Despite the struggles the men’s basketball team is facing on the court, two Chippewas have become arguably the most dangerous duo in the Mid-American Conference.
In a season that began with questions, senior guard Kyle Randall and freshman guard Chris Fowler have solidified the backcourt as one of the most potent in the MAC.
Randall has been nothing less than impressive in conference play, averaging a MAC-best 20.3 points per game, while Fowler is fourth in assists, averaging 5.1 per game and is the best freshman distributor in school history with 121 assists.
“We’ve talked a lot about the point guard position, coming in with two new guards,” said head coach Keno Davis. “They complement each other, and they’ve gotten better. Their chemistry has come together.”
There is a certain chemistry that Fowler and Randall have, and a lot of that is in part to their chemistry off the court.
If it wasn’t for Randall spending his final year of eligibility at Central Michigan, Fowler said, this season might have been different for the freshmen.
“This (losing streak) has been tough for me,” Fowler said. “Randall has taught me how to deal with it mentally. If he wasn’t here, I might have broken down mentally.”
But Fowler hasn’t broken down. In fact, Randall says Fowler is one of the most even keel players on the team and credits him for a lot of his success this season.
“(Fowler) is great. He always finds the open man; I don’t think he ever misses anybody,” Randall said. “He’s a point guard everyone wants to play with; he’s always positive and never gets down on anybody. He’s a great teammate.”
Fowler has learned a lot from Randall as well as a few of his opponents this season.
He has gone toe-to-toe with two of the best point guards in the nation, Michigan’s sophomore Trey Burke and Ohio’s senior D.J. Cooper.
“One thing I’ve learned from both of them and even Kyle (Randall) is that there are times to be aggressive,” Fowler said. “I’m a pass-first point guard, but there are times to be aggressive as well.”
Fowler isn’t the only one learning; Randall has picked up a thing or two from watching Fowler distribute.
“He’s taught me a few things about my game, and we’ve become close off the court,” Randall said. “Watching him in games and in practice, he’s taught me some things, but I don’t want to give all the tricks away.”
Randall, Fowler and the rest of the CMU men’s basketball team are battling through a tough seven-game losing streak and will be looking to end it at 7 p.m. Saturday when it welcomes Toledo into McGuirk Arena.
Fowler said that he’d give up his assist record if it would create a win or two for his team.
“It feels good to break the record, but I would trade it all to win some of these games,” Fowler said.