Ball State basketball plays big three in Indiana
By Rick Yencer
MUNCIE, IN - Ball State basketball has a big man and a big schedule this season, playing Indiana, Purdue and Butler.
Billy Taylor, that Lehigh transplant entering his 6th season, was excited at the prospect of playing the No. 1 ranked Hoosiers at Assembly Hall on Nov. 25.
"It is a great opportunity any time you play No. 1, said Taylor, at the basketball media day and practice this week.
And BSU senior Jauwan Scaife, who averaged 5.9 points a game last season, said he wanted to make sure the team played well against the Hoosiers, just as Taylor echoed while introduced a young new team with some injuries.
The newest member is Majok Majok, a junior college transfer who comes from down under, Perth, Australia, and towers at 6-foot-8. As Bobby Knight once said, he could always teach shooting and dribbling but he could not teach how a center could be 7-foot.
Majok is listed as a freshman forward, and Taylor hoped for good things to happen with a big man under the basket. Last year's team went 15-15 and flatlined under the basket after center Matt Kamieniecki suffered a reoccuring back injury. Kamieniecki is back to practice, but Majok could help too, given freshman center Mading Thok also needs a couple more weeks coming back from injury.
Taylor also gave a medical report that some of the lame stream media obsessed about and implied that another average season was on the way.
Junior guard Chris Bond, averaging 7.1 points last season, broke his forearm and is back to contact practice. And junior guard Tyler Koch just broke a thumb and is expected to be back in a couple months.
Scaife, the Central High School basketball star, looked to a big year and hoped the new, young players could meld as a team and be competitive. And he also hoped for good games with state rivals like Indiana and Butler besides still being competitive in the Mid-American Conference.
Retired broadcaster Morry Mannies also was on hand and indicated it could be an exciting season with a new, young team with a handful of veterans. And he also remembered the slump from last season when Ball State seven straight games that had some fans calling for changes in the front office.
Taylor promised a good run this season, especially with Majok and his post ability and another new freshman star, Marcus Posley that challenging for a starting position.
A open practice and fan fest will be held at 6 p.m.Nov. 1 at Worthen Arena, and the first home game is 2 p.m. Nov. 11 with Grambling.
Hometown Ball State basketball star Jauwan Scaife get some time on Fox Sports.