Menís Basketball Welcomes SEMO for Monday Tilt
MUNCIE, Ind. -- The Ball State men’s basketball team continues a three-game home stand Monday with a 7 p.m. tipoff against Southeast Missouri.
The Cardinals (1-1) are coming off a 73-53 victory over Taylor in the first win of the James Whitford era, while the Redhawks (2-1) won their second straight with a 76-68 victory Saturday at IUPUI.
Ball State vs. Southeast Missouri
Monday, Nov. 18 at 7 p.m. -- Worthen Arena (Muncie, Ind.)
• Radio (Flagship): Ball State Radio Network (104.1 FM WLBC); Joel Godett (play-by-play); David Eha (Analyst)
• Radio (Student): Sports Link Radio (91.3 FM WCRD); Luke Martin (play-by-play), Sean Stewart (analyst) & Petar Hood (sidelines)
• Internet: Live video and audio available through the Ball State All Access package at ballstatesports.com; Live stats also available at ballstatesports.com.
What You Need to Know
• Ball State is playing its 93rd season of basketball and its first under head coach James Whitford.
• The Cardinals welcome Southeast Missouri in a return trip for last year’s ESPN BracketBusters game against the Redhawks in Cape Girardeau, Mo. Ball State won that game, 85-82.
• Ball State is coming off a 73-53 victory in Tuesday’s regular-season home opener against Taylor.
• The Cardinals’ loss came in their season opener at Indiana State, a team picked to finish second in the Missouri Valley Conference.
• Freshman point guard Zavier Turner scored 17 points in both games. He leads Ball State and ranks in the top 10 in the Mid-American Conference in both scoring (17.0 ppg) and assists (4.5 apg).
• Senior center Majok Majok pulled down 16 rebounds against Taylor and ranks second in the MAC with 9.5 rebounds per game.
• Majok, a third-team All-Mid-American Conference pick last year, was one of five players selected to the preseason All-MAC West Division Team.
• Senior post player Matt Kamieniecki underwent wrist surgery and will sit out the season. He will redshirt this year and return as a fifth-year senior next season.
• Monday’s game is the second of three straight at home for Ball State in a stretch that concludes with Saturday’s game against Butler.
Scouting Southeast Missouri
• Southeast Missouri defeated IUPUI, 76-68, Saturday to improve to 2-1 on the season.
• The Redhawks’ other victory came over Central Baptist, while their lone defeat came in their season opener at Saint Louis.
• Southeast Missouri is coming off a 17-16 season and was picked as a co-favorite with Murray State in the Ohio Valley Conference West Division.
• Junior college transfer Jarekious Bradley is averaging 16.7 points and 7.7 rebounds per game.
• Bradley is one of eight transfers or freshmen seeing their first action for Southeast Missouri this season.
• Tyler Stone, the Preseason OVC Player of the Year, missed the first two games but returned to score 22 points and grab 14 rebounds in the win over IUPUI.
The Series with Southeast Missouri
• Ball State and Southeast Missouri will be meeting for just the second time.
• The teams played last year as part of the ESPN BracketBusters with the Cardinals earning an 85-82 road victory, Feb. 23, 2013.
• Ball State saw a 10-point lead evaporate in the closing minutes before Jauwan Scaife nailed a 25-footer in the final second to win it.
• Scaife led the Cardinals with 18 points, while Matt Kamieniecki (12 pts., 14 rebs.) and Chris Bond (11 pts., 11 rebs.) each posted double-doubles.
• Marland Smith led Southeast Missouri with 21 points, while Nino Johnson finished with 16 points and 14 rebounds.
• The victory kick-started a five-game Ball State winning streak to end the regular season with the Cardinals reaching the 85-point mark in the first four of those games.
Turner Running the Show
• Freshman point guard Zavier Turner has been Ball State’s offensive leader through two games.
• Turner has scored 17 points in both games and averaged 4.5 assists.
• He ranks in the top 10 in the MAC in 3-pointers per game (3.0, 1st), free throw percentage (1.000, T-1st), 3-point percentage (.667, T-3rd), assists (4.5 apg, T-6th), steals (2.5 spg, T-6th), scoring (17.0 ppg, T-7th) and minutes per game (31.0, 9th).
Majok on the Glass
• Senior center Majok Majok finished one shy of a career high with 16 rebounds Tuesday against Taylor, helping the Cardinals to a 53-25 advantage on the boards.
• Majok is averaging 9.5 rebounds per game to rank second in the MAC.
• Last year, Majok ranked 18th nationally with 9.8 rebounds per game and had 15 games with double-digit rebounds.
Youth and Experience
• Ball State’s lineup this season is heavy on both experience and youth.
• Freshman have accounted for 40.5 percent of the Cardinals’ minutes (162 of 400), 44.5 percent of their points (65 of 146), 61.3 percent of their assists (19 of 31) and 29.3 percent of their rebounds (22 of 75).
• Seniors have accounted for 53.3 percent of Ball State’s minutes (213 of 400), 47.9 percent of its points (70 of 146), 32.3 percent of its rebounds (10 of 31) and 52.0 percent of its rebounds (39 of 75).
Whitford Earns First Win
• 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 Tuesday over Taylor.
• Whitford came to Ball State after serving the previous eight years on the staff of Sean Miller at Xavier and Arizona.
• He also has previous MAC experience with 11 years on the staff 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, Redshirt
• Senior post player Matt Kamieniecki will sit out the season after undergoing wrist surgery. He will redshirt this season and return to the floor as a fifth-year senior in 2014-15.
• Kamieniecki 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.
• Majok, a former junior college transfer, led the MAC and ranked among the top 20 nationally in rebounding last year. He averaged nearly a double-double at 10.7 points and 9.8 rebounds per game.
• Berry is the team’s top returning scorer. He ranked second on last year’s team at 12.8 points per game, trailing only departed senior Jauwan Scaife’s 16.6 points per game.
• 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 to the preseason All-MAC West Division Team in a vote of media from around the league. 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.
Cardinals Relying on Young Talent
• Freshman Zavier Turner, an all-state point guard from Pike High School in Indianapolis, will be asked to shoulder much of the ball handling load for the Cardinals in his rookie season.
• The class of scholarship newcomers also includes guards Mark Alstork from Thurgood Marshall High School in Dayton and Quinten Payne from North High School in St. Charles, Ill., along with post player Franko House from Concord High School in Elkhart, Ind.
Berry from Downtown
• Jesse Berry returns as Ball State’s top outside shooting threat.
• Berry shot a career-best 37.5 percent from beyond the arc last season and raised his percentage to 41.2 during MAC play.
• He has moved into fourth place all-time at Ball State with 162 career 3-pointers and needs just two more to take sole possession of third place on the list.
• Former teammate Jauwan Scaife set the school record last year, finishing his career with 203 treys.
• Berry is also just 48 points away from reaching 1,000 for his career.
Bond Stealing the Show
• Chris Bond is tied for 14th on Ball State’s career steals list with 118.
• Bond led the MAC last year with 2.1 steals per game, logging a career-high 62 steals for the season.
• He is 49 steals shy of moving into the top five in Ball State history.
• One of Ball State’s biggest challenges this season will be to replace the scoring punch of Jauwan Scaife, who completed his career last year 14th on Ball State’s all-time scoring list.
• An All-MAC Second Team selection, Scaife ranked second in the league during MAC play last year with 19.9 points per game.
• In conference play, Scaife also ranked among the top five in the league in free throws made (1st, 98), 3-pointers made (2nd, 44) and minutes per game (5th, 35.2).
• He scored 24 points per game over the final eight regular-season contests, leading Ball State to a 7-1 record down the stretch.
• Scaife is now a graduate student manager for the Cardinals.
• Also gone from last year’s team are center Zach Fields, who graduated after starting 21 games, and guard Marcus Posley, who transferred after averaging 6.5 points and 2.9 assists per game.
Picked Fourth in MAC West
• Ball State was picked to finish fourth in the MAC West Division in the preseason poll of the league’s media members.
• Toledo was picked as the West Division favorite, followed by Western Michigan in second and Eastern Michigan in third. Central Michigan and Northern Illinois were picked to finish fifth and sixth, respectively.
• Akron was voted as the favorite to win both the MAC East Division and the MAC Tournament.