By Emmett Golden
The Cleveland State Vikings will start the 2012/2013 season on Friday with a lot of questions. Such is the case when your best player is a sophomore and 30 plus points per game have graduated. This should be a season filled with ups and downs. Let’s take a look at the biggest storylines heading into the opener.
The Bench -- Last year head coach Gary Waters could look down the bench and feel o.k. about resting his starters. Waters had Sebastian Douglas, Marlin Mason, Charlie Lee, and Luda N’daye to turn to. This year Douglas, Mason, and Lee move into the starting line-up. N’daye, who is return from off season hip surgery, is expected to be ready to come off the bench around the start of the preseason N.I.T., but after that minutes are up in the air. “I’ve got to get nine guys,” Waters said. “We’re not there yet because of injuries and everything else.”
Freshman Junior Lomomba was expected to be a big scorer off the bench, maybe even cracking the starting line up is still almost a month away. Lomomba recently took off the walking boot and has begun some light working out.
The rest of the roster is young and unproven.
Consistent Scoring -- The one guy that Waters doesn’t have to worry about is sophomore Anton Grady. Grady, a Cleveland native, averaged 8.5 points and 6.4 rebounds as a freshman. The entire Horizon League expects the forward/center to build on those numbers this year.
Senior Tim Kamczyc is returning as the teams leading scorer averaging 9.1 ppg last season. Kamczyc was a super efficient scorer shooting over 58% from the field, but he was the beneficiary of opposing defenses focusing on others and being the third sometimes fourth option last year.
The senior also passed up a lot of open shots, which will change this season. “I told him the other day.” Waters said, “You know, I need you to take around ten threes a game.” He has proved he can knock down the outside shot, this year he can’t pass up open looks like he has in previous years.
Sophomore Charlie Lee is another player that will have to see his point production improve. “Charlie has to be a threat. He has to be a threat this year for us.” said Waters when asked if Lee could be a scorer for this team.
These three have to turn it up if the Vikings are going to be a player in the Horizon League this year. I can see Kamczyc providing some extra offensive punch but the jury is still out on Lee as far as I’m concerned.
“Big” Issue -- Waters spoke about getting freshman center Aaron Scales some minutes early in the season whether or not the young big man was ready, “He’s going to have to play because of an issue with one of our bigs.” Waters said. “I’ll be able to let you know more on Friday. Once I have all the information.”
The “issue” is believed to be one of an academic nature. Waters would not comment on who the player was. With Scales expected to get playing time and Waters also saying that Junior Luda N’daye should return from injury by the time the team faces BGSU, that leads me to believe that the player in question is junior forward Devin Long.
Long has been planted on the Viking’s bench for the pass two seasons and was expected to get a shot at earning more minutes this season. Again, Waters and Cleveland State has not confirmed this.
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There are no games scheduled for today.