Two quick notes:
Coach Danny O’Banion told me today — in answer to an email question — that wing guard Melanee Stubbs is unlikely to return next year for a redshirt season. She’ll be honored at Senior Day Sunday along with Cici Shannon, Mikell Chinn and Montia Johnson.
Stubbs, who will graduate in May and had planned to go to med school last I heard — missed all of last season with a knee injury. She has started most of the second half of the season and averages 6.2 points per game, fifth on the team. She can be an athletic player and scored the winning baskets in the last seconds against Colgate and Northern Illinois.
Stubbs’ not returning would mean that Kent State won’t have a senior on the roster next year.
Kent does have two guards who missed this season coming back from injury next year. One — freshman Tyra James — was a high-scoring wing in high school. The other is sophomore Rachel Mendelsohn, who plays mostly the two guard but played at the point in her freshman year. The incoming freshman class includes three guards. One is a point, a second can play point or two, and the third is primarily a two (I think — I know she’s not a point.) All three average better than 15 points a game on good high school teams.
Current guards returning are sophomore Larissa Lurken, who is Kent’s leading scorer and can play either the wing or two guard; sophomore Krista White, primarily a two guard who can play the point in an emergency, and freshman point guard Naddiyah Cross. White, who has started 15 games, is a good defender who twice scored 20 points before Christmas. Cross has started 15 games, mostly when senior point guard Mikell Chinn was injured. Like Chinn, she is not tall and not a big scorer, but she has shown a bit of an outside shot.
Latest analysis from the conference office is that if the tournament were today, Kent would play Western Michigan. The Flashes lost to Western 78-55 in Kent Jan. 24 in one of their worst games of the season. But Kent really isn’t the same team it was then.
In any event, it’s a guess. Western and three other teams — Buffalo, Eastern Michigan and Toledo — are all 10-7. Akron is 11-6. Depending on Saturday’s result, we could play a lot of different people.
Kent closes the seaosn against Buffalo at 2 p.m. Saturday at the MAC Center.