Post-exhibition thoughts from the coach

Some notes from coach Danny O’Banion’s talk as this week’s coaches’ luncheon:

She hadn’t said much in her postgame radio interview after Kent State’s 73-45 exhibition victory over Hiram Sunday. Her impression: “Nobody got hurt, everyone played, and we scored more points than Hiram. We got some good teaching video. I’m happy.”

She said she liked the way redshirt freshman Tyra James came out aggressively in her first game after missing a year with a knee injury. James scored six of Kent State’s first eight points and had 13 in about 23 minutes of action. “She needs to maintain that firepower,” O’Banion said.

Forward Jordan Korinek, who got into foul trouble and had only two points, may have struggled because Hiram was a small, not very aggressive team. Korinek had worked a lot in the off-season on being more physical, and that may have given her problems, the coach said. Korinek’s reaction after the game showed you the kind of person she is, O’Banion said: “She apologized to her teammates.” Korinek, an all-state player at Akron St. Vincent-St. Mary, was Kent State’s third leading scorer and rebounder as a freshman last season.

Junior Larissa Lurken, the most experienced player on the team, scored 24 points and shot the ball well. But O’Banion was more impressed with her leadership. “A lot of the time she had more players under 19 years old on the court with her than over 19.” KSU has seven freshmen and three sophomores on the roster.

Because of that youth, the team hasn’t named captains yet. O’Banion said the team looks a lot to Lurken and sophomore point guard Naddiyah Cross for leadership. Lurken was a tri-captain as a sophomore last season.

Kent State plays Colgate at 2 p.m. Sunday in the MACC in its regular season opener. O’Banion pulled the box score of the exhibition off the teams website after a few hours Sunday. The game film the teams exchanged was from last season. “No point in telling people more than we have to this early in the season,” the coach said.


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