The Central Michigan Chippewas come into our power rankings dead last for the season. One reason is that the MAC is especially loaded this season. Another is that they have a lot of new faces. The good news for the Chippewas faithful is that I didn’t expect all that much from them last season, and they managed 21 wins.
Second leading scorer Shawn Roundtree and his 14.8 points and 4.2 assists return. So do the third and fourth leading scorers, David DiLeo and Kevin McKay. There is a solid foundation for the Chippewas to build on, and there are also quite a few transfers coming in. 5, in fact, that have college experience elsewhere.
As the transfers keep piling up in college basketball, which I think is a good thing, the difficulty in writing these preseason rankings and previews also increases. Freshman are a little easier to account for. With transfers, you don’t always know why they are transferring. So for the most part, I just ignore them. Since the Chippewas lost quite a bit of scoring from last season and they weren’t particularly great in the conference season, I dinged them going into this season.
However, it is not all doom and gloom in Mount Pleasant.
The Chippewas have a pretty easy non-conference schedule, with plenty of games to get the new look working. There is also a ranked TCU squad on the schedule to help get the team focused. With the trio of veteran leadership, plus players with experience elsewhere, I do not see this team staying in the basement the entire season. The gap between 4 and 12 is the smallest it has been since I started doing power rankings for the MAC.