A good problem to have has developed for the men’s basketball team this season.
The Chippewas have a pair of guards, both proving the ball belongs in their hands when the game is on the line.
Sophomore guard Chris Fowler began the season as the undisputed leader of the Chippewas, both on and off the court. However, the Southfield native has developed some company in the spotlight.
Freshman guard Braylon Rayson was sensational for CMU during non-conference play, averaging almost 10 points per game in an average of 15 minutes of playing time.
“Braylon is a playmaker,” said head coach Keno Davis. “He’s a good example of the young, but skillful guys we have on this team.”
Rayson normally comes off the bench when Fowler needs a rest. When the Texas product is on the court, his confidence is beaming.
“I want to bring this team energy in any way I can,” Rayson said. “Everybody knows that Chris is going to be the leader. He’s going to be the most vocal guy on the team.”
But Fowler’s knack for the spotlight has not stopped Rayson from getting in on the action.
The high point in Rayson’s career as a Chippewa came in the Chippewas’ non-conference finale against Marygrove. Rayson scored 27 points in CMU’s 127-44 stomping of the Mustangs on Jan. 3.
“My goal as a freshman is to bring that spark of energy,” Rayson said. “I know I can score. (The team) all knows I can score. I just need to fill my role and do whatever it is this teams needs me to do to win.”
Fowler and Rayson often challenge each other, both on and off the court. In practice, the two request to guard each other and press the other player to give his all on every rep.
“It’s always good between us, we talk a lot of trash,” Fowler said. “I’m learning from him, he’s learning from me. The more we compete against each other, the better we are against other teams.”
Davis said the chemistry and brotherly bond between his players is as simple as finding players compatible with one another.
“It’s really a recruiting thing,” Davis said. “If you find the right kind of guys…the guys that want to compete (at) a high level against their teammates and competition…the rest tends to take care of itself.”
Which of the two stars shines the brightest remains to be seen, but in the mean time, both players are working toward the collective goal they share with the rest of the team.
“Coach Davis talks about it all the time,” Fowler said. “We want to be playing our best basketball come March. I believe that if we give it 100 percent each and every night, then we can expect good results, but it starts with our effort.”