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Central Michigan Men's Basketball Season Preview

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It’s that time of the year again Chippewa fans! 3MU is back and better than ever, with their star point guard Chris Fowler and head coach Keno Davis at the helm.

Ken Blaze-USA TODAY Sports

After losing to Buffalo last year in the Finals of the MAC Tournament, Central looks to come back this year as the favorite to win the MAC. Coming off a season where the Chippewas won 23 games, they won their first Regular Season Conference Championship since 2002-2003, and this year, they bring back many of their key players, as a majority of the team this year consists of seniors. Not only was it the first regular season title for the Chips, it was their first winning record since 2002-2003, a season in which they also won the most games they have since that same season, when the Chips won 25 games.

Keno Davis (2012-present, 44-50 overall, 19-33 MAC)

Up until last year’s season, the Chips had been stuck with 5th place in the MAC West as Davis took the head coaching job. Keno coached the Chippewas to the program record for home wins in a season posting a record of 16-1 at McGuirk Arena, losing only to Bowling Green in overtime.

The Chips won at Northwestern 80-67 securing CMU’s first win against a Big Ten opponent since defeating Michigan 78-67 in Ann Arbor in 2007. They were also able to sweep the Buffalo Bulls for the first time since the 1998-1999 season before meeting up in Cleveland. The Chips had their best season since 2002-2003 and look to repeat their 2014-2015 season this year. In defeating Ohio and Buffalo away from home in the same week, CMU secured back-to-back road wins against MAC opponents for the first time since 2000-2001.

Davis has really turned this team around, with Chris Fowler doing what he does best, and looks to keep on rolling this season. Only loosing Austin Keel, Davis has the same group of players and a few new faces to use in his lineups.

Schedule

Date

Opponent

Time (EST)

Notes

7-Nov

Ferris State

4:30

Exhibition

13-Nov

Jacksonville State

4:30

17-Nov

Alma

7:00

23-Nov

Weber State*

8:30

Gulf Coast Showcase

24-Nov

Western Kentucky/Drake*

TBA

Gulf Coast Showcase

25-Nov

TBA

TBA

Gulf Coast Showcase

30-Nov

McNeese State

7:00

3-Dec

at Grand Canyon

9:00

7-Dec

Aquinas

7:00

12-Dec

Texas Southern

4:30

18-Dec

at BYU

9:00

22-Dec

Howard

7:00

29-Dec

at William and Mary

7:30

31-Dec

Lourdes

1:00

6-Jan

Eastern Michigan

7:00

9-Jan

at Bowling Green

2:00

12-Jan

Akron

7:00

16-Jan

at Buffalo

3:30

19-Jan

at NIU

8:00

23-Jan

Ohio

4:30

26-Jan

at Miami

7:00

30-Jan

Bowling Green

4:30

2-Feb

Kent State

7:00

6-Feb

at Akron

TBA

9-Feb

at Eastern Michigan

7:00

13-Feb

Ball State

4:30

16-Feb

Toledo

7:00

20-Feb

at Western Michigan

2:00

23-Feb

NIU

7:00

27-Feb

at Toledo

7:00

1-Mar

at Ball State

7:00

4-Mar

Western Michigan

7:00

#3MU becomes stronger

With 300 3-pointers posted through 29 regular season games, CMU broke the program record (250) for 3’s in a season, earning themselves the nickname of 3MU. The Chips also made a program record and tied a MAC record with 20 three-pointers versus SIU Edwardsville (20-of-35) on December 6. This helped bring in a great crowd to watch the games, as the Chips had the highest season attendance in McGuirk Arena. The atmosphere in the arena was much different then the years past, as fans packed in game in and game out to watch their Chippewas play good, strong, 3 point shooting basketball.

Strong Point Guard Play

What else can you say that hasn’t already been said about Chris Fowler? His 42-point effort on February 4, 2015 against Bowling Green was a McGuirk Arena record and the most scored by a Chippewa since Chris Kaman posted 43 points against Ball State on February 19, 2003. Chris Fowler also earned MAC player of the week twice (Dec. 1st and Feb. 9th).

Fowler, now entering his senior season, has had some great help with the other seniors. Rayshawn Simmons, Austin Stewart, John Simons, and the injured Blake Hibbits, did their jobs to help Fowler and the team earn as many wins as they did last season.

Bench Players Stepping Up

The Chips bench helped earn them some key matc-hups down the stretch of the season. With senior Blake Hibbits out for the season with a torn ACL, some of the younger talent that the Chippewas have are going to have to step up and cover for Hibbits.

Keno Davis hinted at time where he would play his two biggest men, DaRohn Scott and Luke Meyer, together on the court. This could create some major advantages for the Chips, as they can add height, and still have the skill to shoot the three, and also dump it down to either Scott or Meyer and let them go to work. The Chips look to come back this year as a force to be reckoned with, and although their schedule is weak, the Chips were able to earn a lonely one vote to be in the Top 25 preseason poll.