On Sunday November 9th, seven teams will attend the Buckeye Invite in Columbus, Ohio at OSU’s RPAC. The teams in attendance come from all over the Midwest. Making the long drive from Michigan are Michigan State who is only expecting to bring 11 players and Central Michigan who is bringing a fairly young squad due to many starters not being able to make the long journey. From Kentucky, Western Kentucky and the Wildcats will both be bringing full squads, not something teams are used to seeing out of WKU. From Ohio, the Buckeyes will have their full squad in attendance. Kent State will be attending the tournament as well, hoping to make a statement. And the seventh team in attendance will be NCDA newcomer Akron, who are excited to play their first inaugural matches in team history. Due to the large amount of teams in attendance, not every team will be playing each other, which is why there will be a fairly large amount of interesting match-ups this Sunday.
October’s Baller of the Month goes out to Western Kentucky’s Captain Nick Johnson. Nick just recently led his team to a victory over the University of Kentucky for the 1st time in over 4 seasons. Nick is also the director of this year’s national tournament in Bowling Green, Kentucky, which we talk about in detail. Tune into my interview with him and his thoughts on this season so far.
Jacob Leski: Nick, congratulations on being selected as Baller of the Month, how does it feel to finally beat Kentucky for the first time in over 4 years?
Nick Johnson: It feels amazing, this win means so much to the team and myself. With a young team we were really needing a win and no one better to get that from than Kentucky. Kentucky is a good solid team, and they have had our number and no matter what we did we could not beat them til now. Losing the first point and being able to pull together to get the win was just an indescribable feeling. Outside of Nationals, during the regular season we have only beaten teams that we were supposed to beat, but we finally beat a team that many thought we couldn’t and before this match we had only scored one point. So we were able to get a good win and score some points and as a captain I could not have been more proud of my team.
Teams Attending: Central Michigan, Michigan State, Grand Valley State, Ohio State, Bowling Green State, Kentucky and Western Kentucky.
These predictions were made by Kevin Bailey and myself…
Central Michigan: 4-0
CMU will be playing all 4 out of state teams this Saturday. Due to CMU returning every one of its starters from last year, they have a strong advantage against every team they will face due to their talent level and strong team chemistry. Of their 4 matches, their most intriguing matchup will be with Ohio State, who returned many of their starters and with Kentucky, who knocked CMU out of Nationals last season.
Grand Valley: 4-0
Due to Grand Valley’s recent success on the court, it is hard to believe that they won’t go 4-0 this Saturday when they play OSU, MSU, BGSU and WKU. Although they are only returning 10 of their starters from last year, GVSU has a large JV pool they pull from each year which is certainly one of the reasons why they are able to restock their lineup year after year. Their most intriguing matchup will be against MSU. The two had close matchups all of last season, lets hope it’s just as competitive as it has been in years past. Continue reading “Central Michigan Invite Predictions”