Youth come through for CMU in win against Ohio
Colin Voss looks more like a football player than a basketball player to some.
Central Michigan’s 6-foot-7, 235-pound freshman from Grand Rapids is thickly built. He had opportunities to play Division I football, presumably best suited to play tight end or defensive end.
At times, he has looked stiff on the basketball court. Wednesday against Ohio wasn’t one of those times, as Voss scored a career-high 10 points, including a perfect 4-for-4 from the line, and grabbed a career-high five rebounds.
“I thought Colin took a strong step forward,” said CMU coach Ernie Zeigler. “We know that he can be a scoring threat as well as a very good rebounder, and bring us a physical presence down there. (He) did an excellent job at finishing at the foul line.”
Voss’ performance from the line should not be overlooked. Not when CMU was shooting just 61.5 percent as a team heading into the game.
Along with Jalin Thomas’ 11-for-14 night from the line, Voss’ 4-for-4 free-throw shooting led the team toward a 75.9 percent shooting from the line in the second half.
He found some room to work down low, as well.
“With him, if he sees his first one or first couple go in, then he’s just going to do a whole lot better,” Thomas said of Voss, who made 3-of-4 from the field.
The Chippewas got more contribution from their guards besides leading scorer and freshman Trey Zeigler, who finished with a team-best 24 points.
Freshman Derek Jackson scored 14, and sophomore guard Finus Craddock had 12, including three 3-pointers in the first half.
Ernie Zeigler said Jackson made 97-of-100 free throws at practice sometime this week.
“They just keep telling me to stay in the gym — I’ve been in the gym,” Jackson said. “So it’s just confidence.”
Sophomore guard John Morris, who saw limited playing time prior to the departure of senior guard Amir Rashid, got his first start of his career at point guard.
“John, he understands our program,” Ernie Zeigler said. “He understands our philosophy, and he understands his role is to come in and get us in the offense and guard the ball.”
CMU’s freshmen — Trey Zeigler, Jackson and Voss — combined for 48 points, making clear the theme of Ernie Zeiglers post-game news conference. “Youth was served tonight,” he said.