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Chris Bond delivering on ‘D’ for Ball State

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Updated: January 11, 2013 6:22AM



MUNCIE — Ball State junior Chris Bond showed during preseason practices he could be a disruptive defensive presence on the perimeter.

It’s carried over into the games, as well.

Bond, an athletic 6-foot-4 forward out of Bowman Academy, is averaging 2.0 steals per game, tied for fourth-most in the Mid-American Conference. Last season, Bond averaged one steal per game.

“Chris is great for us defensively because we can pretty much play him (against anybody but the center),” Ball State coach Billy Taylor said, “and wherever we feel we need to put him to help our team, he does a terrific job for us.”

This season Bond has spent a majority of his time guarding each opponent’s primary ball handler for the 4-4 Cardinals. Taylor noticed how well Bond handled the assignment during practice, and decided to give it a try during games.

“I guess I gave him good ball pressure so I got moved to covering the primary ball handler so we can try to make it hard to pass it to the wings,” Bond said. “It’s really just about moving your feet and not using your hands, and having a strong base.”

Bond endured a nagging hip injury last season and then broke his arm in mid-July, missing two months. He feels healthy again and started making contributions during the preseason.

“Chris has been very consistent since the start of practice,” Taylor said. “His deflection numbers in practice have been through the roof. I think that’s where it starts — he’s had high deflection and steal numbers in practice and it’s carried over into games.”

Ball State keeps track of various effort statistics — such as deflections — which the team sees on a regular basis.

“(Taylor) wants us to be dialed in together and on the same page,” Bond said. “He wants people to take charges, be active, have hands up and just bring energy, so it leads to offense.”

Bond has started each game and is averaging 7.8 points this season, just slightly above his scoring output of last year. Taylor said Bond is a capable finisher near the basket and capable of shooting from 15 to 17 feet out.

“We want to see him take that shot with confidence and knock it down,” Taylor said. “He’s expanded his mid-range jumper and worked on it a lot during the offseason.”



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