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Getting to Know the Cleveland State Vikings

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The Cleveland State Vikings are the cinderella of the tournament now after advancing to the second round in their first ever NCAA tournament and busting a large percentage of the nation's brackets. The #13 seeded Vikings upset the #4 seeded Wake Forest Demon Deacons Friday night by a score of 84-69. Last night was the first time most of the nation, me included, got a chance to watch Cleveland State play and it was impressive. So was it a great game by Cleveland State or a bad game by Wake Forest? Or maybe even a combination of the two? Let's take a look at the stats of the Cleveland State Vikings for the season and find out what they're all about:


FG 3PT FT Rebounds Misc
G M M A Pct M A Pct M A Pct Off Def Tot Ast TO Stl Blk PF PPG
J`Nathan Bullock 36 32.0 5.3 12.3 42.6 1.0 3.2 31.6 3.9 5.3 73.8 2.0 5.0 7.0 1.4 1.5 1.0 0.4 2.0 15.4
Norris Cole 36 32.8 5.0 11.1 45.4 1.1 3.4 31.5 2.1 2.6 80.0 1.1 1.5 2.6 2.4 1.5 1.2 0.1 2.3 13.3
Cedric Jackson 36 33.2 3.6 9.2 39.4 0.9 2.9 32.0 2.6 4.3 61.0 1.2 4.6 5.7 5.5 3.6 2.9 0.2 2.8 10.8
D`Aundray Brown 24 29.0 3.0 5.9 51.4 0.2 0.5 38.5 1.1 1.6 71.1 2.7 3.0 5.7 2.5 1.8 1.7 0.2 2.0 7.4
George Tandy 36 21.9 2.1 4.3 48.7 0.0 0.1 0.0 1.6 2.2 74.4 1.8 3.4 5.2 0.7 1.2 0.7 0.9 2.8 5.8
Chris Moore 36 20.9 2.3 4.8 48.5 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.6 1.3 51.1 1.3 1.6 2.9 0.5 0.9 0.3 1.0 2.8 5.3
Trevon Harmon 25 17.3 1.5 4.3 34.6 1.0 3.1 31.2 1.3 1.6 80.5 0.3 0.9 1.2 0.8 0.9 0.7 0.0 1.6 5.2
Jeremy Montgomery 36 13.6 1.3 3.2 40.5 0.7 2.2 31.6 0.6 0.9 74.2 0.3 0.5 0.8 1.0 1.0 0.6 0.0 1.4 3.9
Eric Schiele 14 10.0 1.3 3.1 40.9 0.7 1.7 41.7 0.6 0.9 69.2 0.1 1.3 1.4 0.5 0.9 0.6 0.1 0.6 3.9
Joe Latas 15 4.1 0.6 1.3 45.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.3 0.4 66.7 0.1 0.3 0.5 0.1 0.1 0.1 0.1 0.7 1.5
Renard Fields 27 5.6 0.3 0.8 42.9 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.3 0.6 60.0 0.4 0.5 0.9 0.0 0.3 0.1 0.3 1.0 1.0
Josh McCoy 22 5.2 0.3 1.2 26.9 0.2 0.9 26.3 0.1 0.2 50.0 0.2 0.8 1.0 0.1 0.2 0.2 0.0 0.5 1.0
Daitwan Eppinger 16 2.7 0.1 0.5 25.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.1 0.4 33.3 0.3 0.3 0.6 0.1 0.1 0.0 0.3 0.6 0.4
36 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 1.5 1.5 3.0 0.0 0.1 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0


 

The Cleveland State Vikings play in the Horizon Conference with the likes of Butler, Green Bay, Wright State, Milwaukee, Illinois-Chicago, Youngstown State, Loyola (IL), Valparaiso, and Detroit.

Notable Games:

 

  • November 18: @ Washington - L 78-63
  • December 4: Butler - L 50-48
  • December 6: @ West Virginia - L 53-43
  • December 15: @ Syracuse - W 72-69
  • February 28: @ Butler - L 58-56
  • March 10: @ Butler - W 57-54
  • March 20: Wake Forest - W 84-69

Playing Style:

The Vikings love to slow games down and minimize the amount of points put on the board. West Virginia was averaged 74 points a game this season, but only managed to put up 53 against Cleveland State. Wake Forest was averaging 81 points a game, yet they only put up 69 on Friday.

CSU also likes to force turnovers, averaging 8.7 steals a game. Against Wake Forest, the Vikings forced 18 turnovers off 9 steals.

The Vikings are a very tough team that holds brutal practices. In a Sports Illustrated article, Andy Staples wrote about the Cleveland State practices:

At Cleveland State, they don't call fouls at practice. Coach Gary Waters, who led Kent State to a first-round upset of Indiana in 2001 before he left for five miserable years at Rutgers, installed that rule when he arrived in Cleveland in 2006.

"Every practice," guard Trevon Harmon said, "I'm bleeding somewhere."

During rebounding drills, boundary lines do not exist. If the ball bounces into the stands, go get it -- even if you have to crawl over the bodies of your teammates.

"We almost lost a guy the other day," Waters said, recounting the tale of freshman guard Josh McCoy, who crashed over a railing this week chasing a carom.

When two opposing players grapple for the ball, no one races in to call a jump ball. "We let 'em wrestle for it," said Waters, who added that matches can last as long as 30 seconds.

I'll write a follow up about what the Cats will need to do to shut down the Vikings on Sunday.