By Emmett Golden
The Cleveland State Vikings are just under a month away from opening their season on November 9th at home against Grambling before traveling to Ann Arbor, Michigan to play in the Preseason NIT.
Head coach Gary Waters will lead a different type of team than the Vikings have had in recent years. Two years ago the team had the league’s player of the year and 1st round pick Norris Cole as their leader. Last year there was a trio of senior leaders in Jeremy Montgomery, Tre Harmon and D’Aundrey Brown.
This year Waters has a roster full of youth and athleticism. That is a recipe for exciting basketball some nights and growing pains on others. We had a chance to talk to Waters this afternoon. Here are a few notes from Waters’ meeting with the media.
Head Of The Class - Senior Tim Kamczyc has been recognized as the team’s leader this year. Last year Kamczyc was one of the best shooters in the nation from a percentage standpoint, shooting .585. “My job is to get him to shoot more,” said Waters. Kamczyc is also finishing up classes and is on schedule to get his degree this year.
Bring It Strong - 2011 freshman standout Anton Grady returned this year a lot stronger than last. Grady has been benching over 300lbs, a mark he could not reach the previous year. Big things are expected from Grady this year. The sophomore was named to the preseason All Horizon second team. “He’s scaring a lot of people with his play on the floor (last year), so they see the potential as do we, and now we have to put him in a position to excel with his abilities,” said Waters.
Charles In Charge - Sophomore point guard Charlie Lee is going the extra mile to help his potential back-up freshman Josh Ivory get ready for his first year of college ball in Gary Waters’ defensive system. Little Dawg (as he is referred to by his teammates) had the Cleveland State video staff pull film of him playing defense his first few games of last year. Lee gave the film to Ivory so the freshman would know what to expect early on this season. “Nobody told him to do this,” Waters said, “That shows you how much he cares about his teammate.”
See Ya Later - The Butler Bulldogs left the Horizon League this year to join the Atlantic 10. Many people feel this will hurt the HL, as many felt Butler was the only marquee team in the conference. Waters was asked how much Butler leaving would affect the conference. “To some degree. You don’t lose a team like that, that has been good for that long and it not hurt,” said Waters. Although they are gone coach Waters said he would like to continue to play Butler every year and that Butler’s head coach Brad Stevens would like to continue the rivalry as well. “They have to figure things out on their end,” Waters said.
OSU Vs CSU - Cleveland State has taken some criticism for their non-conference home schedule. “Most teams won’t even consider coming here,” said Waters. That will change over the next year or two. Next year the Vikings will travel to Columbus to play the Buckeyes. The following year Ohio State will travel up 71 to face the Vikings at the Wolstein Center. I suspect the curtain will be taken down for that game.
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There are no games scheduled for today.