Hot or not: Who is on fire and who is cold as ice?

State Hornet Staff

Cold:

Mikh McKinney

Shooting guard

Flashy shooting guard for the Sacramento State men’s basketball team, Mikh McKinney, has been one of the top scorers on the team all season. But lately, his offense has been somewhat of a disappointment.

Transfer student McKinney established himself as a starter since he posted a 13-point performance in the first game of the season. In the 24 games since then, he has averaged 13 points a game, but has only put up a mere seven points a game in the last three contests.

Although McKinney is not known as a consistent rebounder, he did average 3.5 per game before only grabbing 1.6 in the previous three games.

McKinney has led the Hornets in scoring in six games this year, posting above the 20-point mark four of those games. He hasn’t achieved the feat since he scored a career-high 30 points against Portland State on Feb. 9.

With only two more games left in the season, the Hornets will need McKinney to find his scoring touch if they plan on making a final push for the playoffs.

Hot:

Kylie Kuhns

Power forward

Kylie Kuhns has been the backbone of the women’s Sacramento State basketball team all season, but her performance has stepped up even higher in time for the Big Sky Conference tournament.

This season, Kuhns has already broken the Sac State career rebounds and steals record, but has also been the best player in the Big Sky Conference the past couple weeks.

After leading the team in rebounds in 22 of 27 games and points in nine games this year, Kuhn has been nearly unstoppable all year. 

In the first 24 games, Kuhns posted 12.4 points per game and 10.5 rebounds per game – an impressive line. In the past three games, Kuhns has exploded into a point and rebound machine.

Averaging 19 points and 13.3 rebounds per game makes Kuhns the hottest player on the court in the last three contests.

With just two games left in the season, a dynamite player like Kuhns will be key heading into the Big Sky Conference tournament next week.

Cold:

Nathan Lukes

Right fielder

Freshman outfielder Nathan Lukes is on a big-time cold streak. After starting the season as a first-time starter, he has quickly fallen into a slump in the past few games.

In the first seven games, Lukes was 10-29 with a couple of RBI. He was quickly slotted high in the batting order and everything was going well for the young fielder.

Lately, Lukes has just one hit in his last four games and has yet to cross home plate since Feb. 24 against UC Riverside. He has also only racked up three RBI all season – and only one in the past six games.

Although Lukes is struggling, his teammate in the outfield, David Del Grande, has stepped up since Lukes’ bat got cold. The Hornets have won three out of the last four games thanks to Del Grande’s hot bat, hitting 5-13 with six runs, two RBI and a walk.

Lukes needs to inch his way out of this slump or else the young outfielder may see himself sitting on the bench in the future.

Hot:

Caitlin Brooks

Starting pitcher

Senior starting pitcher Caitlin Brooks has put up some of the best pitching stats in the conference so far this season, but in her last two starts has been an absolute flamethrower.

On Feb. 27, Brooks pitched a complete game into extra innings while striking out 10 batters and only allowing six hits. She was credited with the win as the Hornets won on a walk-off hit in the ninth inning against Sac State rival UC Davis.

Brooks would follow up with another dominating performance on Saturday pitching another complete game with seven strikeouts and three walks. The Hornets won 6-3, again behind the stellar pitching of Brooks as she earned her fifth win of the season.

The sophomore pitcher had a subpar season in 2012 during her first year, pitching a 4.61 ERA with a 6-5 record.

The Hornets have won five of the six games Brooks has pitched this season and hold a strong lead in the conference with an 8-5 record.

If Brooks can continue her hot streak, the Hornets have a good chance of winning the conference title.