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Cleveland State starts the second half of its Horizon League schedule Saturday afternoon at 4 p.m. against Youngstown State in a nationally televised ...
Cleveland State's men's basketball team starts off the second half of the Horizon League season Saturday hosting intrastate rival Youngstown State (7- ...
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Waters Takes Blame
December 2, 2009 · By Tom Mieskoski
Cleveland State head coach Gary Waters says he is to blame for CSU's shooting a season-low 25.8 percent (16-of-62) from the field Saturday afternoon against Wichita State.

Four CSU players, Norris Cole, D'Aundray Brown, Jared Cunningham and Jeremy Montgomery went a combined 2-for-29 from the field against Wichita State.

"When I looked at the tape we did not play bad. We shot it poorly, as worst as you can shoot it," Waters said. "I kept watching (the film), and it kept getting worse and worse. Then I noticed Norris (Cole) never jumped on his jump shot. Then I said (to myself) these guys don't have any legs."

Waters said he's to blame for CSU not having any legs because after leaving Cancun, Mexico on Thursday morning around 2 a.m. and arriving in Cleveland around 4 or 5 a.m., CSU had a walk-through practice later that night. Then on Friday, CSU had a normal practice that lasted about three hours to prepare for Wichita State. On Saturday morning, CSU had a shoot around at 7:30 a.m., prior to the noon tip-off.

"I didn't take into account how young they are. If I had to do it over again a couple of things I would have done differently," said Waters. "I would have given them the day off after we got back. Then the next day, I would have had a walk-through and I would have cancelled the shoot-around the next morning. I would have also liked to play the game on Monday."

One reason Waters said CSU couldn't play the game on Monday was because the Wichita State game was already scheduled before the Cancun trip. Because CSU was originally going to open the season with a tournament in Hawaii, but the University of Hawaii did not want to face CSU so they cancelled. So, Waters had to find another tournament to play in.

CSU opens league play this week:

CSU (3-4) enters tonight's Horizon League opener at Wright State (9 p.m., ESPNU) on a three-game losing streak. Tonight's game is also a homecoming game for CSU's Cole and Aaron Pogue, who both starred at nearby Dayton Dunbar High.

Wright State (3-2), who were picked to finish second in the Horizon League preseason poll, return all five starters from last season. The Raiders are led by Horizon League preseason first-team guards Todd Brown (18.8 points) and Vaughn Duggins (18.5), who are the last two remaining members of WSU's 2007 Horizon League championship team. 6-7 forward Cory Cooperwood (10.2 points, 3.2 rebounds) gives the Raiders an inside presence.

"Wright State is where we were a year ago. They are as good as Butler," said Waters.  "In their first nine guys, they don't have a freshmen or sophomore (in their rotation), all juniors or seniors, that have been in the system for two or three years."

The Vikings will then travel to Detroit's Calihan Hall on Saturday (1 p.m.).

Detroit (4-2) is a much different team then last season's last place team that went 7-23 (2-16 Horizon League). The Titans have brought in a couple of talented transfers including 6-10 center Eli Holman (14.5 points, 10.3 rebounds), who transferred from Indiana, and 6-6 guard Chase Simon (13.7), who transferred from Central Michigan. The Titans return one starter from a year ago, Thomas Kennedy (10 points), a 6-7 forward. Also returning for the Titans is 6-7 forward Xavier Keeling (13.2 points), who was Detroit's leading scorer and rebounder last season before suffering a season-ending foot injury that caused him to miss the final 23 games.

"(Detroit) maybe the most improved team in the league. They're competitors now. They could be the most physical team in the league," said Waters.

News and notes:

CSU is 4-6 against Top-25 teams in four years under Waters, prior to Waters arrival CSU was 1-21 all-time.... CSU's Saturday, Dec. 12 home against Wilberforce, which will be played at Woodling Gym, will be a turn the clock back game to 1979.  Members of the 1979 CSU team will be in attendance and sign autographs after the game. The 1979 team featured CSU's only two NBA first-round draft picks, Franklin Edwards (1981, 22nd-overall by Philadelphia) and Darren Tillis (1982, 23, Boston).... Cedric Jackson is averaging 10 points, 6.5 rebounds and 5.5 assists in two games, both starts, for the NBA D-League's Erie BayHawks.... Senior guard Jessica Roque was named the Horizon League Women's Basketball Player of the Week after averaging 19.0 points, 3.0 assists and 2.5 rebounds per game in two games last week in Cancun, Mexico.... With 14 points against Marshall on Wednesday, senior guard Kailey Klein raised her career scoring total to 1,601 points, needing 251 points to break Dianne Foster's all-time CSU women's scoring record.

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