Cleveland State: Will You Be There?

By: Emmett Golden

Attention Cleveland! There will be basketball this year. The Horizon League regular season champion, Cleveland State Vikings are back. Coach Gary Waters has a good mix of seniors and underclassmen this year. Even after losing the conference player of the year in Norris Cole, the Vikings have five returning starters.

Senior D’Aundray Brown, who miss all of last season with an injury is back at 100 percent. Starters Trey Harmon, Jeremy Montgomery, Tim Kamczyc, and Aaron Pogue all return as well.

This should be another good year for CSU but will Cleveland notice?

D'Aundray Brown of the Vikings

On many nights last year I watched a group of young men play a very entertaining style of basketball. They defended, pushed the rock up the court, and scraped their way to a league title and a trip to the NIT.

The only time the city got behind this team was when the Butler came to town. There was a “decent” crowd for the last home game of the year when a win meant not having to share the league title.

I know how fans will rationalize their lack of support. They will say, “Hey when we did get behind them they loss.” sorry Cleveland sports fans, that is a lame excuse. During the football season you (the Cleveland sports fan) sellout Cleveland Browns Stadium to watch the Browns lose, almost every Sunday.

You pay twice, in most cases three times the ticket price to watch what has been a last place team lose. When was the last time the Browns even played a meaningful game?

More people go to see the Gladiators and Monsters play and no offense to them but that is inexcusable. At the very least the crowds should be equal. Don’t let the “mid” in mid-major fool you.

Cleveland State is a major college basketball program. The only mid-major team that has been more successful than the Vikings is Butler. That may be where the problem is.

The issue with fans in Cleveland is that their expectations are always ridiculous. Fans in Cleveland see Butler make it to the Final Four and the championship game and think, “Why isn’t Cleveland State making it that far?” not many teams do people.

Instead of expecting Final Four appearances why not just support kids that play and STAY for four years. I am not saying that the Vikings are the best team in college basketball, I’m saying they deserve your support.

The best thing about the NBA lockout is that if you want to see some basketball you won’t have many choices. Maybe your local high school or sitting on your couch watching college teams in other cities and states play.

That might satisfy your basketball jones but the experience won’t be the same. Did you know that last year when the Cavaliers players wanted to watch some basketball, they came to CSU?

Why wouldn’t you do the same?

I will tell you this, if you go to the Wolstein Center this year to see the Vikings play, win or lose, you will enjoy yourself. I’m challenging you Cleveland! Be the great sports fans that I know you are.

Support YOUR college basketball team.

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Flowing Waters

By Michael Reghi

I’ve stated on numerous occasions my complete admiration for Cleveland State’s Gary Waters, and the perfect ‘fit’ that he brings to the Euclid Avenue program! It goes so much deeper then just the 11-0 start he’s fashioned with his Vikings. Waters, who uses so many of the John Wooden principles and philosophies in his coaching and teaching, is sitting right on the cusp of having Cleveland State basketball a perennial NCAA tournament team, much like Butler, in his own backyard, the Horizon League, and Gonzaga have been for over a decade.

Waters understands that he continually needs to make the Cleveland-Akron, Northeast Ohio high school players his priority. He is very strong with the high school coaches around the city, and that will continue to serve him well.

His teams play the game in the fashion the kids enjoy..pressure, 94 feet, get out and run, and use that relentless style to your advantage. It demands depth of the roster, and Waters has that.

Give this program your attention and focus this winter. Norris Cole, the phenomenal senior guard has NBA written all over him, while his running mates in the backcourt, Trevon Harmon, and Jeremy Montgomery have diverse games. They can slash to the rim, while shooting the ‘3’ with skill as well.

Waters doesn’t have his second best player currently, DeAundray Brown, the 6-5 slasher, who provides a solid rebounding mindset, with ma fierce defensive presence, and ability to finish on the break, that will greatly enhance the Vikings depth when he return later this month.

Yeah, their 11-0, the fastest Division 1 team to double digits wins on the year, and their fun to watch. Something tells me this edition of Gary Waters Cleveland State Vikings is primed to ‘do bigger and better’ then the Horizon League tournament championship win over Butler, and the subsequent NCAA tournament win over Wake Forrest two seasons ago.

Downtown Cleveland’s going to have a tremendous hoop vibe this winter….and it will come from the Wolstein Center on Prospect Avenue…with Gary Waters and the Vikings the maestros!! Enjoy the ride!

Has it been three decades, 30 years, since the tragic killing of the legendary John Lennon? Indeed, it has. 30 years ago tonight, December 8, 1980, I was a young broadcaster, a couple years into my career, calling Division 3 college, and high school football and basketball in Northwest Ohio, around Toledo, Defiance, Napoleon, and Lima. Never forget watching Monday night football, and having Howard Cosell say..” This just in from ABC News…the legendary Beatle, John Lennon, shot twice in the back outside the Dakota apartment building on the west side of Manhattan…John Lennon is dead’.

Imagine the different times, 30 years ago, with Howard Cosell the first to deliver the message of Lennon’s slaying on national television. I vividly remember the feeling of shock, disbelief, great remorse, as this type of cowardly act, from Mark David Chapman, denied us of the greatness that was John Lennon.

Iconic in his writing of music, much of it with Paul McCartney, Lennon blazed a trail through the late 60’s and 70’s unmatched as a musical genius. If you were born in 1965 or later, I have to believe that as a child and teenager, you were very well aware of the significance of The Beatles. Undeniably, one of our greatest artists/musicians of all time…a ‘Reg Salute of Excellence’, to the late great John Lennon!

Vikings Turn Up Pressure, Move to 11-0

By: Emmett Golden

With twelve minutes left in the first half and the score tied at 19, Cleveland State coach Gary Waters decided enough was enough. The Vikings came out of a time out in a full court press and the rest, as they say, was history.

Cleveland State Coach Gary Waters

“I told them we need five stops in a row, that was our goal coming out of that time out,” Waters said.

Cleveland State went on a 32-10 run for the remainder of the first half. Honestly, it was not even that close.

Not only did the Vikings force West Virginia Tech to 13 first half turnovers, they also crashed the offensive glass with 12 rebounds.

With their 94-62 victory over WVT, Cleveland State improved to 11-0 on the season.

Senior guard Norris Cole had an impressive stat line, 24 points, five assists and five steals.

He was not the only one who flexed his offensive muscle, as Jeremy Montgomery stuffed the stat sheet with 15 points, a career-high eight rebounds, and seven assists.

“I just wanted to be aggressive and create for my teammates,” Montgomery said.

Next the Vikings hit the road with games against Sam Houston State and a big game on December 18th, against West Virginia.

The Time Is Now To Support Your Vikings

By: Emmett Golden

It’s 5:57pm Monday night at the Wolstein Center. Cleveland State and Robert Morris are set to play in what turned out to be a great game.  As I sit court side with the rest of the media, I look up in the crowd and all I can see is GREEN!

The Wolstein Center Awaits Your Support For the Vikings

Not green shirts, not green sweaters, not green face paint, but empty green seats! One would think that CSU was playing around .500 basketball, not undefeated through seven games and beginning to get noticed on a national level.

It makes me think about all the losing seasons the Browns, Cavs, and Indians have had and in the worst case they still draw a couple of thousand people, the Browns even still sellout games. So why would a good team that plays in the mirror image of the city it represents, only have 250 people in the stands?

Working at ‘KNR I hear the people of Cleveland complain about how this town deserves a winner and it does, but don’t limit your attention to only the pro sports teams.  You have a group of hard-working young men and a coach in Gary Waters that is one of the classiest guys in college sports.

Support them because they deserve your support.

If the Vikings can put a magical run together and not only get a bid to the NCAA tournament but a decent seed, I can hear the radio waves now… “This team really has a chance!”, “I’ve been a CSU fan for a long time”, “I think coach Waters should be named Coach Of The Year!” knowing they did not start caring until the end of the year when it’s easy to support a winner.

I do not know how this season will play out, but I know a group of young men who play hard, respects their coach, and has yet to get the respect they deserve, will do just as the people of this city would if placed in the same situation. That makes you respect them!

They have gained my respect, hopefully the people of Cleveland will show up and show this team that, there are no “Mid-Majors” in Cleveland! Just a small school with “Major” Game!

SHOW UP AND SUPPORT YOUR TEAM!

Vikings Keep Rolling

By: Emmett Golden

CSU Head Coach Gary Waters reached a milestone Wednesday night, when his Vikings beat The University of Akron 64-51 to improve to 6-0 on the season.

Cleveland State Coach Gary Waters

In a game where defense was the difference, it was fitting that Coach Waters reached his 250th win.

In true Waters fashion, he didn’t even mention this accomplishment after the game, choosing to talk about his team instead. “These young men played hard defensively and I’m proud of them for that,” Waters said.

In a game that saw one of Cleveland State’s best players Norris Cole struggle in the first half, junior guard Trey Harmon carried the team with nine first half points, to lead all scorers. In the second half, Cole woke-up to score 16 of his 19 points, putting an exclamation point on the victory with his dunk on Akron’s seven-footer Zeke Marshall with two minutes left in the game.

Akron had a difficult time controlling the post, as well as getting their guards to the basket. They showed signs of a team that’s still working to reach their potential before conference play.

The Vikings are back home on Saturday to face St. Bonaventure at 6:00 PM.

Cleveland State Off to Hot Start

By: Emmett Golden

The Cleveland State Men’s Basketball team is off to a record start.

After winning the World Vision Classic, the Vikings traveled down south to Louisiana and beat Louisiana Lafayette 60-55 last week.

”I thought we’d be in this position (5-0) with D’Aundray (Brown),” coach Gary Waters said, speaking of his senior guard, who hasn’t played this year because of a torn ligament in his right ring finger.

Even with Brown out, the team’s best defender, CSU is holding opponents to shooting 37% from the field and the Vikings have a  rebounding advantage of five over their opponents. This should not be a surprise. Anyone who knows Coach Waters knows he hangs his hat on defense.

Cleveland State's Norris Cole

The Waters’ gang are set to face their stiffest test this year when they travel down I-77 to battle The University of Akron. If the Vikings can get this win on the road, I’m sure seats on the CSU Bandwagon will begin to go fast!

Akron is 2-1 after beating Millikin & YSU. Their only loss coming to a good Dayton team. They have four players averaging double digits lead by Brett McClanahan’s 17.3 ppg.

Coach Waters believes Akron will be a tough game.

“They’ve got a great point guard,” Waters said. “He reminds me of Nash, the kid can really sink shots.”

Except CSU’s defense to get a good test on Wednesday night.

If The Vikings want to continue their winning streak, they need another great game from senior guard Norris Cole, who is averaging 21.6 ppg and 5.4 reb per game. Cole will have to get help from big man Aaron Pogue, as well as fellow guards Trevon Harmon and Jeremy Montgomery.

Montgomery played a huge roll in CSU’s come back win over Kent in the WVC. If they plan on making any noise come March, they have to have consistency from all five starters throughout the season.

You couldn’t have asked for a better start but the true question is, can they continue playing at this level for an entire year?

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