Sam Houston State (4-7) at Cleveland State (10-2)
Date: Thursday, December 22, 2011 • 7:00 p.m. EST
Location: Wolstein Center (8,500) – Cleveland, Ohio
Series: CSU leads, 2-0
Last Mt’g: CSU 74, @SHSU 62 (12/11/10)
SETTING THE SCENE: Cleveland State returns home to begin a stretch of playing four of its next five games at home when the Vikings host Sam Houston State at 7:00 p.m. on Thursday (Dec. 22) in the Wolstein Center. CSU will be playing at home for just the fourth time this season. The Vikings are 10-2 overall after a 70-55 setback at South Florida on Monday (Dec. 19) and are receiving votes in the Associated Press Top 25 for the sixth straight week. Sam Houston State is 4-7 this season, having won three of their last five games, including a 73-49 win over Northern Arizona on Tuesday (Dec. 20). The Vikings lead the all-time series with the Bearkats, 2-0, including a 74-62 win in Huntsville, Texas, last season.
PREVIEWING THE VIKINGS: Sixth-year head coach Gary Waters is combining an experienced group of upperclassmen with one of the most talented freshman classes in school history as the Vikings set out to win a second straight Horizon League title. The strength of the team is at the guards where seniors Trey Harmon and Jeremy Montgomery return after starting all 36 games last season. They are joined in the backcourt by freshmen Sebastian Douglas and Charlie Lee. Senior D’Aundray Brown returns to the lineup after missing last season with a finger injury to man the small forward spot with freshmen Marlin Mason and Ike Nwamu ready to step in and provide minutes. Senior Aaron Pogue returns as the starting center with junior Tim Kamczyc back at the power forward slot. Sophomores Devon Long and Luda Ndaye and freshman Anton Grady add depth to the frontcourt.
IN THE POLLS: With a 10-2 mark to start the season, Cleveland State has received recognition in the national polls for the sixth straight week. The Vikings earned seven points in the Associated Press Top-25, to check in at 34th overall (ninth among Others Receiving Votes). CSU was receiving votes in the ESPN/USA Today Coaches Poll for four weeks, but that streak was snapped when the Vikings did not receive any votes in either of the last two weeks.
VIKINGS STAY AT #4 IN MID-MAJOR POLL: Cleveland State remained in the No. 4 spot in the CollegeInsider.com Mid Major Top 25 poll that was released on Monday (Dec. 19) afternoon. The Vikings received 670 votes and one first place vote. Creighton remained in the No. 1 spot with 22 first place votes and 745 points and was followed by Murray State (738 points, 5 first place vote), Harvard (700), Cleveland State and Iona (619) to round out the top five. Last season, CSU began the season ranked 25th in the poll before working its way up to the No. 1 ranking on Dec. 6 where CSU stayed for five weeks.
KAMCZYC CONTINUES STRONG PLAY: Tim Kamczyc continued his strong play of late with a 14 point, seven rebound effort at South Florida on Monday (Dec. 19). Over the last five games, Kamczyc is averaging 11.2 points per game, including four double digit scoring contests, and 5.0 rebounds per game. He has raised his scoring average to 8.0 points per contest.