Better ball movement leads to improved shooting for men's basketball


Junior guard Shawn Roundtree shoots the basketball during the basketball game against Toledo on Jan. 13 at McGuirk Arena. 

Central Michigan men’s basketball has made some adjustments to its offense that head coach Keno Davis believes is bringing out the most in his shooters.

“It’s similar to the same game plan that we have had since day one, but now people are adjusting to their roles better,” Davis said. “It’s a lot of repetition in practice and it’s resulting in our shooters getting better looks. Right now, it seems to be improving.”

CMU (15-9, 4-7 Mid-American Conference) averages 78.8 points per game, which is good for No. 3 in the MAC. 

Over the Chippewas' past games against NIU and Ohio — both wins — they’ve scored more than 80 points each game — including their 101-98 win in double overtime over the Bobcats on Feb. 3.

“Right now we are obviously shooting the ball better, but it starts with how well we are sharing the ball and moving it around,” Davis said. “It’s our guys that can drive the ball and find the open shooter to knock down a three making a difference right now.”

The ball movement has led to 29 made 3-pointers and a 38.6 percent (29-of-75) 3-point percentage over the past two games.

Junior guard Shawn Roundtree said the recent shooting has really opened more opportunities for everyone else.

“When you get other people going around you, it makes life easier on the point guard,” Roundtree said. “For me, it helps because it makes defenders nervous about others around me and gives me the chance to create or score. They have to pick their poison.”

Senior guard Josh Kozinski, who’s dropped 11 3-pointers over his past two games, said the team is “clicking on all cylinders."

“As the season goes on we just become more comfortable with each other,” Kozinski said. “We all have confidence that everyone on this team can knock down shots.”

CMU averages 13.5 assists per game this season — good for No. 7 in the MAC — but has dished out 35 assists in its past two wins.

Senior forward Luke Meyer said the perimeter passing and recent success for CMU’s shooters is opening up his game underneath.

“When they start to hit all of these 3-pointers it draws them all out and allows me to have an advantage underneath,” Meyer said. “When I roll or post up in the paint its making it easier for (my teammates) to get me the ball.”

Davis said if the Chippewas can continue to put together full games, they will be in a better position by March.

“We’ve got off to slow starts a lot this season but we right now we are battling and playing better for a majority of the game,” Davis said. “We see ourselves improving, offensively mainly, and that’s what we want more of.”