For the second straight year, men’s basketball will start the season with an exhibition at 7 p.m. today against Lake Superior State of the Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletics Conference.
Last season, the Chippewas started head coach Keno Davis’ tenure with an 86-76 win in the exhibition. In year two, he’s expecting more out of the team.
“It seems like it was just yesterday I had the opportunity to become the head coach at Central Michigan,” Davis said during Media Day. “Really, a lot has happened with the men’s basketball program.”
It’s the third-straight season that the program has played an exhibition with a GLIAC school. In 2011, under then head coach Ernie Zeigler, the Chippewas played Northern Michigan and won 90-82, and then followed it up with an unimpressive 65-60 regular season win against Ferris State.
Times have changed in the program. After one season as head coach, Davis, with his up-tempo offense, has put an emphasis on work ethic, believing that his team will be in a position to win every game this year if the work ethic is there.
“I’m not the type of coach who is going to be critical as long as we have the work ethic,” Davis said. “When fans come to the game, they are going to throw their two cents in and they’ll be upset at times. That’s OK, as long as they don’t come out of McGuirk Arena thinking we got outworked. Our goal last year was to come in and be competitive. Now we truly believe we can win.”
This will be the first look of the team in action against an actual opponent and will be the only look until the 2:30 matinee on Friday, Nov. 8 at home against Manchester.
Unlike last year, the Chippewas return eight letterman and four starters, whereas Davis was greeted with only five players total and one starter going into his first season.
One of those players who didn’t return was freshman guard Jorddan Myrick. While at CMU, Myrick appeared in 15 games, starting one.
After Zeigler was fired, many players left the team, including Myrick, who transferred to Lake Superior State University. This will be the second game the junior will play in McGuirk Arena since his freshman year.
Myrick played 13 minutes in last year’s exhibition, scoring eight points while the student directed jeers toward him with “Traitor” and “We don’t want you.”
Myrick helped the Lakers to a 16-13 record overall and 8-4 in the GLIAC by leading in assists per game with 3.8.