Men's Hoops Hosting Cleveland State Wednesday
MUNCIE, Ind. -- The Ball State men's basketball team returns to Worthen Arena to continue non-conference play Wednesday at 7 p.m. against Cleveland State.
The Cardinals (2-2) are coming off a loss Sunday at No. 1-ranked Indiana, while Cleveland State (4-2) has been off since a Nov. 20 loss to Robert Morris in the preseason NIT.
• Radio (Flagship): Ball State Radio Network (104.1 FM WLBC); Play-by-play:Joel Godett; Analyst: David Eha
• Radio (Student): Sports Link Radio (91.3 FM WCRD); Play-by-play: Sean Stewart; Analyst: Donnie Kolakowski, Tyler Bradfield
• Internet: Live video, live audio and live stats at ballstatesports.com
• Ball State and Cleveland State will be meeting for the fifth time ever but the first time since the 1975-76 campaign.
• The teams met four straight seasons from 1972-73 through 1975-76 with each team winning twice on its home court. The Cardinals won the last meeting, 77-69, on Dec. 17, 1975 in Muncie.
• Ball State and Cleveland State share one common opponent this season with both teams defeating Grambling State (BSU 78, GSU 51 on Nov. 11; CSU 92, GSU 49 on Nov. 9).
A Quick Look at the Cardinals
• Ball State, which owns a 2-2 record, will be playing its fourth home in the first five games of the season Wednesday against Cleveland State.
• The lone road game during that stretch came Sunday when the Cardinals suffered a 101-53 loss at No. 1-ranked Indiana.
• Junior forward Majok Majok led the Cardinals with a Ball State career-high 18 points against the Hoosiers. Senior guard Jauwan Scaife added 11 points and junior forward Matt Kamieniecki matched his career-best with nine rebounds to lead Ball State on the boards.
• Majok, the top rebounder in the Mid-American Conference, leads Ball State with averages of 15.3 points and 9.0 boards per game.
• Scaife is scoring 11.3 points per game, while preseason All-MAC West Division selection Jesse Berry adds 11.0 to give the Cardinals three players averaging double figures.
• Freshman guard Marcus Posley averages 3.8 assists per game and ranks second in the MAC in assist/turnover ratio at 5 to 1.
• Junior forward Chris Bond is tied for second in the MAC with an average of 2.8 steals per game.
Scouting Cleveland State
• Cleveland State enters the contest at 4-2, having lost its most recent game at Robert Morris, 71-62, on Nov. 20. After playing six games in 12 days to open the season, Wednesday's game will be the first in eight days for the Vikings.
• CSU features six players averaging 8.0 or more points per game, led by sophomore guard Charlie Lee at 14.7. Sophomore forward Anton Grady is close behind at 13.7 points per game.
• Lee and senior forward Tim Kamczyc have combined to make 29-of-60 shots from beyond the arc (48.3 percent) for a Vikings team that makes more than seven treys per game.
• Cleveland State is coming off a 22-11 campaign and a second straight NIT appearance last season. The Vikings have won at least 20 games and played in the postseason in four of the past five years.
Majok Making His Presence Felt
• Majok Majok, a transfer from Midland College, has scored in double figures all four games, including a Ball State career-high 18 points the last time out against No. 1-ranked Indiana.
• The No. 18 junior college prospect in the country by JucoJunction.com coming out of Midland, Majok is nearly averaging a double-double with 15.3 points and 9.0 rebounds per game. His rebounding average leads the Mid-American Conference.
• Majok has recorded two double-doubles through four games. He scored 11 points and grabbed 12 rebounds in the Nov. 11 season opener against Grambling State and went for 15 points and 12 boards Nov. 20 against Indiana State.
• He became the first player with a double-double in his Ball State debut since Jarrod Jones in November 2008 (21 points, 13 rebounds vs. Eastern Illinois).
Living at the Line
• Majok Majok is getting to the free throw line an average of 10 times per game and has shot double-digit free throws in three of Ball State's four contests.
• The physical Majok has attempted double-digit free throws in three straight games with 10 versus Wofford, 11 against Indiana State and 12 against top-ranked Indiana.
• After hitting only 3-of-7 free throws in the first game of the season, Majok has hit 24-of-33 (.727) over the past three games.
High Volume Rebounding
• Junior forward Matt Kamieniecki matched his career high with nine rebounds in just 16 minutes of action Sunday at top-ranked Indiana.
• Through four games, Kamieniecki is averaging one rebound every 2:24 of game action, having grabbed 25 rebounds in his 60 minutes on the court.
• That is the best average by any player on the team by nearly a full minute. Fellow post players Majok Majok (36 rebounds, 120 minutes) and Zach Fields (21 rebounds, 70 minutes) are each averaging one rebound every 3:20.
Scaife's Career Numbers
• Senior guard Jauwan Scaife, who has averaged double-figure scoring in two of his first three seasons and is scoring 11.3 points per game this year, owns the most career points among the current Ball State players with 873.
• With four 3-pointers this year, Scaife has moved past former teammate Randy Davis (2008-12) and into sixth place on Ball State's career 3-pointers list with 137.
• Scaife needs five more 3-pointers to match his cousin and former Ball State star Bonzi Wells (1994-98) for fifth on the school's all-time list.
Bond Stealing the Show
• Junior forward Chris Bond is tied for second in the Mid-American Conference in steals with an average of 2.8 per game.
• Bond had four steals in the opener against Grambling State and a career-high five Nov. 20 against Wofford. He owns 11 of the Cardinals' 32 steals as a team, while senior guard Jauwan Scaife has added eight steals.
Posley Taking Care of the Basketball
• Freshman guard Marcus Posley ranks second in the Mid-American Conference in assist/turnover ratio at 5 to 1. He has handed out 15 assists and turned the ball over just three times.
• Posley, who ranks sixth in the league with 3.8 assists per game, recorded six helpers without a turnover to go along with 12 points in the season-opening win over Grambling State.
• His six assists were the most by a Ball State freshman in his debut since Peyton Stovall dished out seven helpers against Xavier in the 2003-04 season opener.
• Posley had five assists with one turnover against Indiana State and three assists with one giveaway against No. 1 Indiana.
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 4.3 points and 5.3 rebounds per game. After never averaging more than 5.4 minutes per game in a season, Fields is logging 17.5 minutes per game this year.
Berry in Double Figures
• Despite being held below 10 points in the last two games, junior guard Jesse Berry has scored in double figures in eight of his past 11 contests dating back to last season.
• Berry earned the second MAC West Division Player of the Week award of his career after a 17-point performance in the season opener against Grambling State.
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.
Locking Down on Defense
• Ball State has ranked first or second in the Mid-American Conference for scoring defense in each of the past four seasons.
• Here are the Cardinals rankings by year: 2008-09 (59.7, 1st), 2009-10 (62.4, 1st), 2010-11 (64.0, 1st), 2011-12 (60.7, 2nd).
• Ball State also ranked second in the MAC in field goal percentage defense last year, holding opponents to 40.8 percent shooting from the floor.
• While Ball State returns only six letterwinners from a season ago, those six players have now combined to play in 346 games with 164 starts for the Cardinals.
• Senior guard Jauwan Scaife is the most experienced Cardinal, having played in 94 career games. He has started 67 contests at Ball State.
• Junior guard Jesse Berry (66 games, 19 starts), junior forwards Chris Bond (62 games, 43 starts), Matt Kamieniecki (51 games, 11 starts) and Tyler Koch (27 games, 22 starts), and senior center Zach Fields (46 games, 4 starts) also have a wealth of experience in the Ball State program.
• 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).
• Ball State is playing without junior forward Tyler Koch, who suffered a hand injury during preseason practice.
• Koch, a former Wright State transfer, started 22 games last year in his first season at Ball State. He scored 6.6 points and grabbed 3.3 rebounds per game.
The Non-Conference Schedule
• Ball State will leave the state of Indiana just once during the non-conference schedule -- a Dec. 15 trip to South Dakota.
• The Cardinals will play eight of their 12 non-conference games at home and make three road trips to in-state opponents -- Indiana (Nov. 25), Butler (Dec. 1) and Purdue (Dec. 18).
• Two of Ball State's home games are against Indiana State (Nov. 20) and IUPUI (Dec. 23), giving the Cardinals five games against in-state Division I programs.
• Ball State has never before faced Big 10 opponents Indiana and Purdue in the same season.