Sophomore forwards Blake Hibbitts and John Simons both stand over 6-foot-6, but don’t let their size fool you. Hibbitts and Simons are two of the most consistent 3-point shooters on the Central Michigan men’s basketball team this season.
Simons had a career shooting day in CMU’s first Mid-American Conference win of the season Wednesday night against Kent State. The Cadillac-native shot 6-for-16 from the floor including 6-for-11 from 3-point range in the overtime victory. During a three-minute stretch in the second half, Simons hit four consecutive 3-pointers and finished the game with a career-high 22 points.
“I guess I’m just feeling really confident in my shot right now,” Simons said. “My teammates got me some pretty good open looks and coach (Keno Davis) had me play a bunch of minutes, so I was bound to make some of those shots.”
Meanwhile, Hibbitts has been holding is own from deep as well. Hibbitts shot 5-for-10 from 3-point range in CMU’s 79-70 loss to Buffalo, Saturday night. It was the second-most points Hibbits has scored this season (17).
“Sometimes when you lack an underneath presence like we have, you have to get shots other ways,” Davis said. “It’s an interesting position to be in to have your forwards be able to shoot the ball that way. A team that has the bigger more physical player … you can bring them away from the rim and it opens things up for our guards.”
The threat that Simons and Hibbitts pose from behind the arc allows players like sophomore guards Chris Fowler and Austin Stewart to drive to the basket more easily. Stewart tied a career-high 15 points in the Chippewas loss, Saturday.
“We’ve played against some pretty good talent this year,” Stewart said. “We’ve played some physical games and have a lot of weapons on this team.”
The Chippewas head to Northern Illinois, Wednesday night with a 1-8 conference record.