CSU Vikings Early Season Preview
The body of the 2012 Cleveland State Vikings season may not yet be cold, but no time like the present to think about the Viking’s future.
Many will consider the 2012-2013 a rebuilding year of sorts for the Cleveland State Men’s Basketball team as it looks to replace the contributions of four seniors that made up nearly two-thirds of the team’s offensive punch last season. Gone are sharp shooters Jeremy Montgomery and Trey Harmon. Furthermore, on the defensive end of the floor the Vikings will miss defensive juggernauts D’Aundray Brown and Trey Harmon, who was recently named to the Mid-Major Defensive All-America team on April 10th.
However, the Vikings are poised to become immediate Horizon League contenders under the tutelage of Head Coach Gary Waters. Waters and his coaching staff have been diligent last year and this year in finding young talent. Next year’s squad will be anchored by the Vikings’ lone senior, Strongsville native, Tim Kamczyc. Kamczyc, a former walk-on, showed marked improvement last season as he averaged 9 ppg and 4 rpg in his junior campaign. Kamczyc will be relied upon heavily next year to continue his progress and further increase his offensive production. Next season, junior forwards Luda Ndaye (1.3 ppg) and Devon Long (1.2 ppg) will also be expected to increase their modest contributions from last season. Both Ndaye and Long played limited minutes last season, but that is expected to change next year with the graduations of senior forward Aaron Pogue and guard/forward D’Aundray Brown. Coach Waters will also be eagerly awaiting the healthy return of guard Sebastian Douglas, who has battled serious knee injuries over the past two season. Douglas has shown the ability to be a major contributor coming off the bench with scoring ability and defensive prowess. His loss last season had a pronounced effect on the Vikings last season as the team struggled by losing seven of their last nine games.
Last season’s freshman class, which comprised of forwards Anton Grady (8.5 ppg), Marlin Mason (3.7 ppg) and guards Ike Nwamu (2.1 ppg) and Charlie Lee (4.1 ppg) greatly excited Coach Waters. “The Young Guns” as Waters like to refer to them as, played well throughout the season and earned valuable playing experience, which should pay dividends during next year’s season. Expect Anton Grady to continue to grow and to become one of the Horizon League’s top players in short order. Grady showed flashes of brilliance last season despite his freshman status. Cleveland State will also benefit from addition of 6-11 Center Chris Brown, who transferred from Oregon State during last season. Brown will be eligible to join the Vikings upon the completion of Fall Semester. Brown, is a very raw, inexperienced project at the center position, but will greatly help fill a gaping void at 5 spot for Cleveland State in terms of rebounding and shot blocking.
Earlier in the week, the Vikings received some welcome news as former Garfield Hts. Bulldog standout Trey Lewis decided to transfer after just one season from Penn State to Cleveland State. Lewis, a 6-1 combo guard, was runner up for Ohio Mr. Basketball in 2011. This high major talent is a welcome addition to the Vikings and should have an immediate impact in the Horizon League. Lewis, due to NCAA transfer rules, will not be permitted to play next season, but will be eligible to suit up at the beginning of the 2013-2014 campaign. Lewis will have three years of eligibility with the Vikings.
Next year’s freshmen class is one that contains talent, but also some questions. Bryn Forbes, a 6-3 guard, who like Coach Waters, is a Michigan native. Forbes played his high school basketball at Lansing Sexton and considered being a walk-on at Michigan State. Forbes will be expected to attack defenses on the perimeter with his three point range.
The Vikings will also welcome freshman guard Junior Lomomba. Lomomba, a Canadian native, is a highly touted player, who received offers from high major schools such as Washington State, Cincinnati, and UCLA, but decided to wear the green and white of the Cleveland State Vikings. Lomomba played his high school basketball at Madison Memorial High School in Milwaukee, Wisconsin and spent two years on the Canadian junior national team. Much will be expected from Lomomba during his time at Cleveland State due to his high talent level and diverse playing experiences.
Earlier this week, the Vikings made another signing when 6-2 guard Josh Ivory signed a letter of intent. Ivory hails from Louisiana and averaged 15 ppg as a senior. However, Ivory’s strength is in his defensive ability, which undoubtedly attracted Gary Waters based on the Vikings hard nose defensive style.
During this time, not much is known regarding the academic eligibility of 6-8 center Malik London from Chillicothe High School and 6-4 forward Gary Akbar from Dayton Dunbar High School. Both players agreed to play at CSU, but their playing status will not be known for some time.
Ike Nwamu has also been rumored to be transferring from Cleveland State. Nwamu played just one season for the Vikings. A formal announcement regarding Nwamu’s transfer is expected shortly.