To say that Chris Fowler has been the most important player for Central Michigan the last two seasons would be the sporting world's greatest understatement. Hyperbole aside, number 15 for the Chippewas has been the undisputed leader of the team since his freshman year. Now a junior, Fowler will be looking to lead the Chippewas out of the basement of the MAC.
With the departure of Kyle Randall after the 2012-13 season, the responsibility of team leader fell squarely on the shoulders of the then-sophomore guard from Southfield, Michigan. Fowler took advantage of this opportunity.
Last season Fowler earned what we in the business call a crap-ton of accolades. Among his many honors were being named MVP of the Central Michigan Tournament. Fowler was also named to the NABC All-District Second Team, Third Team All-MAC, NABC Good Works Team nominee, and an Academic All-American nominee. Fowler is the kind of player that coaches dream about: a leader who sets an example on and off of the court. That is just the kind of leader that a young Chippewa team will need going forward.
Fowler has started every game of his college career. He also lead the Chippewas in minutes, field goals, free throws, assists, steals, and points. Fowler averaged a monstrous seventeen points and five assists per-game which was good enough for third and second in the MAC respectively. Fowler's sixty steals last year were good enough for third all-time for a single season at CMU. Perhaps most importantly is Fowler's assist to turnover ratio. Fowler records two assists for every turnover he commits, which was the second highest ratio in the MAC last season.
Fowler's best game last season came against Ball State. In that game Fowler recorded his first career double-double while setting the single game McGuirk Arena assists record with twelve.
What fans love in a player is the ability to perform in the big games. Fowler does that too. Fowler's career high 27 points came against bitter rival and eventual MAC Tournament champs, Western Michigan.
Fowler lacks the flashiness and explosive abilities of many of the other stars in the conference, but don't let that fool you: Chris Fowler is the real deal. If ever there was a rock that held a team together it was Chris Fowler to Central Michigan. The point guard has become the staple of this still-young Chippewa team.
Despite Fowler's success on the court, that has yet to translate to wins as a team. Chalk that up to the ever-convenient, yet accurate excuse of program rebuilding. This year however, Fowler and his supporting cast look stronger than ever and the wins could be coming more regularly for this group of Chips.
The wins and losses are never certain, but what is certain is that whatever happens to the maroon and gold this season, it will be Chris Fowler leading the way. No matter what new talent comes to Mt. Pleasant over the next two years there is no denying that this is Chris Fowler's team. Fowler is a model player and teammate, but he is also a heck of a ball player. Keep your eye on him and the upstart Chippewas this season.