MEN'S BASKETBALL: Sophomore brings spark to Cardinals
Bond uses his athleticism, defensive skill set to be productive
It took Ball State nearly 36 minutes to get sophomore forward Chris Bond the ball in transition.
His thunderous dunk over an Indiana State player in Friday's game was part of an 18-8 run which nearly sparked a comeback in the second half.
Over the past season, Ball State fans have gotten used to seeing two or three impact plays from Bond each game.
Through a mixture of speed and athleticism, Bond creates match up problems at both the power forward and small forward positions.
Coach Billy Taylor said Bond's versatility gives him an advantage on the defensive end to guard multiple positions.
Whenever he was in Friday, Bond matched up against what Taylor called the catalyst to Indiana State's offense, Jake Odum. Bond held the sophomore guard to zero points and five turnovers.
"While Chris may not always have the stats, the numbers the offensive points — I still feel like he did a terrific job against Indiana State," Taylor said. "Even the rebounds, he didn't get them more out of positioning because he was guarding the point guard."
With sophomore forward Matt Kamieniecki and senior center Jarrod Jones inside, the Cardinals can survive without him on the defensive rebounds. But the offensive rebounds and timely put backs are where Bond made his mark last season.
Taylor said Arizona's athletes made it hard for him to dominate the glass, but he isn't worried about the low production.
Bond said everything is a game-to-game basis he's just trying to do the little things.
"Teams have been boxing me out well, but I need to crash the boards more," Bond said. "I just need to keep working for those opportunities."
Over the first two games, the Cardinals shot 36 percent from the field. If trends continue, the chances are there for Bond.