After breaking the freshman record for assists in a season, sophomore guard Chris Fowler is looking for more from himself and his basketball team in 2013-14.
Fowler’s 176 assists shattered the mark of 115 set by Dick Dunbar in the 1972-73 season; solidifying his role as the point guard and team leader.
“Where do you start and where do you finish with Chris Fowler?” said head coach Keno Davis. “The success he’s already had in one year … if you were to ask his teammates or Kyle Randall who the leader was last year, they’d say Chris Fowler.”
Randall led not only the Chippewas in points per game last year with 18.7, but that mark was good for best in the Mid-American Conference.
Randall finished his one-year of eligibility at CMU, so the team is now looking for someone to fill that role. With Randall being a shoot-first guard, one might look to Fowler to take more shots.
Fowler, spoken like a true point guard, is looking for his teammates first.
“We all will (have to step up),” Fowler said. “I believe I’ll have to step up in terms of shooting, but I just have to take what the defense gives to me – I can’t force anything.”
With youth on the team, it forces Fowler, just a sophomore himself, to develop faster and become the leader.
“Chris Fowler, at a young age, had to come out and be a leader has really helped us,” Davis said. “What he’s working on is the small details … how to go from four assists to six per game, or how do you go from the top of the MAC to the top of the nation.”
Fowler is looking to improve on all the things he does well and make them great and, in turn, that will help the team improve.
“I want to expand on everything I did last year,” Fowler said. “I feel like if we take care of what we need to as a team those personal accolades will come.”
This team is guard-heavy, and Fowler spent the offseason working on himself and working with sophomore guard Sheldon Lowman, who spent last season as a walk-on.
“It was great working with Chris, I learned a lot from him,” Lowman said. “He’s the leader of this team; he’s the one that gets everyone going. He has a great work ethic and he’s great for this program.”
Fowler is a true point guard. He directs the offense, finds his teammates to helps them score as well as getting to the basket himself.
“I don’t think working out with Chris can do anything but help your development,” Davis said. “Chris has been a great influence on all our guys.”
The Chippewas have an exhibition game at 7 p.m. Monday against Lake Superior State and will begin the regular season at 2:30 p.m. Friday, Nov. 8 against Manchester in McGuirk Arena.
After finishing near the bottom of the MAC last year, the team is looking to improve from its 12-18 season.
“We just want to improve every day,” Fowler said. “We feel if we improve then we’ll win more games. We expect to win, but most of all, we expect to improve and get better every day.”