Self looking for options to stop ‘Amazing Al’
Kent State University senior guard Al Fisher has been known as “Amazing Al” since his career-high 35 point performance lifted the Golden Flashes to a 76-74 overtime victory over Saint Louis on Nov. 19 in the Billikins’ gymnasium.
The 6-foot-1 reigning Mid-American Conference Player of the Year — who visits Allen Fieldhouse for today’s 8 p.m., tipoff — scored 16 of Kent State’s 17 points in overtime, including the game-winning layup with 2.1 seconds left.
“He’s their conference player of the year. He’s strong. He’s good. He can go get his own shot,” KU coach Bill Self said of Fisher, who erupted for 27 of Kent State’s last 28 points (in the final 9:18) at Saint Louis.
“Do we have a lockdown defender yet? I don’t know. I’d hope Brady (Morningstar) and Tyshawn (Taylor could become that). I don’t know if we have somebody who can go guard him.”
Fisher averages 21.8 points off 52.5 percent shooting. He has made 12 of 30 threes for 40 percent.
Flashes have shown flashes in ‘08
Kent State opened with victories over North Carolina Central, Saint Louis and UNC Wilmington. Over the weekend, the Golden Flashes lost to Illinois (69-63, OT) and Texas A&M (77-71) at the South Padre Island Invitational.
“They are good. They’ll be tough. They play in a great league,” Self said of the Mid-American Conference. “They had Illinois where they wanted them. The A&M game was a great game. This team is capable of beating anybody they play.”
Collins, Singletary share Chicago ties
The Golden Flashes’ second-leading scorer is Chris Singletary, a 6-4 junior from Chicago who averages 15.2 points off 46.7 percent shooting. He has made five of 17 threes.
“They’ve got some big wings. I know one of ’em from Chicago, Chris Singletary,” former Chicago Crane High guard Sherron Collins said of the former Farragut High standout. “He’s solid. He’s good.”
Kansas, Kent State in elite company
Kent State, which went 28-7 a year ago, went cold against the University of Nevada-Las Vegas in a 71-58 first-round NCAA Tournament loss last March in Omaha, Neb. ... The Jayhawks and Kent State are two of seven teams to have won 20 games in each of the past 10 seasons. ... The two teams are meeting for the first time. Kent State is 3-4 against the Big 12; KU is 8-1 versus the Mid-American Conference. ... Kent State beat Oklahoma State, 69-61, in the first round of the 2002 NCAA Tournament. Kent State reached the Elite Eight that year. ...Kent State is led by first-year head coach Geno Ford, a former all-MAC guard at Ohio. He takes over for Jim Christian, who left for TCU after six seasons as Kent State’s head coach. Ford was previously head coach at Shawnee State University in 2001–02 and at Muskingum College from 2005-2007 ... KU guard Tyshawn Taylor, who sprained his left ankle in Friday’s victory over Coppin State, practiced over the weekend.