It’s time to check in on how the Mitten-made mid-majors are doing since we last updated on their standing a couple weeks ago. Who has played well and who has stumbled?
[NOTE: All stats and team information comes courtesy of ESPN]
CENTRAL MICHIGAN CHIPPEWAS
LAST TWO WEEKS: L @ EMU, 85-63; L @ NIU, 87-83; L vs AKR, 89-85; W vs TOL, 95-88
OVERALL RECORD: 11-6 (1-3 MAC)
At least we know Central Michigan can score. That certainly was not a problem for them over the last two weeks, aside from a 20+ point loss in Ypsilanti against in-state rival Eastern Michigan. But the defense is something to be concerned about, that’s now eight straight games where they have allowed 80+ points.
The 1-3 record to start conference play is a bit of an eye sore, but seeing how two of the three losses were by a combined eight points, a couple extra stops on defense at any point during those games and we’re looking at a CMU club sitting with two extra wins.
And how much longer can Marcus Keene go? It was going to be tough for him to keep averaging 30+ per game as evident by his glacier-like decline in points (still at 28.7 PPG). He averaged a shade better than 22 over these last four games for the Chips. But he’s getting some help in the scoring department. During this recent stretch, Braylon Rayson averaged close to 25 a game. He and Keene are now responsible for 53.8 percent of the team’s scoring output in games this season, a pretty lethal tandem for the MAC to deal with on any given night.
But as we’ve seen over these last two weeks, teams can let Keene and Rayson score all they want and still eke out wins over CMU. Again, defense is going to be key for the Chips moving forward over these next two weeks. A relatively light slate (on paper) could help them get back on track:
- Tues, Jan 17 – @ Ball State (11-6, 2-2 MAC) / 7 p.m. ET on ESPN3
- Sat, Jan 21 – vs Miami-OH (8-9, 1-3 MAC) / 1:30 p.m. ET on ESPN3
- Tues, Jan 24 – vs Bowling Green (7-10, 1-3 MAC) / 7 p.m. ET on ESPN3
- Sat, Jan 28 @ Kent State (9-8, 1-3 MAC) / 7 p.m. ET