Cleveland, Ohio - Convocation Center (13,610)
4 p.m., JP (Steve Martin & Mike Gminski)
Season To Date: The Vikings are 2-0, with wins over Central State (76-63) and Florida A&M (97-88). In the second win, in Tallahassee, CSU overcame an 11-point deficit and shot a school record 64 free throw attempts (of which they hit 40).
The Top Scorer: Senior Jermaine Robinson is averaging 26 points per game, but just as impressive are the 8 rebounds per game grabbed by the 6-2 shooting guard. His points tend to come more from off the dribble and by attacking the hoop rather than spotting up from long range.
Key Late Arrival: Freshman Walter Walters was slated to attend Pittsburgh this season, but was released from his letter of intent after the coaching change there. He's a 6-10, 260-pound southpaw who was a Top 100 high school recruit. He's made an instant impact and is in the starting lineup.
Height Advantage: The Vikings boast an impressive front line, with 6-10 Walters in the middle, 6-11 senior Papa Badiane at the power forward spot and long 6-7 junior Omari Westley at the small forward position. Walters is the wide load, while Badiane led the Horizon conference in blocked shots last season. Westley was a coveted high school star forced to go the junior college route who has shined from the get-go with CSU. The team has blocked 17 shots in its first two games and has totaled a +14 rebounding advantage.
Offseason Loss: Modibo Niakate, the team's leading scorer and the conferences top three-point shooter last season as a junior, was dismissed from the team over the summer for a violation of team rules.
Against Ranked Teams: The Vikings are 1-21 all-time against ranked teams. Their only win? An 83-79 upset of No. 16-ranked Indiana in the first round of the 1986 NCAA Tournament.
Probable Starting Lineup: Walt Chavis (5-11, G, Jr.) – 12.5 ppg, 3.0 apg Jermaine Robinson (6-2, G, Sr.) – 26.0 ppg, 4.0 apg, 8.6 rpg Omari Westley (6-7, F, Jr.) – 15.0 ppg, 7.5 rpg Papa Badiane (6-11, F, Sr.) – 9.0 ppg, 7.0 rpg, 4.5 bpg Walter Waters (6-10, C, Fr.) – 8.5 ppg, 5.0 rpg Key Reserves: Percell Coles (6-2, G, Jr.) – 11.0 ppg, 3.0 rpg Patrick Tatham (6-7, F, Fr.) – 3.5 ppg, 5.0 rpg Victor Morris (6-0, G, Fr.) – 3.5 ppg, 2.5 rpg