Friday, April 6, 2018

Juco transfer Marvin Cannon will visit Cleveland State this weekend, per report

With the start of the regular signing period beginning next week, Cleveland State still has three scholarships to fill.

The Vikings will host one of the top junior college prospects still available on campus this weekend.

According to, Marvin Cannon will take his first official visit to CSU beginning Friday.

Cannon, a 6-foot-5 freshmen forward from Barton Community College in Kansas, received a scholarship offer from CSU on March 22. He also holds offers from Washington State,  Southern Miss, South Alabama, Portland State, Appalachian State,  St. Bonaventure,  Georgia State, New Mexico and North Texas.

Coming off a stellar freshmen season, Cannon averaged 15.8 points and 7.1 rebounds this past season, earning a spot on the all-tournament team at the NJCAA Div. I national tournament.

Cannon is a qualifier and will have three years of eligibility remaining.

The Richmond, Va. native will take his second official visit to Washington State next weekend, according to his AAU program.

Friday, March 30, 2018

Uros Plavsic decommits from Cleveland State

Seven-foot-one center Uros Plavsic announced his decommitment from Cleveland State today.

Plavsic committed to CSU on September 26, but did not sign with the Vikings during November's early signing period.

A native of Ivanjica, Serbia, Plavsic was recruited by assistant coach Drazen Zlovaric, who has left the program to pursue other opportunities.

Plavsic's decommitment gives CSU three scholarships to fill.

Thursday, March 22, 2018

Cleveland State offers Juco forward Marvin Cannon

Cleveland State extended a scholarship offer to class of 2018 junior college forward Marvin Cannon today.

Cannon reported the offer on his Twitter account on Thursday evening.
Cannon averaged 15.8 points and 7.1 rebounds as a freshmen for Barton Community College in Kansas. He is a qualifier and will have three years of eligibility remaining.

The Richmond, Va. native also holds offers from Appalachian State and Washington State.

Cleveland State's Dontel Highsmith to transfer, per report

Dontel Highsmith will not return to the Cleveland State men's basketball program next season, as the redshirt junior will play his final season of eligibility elsewhere, according to a report by

Highsmith appeared in 26 games in his lone season with the Vikings and averaged 4.9 points per game.

In February, he saw his minutes and production diminish and fell out of the rotation. Highsmith only appeared in three of CSU's last nine games and didn't appear in CSU's semifinals win over Oakland or its championship lost to Wright State in the Horizon League tournament.

As a graduate transfer, Highsmith will be immediately eligible to play next season. He has one year of eligibility remaining.

Highsmith becomes the second CSU player to announce his departure since the season's end.

Sophomore forward Evan Clayborne announced Sunday that he also will transfer.

The departures of Clayborne and Highsmith means CSU now has two available scholarships.

Sunday, March 18, 2018

Cleveland State's Evan Clayborne leaving basketball program

Cleveland State forward Evan Clayborne announced on Sunday that he will be leaving the men's basketball program.

"I want to thank the staff my team and everyone involved for making my experience at Cleveland State what is was. I’m almost sad my time here is ending but it’s time to look forward," Clayborne wrote on Twitter. "These last two years have been a ride and and wherever I go next I’ll take what I’ve learned with me."

Clayborne saw action in 24 of the Vikings’ 34 games during the 2017-18 season. In 10 minutes per game, Clayborne averaged three points and 2.1 rebounds.

The Dayton native fell out of the rotation late in the season when head coach Dennis Felton switched to an eight-man rotation.

During the 2016-17 season, Clayborne averaged 1.8 points.

The departure of Clayborne means CSU now has one available scholarship.

Monday, February 26, 2018

Cleveland State men's basketball earns No. 8 seed in Horizon League Tournament

Cleveland State's thrilling 99-94 double-overtime victory at Youngstown State on Saturday night locked up the No. 8 seed for this week's Horizon League Tournament.

CSU finished its conference schedule winning four of its last eight that gave the Vikings a 6-12 record in the Horizon League. YSU's loss on Saturday dropped them to 6-12 in conference as well, but the Vikings owned the tiebreaker over the Penguins because of their win against No. 2 Wright State.

The Vikings and the Penguins, the No. 9 seed, will square off in a first-round game on Friday at Little Caesar's Arena in Detroit (8 p.m., ESPN3). The winner will advance to a second round game on Saturday against top-seeded Northern Kentucky.

CSU (9-22) split a pair of regular-season games against YSU (8-23) with both teams winning on the road.

The Penguins claimed the first meeting this season, winning 80-77 on New Year's Day at the Wolstein Center on Cameron Morse's three-pointer at the buzzer.

This will be the second straight year that CSU and YSU will meet in the first round of the League tournament. Last year, YSU beat CSU 84-69 at Joe Louis Arena in Detroit.

Thursday, February 15, 2018

Cleveland State defeats Detroit Mercy for 2nd straight win

Two games ago, Dennis Felton made a tough decision to shorten the bench and play only the eight best players.

That decision has paid immediate dividends as Cleveland State has won back-to-back games for the first time this season.

"We are playing the guys that understand what we are doing the best," Felton said following Cleveland State's 75-72 victory over Detroit Mercy Wednesday night at the Wolstein Center. "I think we found a good rotation that gives us our best chance to succeed with some consistency."

Felton's current rotation includes starters: Tyree Appleby, Bobby Word, Kenny Carpenter, Anthony Wright and Stefan Kenic, with Jamarcus Hairston, Kash Thomas and Terrell Hales coming off the bench.

With two weeks to go before the Horizon League tournament, CSU  (8-20, 5-10 Horizon League) continues to play its best basketball of the season.

They have won three of its past five and continues to move up in the conference standings.

The win adds even more momentum to a Vikings team that hopes to secure the sixth seed, which would include a first-round bye.

The Vikings are currently tied with Green Bay for eighth-place, only a game back of sixth-place Youngstown State, who knocked off Oakland 75-73 on a buzzer beater Wednesday at the Beeghly Center.

Felton said he's not concerned about conference seeding right now.

"I literally only concentrating on winning today," said Felton. "I want to control today and give us our best chance to win today. I haven't put any thought into league standings, seedings, or tournament brackets."

The Vikings jumped out to an early 16-2 lead and took a 40-32 advantage at the half.

Detroit Mercy (7-20, 3-11 HL) scored the first 11 points of the second half to take its first lead of the game, 43-40.

That led to a quick timeout by CSU.

Following the timeout, CSU would regroup and regain the lead.

"We got to get stops," Wright said of what Felton told the players during the timeout.

CSU clamped down on defense, holding the Titans to just three field goals over the next six minutes.

 A 16-6 run gave the Vikings the lead for good, 56-49. CSU held on for the final 11:49.

The Titans would make several late runs, but CSU was able to answer back each time.

The closest UDM got to was one point at 64-63, but then CSU answered back with a pair of free throws from Kenic and a three-pointer from Carpenter to push the lead out to six.

"It was good to figure out a way to win another close game," said Felton. "This was the second straight game where we were better with maturity, poise and composure, working through some things and have successful possessions at crucial times."

Kenic led the Vikings with a career-high 19 points. Wright added 15 points and 12 rebounds, while Carpenter added 11. Thomas contributed eight points and five assists.

Roschon Prince led the Titans with 22 points and nine rebounds.

Oakland visits the Wolstein Center on Friday.

Wednesday, February 7, 2018

Cleveland State basketball completes 2018 recruiting class with prep wing

Cleveland State men's basketball coach Dennis Felton completed his 2018 recruiting class Tuesday when prep wing Dibaji Walker announced plans to play for the Vikings near year.

Walker, 6-foot-7, is the son of former Louisville star and NBA player Samaki Walker.

The Columbus native chose the Vikings over offers from Wyoming, Eastern Michigan, Central Conn. State, Sacred Heart and Elon, among others, according to Verbal Commits.

A graduate of Independence High School in Columbus, Walker is taking a prep year at Woodstock Academy in Connecticut.

Felton's first full recruiting class consists of six players: a point guard, two wings, and three bigs.

Six-foot-three point guard Rashad Williams is likely the prize of the group. The Detroit, Mich native gives the Vikings an instant deep threat.

Williams averaged 24 points, 6.7 assists and 4.2 rebounds last season as a junior, making 78 3-pointers.

Six-foot-eight forward Deante Johnson is a fierce defender known for his athleticism and shot-blocking.

Both Williams and Johnson signed with the Vikings in November.

The Vikings also have four verbal commitments: Uros Plavsic, a 7-foot-1 center from Serbia;  Jaalam Hill, a 6-foot-7 junior college forward from Louisville, Ky.; Walker; and 6-foot-5 wing Setric Millner, Jr., of Grand Rapids, Mich..

Friday, February 2, 2018

Cleveland State upsets first-place Wright State 77-74

Cleveland State used hot-shooting and a few crucial defensive stops late to pull out a 77-74 upset over first-place Wright State Thursday night at the Wolstein Center.

"That was a terrific win over a great Wright State team," said CSU head coach Dennis Felton said. "{It was} a great team win. A lot of great contributions from everyone that played."

The Vikings (6-18, 3-8 Horizon League) tied a school record with 14 made 3-pointers to snap its  three game losing skid.

"We made some shots," said Felton.

The loss drops Wright State (17-7, 9-2 HL) into a first-place tie with Northern Kentucky (9-2), which defeated YSU 95-85 Thursday.

CSU couldn't hold on to a 15 point lead in the second half, but were able to regroup and regain the lead.

The Raiders, which had won 10 of its previous 11, used a 27-8 run to take a 66-62 lead with six minutes to go.

“They held it together and kept enough composure and believed in themselves to fight back,” Felton said.

CSU would clamp down on defense, holding the Raiders to only one field goal the rest of the way.

"We just made up our minds to get tougher on defense," said Felton.

Back-to-back three pointers by Bobby Word gave the Vikings a 70-66 lead with three minutes to go.

The Raiders closed within one three times, but each time CSU responded with a big play.

First, Jamarcus Hairston came up with a big putback following a Tyree Appleby missed layup.

"Moc had two huge offensive rebounds," said Felton. "You need some plays like that in order to win games like this."

Then, Appleby came up with a big steal and made a pair of free throws to give CSU some breathing room,74-69, with 1:26 to go.

“I try not to get to overwhelmed out there, being a freshman,” Appleby said. “My teammates calm me down and tell me to play my game.”

CSU would seal the win making three of four free throws for its biggest win of the season.

Word led the Vikings with 18 points on 5-of-10 shooting from three-point distance. Appleby added 17 points, four assists and two steals. Carpenter contributed 14 points, while Hairston added seven points and seven rebounds.

Loudon Love and Grant Benzinger led the Raiders with 20 points each.

CSU made three of its first five three-pointers and took an early 9-2 lead.

By the half, CSU had knocked down eight treys, the last one a Carpenter buzzer beater from beyond half-court that gave CSU a 39-30 lead at the break.

The Vikings shot 57.1 percent in the opening half, while WSU was held to just 10 field goals, or 35.7 percent.

CSU continued its hot shooting in the second half, knocking down 4 of its first 5 three-pointers to take its largest lead, 15 (54-39).

However, CSU would start to cool off. They made only 3 of its next 13 shots.

WSU made 12 of its first 22 shots in the second half to tie it at 60-60.

A Jaylon Hall jumper and a Parker Ernsthausen three-point play put the Raiders up 66-62.

The Vikings closed the game on a 15-8 run.

Shorthanded: Both teams played without key contributors. CSU was without Anthony Wright (concussion) and Evan Clayborne (coach's decision), who did not dress for the game.

The Raiders were without redshirt freshmen wing Everett Winchester (concussion).

Sunday, January 21, 2018

UIC uses fast second half start to topple Cleveland State

A fast start in the second half propelled Illinois-Chicago to a 87-80 victory Saturday afternoon at the Wolstein Center.

Leading, 40-38 at the half, the Flames (10-11, 5-3 Horizon League) opened the second half on a 24-8 run to take control of the game and never looked back.

Jordan Blount led the Flames with 17 points and 11 rebounds. A product of Geneva's Spire Institute, Blount hit five of his eight baskets during the decisive run.

In the first nine minutes of the second half, UIC controlled the boards (14-7) and dominated in points in the paint (38-24) to build an 18 point lead.

CSU made only 5 of its first 18 shots in the second half.

Tyree Appleby led four Vikings (5-16, 2-6 HL) in double-figures with 19 points and seven assists. Jamarcus Hairston added 16, while Kash Thomas contributed 13 and Kenny Carpenter 10.

The Vikings made one last run and promptly cut a 22-point deficit down to five, but ran out of time.

Hairston was the catalyst of CSU's comeback, knocking down four of his five 3-point attempts and scoring 14 points in the second half.

A 12-0 run closed CSU within 79-71 with 1:48 to go.

Bobby Word's 3-pointer with nine seconds left got CSU within 85-80, but UIC sealed the victory with a pair of free throws from Tarkus Ferguson.

CSU held UIC without a field goal in the final 4:57.