The essence of a trap game is when a team plays an opponent that is below average before an important game.
Some might call the men’s basketball team’s matchup against 3-13 Northern Illinois at 7 p.m. Wednesday at McGuirk Arena a trap game, since it plays Western Michigan Saturday.
But, freshman guard Chris Fowler said CMU won’t have any let down, even if it was a game against its own flesh and blood, instead of the Huskies.
“We got to give our best effort when we step onto the court, no matter what,” he said. “If we step out there against one another, if we step out there against the alumni, if we step out there against our own family members, they get 100 percent of our best effort just like NIU will get.”
The Huskies have one conference win that came on the road against Miami (Ohio).
NIU has one player averaging double figures in sophomore wing Abdel Nader, who has scored 12.9 points per game.
CMU allowed him to score 46 points in two games last year, which came out to a win at home for the Chippewas and a loss on the road.
“I think (the Huskies) are a very talented team,” said head coach Keno Davis. “A young team much like ourselves. A team that’s going to continue to get better as the season progresses and for years to come. They have had some tough games that have gone down to the wire that they’ve lost, and we’ve had some tough games go down to the wire that we’ve won.”
Entering Wednesday’s game, CMU is tied for first in the Mid-American Conference West Division with Eastern Michigan, Western Michigan and Toledo with a 2-2 conference record.
“It’s a good position to be at right now,” Fowler said. “But we’ve got to keep pushing. As long as we work hard and give our best effort, win or lose, we’ll be satisfied with our performance. But, we’ve got to work hard and get better every day, and I think the results will come from that.”
Fowler’s role for the team has been as a distributor for the Chippewas, and he has been efficient in that role. In the last three games, Fowler has recorded 20 assists and just four turnovers.
He said what makes conference play unique is that he will face off against a number of the same players throughout his career. It might be a scary thought for his opposition.
“Valuing possessions, valuing the basketball is what the best point guards do,” he said. “So that’s just something I wanted to bring into my game. You can’t get an assist if your teammates don’t make shots, so they’re making me look good, too.”