Cleveland State is back on the road this week after sweeping a two-game home stand against Loyola and UIC. The Vikings put in two good performances last week, first dominating the Ramblers 76-50 before holding the league's leading scorer in Josh Mayo to 6 points on 2-of-10 shooting in a 79-69 victory over the Flames.
This week's action has the Vikings visiting Green Bay on Thursday and Milwaukee on Saturday with both contests being broadcast live by SportsTime Ohio at 8 p.m.
With sophomore D'Aundray Brown out with a stress fracture in his ribcage, the Vikings altered the starting lineup and found another weapon in guard Trevon Harmon. The freshman from Pasadena, CA scored a career high 17 against Loyola and is averaging 10.7 points per game in the three games without Brown in the lineup to bring his season scoring average up to 8.4.
Even with the emergence of Harmon, the mainstay in the lineup has been J'Nathan Bullock. The senior from Flint, MI broke Mouse McFadden's school record on Saturday by starting his 87th consecutive game.
Previewing Green Bay: Thursday 8 p.m. on STO at the Resch Center in Green Bay
Green Bay (11-5, 4-1) is a veteran group that is led by three seniors in Ryan Tillema, Mike Schachtner and Terry Evans that have combined for over 3,000 points and 250 starts throughout their careers.
Tillema, a 6-8 guard, missed the first seven games of the season but has returned to lead the team in scoring at 16.3 per game on 48-percent shooting (46-97), including 44-percent from three (25-57). The native of Randolph, WI is a career 40-percent (180-457) shooter from outside the arc.
While Tillema roams the outside, Schachtner and Evans hold down the forward spots for the Phoenix and are third and fourth on the team in scoring. The 6-9 Scachtner averages 11.1 points on the season but the two-time all-Horizon selection has been streaky with his scoring. Schachtner is averaging only 6.5 points during the last four contests.
The 6-5 Evans averages 10.0 points, 5.6 rebounds, 2.4 assists and 1.9 steals per game in 33.5 action packed minutes. A native of St. Louis, MO, Evans is a three-time Horizon League all-Defensive team member and the reigning Defensive Player of the Year.
Previewing Milwaukee: Saturday 8 p.m. on STO at U.S. Cellular Arena in Milwaukee
Milwaukee (10-6, 5-1) has won seven of its last nine games but dropped its first league contest last week in overtime to rival Green Bay. The Panthers are off to a surprising start, currently sitting a half game behind first place Butler in the Horizon League standings after being picked to finish sixth in the pre-season poll.
Milwaukee is led by a pair of guards with JUCO experience in Tone Boyle and Avery Smith.
Boye, a 6-2 junior, is averaging team highs in points (14.8) and minutes (35.9) in his first season for the Panthers after transferring from Highland CC. Boye is shooting 39-percent (35-91) from three and compliments his outside shooting by getting to the line nearly five times per contest.
The veteran for the Panthers is Smith. The play-making guard played his freshman season at Garden City CC before becoming a staple in the Milwaukee lineup during his sophomore and junior seasons. Smith averaged a team-high 15.5 points per game in 2006-07 but was kicked off the team prior to the start of the next season for an undisclosed violation of team rules. After sitting out all of last year, Smith is back on the team and making things happen. The 6-3 guard is averaging 14.4 points and 3.0 assists per game while shooting 45-percent (73-164) from the floor and 44-percent (18-41) from three.
The Panthers also bring a big man off the bench that is quite possibly the most entertaining player in America. Junior forward James Eayrs checks in at 6-7 340 pounds and averages 8.5 points and 4.1 rebounds per game. The great thing about the giant Eayrs is that he has attempted over 50 three pointers on the season and is shooting 37-percent (19-52).
Viking Voyage Set For Friday January 23rd to Youngstown State:
The Vikings play only one game next week after returning from Wisconsin. The game is Friday January 23rd at Youngstown State and will be broadcast live by ESPN U at 9 p.m.
A charter bus is scheduled to take CSU fans to and from the game. For 25 dollars, fans receive one game ticket, a replica CSU jersey and pizza and pop on the bus.
The bus will depart the CSU Wolstein Center at 7 p.m. and arrive at the Beeghly Center at YSU at 8:30 p.m. for the 9 p.m. tip off. The bus will return to the Wolstein Center following the game.
Contact the CSU athletic office at 216-687-2094 to register.