April 21, 2014

Cleveland State Preview: Season Tips Off With Waters Getting A Seven-Year Extension

Since the salad days of Kevin Mackey, the “Run and Stun,” and Ken “The Mouse ” McFadden, there were some seriously lean times for the Cleveland State Men’s College Basketball team. From Mike Boyd to the disastrous Rollie Massimino hire to Mike Garland, the program was headed in the wrong direction.

Enter Gary Waters.

The former head coach at Kent State came back to Ohio after a failed stint at Rutgers, never an easy place to win in the loaded Big East. Waters arrived in Cleveland in 2006 with a plan to get the Vikings back to the top of the Horizon League and he has done just that. He enters his seventh season piloting the Vikes, where he has gone 122-82. Most importantly, Waters has taken CSU to four postseason appearances, including the school’s second NCAA Tournament bid where they upset fourth-seeded Wake Forest in the first round.

All of this has added up to Waters getting extended by the school late yesterday for seven more years. [Read more...]

CSU Vikings Leave Indiana With a Split

Horizon League play is always done in pairs. Each team has a travelling partner and the norm is to play two games on the road or at home over a three day period. During the Gary Waters era at Cleveland State, the toughest road trip for any of the League foes is always the Indiana combo.

Friday night, the then-4-1 Vikings headed to take on their nemesis, Butler, at historic Hinkle Fieldhouse in front of a National TV audience. As you know, the Bulldogs have been the darlings of the NCAA Tournament, making the last two National Championship games under the tutelage of wunderkind coach Brad Stevens. Since Waters took over in 2006, his teams are just 2-10 against Butler, with just one of those wins coming in Indy – the 2009 Horizon League title game.

So when the Vikes took the floor Friday night, they had plenty of payback on their mind. They lost three times to Butler last season and have the better team in 2012. They came out smokin from the start and never looked back in a hard-fought, 76-69 win, to put them in a first place tie at 5-1 with Milwaukee. The game was highly entertaining and the usually raucous Hinkle crowd was quieted early and often by the stifling Vikings defense.

The Senior duo of Tre Harmon and Tim Kamcyzc showed early that this one was going to be different. Harmon hit two threes and Kamczyc added seven quick points as CSU raced out to an 18-4 lead five minutes in. As they usually do, Butler creeped back ti within four points at 26-22 and re-energized the home crowd. They were silenced on the next trip down with a triple from the most unlikely of sources, 6-9 sophomore PF Luda Ndaye. It was his first three of the season and it couldn’t have come at a better time. At the half, CSU was clinging to a two-point lead and Butler seemed to carry the momentum. [Read more...]