Men’s basketball head coach Keno Davis is usually energetic, upbeat and smiling on the court.
That was not the case with 11 minutes remaining in the second half against Eastern Michigan, Saturday night in McGuirk Arena.
Foul calls got the best of Davis after sophomore forward Austin Stewart was called for a blocking foul.
Davis received a technical foul after arguing the call. Twenty seconds later, Davis received a second technical and was tossed from the game.
This was the first time in Davis’ coaching career that he was tossed from a game. He said he was surprised he received the second technical foul after staying silent.
“I didn’t try and get the technical,” Davis said. “I didn’t think I deserved the second technical. I was shocked that I got the second one, I’ve heard coaches say a lot of words to officials. I didn’t say any of those magic words and I got it 20 to 30 seconds afterwards. I was standing there saying nothing. I’ve never been tossed from a game, I’ve never even been warned about a second technical.”
While Davis was back in the locker room, he had no way to watch the rest of the game.
“I probably could have,” Davis said. “Had I prepared for it, I was down in the locker room and had thought about going up to the office to try and watch. But I didn’t want to walk through a crowd. It probably would have been better had I cleared my head.”
After Davis’ ejection, the CMU student section chanted “Ke-no, Ke-no,” as the second-year head coach begrudgingly walked off the court with the Chippewas trailing, 44-37.
Davis said he had the confidence that his assistant coaching staff could give CMU a solid chance at a comeback.
“I’m sitting in the locker room and I thought 50/50 we would win the game,” Davis said. “It would not of shocked me if they came down celebrating. It would have shocked me if our guys had given up because we haven’t done that. We could go against the best team in the country and I would be surprised if during the last minute of the game, no matter the score, our guys wouldn’t be working as hard as they can.”
While Davis refused to admit he regretted arguing the controversial foul call, he said he wished he would have coached the Chippewas until the end of the game.
“I’m going to make mistakes, getting tossed wasn’t something I was trying to do,” he said. “I didn’t see it coming, but just like our players, I will make mistakes.”