TEAM: Ball State Cardinals
COACH: James Whitford
TEAM RECORD LAST YEAR: 15-25, 2-16 MAC
Lost in first round of MAC Tournament
EARLY 2014-15 RECORD: 8-3
* All rankings/stats are among MAC teams unless otherwise noted.
The 2013-14 campaign was a long one for Ball State, which never won two games in a row after Nov. 18. The Cardinals did manage, however, to author a number of losing streaks – the longest of which were for seven and nine games.
Embedded in all those losses were some notable wins and other signs of improvement. There was the 71-68 win over Buffalo, an overtime loss to Western Michigan, a triple-overtime loss to Central Michigan followed by a win over the Chippewas two weeks later in the return matchup.
Several of the close calls might have gone the other way had BSU enjoyed the services of solid forward Matt Kamieniecki (6-8, 220). He is back this year and leads the game in rebounds (7.0 rpg) through 11 contests. He also leads the team in free throw attempts (62) and makes (36), albeit his 58.1 percent FT percentage is well down the list. The Cardinals are shooting 72.4 percent from the striple as a team.
Here is some more on the Cardinals:
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-- Turner was the MAC Freshman of the Year in 2013-14 and led MAC freshmen in points, assists, minutes, 3-point percentage and free throw percentage.
-- Frank House, who led freshmen in rebounding last season, is second behind Kamieniecki in rebounding for the Cardinals. He averages 5.3 rpg. Five other players are averaging in the three-per-game range.
-- Turner leads BSU in assists (4.1 apg). That is seventh among MAC players. However, he is also averaging 4.0 turnovers per contest. That pushes him down to 15th in assist-to-turnover ratio.
-- As a team, the Cardinals average 14.8 turnovers, second highest in the conference. They are ninth in assist-to-turnover ratio.
-- Sellers has the top Cardinals 3-point percentage (51.3%). Tyler (42.9%) and Francis Kiapway (41.9%) are next in line.
-- Ball State is eighth in scoring (67.7 ppg), sixth in scoring defense (61.0 ppg) and ninth in scoring margin (3.0).
-- Overall, the Cardinals have made 42.3 percent of their shots from the field (9th). Opponents are hitting 43.4 percent.
-- BSU is fifth in 3-point percentage (37.7%) and fourth in 3-pointers made (7.5 per game).
-- Ball State’s 72.4 percent at the foul line is ninth among MAC teams.
-- The Cardinals average 34.4 rebounds per game (19th) and are eighth in rebounding margin (1.5).
-- Ball State is 11th in blocked shots, fourth in assists, and ninth in steals.
-- The Cardinals have a tough opening week for MAC play. They are at Eastern Michigan Wednesday (7 p.m. ET), followed by a home encounter against Central Michigan Saturday (4:30 p.m. ET).