COACH: Keno Davis (4th season, 44-50)
The 2008 AP Men’s Division I Coach of the Year (Drake) was last year’s MAC Coach of the Year.
2014-15 RECORD: 23-9 (12-6 MAC, 1st in MAC West). Winning streaks included runs of 5, 6 and 6 games. Victories included an 80-67 win at Northwestern of the Big Ten Conference.
MAC TOURNEY: Lost to Buffalo 89-84 in championship game.
OTHER POSTSEASON PLAY: Lost to Louisiana Tech 89-79 in first round of NIT play.
LEFT THE BUILDING:
►The Chippewas lost just three letter-winners and . . .
BACK FOR MORE:
► Senior Chris Fowler was among the top players in the conference last year, when he averaged 16.2 ppg (4th, MAC) and led the conference with 6.1 assists per contest. The 6-1 guard scored 42 points on Feb. 4, 2015 to set a McGuirk Arena record. His 50.7 percent field goal percentage was eighth-best among MAC players. An injury kept Fowler out of action early this season, causing him to miss the first seven games. He has been in double figures in all but one contest since his return to the lineup – and in that game, he registered 10 assists.
► John Simons averaged 12.3 ppg. and 6.5 rpg. last season. The 6-8 forward led CMU with 91 threes – 23 more than the next MAC long range shooter. Simons connected on 45.5 percent of his trey attempts (fourth in the nation) and 49.8 percent from the field overall.
► Braylon Rayson averaged 11.0 points and 3.0 rebounds in his sophomore campaign, while guard Rayshawn Simmons was at 9.1 ppg last year. Josh Kozinski, a 6-4 guard, earned a spot on the MAC All-Freshman team after averaging 76.4 ppg.
2015-16 RECORD: 7-6
► It’s been a bumpy start to a new campaign for a team that reigned as regular season MAC champs and reached the title game in 2014-15. At least part of the reason might be related to Fowler’s absence. The Chippewas are 4-2 since his return, with the two losses at BYU (98-85) and at William & Mary (88-84).
► Central’s 7-6 mark is fifth best among MAC West teams heading into conference play. Western Michigan is one spot lower at 6-7.
► With all five starters returning from last year’s very successful squad, CMU drew a first place and MAC tournament champion nod in the MAC media’s preseason poll. Akron was second.
► Central Michigan is averaging 77.6 ppg (T-3rd) and is 11th in scoring defense (73.6 ppg). The +4.1 scoring margin ranks ninth among MAC teams.
► The Chippewas have connected on 44.6 percent (6th) of their shots overall. They are at 36.2 percent (5th) from 3-point range and 68.6 percent (8th) at the free throw line.
► Central Michigan’s +1.2 rebounding margin ranks ninth in the MAC. Simons leads the board work with 7.3 rpg. The Chippewas are ninth in blocked shots and 11th in steals.
► CMU is ninth in turnover margin (-0.62) thus far. It finished last year second with a +3.31 mark.
► The Chippewas have four players averaging in double figures: Rayton (15.9 ppg.), Fowler (14.8 ppg.), Simmons (13.8 ppg) and Simons (11.4 ppg). Kozingski (8.6 ppg) and Luke Meyer (8.1 ppg) are next in line.
► CMU opens the MAC schedule at home Wednesday, when if faces Eastern Michigan (7 p.m. ET). The Chips will be at Bowling Green Saturday (2 p.m. ET).