MBB Opens MAC Play with TV Game at Eastern Michigan
MUNCIE, Ind. -- The Ball State men's basketball team travels to Ypsilanti, Mich., to open its Mid-American Conference schedule Wednesday with a 7 p.m. tipoff at Eastern Michigan.
The game will be televised from the Convocation Center by the Ball State Sports Network. It will air in Muncie on WIPB-TV and throughout the state on various affiliates listed below.
Ball State (6-6) will be playing for the first time in a week and just the second time since before Christmas. The Cardinals are coming off a thrilling, last-second victory over Norfolk State last Wednesday, while Eastern Michigan (7-7) is coming off a Saturday loss at Massachusetts.
• Television: Ball State Sports Network; Play-by-play: Vince Welch; Analyst: Jerry Peirson; Affiliates: WIPB-TV (Muncie), HTSN 6.2, Comcast 247, Brighthouse 164 (Indianapolis), WANE 15.2 (Fort Wayne), WNDA Indiana 9 (Jeffersonville), WKYI-TV 24 (Louisville, Ky.), WJTS 18 (Jasper; next day tape delay)
• Radio (Flagship): Ball State Radio Network (104.1 FM WLBC); Play-by-play: Joel Godett; Analyst: David Eha
• Internet: Ball State Sports Network broadcast streamed live on ballstatesports.com. Live audio and live stats also available.
• Ball State opens Mid-American Conference play with Wednesday's game at Eastern Michigan as the Cardinals look to improve on their 18-21 all-time record in MAC openers.
• The teams will be meeting for the 92nd time with the Cardinals holding a 53-38 advantage in the series that dates back to 1947. Ball State is 26-18 in 44 previous road games in Ypsilanti, Mich.
• The teams have faced each other at least twice every year but three since the 1976-77 campaign.
• One team has swept the season series each of the past three years with Eastern Michigan winning both meetings in 2009-10, Ball State winning both in 2010-11 and EMU sweeping last year.
• The Eagles won 51-48 in Muncie last January and 61-50 in Ypsilanti last February.
A Quick Look at the Cardinals
• Ball State evened its record at 6-6 last Wednesday, Jan. 2 with a 62-61 win over Norfolk State.
• Junior guard Jesse Berry, who scored a game-high 21 points, went the length of the floor in the final six seconds and found junior forward Majok Majok for a buzzer-beating dunk to end the game.
• Berry, the MAC West Player of the Week, and senior guard Jauwan Scaife, who added 18 points against NSU, made five 3-pointers each and combined to shoot 10-for-15 from beyond the arc.
• Ball State knocked down 12 treys in the game as a team, the most for the Cardinals in seven years.
• Berry -- a preseason All-MAC Conference selection -- leads the Cardinals and ranks seventh in the league with 14.3 points per game, while Majok and Scaife are each scoring 11.2 per game.
• Majok, who leads the MAC and ranks 14th nationally in rebounding, entered the week as one of 17 players in the nation averaging a double-double with 11.2 points and 10.5 rebounds per game.
Scouting Eastern Michigan
• Eastern Michigan closed out the pre-conference portion of its schedule with a 7-7 record after a 75-61 road loss Saturday at Massachusetts.
• The Eagles have played a challenging schedule (ranked No. 38 in the country by Warren Nolan), including a win over Purdue and losses to Michigan, Syracuse and Kentucky.
• The Eastern Michigan lineup features three players averaging double figure points -- guard Derek Thompson (11.4), forward Glenn Bryant (10.4) and guard/forward Daylen Harrison (10.0).
• Eastern Michigan is 7-1 at home this year and 0-6 on the road. The Eagles' only home loss came by a 59-57 margin Dec. 22 against Oakland.
• The Eagles are scoring an average of 58.0 points per game and allowing 63.1.
Berry Named MAC West Player of the Week
• Jesse Berry was named the MAC West Player of the Week after posting 21 points and four assists and setting Majok Majok up for the game-winning dunk last Wednesday against Norfolk State.
• It was the second player of the week award for Berry this season and the third of his career. Majok also won the award for Ball State earlier this season.
More on the Win over Norfolk State
• Ball State saw a 12-point second-half lead turn into a five-point deficit with four minutes to play last Wednesday but overcame a 20-3 Norfolk State run to earn the win.
• Ball State shot a season-best 57.1 percent from 3-point range (12-for-21) in the game.
• The 12 treys were the most in a game for Ball State since the Cardinals knocked down 14 from beyond the arc in an overtime win at Eastern Michigan on March 4, 2006.
• Jauwan Scaife and Jesse Berry each hit five 3's, marking the first time two Cardinals hit five 3's in a game since a Nov. 27, 2004 victory over Detroit (Peyton Stovall 5, Dennis Trammell 5).
Same Starting Five
• Ball State has used the same starting lineup in each of its first 12 games.
• Guards Jesse Berry and Jauwan Scaife, forwards Chris Bond and Majok Majok and center Zach Fields have each started every game.
• Junior forward Majok Majok entered the week as one of 17 players in the nation averaging a double-double at 11.2 points and 10.5 rebounds per game.
• The last Cardinal 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.
• Majok was named the MAC West Co-Player of the Week Dec. 10 after averaging 13.5 points and 16.5 rebounds per game in wins over Holy Cross (Ind.) and South Dakota the previous week.
• With 18 points and 17 rebounds Dec. 5 against Holy Cross (Ind.), Majok became the first Ball State player since Cameron Echols in 2002 with at least 18 points and 17 rebounds in a game.
• The No. 18 junior college prospect in the country by JucoJunction.com coming out of Midland, Majok is tied for the Mid-American Conference lead with four double-doubles.
Majok on the Glass
• For the season, Majok ranks 14th nationally and leads the Mid-American Conference at 10.5 rebounds per game.
• Majok's 46 rebounds over Ball State's three games from Dec. 5 through Dec. 15 were the most in a three-game stretch by a Cardinal since Theron Smith grabbed 46 over three conference games from Jan. 5-12, 2002.
Scaife Picking up his Offense
• Senior guard Jauwan Scaife is averaging 19.5 points per game over Ball State's past two contests after scoring a season-high 21 Dec. 23 against IUPUI and going for 18 Jan. 2 against Norfolk State.
• After shooting 29.3 percent from the floor (27-for-92) and 20.0 percent from 3-point range (10-for-50) over the first 10 games, Scaife has knocked down 58.3 percent from the floor (14-for-24) and 63.6 percent from beyond the arc (7-for-11) over the past two outings.
Scaife Closing in on 1,000
• With 39 points over the past two games against IUPUI and Norfolk State, senior guard Jauwan Scaife now owns 962 career points.
• The local product from Muncie Central High School needs just 38 more points to become the 26th member of Ball State's 1,000-point club.
Berry's Explosive Performances
• Junior guard Jesse Berry topped the 20-point mark for the fourth time this season and the third time in the past four games with his 21-point effort in Ball State's most recent game against Norfolk State.
• Berry, who leads Ball State with 14.3 points per game, scored a career-best 28 points Nov. 28 against Cleveland State.
• He went for 22 in back-to-back games Dec. 15 at South Dakota and Dec. 18 at Purdue.
• Berry owns six career 20-point games and has led the Cardinals in scoring six times this year.
• He has been the MAC West Player of the Week twice this season and three times in his career.
Posley the Scorer
• Freshman guard Marcus Posley has emerged as a scoring threat recently. Despite being held scoreless against Norfolk State, Posley is averaging 10.5 points per game over the past six outings.
• He scored double figures in four straight games from Dec. 5 through Dec. 18.
• Posley, who College Sports Madness named the MAC Player of the Week Dec. 17, scored a career-best 20 points in the Dec. 15 game South Dakota. For the season, he ranks fifth among the Cardinals at 7.3 points per game.
Posley the Distributor
• Marcus Posley leads the Cardinals with an average of 3.0 assists per game and ranks third in the Mid-American Conference with a 2.6 to 1 assist/turnover ratio.
• Posley has reached five assists in four games this year, including a career-best six helpers without a turnover in the season-opening win over Grambling State.
• If you throw out his one-assist, five-turnover performance against Cleveland State, Posley has recorded 35 assists and just nine turnovers in the other 11 games.
Bond Stealing the Show
• Junior forward Chris Bond ranks fifth in the Mid-American Conference in steals with an average of 1.9 per game.
• Bond had a career-high five steals Nov. 20 against Wofford and has recorded four steals in two other games.
Koch Returning to Form
• Junior forward Tyler Koch is now four games into his return to the court after missing the first eight games of the season with a hand injury.
• He has played more than 20 minutes in each of the past two games, averaging 8.0 points and 5.0 rebounds in those contests.
• Koch scored 10 points Dec. 23 against IUPUI and then added six points on a pair of key 3-pointers in the Jan. 2 win over Norfolk State.
• A former Wright State transfer, Koch started 22 games last year in his first season at Ball State. He scored 6.6 points and grabbed 3.3 rebounds per game.
Scaife, Berry on Career Treys List
• With 17 treys this season, senior guard Jauwan Scaife has moved into fifth place on Ball State's career 3-pointers list with 150.
• He recently moved past his cousin and former Ball State star Bonzi Wells (1994-98) and is now four treys shy of Chris Williams (2001-03) for fourth on the all-time list.
• Junior guard Jesse Berry has also climbed into the top 10 on that list. He now owns 121 career 3-pointers to rank 10th.
Getting to the Line
• As a team, the Cardinals are getting to the free throw line 24.2 times per game.
• BSU has shot 72 more free throws than its opponents (291-219) for the season.
• Junior forward Majok Majok (80 attempts) and junior guard Jesse Berry (72 attempts) have combined to shoot 152 free throws, more than half of Ball State's team total.
High Volume Rebounding
• Junior forward Matt Kamieniecki is averaging 0.35 rebounds per minute, having grabbed 47 rebounds in his 135 minutes on the court.
• Kamieniecki's per-minute average is the best on the team, slightly leading Majok Majok (0.33). Majok ranks 14th nationally in rebounding.
• Kamieniecki matched his career high with nine rebounds in 16 minutes Nov. 25 at Indiana.
• Of the eight newcomers on Ball State's active roster, seven are true freshmen. Here is a breakdown of the freshman class by position ...
• Guard -- Marcus Posley (Rockford, Ill./Auburn HS), Michael Ramey (Indianapolis, Ind./Southport HS), Chase Brogna (Houston, Texas/St. Thomas HS) and George Cater (St. Peters, Mo./Fort Zumwalt South HS).
• Forward -- Bo Calhoun (South Bend, Ind./Washington HS) and Rocco Belcaster (Berwyn, Ill./Morton HS).
• Center -- Mading Thok (Boyden, Iowa/Western Christian HS).
• Ball State's only non-freshman newcomer is Majok Majok (Perth, Australia/Midland College).
• While Ball State returns only six letterwinners from a season ago, those six players have now combined to play in 387 games with 196 starts for the Cardinals.
• Senior guard Jauwan Scaife is the most experienced, having played in 102 games (75 starts).
• Junior guard Jesse Berry (74 games, 27 starts), junior forwards Chris Bond (70 games, 51 starts), Matt Kamieniecki (56 games, 11 starts) and Tyler Koch (31 games, 22 starts), and senior center Zach Fields (54 games, 12 starts) also have a wealth of experience in the Ball State program.
Fields Gets Smaller to Play Bigger Role
• After four years in the Ball State program, fifth-year senior center Zach Fields made his first career start in the season opener against Grambling State and has started every game since.
• Fields made the most of the opportunity in the opener, logging career highs with 10 points and eight rebounds. His previous career bests were four points and four boards.
• The 6-foot-10 Fields, who has lost 30 pounds in an effort to make a greater impact, is averaging 17.6 minutes per game this year after never logging more than 5.4 minutes per game previously.
One of the Best in the West
• Ball State has finished among the top three in the MAC West Division in each of the past four seasons, including first- or second-place finishes in three of those years.
• The Cardinals tied for the division crown in 2008-09 and finished second in both 2009-10 and 2010-11. Last year, Ball State tied for third in the West.
The Non-Conference Schedule
• Ball State concluded its pre-conference schedule with a record of 6-6.
• The Dec. 15 game at South Dakota marked Ball State's only trip outside the state of Indiana before conference play. The Cardinals played eight of their first 12 games at home and made three trips to in-state opponents -- Indiana (Nov. 25), Butler (Dec. 1) and Purdue (Dec. 18).
• Two of Ball State's home games came against Indiana State (Nov. 20) and IUPUI (Dec. 23), giving the Cardinals five games against in-state Division I programs.
• Ball State had never before played both Indiana and Purdue in the same season.