Saturday, March 17, 2001

Kent State's find is UC's problem

Bearcats must contain Huffman

By Michael Perry
The Cincinnati Enquirer

Kent's Trevor Huffman scored 27 points against Miami in the MAC championship game and 24 against Indiana.
| ZOOM |
        SAN DIEGO Nobody wanted him. Trevor Huffman and his high school coach sent letters, highlight videos and a personal resume to all the mid-major Division I basketball programs in the Midwest, but there were no takers.

        He was set to attend Mott Community College in Flint, Mich. But the July after he graduated from tiny Petoskey High School, located in northwest Michigan, Huffman played in the 1998 Wendy's Classic and prompted some attention.

        He took an unofficial visit to Kent State, where he played pick-up ball with the Golden Flashes. He knew it was kind of an audition.

        “I warmed up for about a half-hour before anybody got there, so I had my shot going,” Huffman said. “I didn't miss a shot ... I was on fire.”

        Later, the Kent players told coach Gary Waters: “This kid is pretty good.” In August, Waters offered Huffman a scholarship.

  • When: 5:38 p.m. today.
  • Where: Cox Arena (12,414), San Diego, Calif.
  • Records: Kent (24-9), UC (24-9).
  • TV: Chs.12, 7.
  • Radio: WLW-AM (700).
  Demetric Shaw-6-3-Jr.-9.9
  Kyrem Massey-6-5-Sr.-13.0
  Mike Perry-6-9-Jr.-5.5
  Andrew Mitchell-5-11-Sr.-12.3
  Trevor Huffman-6-1-Jr.-17.1
  Coach: Gary Waters (92-59, fifth season; same overall)
  I. McElroy-6-4-Jr.-7.2
  Jamaal Davis-6-9-Jr.-6.5
  B.J. Grove-6-11-So.-4.0
  Steve Logan-6-0-Jr.-17.9
  K. Satterfield-6-2-So.-14.2
  Coach: Bob Huggins (300-95, 12th season; 468-167 overall)
  • 5-1: UC's series lead over Kent.
  • 11-24-90: Date when teams last met.
  • 12-12-52: Date of only Kent victory in series.
  • 5: Mid-American Conference teams to win first-round NCAA games in last seven years.
        Today, he is the University of Cincinnati's problem.

        The No.5-seeded Bearcats face 13th seed Kent at 5:38 p.m. and will try to end their streak of four consecutive second-round exits from the NCAA Tournament.

        UC and Kent, both 24-9, have some similarities.

        Both are guard-oriented teams. The Bearcats rely on Steve Logan and Kenny Satterfield (a combined 32.1 ppg), and the Golden Flashes have Huffman and senior Andrew Mitchell (29.4 ppg).

        UC averages just 10.6 turnovers a game, Kent 10.2.

        UC gets outrebounded by 1.1 a game, Kent by 1.6.

        “I would say the team that gets second and third shots is the team that's going to win,” UC coach Bob Huggins said.

        The Golden Flashes, coming off a 77-73 upset victory over No.4 seed Indiana on Thursday night, are playing with confidence.

        Their mentality can be summed up by this scene: In their locker room before taking the court against the Hoosiers, co-captain Kyrem Massey told his teammates: “After we win this game, I don't want you guys jumping up and down and running crazy all over the place, because we've got more games to play and we've got to be focused.”

        “It's a test for UC,” said Miami coach Charlie Coles, whose RedHawks lost to Kent a week ago in the final of the Mid-American Conference Tournament. “I hope they don't think this is a cakewalk.

        “Logan and Satterfield are going to have to play their butts off. They're going to be surprised; these (Kent) kids can play. It's a better matchup for UC than it was for Indiana. (The Hoosiers) can't beat you with their guards; they can't beat you off the dribble.”

        Huffman is Kent's catalyst. He scored just four points in the first half against IU but finished with 24, including 12 of his team's last 16 points.

        The 6-foot-1 junior has scored in double figures in 30 of 33 games. He has scored 20 or more 11 times and averaged 23.7 points over the last three games.

        “This kid is lethal,” Coles said.

        Huffman leads Kent in scoring (17.1 ppg), assists (4.5) and 3-point field goals (61). He also shoots .848 from the foul line and is skilled at drawing fouls.

        Just as Logan and Satterfield are the keys to UC, Huffman and Mitchell fuel the Flashes.

        “They're tough kids,” Coles said. “You don't see them celebrating. They never get down; they never get too far up. They won't get shaken.”

        “I think UC's going to really have to play their best to beat them, I really do.”

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