Braylon Rayson will enter his final season in Mt. Pleasant as one of the more entertaining watches in the Mid-American Conference and the reputation is well-deserved.
Rayson first burst onto the MAC scene when he scored all 12 of CMU’s points in the third overtime of a game against Ball State in 2013 to win the game. Rayson, then a rotation guard, secured a starting spot soon after and helped lead the Chippewas to the precipice of the MAC Tournament before losing to Buffalo in 2014.
In CMU’s exhibition game against Slippery Rock, Rayson played at the point, although he also has two-guard experience in situational gameplay.
Rayson averaged 16.9 points per game, 3.7 rebounds per game and 1.7 rebounds per game on the season in 2015-2016, starting all 32 games for the Chippewas in the one and two spots for CMU, good enough to earn third-team All-MAC honors. Rayson also became the 31st player in program history to reach 1,000 points scored, reaching 16th all-time in program history at the end of the season with 1,206 points.
Rayson has a good three-point stroke, sinking 38.4 percent of shots from outside the arc and also leads CMU in free throw percentage, shooting 82.3 percent from the charity stripe. Rayson’s three-point numbers were good enough for fourth in the MAC and earned him a reputation as a sniper, scoring in double-digits in 28 of his 32 games and leading the Chippewas in scoring 13 times.
Rayson led the Chippewas in overall field goals made with 181 and led the Chips in points per game scored as well, showing himself to be a key contributor on offense, especially with Chris Fowler absent for almost half the season with injury.
Rayson is also a defensive dynamo, recording 29 steals last season and finishing fourth on the team with 117 rebounds despite being listed at 5-foot-9 and 190 lbs.
This season, Rayson will lead a group of young guards and new faces as the most experienced backcourt player, as Austin Stewart (now playing football,) Chris Fowler (NBA D-League with Fort Wayne) and Rayshawn Simmons (NBA Summer League, free agent), do not return in 2016.
Rayson is a volume shooter and will most likely share a backcourt with as Marcus Keene, a fellow Texan that transferred from Youngstown State. Like Rayson, Keene shares a reputation for scoring in bunches, so it will be interesting to see how that translates on the floor.
Rayson’s potential, mixed with his veteran status, will make him a player to look out for in the upcoming MAC basketball season.