Tuesday, April 7, 2015

Trey Lewis Transfers to Louisville

Former Cleveland State guard Trey Lewis announced Tuesday that he will transfer to Louisville to play his final season of college basketball for legendary coach Rick Pitino.

Monday, March 30, 2015

Cleveland State Basketball: Trey Lewis latest to transfer out of program

For the second straight year, Cleveland State's leading scorer has decided to transfer from the team.

According to a tweet from Brian Snow of Scout.com, Trey Lewis, who averaged a team-high 16.3 points and set the school record with 96 3-pointers, has been given his release from scholarship on Monday.
Lewis, a product of Garfield Heights High School, will graduate from CSU in May and will be eligible to play immediately next season.

On his Instagram account, Lewis posted: "I thank God for all opportunities he has provided in my life. He has opened doors that NO man can, that's why He deserves the all the glory #BLESSED (@g2god thanks for the edit)."
Last summer, Bryn Forbes, who led CSU in scoring as a sophomore averaging 15.6 points a game, went back home to play at Michigan State for family reasons. He had a son in the Lansing, Mich. area and a sister who is battling Lyme disease.

Forbes struggled with the Spartans in his first season averaging 8.7 points a game. But he has come on strong in MSU's run to the Final Four, averaging 9.5 points and shooting 52.9 percent (9-of-17) from three-point range in the NCAA tournament.

Lewis has already drawn plenty of suitors.

According to Lewis' former high school coach, Sonny Johnson, Purdue, Iowa State, Florida State, Dayton, Clemson, Illinois, Louisville, Georgia Tech and Ole Miss have all inquired about the first team All-Horizon League guard.

It's the fourth straight year that CSU has lost a key player to transfer.

Following the 2011-12 season, Ike Nwamu, a highly-touted guard out of Greensboro, NC, transferred to Mercer after only one season with the Vikings.  As a freshman, Nwamu played sparingly with the Viking averaging 2.1 points in 6.1 minutes.

Nwamu has developed into a star with Mercer and led the team in scoring as a junior, averaging 15.1 points a game this past season.

After the 2012-13 season, Junior Lomomba transferred to Providence College following a disappointing freshman season with the Vikings. Lomomba, CSU's highest rated recruit in the Gary Waters era, broke his leg in a summer league game and averaged just 5.8 points in his lone season with the Vikings.

In his first season with Providence, Lomomba struggled averaging 1.7 points in 11.1 minutes. He played only a minute in the Friar's 66-53 loss to Dayton in the second round of the NCAA tournament.

With Lewis transferring, CSU is now at its limit of 13 scholarships allowed.

Monday, March 23, 2015

CSU Basketball Notebook: Cleveland State visits NJIT Monday night for second-round CIT matchup

The Cleveland State men's basketball team will continue its postseason run in the CollegeInsider.com Tournament with a second round road game at NJIT on Monday.

It will be CSU's (19-14) first-ever meeting with NJIT, the only independent school in Division I.

The Highlanders (19-11) have won 14 of its past 16 games and are playing in its first-ever postseason tournament.

In its first-ever postseason game, NJIT rallied from a five point deficit at the half to pull out a 84-77 victory over New Hamphire in front of a sold out Fleisher Center.

In December, the Highlanders shocked the college basketball world by upsetting then-No.17 Michigan in Ann Arbor, Mich. They also have wins against NCAA tournament participate Hampton, St. Francis Brooklyn (NIT), Delaware State (CBI), St. Francis, Pa. (CIT), Maryland-Eastern Shore (CIT) and Yale.

Just seven years ago, NJIT lost a Division I record 51 straight games. Head coach Jim Engles has built the Highlanders program from scratch. He has taken a team that won only one game his first year and has led the Newark, N.J. school to a school record 19 wins.

CSU advanced to the second round of the CIT with a 86-57 blowout victory over Western Michigan on Wednesday in Kalamazoo, Mich.

Against the Broncos, CSU had one of its best offensive performances of the season. They shot 57 percent from the floor and knocked down a season-high 13 three-pointers.

Charlie Lee led four Vikings in double figures with a season-high 28 points on 10-of-13 shooting. The Milwaukee native hit a career-high eight treys against WMU.

Grady had his 10th double-double of the season with 21 points and tied his career-highs in rebounds (14) and assists (6), while Marlin Mason and Trey Lewis each added 13 points a piece.

The Highlanders rank 79th in Division I in scoring, averaging 71.2 points per game.

Sophomore guard Damon Lynn leads four Highlanders in double-figures, averaging 17.5 points per game. The others are junior guard Winfield Willis (12), sophomore forward Tim Coleman (11.5) and junior guard Ky Howard (11.3).

The Highlanders have only two players taller then 6-6.  6-10 freshman forward Vlad Shustov (2.5 points, 1.6 rebounds, 9.3 minutes.) and 6-8 senior forward Daequan Holiday (5.9 pts, 4.4 rpg, 18.3 mpg).

NJIT is 13-2 at home, while the Vikings are 6-10 on the road.

Fans can watch the game at watchcollegeinsider.com.

Shot clock: The CIT is one of three postseason tournaments (NIT and CBI are the others) that are experimenting with a 30-second shot clock, instead of the normal 35-second shot clock.

1,000 point club: Lewis needs 21 points against the Highlanders to become the 23rd member of CSU's 1,000 point club. Lewis has 979 points at CSU since transferring from Penn State.

The Garfield Heights native, who scored 111 points at PSU as a freshman, went over the 1,000 point milestone for his career in CSU's victory at Green Bay on Feb. 20.

Lee and Grady scored their 1,000 career points in CSU's victory over Youngstown State on Feb. 4.

General Lee: Lee needs two more assists to move into second place on CSU's all-time assists list and six more to become the all-time leader in school history. Lee has 458 assists and trails only Franklin Edwards (459) and Ken "Mouse" McFadden (463),

Homecoming: Tonight's game against NJIT will be a homecoming game for CSU head coach Gary Waters who coached Rutgers University from 2001-06. Waters led the Piscataway, N.J. school to three NIT appearances in five years - including a runner up finish in 2004.

Monday, March 16, 2015

Cleveland State to play at Western Michigan in CIT tourney

The Cleveland State men's basketball team will play at Western Michigan on Wednesday in the first round of the CollegeInsider.com Postseason Tournament. Tipoff is 7 p.m.

CSU (18-14) will be making its second straight appearance in the CIT, a 32-team single-elimination non-bracketed tournament geared towards mid-major programs that do not get bids to the NCAA or NIT tournaments.

Last year, CSU was eliminated in the opening round of the CIT, falling at Ohio, 64-62.

The Broncos (20-13) finished sixth in the Mid-American Conference. They lost to Akron in the second round of the MAC Tournament in Cleveland.

Friday, March 13, 2015

Cleveland State accepts bid into CIT for second straight year

The Cleveland State men's basketball team will make its ninth appearance in a postseason tournament after accepting an invitation to play in the CollegeInsider.com Postseason Tournament on Friday.

CSU will play a road game against a foe to be determined on either Tuesday, March 17 or Wednesday, March 18.

Monday, March 2, 2015

Cleveland State's Grady, Lewis and Lee earn All-Horizon League honors

Cleveland State's regular season concluded Friday with a disappointing loss to Valparaiso on its homecourt.

On Monday, the Vikings had a much better day as junior forward Anton Grady, junior guard Trey Lewis and senior guard Charlie Lee were each honored when the Horizon League announced its annual men's basketball honors this afternoon.

Grady and Lewis were named to the all-Horizon League first team. Lee and Grady were also chosen to the league's five member all-defensive team.

Friday, February 27, 2015

CSU Basketball Notebook: Vikings still Alive for No. 1 seed

Despite Sunday's devastating loss to Milwaukee, Cleveland State is still very much alive for the No. 1 seed and a chance to host next week's Horizon League tournament quarterfinals and semifinals.

With Valparaiso's 63-60 loss at Detroit on Wednesday, the No. 1 seed is up for grabs heading into the final weekend of HL play.

Valpo (25-5, 12-3 HL) leads the HL with one game to go.

However, Cleveland State (17-12, 11-4 HL), Green Bay (22-7, 11-4 HL) and Oakland (16-14, 11-4 HL) are a game back of the Phoenix.

The top four seeds will be determine on the court as CSU host Valpo (ESPNU, 10 p.m.) on Friday and Green Bay host OU on Saturday (ESPN3, 2 p.m.).

Here are the remaining seeding scenarios for the top four seeds:

If Valpo wins and Green Bay wins. The final standings would have Valpo at 13-3, Green Bay at 12-4, and CSU and Oakland would be tied at 11-5. Valpo would host the tournament. Green Bay would get the No. 2 seed. OU would get the No. 3 seed over the Vikings because the Golden Grizzlies went 1-1 against Valpo, while CSU is 0-2 against the Crusaders.

If Valpo wins and Oakland wins. The final standings would have Valpo at 13-3, OU at 12-4 and CSU and Green Bay would be tied at 11-5. Valpo would host the tournament, while OU would get the No. 2 seed and double-bye into semi-finals. CSU would get the No. 3 seed over Green Bay because of the season sweep of the Phoenix (2-0).

If CSU wins and Green Bay wins. The final standings would have CSU, Valpo and Green Bay tied at 12-4. CSU would get the No. 1 seed, Valpo would be No. 2, Green Bay is No. 3 and OU is No. 4. CSU holds the tie-breaker between Valpo and GB because of head-to-head records between the three schools. CSU would go 3-1 against Valpo/GB, while Valpo is 2-2 and GB 1-3.

If CSU wins and Oakland wins. The final standings would have CSU, OU and Valpo tied at 12-4. CSU and OU would get the top two seeds because of they swept GB, while Valpo went 1-1. The top two seeds would be determined by who had the highest RPI. As of Thursday, CSU had a RPI of 121 and OU 139, per College Basketball News. Valpo is No.3, while GB is No. 4.

Blackout Valpo: All fans who attend Friday's CSU-Valpo game are encouraged to wear black. The first 1,000 fans will receive a "1 team, 1 goal" t-shirt.

Free parking: CSU is offering free parking to the first 300 cars in the CSU south garage on East 21st street and Carnegie Ave..

Keane questionable: Kaza Keane (right knee sprain) had an MRI on Friday and has a "slim chance" to play against Green Bay.

Keane injured his knee in the first half of CSU's 66-60 loss to Milwaukee on Sunday.

If Keane can't play against the Crusaders, freshmen Terrell Hales and Kenny Carpenter could see an increase in playing time.

"They have to step up and play if Kaza can't go," Waters said about Hales and Carpenter at his weekly media gathering on Tuesday.

Make up date?:  CSU's final nonconference game at Western Carolina last week was cancelled because of the weather.

The game could be possibly made up next year.

"We are looking at playing it a year from now," Waters said.

New home: Former CSU Viking Norris Cole has played well with the New Orleans Pelicans since being traded from the Miami Heat on Feb. 19.

In his first three games with the Pelicans, Cole is averaging 12.7 points, 4.0 assists and 3.0 rebounds. He's shooting 55.6 percent (15-27) from the floor, including 44.4 percent (4-9) from three-point range.

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Cleveland State Game at Western Carolina Cancelled

Tuesday night's Cleveland State-Western Carolina basketball game has been cancelled due to weather and travel conditions.

The nonconference game will not be made up.

CSU released the following statement:
CLEVELAND, Ohio - Due to poor travel and weather conditions in North Carolina, the Cleveland State men's basketball game at Western Carolina scheduled for Tuesday (Feb. 17) has been cancelled.
CSU was scheduled to fly out on Monday afternoon, but the charter flight was cancelled. The Vikings were rescheduled to fly out on Tuesday morning, but poor travel conditions also cancelled that flight.
The Vikings return to action on Friday (Feb. 20) when CSU plays at Green Bay at 7:00 p.m. The game will be broadcast live on ESPN2.

Monday, February 16, 2015

Cleveland State 67, UIC 59: Vikings Down Flames, Keeps Pace in Horizon League race


That was the one word Cleveland State head coach Gary Waters used to describe the Vikings' defensive effort in the second half against the Illinois-Chicago Flames on Sunday.

Trailing by four at the half to an upset-minded UIC squad that had won its previous two games on the road, Waters challenged his team at halftime to pick up their intensity on defense.

The Vikings clamped down on defense in the second half, holding the Flames to just eight field goals in the final 20 minutes and pulled out a 67-59 victory at the Wolstein Center to keep pace with the top teams in the Horizon League.

CSU (16-11, 10-3 HL) trails first-place Valparaiso (24-4, 11-2 HL) by one game with three games to go. Green Bay is one-half game behind CSU for the No. 2 seed and Oakland is a game and a half back of the Vikings.

In the HL, the top two seeds receive double-byes into the semifinals and only needs to win two games to claim the championship. The No. 1 seed also gets homefield advantage throughout the tournament.

Seeds No. 3 and No. 4 get a bye into the second round and only needs to win three games in five days to claim the championship.

Sunday's win over UIC guaranteed that CSU will finish no worse then fourth in the HL.

CSU outscored the Flames 37-25 in the final 20 minutes.

The Vikings shot 65.2 percent (15-of-23) in the second half, while holding the Flames to 24.2 percent (8-of-33) shooting in the final 20 minutes, including 4-of-15 (26.7 percent) from three-point range.

"I thought our pressure caused them problems in the second half," Waters said. "They had only two turnovers in the first half, but we turned them over seven times in the second half."

A key for the Vikings was keeping Anton Grady and Marlin Mason on the floor together in the second half.

Grady (six) and Mason (three) protected the rim in the second half, combining for nine of CSU's season-high 11 blocked shots, 10 of them came in the second half.

"I thought the biggest key in the loss to Detroit was Anton getting in foul trouble in the first half and only playing five minutes," said Waters. "This game Marlin was in foul trouble in the first half and he only played three minutes. I thought that stopped our momentum. I thought we were able to use them well in the second half."

Trey Lewis led the Vikings with 18 points. The Garfield Heights product made his first three three-pointers and shot 7-of-14 from the field. He also had five rebounds, three assists, a blocked shot and a steal.

Grady just missed his seventh double double of the season, finishing with nine points and 13 rebounds. The Cleveland Central Catholic product missed his first five shots from the floor, then made four of his last six.

CSU also had strong games from Mason (11 points), Charlie Lee (nine points, eight assists), Andre Yates (eight points) and Vinny Zollo (eight points).

UIC (7-20, 3-9 HL) was led by Ahman Fells and Paris Burns who each added 17 points.

The Vikings took control of the game mid-way through the second half.

CSU used a 19-6 run that turned a 37-34 deficit into a 53-43 advantage.

During the decisive run, six different Vikings scored.

A Lee jumper started the run and CSU scored eight straight field goals to take a 49-41 lead on Lewis' layup.

Lewis capped off the run with a jumper, then a driving lay-up to extend the lead to 53-43.

Defense also keyed the decisive run for the Vikings as they caused three turnovers and held the Flames to just 2-of-9 shooting from the floor during that seven minute stretch.

A Lee to Mason alley-opp gave CSU its largest lead of the afternoon 60-47 with five minutes to go.

But the Flames would make one last run. They made three straight three-pointers to cut the lead down to 60-56 with 2:22 left.

However, CSU closed out the game making 5-of-6 free throws to stay undefeated at home in conference play.

The Vikings improved to 7-0 at the Wolstein Center in league games and are 12-2 at home overall.

It's the seventh time in eight years that CSU has reached double-digits in league wins.

CSU took an early 23-18 lead as they made its first seven three-pointers - Lewis and Zollo each had three of them.

But the Flames closed the half on a 16-7 run that gave them a 34-30 lead at the half.

The Flames only shot 32.3 percent (10-of-31) from the floor in the first half, while CSU shot 45.8 percent (11-of-24).

The difference in the first half came at the free throw line where UIC shot 10-of-12 (83.3 percent), while CSU made 1-of-3.

Senior day: Before the game, CSU honored its two seniors, Lee and Mason.

It was only fitting that both seniors played key roles in CSU's second half comeback.

Mason scored eight of his 11 points in the second half, while Lee scored all nine of his points in the final 20 minutes.

Lee's only three-pointer of the day gave CSU a 39-37 lead early in the second half. His eight assists tied a season-high.

"Charlie was playing on sure will out there today," said Waters. "He could barely move because his legs were tired. I thought he made just enough plays to give us what we needed to win this game."

Hales update: Terrell Hales missed Sunday's game with "a sore ankle." He injured his ankle in the first half of CSU's 66-65 loss to Detroit on Friday.

"I think the earliest we will get him back is against Green Bay," said Waters.

Familiar face: CSU recruit Rob Edwards, a standout at Cass Tech High School in Detroit, watched Friday's CSU-Detroit game from the stands.

Up next: CSU travels to Western Carolina for a non-conference game on Tuesday.

Sunday, February 8, 2015

Cleveland State 88, Wright State 72: Vikes Look to Finish Strong

Gary Waters is hoping that history doesn't repeat itself again this year.

With an 88-72 victory over Wright State on Saturday afternoon at the Wolstein Center, Cleveland State became the first Horizon League school to win nine games.

CSU (15-10, 9-2 HL), which have won three straight and six of its past seven, hold a half-game lead on both Valparaiso (21-4, 8-2 HL) and Green Bay (19-5, 8-2 HL), while Oakland (12-12, 7-2 HL) is a game back.

Once again, CSU enters February in control of its own destiny to host next month's HL tournament, but they will most likely need to win their remaining five league games in order to secure the No. 1 seed.

In the HL, the No. 1 seed gets to host the conference tournament quarterfinals and semifinals (March 6 and 7). The highest seed remaining after the semifinals will host the championship game (March 10).

CSU has never hosted the conference tournament since the league went to its current format for the 2002-03 season.

The importance of hosting the HL tournament means more this year because the top four teams - CSU, Valpo, Green Bay and OU - are a combined 21-0 at home in league play.

Three of CSU's next four league games are on the road, including a Feb. 20 rematch at Green Bay. They close out the season hosting Valpo at home in a nationally televised game on ESPNU, which could be for all the marbles.

"We have been in this place, maybe four times. Four times that we had this same case scenario [and didn't finish strong],  Waters said. "One year we were up two games going into [February] and we lost a key player, but I can't use that as an excuse. [This year] we want to finish strong."

What Waters is referring to is CSU's late season collapses in the month of February.

Three years ago when Anton Grady and Charlie Lee were freshman, the 2011-12 CSU squad started out 10-2 and held a half-game lead on second-place Valpo, then collapsed down the stretch.

They lost four straight conference games - including an embarrassing 59-41 loss to Valpo at the Wolstein Center and finished in second-place, two games back of the Crusaders.

The Vikings were upset by eventual HL tournament champion, Detroit in the semifinals.

Why does Waters think this year could be different?

"What I can say is we have had multiple lineups now," said Waters. "So you can use different people now to help you in games and that will help us in the long run because it gives us more numbers."

Another reason this could be a different year is the emergence of Grady.

Grady, an undersized 6-foot-8 forward who plays the five for CSU, dominated WSU's 6-foot-10 center Michael Karena, scoring 22 points in just 29 minutes due to foul trouble.

Sixteen of Grady's points came in the second half that helped hold off the Raiders late rally. He shot 10-of-13 from the floor.

"Anton was unbelievable inside," said Waters. "They couldn't handle him in there. He was scoring at will."

In CSU's 11 league games, Grady is averaging 16.2 points and 8.9 rebounds per game, while shooting 58.1 percent from the floor.

The last time CSU went to the NCAA tournament they had a dominate big man in J'Nathan Bullock.

Lee led the Vikings with a season-high 27 points, 16 of them came in the second half. The Milwaukee native was 7-of-11 from the floor and made all 12 of his free throws.

"Charlie had one of his phenomenal games," said Waters. "He controlled the tempo, hit his free throws and hit some big shots."

Trey Lewis added 15 points, while Andre Yates (10 points) and Marlin Mason (six) provided all 16 points from the bench.

WSU (11-13, 3-7 HL) had five players in double-figures, led by Joe Thomasson who had 17 points off the bench. Karena, Reggie Arcenaux and Grant Benzinger each added 13 points for the Raiders, while Chrishawn Hopkins added 10.

CSU had its best offensive performance of the season. They had season-highs in points (88) and field goal percentage (61.2).

Midway through the first half, CSU made nine straight field goals and scored 13 straight points to take a 23-10 lead on a three-pointer from Lewis.

With Karena sitting on the bench with three fouls, WSU switched to a five-guard lineup late in the first half that gave CSU some matchup problems.

A 10-3 run over the next three minutes closed WSU within 26-20.

"They tried some things out there running five guards and that's hard to guard," said Waters. "At one point, we had to go away from what we do just so we could keep them in front of us because they are great drivers."

Back-to-back threes from Lee and Yates capped off an 18-9 run and gave CSU its largest lead of the half, 44-29.

However, WSU scored the last four points to cut the lead down to 44-33 at the half.

CSU shot a blistering 66.7 percent (16-of-24) from the floor in the first half, while WSU shot 41.7 percent (10-of-24), including 2-of-10 (20 percent) from three-point range.

The second half was a different story.

WSU made seven of its first nine field goals in the second half, including 3-of-4 from three-point range, to pull within 56-50 on Benzinger's second three of the half.

"We had some breakdowns," said Waters. "Our matchups were kind of mixed up at the time. We kind of broke down a little bit."

CSU answered back with five straight points from Grady to push the lead back into double figures, 61-50.

"We got to feed our horse," said Lee. "They were too little inside."

Three times, the Raiders closed within four, but CSU was there to answer back each time.

A three-pointer from Arcenaux cut the lead to 66-62 with 9:58 left, but that was the closest they would get. CSU answered back with a layup from Lewis and a jumper from Grady to push the lead out to 72-64.

With CSU leading by nine late in the game, Waters took some advice from his coaching staff and switched to an amoeba zone defense.

The gamble worked as WSU scored only two field goals in its final nine possessions.

"Coach Larry [DeSimpelare] said to me 'coach can we try the amoeba'. I was hesitate because I didn't want [Benzinger] to run around hitting threes, but I gave in," said Waters. "I thought it really did a good job [of slowing them down]."

CSU closed the game out making 12 of 13 free throws down the stretch to preserve the win. Lee made 9-of-9 from the line in the final 5:48.

The Vikings shot 56 percent (14-of-25) in the second half, while WSU shot 66.7 percent (16-of-24), including 5-of-8 (62.5 percent) from three-point range.

Up Next: CSU travels to Detroit on Friday night. ESPNU will televise the game. Tipoff is 8 p.m.