• Cleveland State continues play in the Bluegrass Showcase with a 1:00 pm game at No. 1 ranked Kentucky on Wednesday (Nov. 23).
• The Vikings are 1-2 this season following an 85-74 setback at UT-Martin on Friday (Nov. 18) night.
• Kentucky is 4-0 this year and moved into the top spot in the AP and ESPN/USA Today Coaches Top-25 polls on Monday. The Wildcats defeated Duquesne, 93-59, on Sunday night.
• Wednesday’s game will be broadcast live on AM 1420 and AM 1440 with Al Pawlowski providing the play-by-play.
• The game will also be shown live on the SEC Network and the WatchESPN app with Dave Neal and Kyle Macy on the call.
THE KENTUCKY SERIES:
• Kentucky leads the all-time series with CSU, 2-0.
• The Wildcats won the first meeting during the 2009-10 season in Cancun, and defeated CSU in Rupp Arena in 2012-13.
• Kentucky was ranked fourth in the country in both previous meetings with the Vikings.
GAME 3 REVIEW: UT-MARTIN 85, CSU 74 (11/18/16):
• UT-Martin used a 27-3 midway through the first half to take a 50-23 lead at the half. CSU was able to cut the deficit to four points with 2:27 left, but could get no closer.
• Rob Edwards led the Vikings with 22 points, while Bobby Word scored 14 points and added three steals.
• Derek Sloan had 10 points and four rebounds and Jibri Blount finished with seven points, a career-high tying 11 rebounds and three assists.
CSU vs. RANKED TEAMS:
• Wednesday’s game will be the 48th all-time contest for CSU against a ranked team and the 20th against a top-five team.
• CSU is 6-41 all-time against ranked teams and 1-18 against top-10 teams. The lone win over a top-10 team was a 71-58 victory at No. 7 Vanderbilt in the 2011-12 season opener.
• Head coach Gary Waters is 5-17 against ranked teams during his time at CSU.
• Wednesday will be the third time CSU has faced Kentucky with the Wildcats ranked in the top-five for all three match-ups.
• Kentucky becomes the sixth opponent that CSU will play at least three times when ranked, joining Butler (9 times), Michigan (7), Cincinnati (4) and Michigan State and Ohio State (3).
• This will be CSU’s first game against a ranked opponent since an 80-63 loss at No. 2 ranked Maryland (11/28/15).
… AND vs. THE NO. 1 RANKED TEAM:
• Wednesday’s game will be the second time in school history that CSU will play the top ranked team in the country.
• The Vikings fell to No. 1 Cinncinati, 91-56, at the 1999 Big Island Invitational in Hilo, Hawaii.
• CSU has hit a three-pointer in a school-record 569 straight games.
• The Vikings have hit at least three three’s in 117 straight games.
• The last time CSU failed to make a three-pointer was Feb. 21, 1998, when the Vikings were 0-for-8 in a 60-57 win over Detroit.
EDWARDS PROVES WORTHY OF PRESEASON HONOR:
• Sophomore Rob Edwards was named to the preseason All-Horizon League second team.
• He ranks eighth in the Horizon League in scoring (17.0) and free throw percentage (.846) and 10th in three-point percentage (.444).
• Edwards scored 22 points at UT-Martin on Friday night, the fifth 20-point game of his career.
• Last year, he averaged 12.4 points, 3.9 rebounds, 1.9 assists and 1.2 steals per game last year, earning a spot on the Horizon League All-Freshman team.
• He started 30 games last year, the most for a freshman in CSU history, and also logged a CSU freshman record 994 minutes.
KASH DROPPING DIMES:
• Freshman Kasheem Thomas ranks second in the Horizon League with 6.3 assists per game.
• Thomas’ 19 assists are the third most by a League player this year. He had nine assists in the season opener vs. Kent State (Nov. 12) and handed out seven against Canisius (Nov. 15).
• Thomas has a 2.7 assist-to-turnover-ratio, committing just seven turnovers to his 19 assists.
… AND HE’S JUST A FRESHMAN:
• Kasheem Thomas is averaging 7.7 points, 4.3 rebounds and 6.3 assists through three games.
• He ranks eighth in the Horizon League in three-point percentage (.455), hitting five of his 11 three’s.
• Thomas became the first CSU freshman to start a season opener since 2003-04 (Walt Waters) when he drew a starting assignment vs. Kent State (Nov. 12).
• Junior Bobby Word made his CSU debut against Kent State (Nov. 12). He sat out last season after transferring from Oral Robets.
• He ranks 10th in the League in scoring (15.0), third in three-pointers (3.0) and 13th in three-point percentage (.409; 9-22).
• Word scored a team-high 17 points against Kent State, hitting four three-pointers and 5-of-6 from the free throw line.
• As a sophomore at ORU, Word averaged 8.4 points and was tops on the team with 56 three’s. He scored in double figures 14 times, including a career-high 22 points in the second round of the CBI against Loyola (Ill.).
THE LONE SENIOR:
• Demonte Flannigan is the lone senior on this year’s 17 player roster. He has missed the first three games of the season (ill).
• Last season, Flannigan ranked second on team in scoring (11.4) and rebounding (5.4).
• He was also 10th in the League in blocked shots (0.9), 13th in field goal percentage (.485), 16th in rebounding, 21st in scoring.
• He posted five double-doubles as a junior and poured in a career-high 30 points in a win at Youngstown State (Feb. 13).
SLOAN STEPS IN:
• With Demonte Flannigan out of the lineup to start the season, junior Derek Sloan has been inserted into the starting lineup.
• Sloan has responded well, averaging 7.3 points and 4.3 rebounds, while leading the Horizon League in field goal percentage (.714; 10-14).
• Sloan set career highs in points (10) and rebounds (7) against Canisius (Nov. 15), hitting five of his seven shots from the floor in just 17 minutes.
• He made 4-of-5 field goals at UT-Martin (Nov. 18), tying his career high with 10 points.
ALL IN THE FAMILY:
• Sophomore Jibri Blount is the son of NFL Hall of Famer and former Pittsburgh Steelers great Mel Blount who played 14 seasons for the Black and Gold.
• As a starting forward this year, he is averaging 8.3 points and 5.7 rebounds per game.
• Blount tied his career-high with 11 rebounds at UT-Martin (Nov. 18).
• Blount had a strong freshman season, averaging 5.7 points and 3.1 rebounds in 29 games, including five starts.
BIG SHOT JAMARCUS:
• Junior Jamarcus Hairston had a strong debut in the season opener vs. Kent State (Nov. 12), totaling 13 points (4-7 FG) and two rebounds.
• Hairston hit a three-pointer from the corner with 2.6 seconds to play that tied the contest at 66-66 and sent it into overtime.
• Freshman Evan Clayborne has provided the Vikings with a spark as one of the first big men off the bench this year.
• He is averaging 1.3 points and 2.0 rebounds per game with two blocks and two steals, while also providing a defensive presence around the basket.
• Clayborne played 32 minutes in the season opener vs. Kent State and grabbed four rebounds.
• The Vikings conclude play in the Bluegrass Showcase on Sunday (Nov. 27) with a 2:00 pm game at Duquesne.
• CSU concludes a four-game road swing with an 8:00 pm ET game at Arkansas State on Wednesday (Nov. 30).