EDITORIAL: Junior guard is unlike any athlete we've seen in recent memory, go see him while you can
Marcus Keene's brilliant play during the 2016-17 season has drawn national praise and attention to a small Mid-American Conference gymnasium in Mount Pleasant, Michigan.
Before this shooting star passes through our atmosphere and into the next phase of his career, we encourage all students to see him play firsthand at Central Michigan University.
You only have three home games left this season to watch potentially the greatest basketball player to come through this school. Three games to watch history unfold.
Take a break from studying, meet up with friends, take your parents.
Let's pack McGuirk Arena this weekend.
It's not often we see a student-athlete like Keene at this school. In just one season, the junior Youngstown State transfer has earned his place on the Mount Rushmore of CMU basketball.
He leads the nation with 29.8 points per game, notching five 40-point performances and one 50-point performance. He is CMU's all-time single-season scoring leader with 775 points as of Tuesday and is 99 points away from becoming the MAC's all-time single-season scoring leader.
The 5-foot-9 guard from San Antonio is captivating when he's on the court.
Keene's scoring arsenal is seemingly endless and ever expanding — a 35-foot 3-pointer, a reverse layup while fighting off a defender in the lane, a steal and a no-look pass for a slam dunk in transition, an ankle-breaking cross-over. The list goes on.
And he does everything on the court with an ear-to-ear smile because he feels it "makes the other team mad if I’m smiling and also scoring.”
Once you think you've seen it all, Keene goes a step further. If he makes three 3-pointers in a row, Keene tests the decibel meter by igniting the McGurik Arena crowd into a frenzy with a fourth and fifth.
We witnessed one of Keene's greatest finishes earlier this month when he weaved the ball between his legs, methodically eyeing down a Western Michigan defender as the clock wound down, faked in, hopped back out and sank the game-winning 3-pointer with 4.3 seconds remaining.
We have the chance to watch Keene continue making history on the hardwood.
After losing Tuesday to Buffalo, which dropped CMU to second place in the division, Keene refused to talk to the media for postgame interviews. While this is disappointing to us, he wanted to focus on what is really important to him — winning.
With five regular season games remaining on the schedule, Keene and the Chippewas are in the hunt for a MAC West Division title.
With the help of his backcourt mate Braylon Rayson, forwards David DiLeo, Josh Kozinski, Luke Meyers and company, Keene has his eyes set on leaving the ultimate legacy — a trip to the NCAA Tournament in March.
To do that, Keene and the Chippewas need you, CMU students, this weekend.
The Chippewas play Saturday against Ball State at McGuirk Arena. The Cardinals sit one game ahead of CMU in the West Division. Tipoff is at 4:30 p.m.
Take advantage of it while you can. We may never witness another Marcus Keene again.