Men's basketball looks to bounce back at home against Toledo
Time to move on.
For the first time this season, the Central Michigan men’s basketball team has lost back-to-back games, but for head coach Keno Davis, it’s about the “big picture."
“I think anyone who has watched us this season understands we are an improved team not just defensively but offensively as well,” Davis said. “Sure we would've liked to win the last couple (games) but it’s all about improving so we are the best team we can be by the end of the year.”
The Chippewas (12-4, 1-2 Mid-American Conference) will look to rebound against Toledo (10-6, 2-1) at 4:30 p.m. on Jan. 13 in McGuirk Arena.
Davis said his previous games against Toledo have always been competitive and he doesn't expect this matchup to be an exception.
“I think Toledo is a lot like anyone else in our league because you could pick them to win the conference,” Davis said. “After three conference games they have the best offense so far by shooting over 50 percent from the field and 40 percent from the three. We know we’ve improved defensively, but they are going to put us to the test.”
Over the last two games, the Chippewas have allowed an average of 82 points per game which is significantly above their season average of 66.5 points allowed.
Transfer guard Shawn Roundtree, who committed eight of CMU’s 15 turnovers in Tuesday’s loss to Eastern Michigan, said it's time to figure things out in MAC play.
“I have no time to sit and mope about those mistakes because I consider myself a leader on this team,” Roundtree said. “There is a lot of responsibility at the point guard position, and things went pretty well in the nonconference for me so I started feeling content and you can’t do that.
“It’s go time for us right now and we have to start turning it up a little as we learn more about ourselves as a team.”
Sophomore guard Matty Smith called it a bad game, but added there are no excuses.
“We kind of take losses where we make a lot of mistakes personally and we have to find a way to commit to ourselves to the process and not make those mistakes anymore,” Smith said.
The Rockets are currently in a three-way tie atop the MAC West Division with Ball State (11-5, 2-1) and Western Michigan (10-6, 2-1). UT topped the Broncos 84-61on Tuesday and are currently on a two game winning streak.
They are coached by Tod Kowalczyk who is in his eighth season with the Rockets and has a .500 record or better in all of the seven years he’s coached UT.
UT has the third best scoring offense in the conference at 78.9 points per game, but ranks 10th in scoring defense, allowing 76.1 points per game (CMU is first allowing 66.5 per).
The Rockets shoot 47 percent from the field, which is good for second in the MAC. They are first in the league from beyond the arc, shooting at a 40.6 percent clip.
Toledo's high-scoring offense features four double digit scorers on the season. Leading that group is senior guard Tre’Shaun Fletcher at 18 points per game which is good for the fourth best scorer in the MAC.
The ninth ranked scorer in the conference is Toledo's Jaelan Sanford with 16.4 points per game. It is a back court that produces the most scoring in the conference so far this season (34.6 points per game). Forwards Nate Navigato (12.9) and Luke Knapke (11.5) are the other two players that average double figures for the Rockets.