FAIRMONT, W.Va. -- Fairmont State men’s basketball coach Jerrod Calhoun announced that the Falcons will travel to Kent, Ohio, to take on NCAA Division I member Kent State on Sunday, Dec. 30, in a regular season game.
"This is a great opportunity for our program to play against the Golden Flashes,” Calhoun said. “We had been looking for a Division I game and are happy to have this on our regular season schedule.”
Fairmont State has several connections to the greater Cleveland area. Incoming freshmen Tommy Scales and Joey Vuyancih were high school standouts in the area, and Parma native Brendan Cooper was a junior college All-American at Lakeland Community College. In addition, Calhoun hails from the Cleveland area and lead assistant coach Paul Molinari served on the Kent State staff early in his career. Molinari holds a Master’s in Sports Administration from Kent State.
“We have had and will continue to have a visible presence in the Cleveland area,” Calhoun said. “Playing this game gives many of our players an opportunity to play close to home. We’ll be playing a great opponent and our players’ families will be able to see them play close to home.”
The Golden Flashes have consistently been among the most competitive teams in the Mid-American Conference over the past several years, having advanced to five NCAA tournaments over the past 15 seasons. Last season, the first under head coach Rob Senderhoff, the Golden Flashes went 21-12, advancing all the way to the MAC tournament semi-finals before falling to rival Akron. Kent State concluded the season with an appearance in the CollegeInsider.com tournament.
“Historically, they’re among the best mid-major programs in Division I,” Calhoun noted. “Every year they compete for the MAC title, and everyone knows that the MAC is a very good basketball league. They have great tradition, particularly over the past 15 years. This is a terrific opportunity for our program to go against the best.”
Unlike many games between Division I and Division II schools that are played as exhibitions, the game between the Falcons and Golden Flashes will count for both teams in their regular season records.
“The timing of the game is great,” he said. “We’ll come back from Christmas break and play an extremely tough opponent before we jump back into conference play. This game will definitely prepare us for the final two months of the season in the always tough WVIAC.”
The Golden Flashes are one of four non-conference opponents on the Fighting Falcons’ 2012-13 schedule, which will be released in the coming weeks.