Morgan State 2009 NCAA Tournament Preview
Morgan State Bears (23-11, 13-3) - MEAC
Seed: #15 - South Region
Big Wins: 11/17 UMBC (67-60), 11/21 vs Marshall (72-67), 1/7 at Maryland (66-65)
Bad Losses: 12/1 St. Francis PA (61-65), 1/17 at Florida A&M (58-63), 1/26 Hampton (57-62)
Last NCAA Appearance: none
Coach: Todd Bozeman (2-3 in 3 NCAA appearances)
Probable Morgan State Starters:
Jermaine Bolden, Senior, Guard, 9.2 ppg, 4.9 apg
Reggie Holmes, Junior, Guard, 16.9 ppg, 5.5 rpg
Rogers Barnes, Senior, Guard, 8.6 ppg, 1.9 apg
Marquise Kately, Senior, Forward, 11.0 ppg, 5.4 rpg
Rodney Stokes, Sophomore, Forward, 4.5 ppg, 3.5 rpg, 1.2 bpg
Key Morgan State Roleplayers:
Ameer Ali, Freshman, Forward, 2.7 ppg, 3.0 rpg
Kevin Thompson, Freshman, Forward, 9.1 ppg, 7.2 rpg, 1.2 bpg
Why The Bears Can Surprise:
The Golden Bears have a couple very talented players that can lead this team to a surprise or two in March. They surprised DePaul and Maryland earlier in the season and certainly have the ability to beat a quality team. Reggie Holmes is the team’s leading scorer at 16.9 points per game. The 6-4 guard is a prolific three-point shooter and knocks down nearly three per contest. He will also use his size and quickness to get to the basket and he will still score a ton of points even if his outside shot is not falling.
Marquise Kately is the scoring option on the inside. The former Golden Bear of California is only 6-5, but he is tough and will score against taller opposition. He can use his athleticism and strength to rebound over taller opponents as well. And Morgan State is a quality rebounding team in part thanks to Kately and Holmes who both tally over five boards per game.
Why The Bears Can Disappoint:
Even with Holmes and Kately, Morgan State’s offense will struggle every once in a while. Some games they will surpass the 80 point mark and the next day they will struggle to get to 50. Part of the problem is the lack of shooters after Holmes. Rogers Barnes and point guard Jermaine Bolden will occasionally knock down the outside shot, but they certainly are not very consistent. Barnes is a great defender and Bolden is an experienced point guard who will keep the turnovers down, but getting more consistency in the scoring department from those two would be beneficial.
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Who To Watch:
Kevin Thompson and Rodney Stokes have both started next to Kately in the frontcourt. Thompson is the team’s third leading scorer and the best rebounder. The 6-8 redshirt freshman lost his starting job in part due to his knack for committing fouls. In a game against Bethune-Cookman in February he managed to acquire four fouls in just eight minutes of play. When Thompson has to sit next to Coach Todd Bozeman on the bench, Morgan State has to put a lot of pressure on Stokes to produce. Stokes has proven that he can handle playing 20 or more minutes, but he will not give the Bears a scoring presence like Thompson.
Morgan State By the Numbers:
- Scoring Offense: 66.1 (203rd in nation, 4th in conference)
- Scoring Defense: 62.0 (48, 3)
- Field-Goal Percentage: 42.3 (236, 5)
- Field-Goal Defense: 40.7 (50, 2)
- Three-Point Field Goals Per Game: 5.2 (265, 7)
- Three-Point Field-Goal Percentage: 34.2 (155, 3)
- Free-Throw Percentage: 64.2 (289, 7)
- Rebound Margin: 3.1 (75, 2)
- Assists Per Game: 11.5 (268, 3)
- Turnovers Per Game: 13.3 (131, 2)
Joel’s Bracket Says: First Round loss to Oklahoma
By Joel Welser
CollegeSports-fans.com Senior Basketball Writer
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