What's On Tap . . .
The Cardinals close out the 2011-12 regular season Saturday afternoon as they host Mid-American Conference West Division foe Northern Illinois ... Game time is set for 2 p.m. at Worthen Arena ... Ball State will honor its senior class at Pierre Sneed, Randy Davis and Jarrod Jones prior to the game Saturday with senior day festivities ... The Cardinals will also honor long-time voice of the Cardinals Morry Mannies at halftime of the game as he will be calling his final home game of his illustrious 56-year career.
Saturday's game will be broadcast on 104.1 WLBC FM with Mannies and David Eha providing the call ... The game will also be streamed online at www.ballstatesports.com with both audio and video.
Senior Class By The Numbers . . .
Seniors Pierre Sneed, Randy Davis and Jarrod Jones will be playing in their final home game of their careers Saturday ... The trio has played 337 games enters Saturday's contest, including 252 starts ... They have led the Cardinals to 61 victories in their careers while scoring a combined 2,789 points, grabbing 1,485 rebounds and dishing out 605 assists.
If The MAC Tournament Started . . .
The 2012 Mid-American Conference Tournament has a new format this season that protects the top seeds like never before ... The top two seeds based on winning percentage, regardless of division, will receive a bye into the semifinal round while seeds three and four (also regardless of division) receive byes into the quarterfinal round ... Teams seeded 5-12 will have to play a first round contest on campus and a second round game at the Quicken Loans Arena before meeting a team in the quarterfinal round.
If the MAC Tournament started today, the seeded would be as follows:
4.) Kent State
5.) Eastern Michigan
6.) Bowling Green
8.) Western Michigan
10.) Ball State
11.) Central Michigan
12.) Northern Illinois
If the tournament started today, the Cardinals would travel to seventh-seeded Toledo in the first round Monday ... Ball State can either be an nine or a 10 seed and will travel to either Toledo or Western Michigan ... Only the 11 and 12 seeds have been secured for the MAC Tournament.
Ball State's scenarios for seeding an first round opponents will become clearer Friday night after three MAC games, including Western Michigan at Central Michigan and Ohio at Miami.
Honoring Morry Mannies . . .
Morry Mannies, the voice of Ball State basketball, is in his 56th and final year at the microphone broadcasting Cardinals' games this year ... During the past 56 years, Mannies has broadcast over 5,500 Ball State and high school football and basketball games and logged over 30,000 hours behind the microphone for WLBC/WXFN Radio in Muncie.
He has served as Ball State's play-by-play announcer for both football and men's basketball since 1956 ... Mannies is a three-time winner of the Indiana Sportscaster of the Year Award and a three-time recipient of the Mid-American Conference Sportscaster of the Year honor.
Ball State will honor Mannies Saturday, during halftime of the regular season finale at Worthen Arena ... All general admission tickets are only 50 cents when sold in pairs ... Buy a general admission ticket (sold in pairs) for what it cost to go to a Ball State game in 1956 when Morry became the Voice of the Cardinals!
Jones Finalist For Lou Henson Award . . .
Senior forward Jarrod Jones was named one of 25 finalist for the Lou Henson Award ... The Lou Henson Award is presented annually to the top Mid-Major player in D1 college hoops ... Lou Henson retired in 2005 after 41 years of coaching, 779 wins and taking two schools (Illinois, New Mexico State) to the Final Four ... The winner will be announced at the Final Four, March 30th in New Orleans.
Jones is the only player in the Mid-American Conference among the 25 finalists ... He leads the team in scoring at 15.1 points per game and on the glass at 8.9 rebounds per game ... He has scored in double figures 20 times this season, including 10 games of at least 20 points ... Fans can vote for Jones at www.votelouhenson.com from February 20 through March 12.
Series History . . .
Saturday's game marks the 79th meeting all-time between Ball State and Northern Illinois ... The Cardinals hold a 46-32 advantage all-time in the series, including a 28-9 mark in Muncie ... Ball State has won four straight in the series, including a season series sweep last season.
Earlier this year, the Cardinals posted a 75-65 victory over the Huskies in DeKalb ... Senior forward Jarrod Jones paced four Cardinals in double figures in the victory as he scored a team-high 17 points while grabbing eight rebounds and recording three blocked shots ... Sophomore forward Chris Bond chipped in 14 points as he was 4-of-6 from the field and hit all six of his free throws.
Senior guard Randy Davis added 11 points and handed out a game-high six assists while only committing one turnover ... Sophomore guard Jesse Berry added 12 points off the bench in 26 minutes, including a pair of three-pointers.
Among The National Leaders . . .
Senior guard Randy Davis is second in the NCAA Division I lead this season in assist/turnover ratio entering Saturday's game at 3.4 ... Davis has handed out 136 assists this season while only committing 40 turnovers ... He only trails North Carolina's Kendall Marshall (3.66) ... He has a 2.72 assist/turnover ratio in Mid-American Conference play with 53 assists and 19 miscues ... His 2.80 ratio also leads the MAC in league games.
Davis was named the MAC West Player of the Week earlier this season (Jan. 23) for his efforts leading the Cardinals to road wins over Central Michigan and Northern Illinois ... He averaged 9.0 points, 8.0 assists, 5.0 rebounds and 1.5 steals per game ... Davis handed out 16 assists while only committing three turnovers in 62 minutes of action for the week for a 5.33 assist/turnover ratio.
Davis is second in the MAC at 5.5 assists per game ... Davis currently ranks 32nd in NCAA Division I in assists per game.
Getting The Start . . .
Senior forward Jarrod Jones has played in every game of his Ball State career, appearing in 121 games with 119 career starts ... He took over the top spot in program history for games started with his start against Toledo, surpassing former BSU great Bonzi Wells for the all-time program lead (114) ... Jones' 121 games played ranks fifth all-time in BSU history, trailing Mike Spicer's 126 games set from 1988-1992.
Jones has only not started twice during his career -- once during his freshman season at UC Santa Barbara (12/29/08) and once during his junior campaign against Ohio (1/29/11).
Coaching Comparison . . .
Ball State is led by fifth-year head coach Billy Taylor ... Taylor has led the Cardinals to 60 wins over the past four-plus seasons, including a 19-win campaign last year which marked the 11th most wins in program history ... The Cardinals have finished either first or second in the Mid-American Conference West Division the past three years and have advanced to the MAC Tournament semifinals two out of the last three years.
Northern Illinois is led by first-year head coach Mark Montgomery who spent the previous 10 seasons as an assistant at Michigan State.
Scouting The Cardinals . . .
Ball State enters the regular season finale Saturday with a 14-14 overall record and a 5-10 mark in Mid-American Conference play ... The Cardinals own a 9-5 record at home this season, including a 19-point victory over Central Michigan Wednesday night ... Ball State averages 63.4 points per game this season while holding opponents to 60.8 points per game ... The Cardinals are shooting 42.4 percent (606-of-1429) from the field and 32.8 percent (175-of-533) from three-point land ... Opponents are shooting 40.6 percent (595-of-1465) from the field and 35.0 percent (184-of-525) from long range.
Senior forward Jarrod Jones leads the team in scoring at 15.1 points per game and on the glass at 8.9 rebounds per game ... Jones is shooting 48.7 percent (154-of-316) from the field and 75.9 percent (101-of-133) from the free throw line ... Sophomore guard Jesse Berry is second on the team in scoring at 9.0 points per game and leads the team with 42 three-pointers.
Sophomore guard Tyrae Robinson is third on the team in scoring at 8.4 points per game ... Senior guard Randy Davis also averages 8.4 points per game and leads the team with 136 assists while hitting 39 three-pointers ... Sophomore Chris Bond is second on the team on the glass at 4.5 boards per game while freshman Aaron Adeoye adds 4.1 caroms per contest.
Scouting The Huskies . . .
Northern Illinois enters Saturday's game with a 4-24 overall record and a 3-12 mark in Mid-American Conference play ... The Huskies are coming off a 65-61 victory over Toledo Wednesday ... NIU is averaging 55.6 points per game while opponents are averaging 68.2 points per game ... The Huskies are shooting 36.6 percent (539-of-1471) from the field and 30.6 percent (160-of-523) from three-point land ... Opponents are shooting 44.4 percent (619-of-1394) from the field and 38.9 percent (215-of-553) from long range.
Abdel Nader leads the team in scoring at 10.6 points per game and is second on the glass at 4.1 rebounds per game ... Nader leads the team with 31 three-pointers on the year ... Aksel Bolin is second on the team in scoring at 6.0 points per game and leads the team on the glass with 5.1 caroms per contest.
Last Time Out . . .
Ball State got back to its winning ways Wednesday night with a 71-52 victory over visiting Central Michigan ... The Cardinals connected on 58.1 percent (25-of-43) from the field and 54.5 percent (6-of-11) from three-point land ... Ball State held the Chippewas to just 30.4 percent (21-of-69) from the field and just 23.8 percent (5-of-21) from long range.
Four different Cardinals scored in double figures in the victory with sophomore guard Jesse Berry pacing the offense with 15 points off the bench as he was 5-of-6 from the field ... Sophomore Chris Bond added 13 points, four rebounds and two assists while senior Randy Davis chipped in 12 points and four assists ... Sophomore Tyrae Robinson posted 10 points and four assists while senior Jarrod Jones grabbed a team-high 10 rebounds.
Freshman Breakout . . .
Freshman forward Aaron Adeoye has stepped up his output in MAC play as he posted a career-high in points for three straight games, scoring eight points against Miami, 10 points against Bowling Green and 14 points at Kent State.
Adeoye grabbed a career-high 11 rebounds against Miami, including eight offensive boards ... He followed that up with his first career double-double with 10 points and 10 rebounds against Bowling Green.
In his seven starts this season, Adeoye is averaging 6.1 points and 6.3 rebounds per game ... He is shooting 50 percent (17-of-34) from the field in starts and 81.8 percent (9-of-11) from the free throw line.
Adeoye's 11 rebounds are the most for a Ball State freshman since Jarrod Jones corralled 15 rebounds against Toledo January 25, 2009 ... He is the first freshman to post back-to-back double figure rebounding games since Jones posted three straight Dec. 21-31, 2008 against North Carolina Central, Maryland Eastern Shore and Manchester.
Comparing W's vs. L's . . .
Ball State has won 14 games this season by an average of 15.2 points per game while its 14 losses have been by an average of 9.9 points per game ... In the 14 wins, Ball State has four different players averaging double figures in Jarrod Jones (17.1), Jesse Berry (12.1), Tyrae Robinson (10.1) and Randy Davis (10.1) ... In its losses, BSU only has one player averaging double figures in Jones at 13.0 points per game ... Robinson is the next highest scorer at 7.2 points per game.
W's -- L's
Scoring Off. 71.9 -- 55.0
Scoring Def. 56.6 -- 64.9
Field Goal % .477 -- .372
Field Goal % Def. .364 -- .457
3-Pt Field Goal % .378 -- .278
3-Pt Field Goal % Def. .271 -- .449
Rebounding Off. 37.4 -- 30.7
Rebounding Def. 32.4 -- 32.8
Assists Per Game 15.5 -- 11.4
Turnover Margin +0.2 -- +1.1
Assist/Turnover Ratio 1.19 -- 0.9
Behind The Numbers . . .
Ball State is 11-0 this season when it scores at least 70 points and was 14-4 last season when reaching the 70-point barrier ... The Cardinals are 14-4 this season when leading at the half with their only losses coming at No. 16 Arizona, vs. Eastern Michigan (twice) and vs. Akron ... Last season, the Cardinals were 12-2 when leading at the half ... Ball State is a 10-1 this season when it hands out 15 or more assists ... Last year, the Cardinals were 10-2 when reaching at least 15 assists ... Ball State is 14-4 this season when it hits more free throws in a game than its opponent.
Climbing The Charts . . .
Senior forward Jarrod Jones moved into sixth place in Ball State history with 1,604 career points, surpassing Theron Smith Wednesday ... Jones is third all-time on the glass with 968 rebounds and needs 32 rebounds to become just the 16th player in Mid-American Conference history ... Additionally, Jones is the all-time leader in career starts with 119 and is fifth in career games played at 121 ... Senior guard Randy Davis moved into third all-time in assists with 438, surpassing Mike Spicer.
4. Derrick Wesley, 1984-88 1,729
5. Jim Regenold, 1969-72 1,685
6. Jarrod Jones, 2008-11 1,604
7. Theron Smith, 1999-02 1,599
8. Duane Clemens, 1996-00 1,585
1. Ed Butler, 1961-64 1231
2. Randy Boarden, 1975-79 1000
3. Jarrod Jones, 2008-11 968
4. Steve Payne, 1992-95 885
5. Theron Smith, 1999-2002 882
1. Jarrod Jones, 2008-12 119
2. Bonzi Wells, 1994-98 114
3. Peyton Stovall, 2003-08 113
4. Duane Clemens, 1996-2000 109
5. Randy Zachary, 1993-97 100
1. Mike Spicer, 1988-92 126
2. Robert Owns, 2000-04 124
3. Matt McCollom, 2001-05 122
Patrick Jackson, 1998-02 122
5. Jarrod Jones, 2008-11 121
Lonnie Jones, 1998-02 121
6. Peyton Stovall, 2003-08 120
2. Chris Shelton, 1982-86 481
3. Randy Davis, 2008-11 438
4. Mike Spicer, 1988-92 430
5. Scott Nichols, 1986-90 406
Leading The MAC . . .
Senior forward Jarrod Jones is the Mid-American Conference career active leading scorer with 1,604 points and is the career active rebound leader at 968 boards ... Jones leads the active scoring leaders by 117 points as Kent State's Justin Greene is second at 1,487 points and Ohio's D.J. Cooper is third on the list at 1,472 points ... He also owns a 184-rebound lead as Miami's Julian Mavunga is second on the list at 784 caroms and Greene is third with 778 rebounds.
Double-Dipping . . .
Senior forward Jarrod Jones has posted eight double-doubles this to raise his career total to 28 double-doubles ... Jones has accomplished the feat this season against Calumet College, Texas Southern, SIU Edwardsville, Florida A&M, Eastern Michigan (twice), Ohio and Toledo.
Jones recorded 11 points and 15 rebounds against Ohio earlier this year while sophomore forward Chris Bond posted his first double dip of the season with 14 points and 12 rebounds ... Jones and Bond became the first Cardinals' duo since February 9, 2011 at Bowling Green (Jones and Malik Perry) to accomplish the feat.
Defensive Prowess . . .
The Cardinals have been one of the top defensive teams in the Mid-American Conference and the country under fifth-year head coach Billy Taylor and this season is no different ... Ball State enters the game second in the MAC and ranking 31st in NCAA Division I in scoring defense holding opponents to a 60.8 point per game average.
Last season, Ball State led the MAC and was 64th in the nation in scoring defense at 64.0 points per game while placing third in the league in field goal percentage defense at 42.0 ... Two years ago, the Cardinals also led the MAC in scoring defense and were 43rd in the nation at 62.4 points per game.
Home, Sweet Home . . .
Saturday's game marks the 297th game all-time for the Cardinals at Worthen Arena since it opened January 15, 1992 (previously named University Arena) ... Ball State owns a 216-81 record all-time at Worthen Arena as it has won 72.7 percent of its games at home ... The Cardinals are 9-5 so far this season at home with wins over IUPUI, Calumet College, Texas Southern, Butler, Chicago State, Florida A&M, Western Michigan, Southern Illinois and Central Michigan.
Last season, the Cardinals posted an 11-3 record at home, including a 5-1 mark during non-conference play ... During its career, the Cardinals have averaged over 10.35 wins a season at home at Worthen Arena.
Jones' Weekly Honors . . .
Senior forward Jarrod Jones has been named the Mid-American Conference West Division Player of the Week four times this season ... Jones is the only play in the MAC this season to earn multiple honors and has now garnered weekly accolades 10 times in his career.
Jones picked up his most recent honor last week after leading the Cardinals to two victories, including a 78-69 win over preseason MAC West Division favorite Western Michigan ... He averaged 17.5 points and 9.5 rebounds per game in the two victories.
Jones has picked up MAC West Player of the Week honors this season Nov. 14, Dec. 12 and Jan. 2.
Davis - Cousy Award Candidate . . .
For the second year in a row, Ball State senior point guard Randy Davis has been named one of 59 candidates for the 2012 Bob Cousy Collegiate Point Guard of the Year Award ... The annual honor, named for Hall of Famer and former Boston Celtic Bob Cousy, recognizes the top point guards in college basketball ... Davis is one of just two players from the Mid-American Conference (D.J. Cooper, Ohio) among the 2012 nominees and is just one of 12 players in the country that has made the exclusive list for two straight years
Lowe's Senior CLASS Award . . .
Senior forward Jarrod Jones has been selected as one of 30 candidates for the 2011-12 Lowe's Senior CLASS Award given to basketball student-athletes who excel on and off the court ... Jones is the first Cardinal to be selected as a candidate since Peyton Stovall was a finalist for the 2007-08 award.
To be eligible for the award, a student-athlete must be classified as a NCAA Division I senior and have notable achievements in four areas of excellence - community, classroom, character and competition ... The 30 candidates will be narrowed to 10 finalists midway through the regular season, and those 10 names will be placed on the official ballot.
Cardinals Sign Four . . .
Ball State head coach Billy Taylor announced the signings of Michael Ramey (Indianapolis, Ind./Southport), Bo Calhoun (South Bend, Ind./Washington), Marcus Posley (Rockford, Ill./Rockford Auburn) and Mading Thok (Boyden, Iowa/Western Christian) to national letters of intent Friday morning during the early signing period.
Ramey, a 6-5 shooting guard, was recently ranked as a Top 25 Shooter in the country for the class of 2012 by ESPN.com after leading the state in three-point shooting as a junior, connecting on 52.4 percent (66-of-126) ... He averaged 19.5 points per game as a junior to earn First Team All-Conference honors.
Calhoun, a 6-6 forward, earned First Team All-Northern Indiana Conference honors last season after averaging 18.0 points and 9.1 rebounds per game ... He has led the Panthers to a 46-22 record during his first three seasons, including a 12-7 mark last season.
Posley, a 6-1 guard Illinois High School Association All-State honors as a junior as he averaged 19.4 points per game and 4.5 assists per contest ... He also picked up All-Northern Illinois Conference and All-Area accolades last season.
Thok, a 7-0 center, is a native of Bor, Sudan ... He averaged 8.5 points and 6.0 rebounds per game as a junior while shooting 54.3 percent from the field and 67.6 percent from the free throw line.
Cardinals Tabbed Second . . .
Ball State has been picked to finish second in the Mid-American Conference West Division preseason poll as selected by the MAC News Media Association ... The Cardinals were picked to finish second in the MAC West Division with 111 points, including nine first place votes, behind Western Michigan (128/14) ... The Cardinals finished last season with a 19-13 overall record and a 10-6 mark in MAC play, finishing second in the West Division ... The Cardinals returns nine letterwinners, including its top five scorers, from last season's team which posted the 11th most wins in program history.
Rounding out the MAC West Division are Central Michigan (92/1), Toledo (76), Northern Illinois (59) and Eastern Michigan (38) ... Reigning MAC regular season champion Kent State was selected to win the East Division with 132 total points, including 16 first place votes ... Akron was tabbed second with 104 points and eight first place votes followed by Ohio (94), Miami (80), Buffalo (62) and Bowling Green (32).
Kent State was also selected to win the 2012 MAC Tournament in Cleveland, Ohio as it received 12 of the 24 votes ... Akron was second with six votes followed by the Cardinals (3), Western Michigan (2) and Central Michigan (1).
Captains Earn MAC Honors . . .
Ball State senior captains Jarrod Jones and Randy Davis were named to the preseason All-Mid-American Conference West Division teams last week ... The two Cardinals were joined by Western Michigan's Flenard Whitfield and Demetrius Ward along with Central Michigan's Trey Zeigler on the West Division squad.
Jones highlights the MAC West Division preseason team, earning preseason accolades for the third time in his career ... He earned First Team All-MAC and MAC All-Tournament honors last season as a junior when leading the team in scoring at 14.7 points per game and rebounding at 8.4 caroms per game ...He scored double figures in 27 of BSU's 32 games, including five games of 20-plus points last season while posting 11 double-doubles.
Davis earns preseason All-MAC honors for the first time in his career after starting all 32 games last season as the Cardinals' point guard ... He averaged 9.8 points per game while leading the team with 160 assists and 48 steals ... He led the MAC from the free throw line connecting on 87.3 percent (117-of-134) while placing second in assists per game (5.0).
Looking Ahead . . .
The Cardinals will enter the 2012 Mid-American Conference Tournament as the ninth or 10th seed and will travel to either Western Michigan or Toledo Monday night for the first round contest.