Sunday, December 15, 2013

Game #12: Cleveland State Vikings

Cleveland State Vikings

The Catamounts will travel to the state of Ohio for the third time this season, and will be visiting the Cleveland State Vikings of the Horizon League on Monday, December 16th at 7:00 pm in the Wolstein Center (13,610).   This will the the second Horizon League opponent of the season, having met Wright State on Nov. 30th in Dayton, Ohio. This will be the first meeting ever between Cleveland State and the Catamounts on the basketball court.

CSU Head Coach Gary Waters' Vikings were picked to finish third (just behind Wright State) in the Horizon League Preseason Poll.  Cleveland State sophomores Anton Grady (forward 6-8 225) and Bryn Forbes (guard 6-3, 173) were named to the Horizon League second team preseason all conference team. Grady returns after playing in just six games last year due to a knee injury. He was averaging close to 14 points and 6 rebounds at the time of his injury. Forbes, last year's Horizon League Freshman of the Year,  is one of the top outside shooters in the league, connecting on 61-of-157 (.389)  three-pointers last season, earning a spot on the Mid-Major Freshman All-American team.

Cleveland State has three players scoring in double figures so far this season, Forbes is averaging 19.3 ppg, sophomore guard Trey Lewis (6-2, 190) is putting up 14.4 ppg, and junior guard Charlie Lee (5-8, 160) is coming in at 12.8 ppg.   Forbes and Lee are hitting 49% and  42% respectively from three point range.  The Vikings are scoring 76 ppg and are hitting 75% as a team from the free throw line.

Currently the Vikings are 4-5 on the season, 3-1 when playing at home and 1-4 on the road, with wins over Ball State, Robert Morris, Texas-Arlington, and Iona.  The Cats enter this game on a 3 game losing skid, while the Vikings have lost their last two games.

RealTime RPI projects a 21 point loss  (66-87) by Western Carolina to Cleveland State.  Based on the play of the Catamounts in the last four games, I see no reason to doubt that projection of a mid-pack Horizon League team over this years' inconsistent Catamounts.  However, this is the perfect opportunity and time for the Cats to pull together and take control in a very week SoCon.  The senior leadership on this team should step up and make their mark this season.  They may just save their coaches job if they do.

Courtesy Daily Catamount

Rankings - (as of  12-13-13)
RPI:  Western - 233;   CSU -  195
Sagarin:  Western - 241;   CSU -  116
Massey:  Western - 236;   CSU -  139
Pomeroy:  Western - 229;   CSU -  130

Radio: Catamount Sports Network
Live Stats:   Presto
Live Video:  Horizon League Video  (free)
TV: None

Courtesy Daily Catamount

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