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CMU guard Derek Jackson says he's likely staying; Austin Keel still unsure of status

(04/03/12 7:45pm)

Derek Jackson couldn’t help but let out a laugh at the thought. Fast breaks, 3-pointers and dunks, something the 6-foot, 170-pound scrappy guard from Cleveland came to Central Michigan in the fall of 2010 for. But that run-and-gun style offense never materialized in his first two seasons in Mount Pleasant, compounded last month by the firing of Ernie Zeigler, the coach who recruited him. Enter Keno Davis, a four-year head coach whose teams have ranked near the top of the nation in scoring.

Mott Community College's Steve Schmidt interested in CMU basketball coaching job

(03/18/12 5:00pm)

A 2006 finalist for the head men's basketball coaching job at Central Michigan University is interested in the job again. Steve Schmidt, head coach at Flint's Mott Community College, said he has not been contacted by CMU, but is "absolutely" open to becoming the program's next coach. "I would be interested," Schmidt told Central Michigan Life Friday by phone.

Toledo snaps six-game losing streak to CMU men's basketball team winning 72-67

(02/22/12 10:49pm)

The Central Michigan men’s basketball team’s six-game winning streak against Toledo ended Wednesday night. The Rockets defeated CMU 72-67 in Toledo. “Defensively, we couldn’t get stops when we needed to,” head coach Ernie Zeigler said.  “It was a game where both teams shot the ball really well and we just came up on the short end of the stick.” CMU sophomore guard Trey Zeigler had a career-high 33 points in the loss and also led the team with eight rebounds. “I’m just trying to make a real effort to be real aggressive this last part of the season and it paid off tonight,” Trey said.  “I think it’s going to be key for us to make a run going into the MAC Tournament.” Despite shooting nearly 52 percent from the field, the Chippewas defense could not contain guard Julius Brown.  He had a team-high 29 points on 10-11 shooting. Toledo guard Dennis Curtis added 18 points in the victory. The game remained close throughout with neither team holding a lead larger than nine points. CMU (8-19, 3-10 Mid-American Conference) trailed 33-27 with 4:10 left to go in the first half before going on a 9-0 run to take the lead.  Sophomore Derek Jackson hit a 3-pointer and freshman Austin McBroom converted a layup off a steal to cap off the run. “It was a valiant effort,” Ernie said.  “I think our kids really responded.

Texas A&M Corpus Christi defeats men's basketball 49-47 at McGuirk

(02/18/12 11:17pm)

After breaking its nine-game losing streak Tuesday, the Central Michigan men’s basketball team found itself back in the loss column Saturday night at McGuirk Arena. Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi defeated CMU 49-47. “They really fought to win a nail biter,” head coach Ernie Zeigler said.  “I’m going to be honest with you, it was a bad loss.  It was a real tough outcome for us on a special day.” The Chippewas trailed by 1 with 15 seconds left and had the ball.  While driving to the basket, sophomore Derek Jackson was called for a charge with five seconds remaining, turning the ball over to the Islanders. The CMU offense struggled throughout the game, shooting just 33.3 percent from the field.  CMU was 3-20 from beyond the arc. “I just think it was just us not being able to knock them down,” Ernie said.  “We had some great looks.  Our kids executed our stuff, but unfortunately we did not have that third guy to step up.  Offensively, outside of Trey (Zeigler) and Derek, we just couldn’t get enough done.” The Chippewas fell behind early, trailing 16-7 8:44 into the game, but a 12-5 run brought them within two with just under three minutes to play in the half. The Islanders added two more points before the half, increasing their lead to 23-19. CMU took its first lead of the game early in the second half after sophomore Derek Jackson hit a 3-pointer. The game featured eight lead changes from that point on. But once again, depth hindered the Chippewas with freshman Austin McBroom and sophomore Finis Craddock out and junior Olivier Mbaigoto leaving the game early in the second half with an ankle injury. “Our depth isn’t quite what we would hope it is.  It makes it easy for their defense to key in on just two guys (Trey and Jackson),” Ernie said. Ernie thinks Trey is feeling healthy again and gaining his mobility back after being hampered by a back injury he sustained last week. “I would say he’s as close to 100 percent as he’s been since it occurred,” Ernie said.  “But I swear I can just go back to last year, it looks so reminiscent to last year when he was forcing things because we didn’t have a balance offensively.  He ended up with five turnovers but in his defense, he played and gave us everything he had.” Trey finished with a game-high 22 points. McBroom did not play because of violating team rules and Craddock was out with an illness. CMU alum and current San Diego Padres play-by-play announcer Dick Enberg was honored at halftime. The Chippewas will travel to Toledo to face the Rockets at 7.p.m Wednesday.

Defense comes up big in win for men's basketball

(02/15/12 7:46pm)

The Central Michigan men’s basketball team’s defense played a vital role in its 55-52 victory over Eastern Michigan Tuesday night at McGuirk Arena. The Chippewas out-rebounded their opponent for only the seventh time this season. They finished with 36 while EMU had 23. “I look at the stat sheet and it may be the first time in my tenure where everyone on the team had at least one rebound,” head coach Ernie Zeigler said.  “Everyone was really locked in to try, and ganging to the ball.” Sophomore guard Trey Zeigler led the team with 9 rebounds and also had 4 blocks. CMU limited the Eagle’s leading scorer, guard Darrell Lampley to six points. “He was a big emphasis on defense for us,” freshman point guard Austin McBroom said.  “There was a lot of guys that guarded him tonight, and I thought we all did a good job containing him.” The Chippewas took the early lead and never looked back. “I thought our kids did a really good job of executing when we were changing and switching our defenses around,” Ernie said. EMU was held to 1 point until the 13:27 mark when junior Guard Derek Thompson hit a 3-pointer, cutting the Chippewas lead to 8-4. The Eagles finished with just 20 points in the first half and shot 6 of 20. “I thought we did a pretty good job, particularly in the first half,” Ernie said.  “We were trying to do things in the half-court to make them start their offense a little bit faster because they do such a good job controlling the tempo.” EMU’s offense had a little more spark to it in the second half, but the Chippewas came up with big stops when they needed it. Sophomore Javen Harden made a key block on guard J.R.

Trey Zeigler injures lower back jumping into Buffalo's bench

(02/10/12 8:00am)

The Central Michigan men’s basketball team’s leading scorer only played 15 minutes Wednesday night against Buffalo at McGuirk Arena. Sophomore Trey Zeigler injured his lower back trying to save the ball from going out-of-bounds at the 5:39 minute mark in the first half. He was slow to get up after barreling through Buffalo’s bench and into the stands. “He was playing with great passion and effort,” head coach Ernie Zeigler said.