The Cleveland State Vikings will be road warriors embarking on a 7 game road trip after a key out-of-conference home game against Atlantic 10 team Saint Bonaventure tomorrow night at the Wolstein Center. The Vikes own a 2-0 record on the year with a win at then number 7 Vanderbilt and a tune-up in their home opener on Tuesday against Rio Grande. The Bonnies defeated Cornell in their lone game of the season.
Saint Bonaventure features forward Andrew Nicholson who is projected to be a late first round/early second round draft selection the NBA next season. The Bonnies, looking to avenge a loss at the Wolstein Center last season, will look to contain CSU's D'Aundray Brown who has been excellent in two contests this season for the Vikings on both offense and defense.
St. Bonaventure (1-0) at rv/rv Cleveland State (2-0)
Radio: WHKW 1220 AM (Cleveland) & WHKZ, 1440 AM (Warren) (Al Pawlowski)
Date Friday, November 18, 2011
Time: 7:00 p.m. EST
Location: Goodman Arena • Wolstein Center (8,500) - Cleveland, Ohio
TV: None Live. Video stream available on Horizon League Network and CSUVikings.com
Series: SBU leads, 6-1
Last Mt'g: @CSU 69, SBU 51 (11/27/10)
Promos: Hoopy Hour: $2 drafts & cheap eats 2 hours before tip
Tickets: $8, $10, $15, $25, $50
Cleveland State Vikings basketball fans noticed a big body missing in the center of the court yesterday. Big man Aaron Pogue was absent from the contest against NAIA Rio Grande and starting in his place was Ludavic Ndaye. While Ndaye held his own against the over-matched Red Storm, Pogue will be needed against the Bonnies as they boast Andrew Nicholson who is regarded as a late first round/early second round selection in next years NBA Draft and is a presence on the court standing at 6' 9'' and weighing 250 pounds.
Pogue, who did not make it to the arena until just before halftime, experienced dizziness during the day and was seen by doctors. Observers of CSU hoops have seen this happen with Pogue before and Waters noted that it has happened to him about twice during his time with the team. Vikings fans should hope he makes a speedy recovery as the team will need all their bigs to contain Nicholson and it could be disastrous if their best one had to be on the sidelines for a big out of conference game.
This season at Lets Go Vikes we will be "taking the cam into the stands" talking to Cleveland State's legendary student section. The most notable and vocal of the bunch are Phillip Daniels and Jon Durda who in the front row of every CSU Basketball contest. In this edition, we talk to them about the Vikings stunning upset of Vanderbilt over the weekend and the upcoming challenge when St Bonavanture rolls into town on Friday.
Cleveland State senior guard D'Aundray Brown scored a career high 24 points while adding 9 rebounds and 7 steals in a 86-57 victory over visiting Rio Grande yesterday evening. It is the second consective game that Brown scored career highs in a game and he duplicated his career high with 7 steals that he had in the Vikings upset win over Vanderbilt on Sunday. Brown had missed the entire 2010-2011 season and looks fresh and determined to finish off his Vikngs career with a big season.
"Sitting out a whole year made miss the game and made me hungry," the Youngstown native told the assembled media following the game. "It always feels good to get back out on the court."
Brown, a dominating defender and rebounder, was given the task of picking up more of the offensive scoring this season by head coach Gary Waters. He took to the gym where he worked on his left hand and his jump shot and his mid-range jump shot.
Vikings fans also got a glimpse of the future of the program as Anton Grady had impressive regular season debut in front of his hometown fans. Grady, a big time recruit from Cleveland Central Catholic, was 5-6 from the field with 12 points, grabbed 7 boards, and blocked 6 shots on the evening. Grady, who spurned offers from a number of major programs, wants to see area basketball fans come to the Wolstein Center to support the CSU program which has had enormous success in the six seasons with Coach Waters guiding the Viking ship.
"I feel like I'm giving the hometown a reason to come support Cleveland State," Grady explained. "I'm a hometown kid and I stayed here and want the city to come and support us and pack this place."
The Cleveland State Vikings are becoming "Davids" as they continue to upset the "Goliaths" of college basketball. Gary Waters, who inherited a team in disarray and had one top 25 win in the history of the program, has knocked off ranked opponents 5 times now in his tenure with the most recent coming at #7 Vanderbilt yesterday. The funny thing about the victories has been the timing as Northeast Ohio sports fans had other things on their agendas during each of the Vikings' biggest conquests.
CSU knocked off Butler in February of 2008 to reclaim some respect from sports fans who had been drawn away from a basketball program that had been irrelevant for two decades. Cleveland State once again got national attention when the team shocked Syracuse on a Monday night in December of 2008. The win over the Orangeman was televised on SportsTime Ohio but the vast majority of Cleveland sports fans attention was focused on the Browns upset win against the New York Giants on Monday Night Football the same evening.
The Vikings, of course, defeated Butler to win the 2007-2008 Horizon Championship and earned the right to play Wake Forest in the NCAA Tournament. The Vikings knocked off the Demon Deacons, but were relegated to second billing in Northeast Ohio as they were playing on the same time slot as Ohio State and were relegated to WUAB while the mighty Buckeyes played in front of a bigger local audience on CBS.
History repeated itself again yesterday. While most Clevelanders were agonizing over another gut-wrenching Browns loss, Cleveland State basketball diehards were celebrating the Vikings' victory over its highest ranked opponent in school history.
Cleveland State basketball got a major boost in the polls this week as they earned the 29th most votes in the AP Top 25 and 35th most votes in the USA Today Coaches Poll after their upset win over Vanderbilt. The Vikings also made a big leap in the MidMajor Top 25 going from 22nd last week to 4th this week.
The Vikings were joined in the Top 10 with Horizon League rival Butler who fell from 2nd in the poll to 9th after their opening loss to Evansville. Detroit dropped a spot to 16th while Green Bay, UMW, and Valparaiso recieved votes but are not ranked in the poll. Local schools Akron and Kent, and future oppenents this season, were ranked 12th and 14th in the latest polling.
CSU hosts Rio Grande tomorrow night at the Wolstein Center and have a challenge on their home court against Atlantic 10 foe Saint Bonaventure on Friday night.
Record/ Points / Previous
1. Gonzaga (26) 1-0 747 1 West Coast
2. Creighton (1) 2-0 713 3 Missouri Valley
3. Belmont 0-1 660 4 Atlantic Sun
4. Cleveland State (1) 1-0 619 22 Horizon League
5. Wichita State 1-0 616 5 Missouri Valley
6. Iona 0-0 569 6 Metro Atlantic
7. George Mason (1) 1-0 552 7 Colonial Athletic
8. Harvard 1-0 528 8 Ivy League
9. Butler 0-1 490 2 Horizon League
10. Drexel 0-0 478 10 Colonial Athletic
11. St. Mary's 1-0 419 11 West Coast
12. Akron (1) 2-0 412 14 Mid-American
13. VCU 1-0 402 13 Colonial Athletic
14. Kent State 0-0 386 12 Mid-American
15. BYU 0-1 324 9 West Coast
16. Detroit 1-0 297 15 Horizon League
17. Fairfield 1-0 257 17 Metro Atlantic
18. Long Beach State 1-0 254 18 Big West
19. Weber State 1-0 195 19 Big Sky
20. Indiana State 1-0 174 20 Missouri Valley
21. Old Dominion 0-1 120 16 Colonial Athletic
22. Evansville 1-0 106 NR Missouri Valley
23. UC Santa Barbara 1-0 91 23 Big West
24. Oakland 0-0 78 24 Summit League
25. Northern Iowa 1-0 68 NR Missouri Valley
One wonders what the Cleveland State Vikings could have accomplished last season if they had the bench they have this season. With Norris Cole departed to the NBA, CSU fans knew they needed to fill the void and it looks like the key to the season will be the depth that they have with a slew of freshman who contributed in 88-58 exhibition win over John Carroll last night in front of 1,583 fans at the Wolstein Center last night.
While Cleveland State had trouble managing double digits from their reserves a season ago, it looks like the Vikings "Young Guns", as head coach Gary Waters refers to the group as, will change that tenor this season. Highly touted forward out Cleveland Central Catholic Anton Grady set the pace for the freshman with 10 points and 12 rebounds and proved he deserved the praise bestowed to him by scouts. Sebastian Douglas, limited in practice recently with a knee injury, made the best of his 8 minutes of work by scoring 9 points. When the final buzzer sounded, Cleveland State scored 40 points off the bench.The only player not score for the entire Vikings squad was walk-on Josh Gotshall.
The startinge core, who return 5 players with starting experience including senior D'Aundray Brown who was shelved last season due to injury, looked solid last night as well. Aaron Pogue took advantage of the smaller Blue Streaks squad scoring 18 points and grabbing 14 points. Brown scored 10 and forward Tim Kamcyzk collected 7 rebounds on the night. The starting five was rounded out by seniors guards Jeremy Montgomery and Trevon Harmon. All 5 starters played all 22 minutes together on the floor together.
Green Bay received all but one first place vote, tallying 299 points, and has been chosen to win the 2011-12 Horizon League women’s basketball championship in a preseason poll of the league’s coaches, sports information directors and media members. Brandi Brown of Youngstown State was named Preseason Player of the Year, edging Green Bay’s Julie Wojta by one point.
Cleveland State (238) took second in the poll, while Wright State (212) finished third. Butler (197), UIC (186) and Milwaukee (177) are fourth, fifth and sixth in the poll. Detroit (141) picked up one first place vote while finishing seventh, followed by Loyola (88), Valparaiso (64) and Youngstown State (48).
Brown received 260 points and 11 of 30 Player-of-the-Year votes. Brown led the conference in scoring for all games last season, averaging 19.9 points per game while also ranking fourth in rebounding and seventh in field goal percentage. In league play, Brown upped her average to 22.7 ppg., as she was named to the 2010-11 All-Horizon League Second Team.
Brown was joined by Wojta, Wright State’s Molly Fox, Cleveland State’s Shalonda Winton and UIC’s Jasmine Bailey on a Preseason All-Horizon League First Team heavily loaded with front-court players.
Wojta received 259 points and 15 of 30 Player-of-the-Year votes to finish one point behind Brown in the race for top individual honors in the conference. The 6’0" senior is the leading returnee for Green Bay in points (13.6 ppg.), rebounds (7.4 rpg.), assists (3.6 apg.), steals (81) and blocks (18).
Fox, Winton and Bailey all ranked in the top-10 last season in rebounding. Fox averaged 14.8 ppg., and 9.2 rpg., last season while Winton averaged 12.5 ppg., and 9.1 rpg. Bailey chipped in 10.5 ppg., and 9.3 rpg.