76-73 score in overtime at the 2011 MAC Tournament.
• Ohio has defeated Ball State each of the past two seasons, including a 69-42 win last year in Muncie.
• The Cardinals are 10-24 all-time against Ohio on the road.
• Ball State head coach James Whitford and Ohio head coach Jim Christian served together on the staff at Miami University during the 1995-96 season when Christian was an assistant coach and Whitford was an administrative assistant.
• Herb Sendek (now the head coach at Arizona State) was the head coach of that Miami team.
• That staff produced six future head coaches: Charlie Coles (Miami), Christian (Kent State, TCU, Ohio), Thad Matta (Butler, Xavier, Ohio State), Sean Miller (Xavier, Arizona), Rob Senderoff (Kent State) and Whitford (Ball State)
• Coles had also previously been the head coach at Central Michigan.
Alstork Does it All at Kent State
• Saturday at Kent State, freshman Mark Alstork became the first player since 2008 to lead Ball State in points, rebounds and assists in a game.
• Alstork finished with career highs of 15 points and 10 rebounds and matched his career best with five assists.
• The last Ball State player to accomplish the feat was Peyton Stovall on Jan. 16, 2008 against Western Michigan. Stovall led the team with 18 points and tied for team-high honors with seven boards and one assist.
One Constant in the Lineup
• Senior forward Chris Bond has made 44 consecutive starts dating back to the last game of the 2011-12 season.
• Bond is the only Ball State player to start every game this season and was one of only two (Jauwan Scaife) to start all 30 a year ago.
• He has started 82 games in his career, including all 71 in which he has played over the past three seasons.
Bond Keeping Good Company
• Chris Bond enters Saturday’s game with career totals of 829 points, 498 rebounds and 130 steals.
• He is one of only three players in Ball State history to surpass 800 points, 475 rebounds and 125 steals for a career, joining Bonzi Wells (1994-98) and John Williams (1979-82).
• Wells finished with 2,485 points, 843 rebounds and 347 steals. Williams had 973 points, 497 rebounds and 167 steals.
Turner’s Fast Start
• Freshman point guard Zavier Turner is leading the Cardinals with averages of 12.7 points and 4.0 assists per game.
• He has reached double figures nine times this season.
• Turner became the first Cardinal with at least 17 points and at least four assists in the first three games of a season since Larry Bullington in 1973-74 and just the second to accomplish the feat since Ball State began tracking assists in 1973.
Turner Leading the Nation at the Stripe
• Zavier Turner ranks first in the country with a .950 free throw percentage, having made 38 of his 40 attempts from the charity stripe.
• He had a streak of 27 consecutive made free throws snapped in the first half Saturday at Kent State but then made his last four.
Turner from Beyond the Arc
• Zavier Turner also leads the MAC in 3-pointers per game (2.2) and is tied for fourth in the league in 3-point percentage (.460).
• Turner has hit at least three 3-pointers in six of the Cardinals’ 13 games, including a career-high four at Marquette.
• He has been held without a trey only twice.
More Turner Rankings
• Zavier Turner also ranks in the top 20 in the MAC in minutes per game (31.7, 6th), assists per game (4.0, 6th) and points per game (12.7, 16th).
• He leads MAC freshmen in each of those categories (including the ones in the previous note) except 3-point percentage, where he ranks second only to teammate Mark Alstork (.484).
Majok One of the Nation’s Best on the Boards
• Senior center Majok Majok leads the MAC and ranks 11th nationally in rebounding at 10.5 boards per game. He has recorded 52 rebounds over the past four games.
• He owns eight double-digit rebounding games, including a career-best 18-rebound effort Jan. 3 against Oakland City. The 18 rebounds against Oakland City are the most in a game by a MAC player this season.
• Majok led the MAC last year and ranked 18th nationally at 9.8 rebounds per game.
Majok Majok’s Double-Doubles
• Majok Majok owns six double-doubles on the year and 15 for his Ball State career, including a 16-point, 13-rebound performance in the Jan. 8 MAC opener against Akron.
• With 25 points and 18 rebounds in the non-conference finale versus Oakland City, Majok became the first Ball State player with at least 20 points and 15 rebounds in a game since Terrance Chapman did it in a January 2005 game at Eastern Michigan.
• Majok is now averaging 11.5 points and 10.5 rebounds per game as one of 15 players in the country averaging a double-double.
• The last Ball State player to average a double-double in a season was Theron Smith, who tallied 19.6 points and 10.9 rebounds per game in 2001-02.
• For his two-year Ball State career, Majok is averaging 10.9 points and 10.0 rebounds per game.
Alstork Developing as Scorer
• Freshman Mark Alstork has reached double figures in seven of the past nine games, including a career-high 15 points Saturday at Kent State.
• Alstork has been efficient from beyond the arc this season, knocking down 48.4 percent (15 of 31) to rank second the MAC in 3-point percentage.
• He hit a trio of 3-pointers against both Marquette and Oakland City.
Persistent Crowder Gets His Chance
• Ball State walk-on senior guard Kindon Crowder has seen action in three of the past six games. He knocked down a 3-pointer against both Marquette and Southern Illinois.
• Crowder is a former team manager for the Cardinals who first earned a roster spot as a practice player a year ago.
• He played high school basketball his freshman year at St. Francis de Sales in Chicago but did not play his final three seasons at Munster High School in Indiana.
Youth and Experience
• Ball State’s lineup this season is heavy on both experience and youth.
• There are only two scholarship players on the Cardinals’ roster outside the freshman and senior classes, so those two classes account for the majority of the minutes on the floor.
• Ball State’s freshmen have stepped in to make an immediate impact, accounting for more than 42 percent of the team’s minutes and scoring.
Berry Reaches 1,000
• Senior guard Jesse Berry surpassed 1,000 points for his career Nov. 30 at Cleveland State.
• He now owns 1,059 career points, the most of any current Ball State player.
• Berry is the 27th member of Ball State’s 1,000-point club. Former teammate Jauwan Scaife, now a graduate student manager for the Cardinals, became the 26th member last season.
Berry from Downtown
• Jesse Berry matched his career-high with six 3-pointers Dec. 30 at James Madison.
• Berry has moved into third place on Ball State’s all-time 3-pointers list with 185 for his career. He ranks second in school history with 538 3-point attempts.
• Former Ball State teammate Jauwan Scaife set the school record for 3-pointers last year, finishing his career with 203 treys. Patrick Jackson (1998-2002) is second with 202.
Varying Lineup Combinations
• Ball State has utilized seven different starting lineup combinations through its first 13 games.
• Nine different Ball State players have started at least one game.
• Chris Bond has started all 13 games, while Turner and Majok have each made 12 starts.
Whitford Era Underway
• James Whitford, who was introduced April 10, 2013 as the 19th head coach in program history, earned his first career win in the Cardinals’ 73-53 victory Nov. 12 over Taylor.
• Whitford came to Ball State after serving the previous eight years on Sean Miller’s staff at Xavier and Arizona, including the past two as the Wildcats’ associate head coach.
• He also has previous MAC experience with 11 years at Miami University under head coaches Herb Sendek and Charlie Coles.
• During his career as an assistant coach, Whitford’s teams posted an overall record of 400-208 and reached the postseason 13 times, including 10 NCAA tournament appearances.
Kamieniecki to Miss Season
• Senior post player Matt Kamieniecki is sitting out the season after undergoing wrist surgery. He will redshirt and return to the floor as a fifth-year senior in 2014-15.
• Kamieniecki has played in 74 games through his first three seasons at Ball State. He averaged 4.6 points and 5.9 rebounds per game as a junior, starting 11 of the final 16 games after being limited by injury in the first half of the season.
• At this point, Kamieniecki will be the only senior on next year’s Ball State roster.
Returning for the Cardinals
• The loss of Matt Kamieniecki leaves Ball State with six returning letterwinners from last year, four of which are seniors -- center Majok Majok, guard Jesse Berry and forwards Chris Bond and Tyler Koch.
• Ball State’s two additional returning letterwinners are both sophomores in forward Bo Calhoun and guard Chase Brogna.
Majok Tabbed Preseason All-MAC
• Majok Majok was named preseason All-MAC West Division in a vote of the league’s media. He was joined in the West Division by Toledo’s Rian Pearson and Julius Brown, Western Michigan’s Shayne Whittington and Eastern Michigan’s Glenn Bryant.
• The preseason All-MAC East Team consisted of Buffalo’s Javon McCrea and Will Regan, Akron’s Demetrius Treadwell and Quincy Diggs, and Miami’s Will Felder.