Nate schneider_ central michigan hopes over next month hinge on fixing horrendous defense

I supposed the even more ultimate goal would be winning games in the NCAA Tournament, but simply getting to that grand stage is the dream of every college basketball player.

Since 2003 in the Mid-American Conference, the winner of the MAC Tournament has been better than the national average in defensive efficiency. Yankee stadium seating The worst of the bunch was Ohio in 2005, but the Bobcats still managed to rank 138th nationally which was closer to the top than the bottom across Division I college basketball.

The Chippewas (14-8, 4-5) are not only a poor defensive team this season, but downright god awful. What is irrigation system Heading into Friday night’s 6:30 p.m. Fantasy baseball sleepers 2016 showdown versus visiting Western Michigan (7-14, 3-6) on CBS Sports Network, CMU ranks 340th among Division I teams in defensive efficiency.

No one doubts the Chippewas’ ability to score in bunches, although there have been a concerning number of games in which a drought on offense has caused a lengthy run by the opposition. Backyard baseball 2001 Central Michigan is 48th in offensive efficiency and scores a boatload of points thanks to an entertaining up-tempo style which ranks as seventh-fastest in the nation.

Marcus Keene, the nation’s leading scorer at an even 30 points per game, is bringing plenty of nationwide attention the Chippewas’ way. Francesca battistelli tour The 5-foot-9 junior point guard was recently featured with a story in Sports Illustrated, he’s been interviewed on SportsCenter and has embraced every moment of it.

With at least 10 games remaining in the CMU season, Keene has already scored a whopping 660 total points. High pitch mike His next point will tie Ben Kelso (1972-73) for the fifth-best single-season points total in Central Michigan history, while only Chris Kaman (694, 2002-03) and the program’s all-time leader Dan Majerle (759, 1987-88) will be left to catch.

Additionally, senior Central Michigan 5-9 guard Braylon Rayson has caught fire in recent weeks and has scored at least 20 points in eight straight games. Cultural landscape foundation Rayson’s season average of 20.3 points per game is third-best in the MAC after Keene and Toledo’s Jonathan Williams (20.4).

Rayson has risen to sixth all-time on the Central Michigan career scoring list with 1,652 points. High pitched voice man Next to catch will be Chris Fowler, who wrapped up his collegiate career last year with 1,736 points.

But until CMU shows a consistent semblance of even average or mediocre defense, results will continue to fluctuate with the likely end result of falling well short of the aforementioned big prize of a MAC Tournament title.

Central Michigan surrendered at least 85 points in all but one game during the month of January, the lone outlier being an 82-76 home win over Bowling Green on Jan. Elevator pitch 24. Baseball drills at home The Chippewas even showed hope at other times such as a 96-88 home triumph against Toledo on Jan. Football scores 13 as key stops helped turn the game in their favor.

Sure, the fast pace of CMU games is going to naturally lead to higher-scoring games than if they were played at a moderate tempo. Facebook login But there are a lot of examples this season of teams that are running and gunning regularly while also playing consistently good defense. Vtd softball Brigham Young, Wyoming, Auburn, Kentucky and Massachusetts are all teams that rank in the top 15 nationally in terms of tempo while also ranking anywhere from 18th to 87th in defense.

If we’re looking at it strictly from a MAC equation, Buffalo is the next-fastest tempo in the conference and still manages to be ranked 117th in defensive efficiency. Espn fantasy football app not working The Bulls are allowing 101.8 points per 100 possessions, while the Chippewas are surrendering an embarrassing 115.8 points per 100 possessions.

During games over the last few weeks, I have received some amusing tweets in recent weeks about whether CMU even goes over defense in practice under fifth-year head coach Keno Davis.

“We’ve been working almost exclusively on our defense and rebounding in practice,” Davis admitted. Pixel pitch calculator “It’s not as much fun for our players having defense-oriented practices, but we’ve been limiting the amount of minutes we’ve been working on our offense because we know how much the defense must improve.”

In the two games since against stronger offenses, although not juggernauts by any means, Central Michigan has reverted to porous form. Francesca eastwood instagram Keene and Rayson helped carry CMU to an exciting 105-98 overtime win at Kent State, but giving up 101 to Buffalo proved to be too much for even the explosive Chippewas to overcome.

In his lone season as head coach at Drake in 2007-08, the Bulldogs were 71st in defensive efficiency which was good enough to propel them to a 28-5 record and the NCAA Tournament.

Defense has certainly not been the Chippewas’ calling card in Davis’ five years as head coach, but when you look at the 2014-15 season it was at an acceptable level. Ancestry coupon Central Michigan allowed 104.7 points per 100 possessions when it won the MAC regular season championship that, year, a full 10.1 points per 100 possessions less than what it is accomplishing one year later.

The Chippewas seem to have the personnel to be at least slightly better than they have shown defensively, with junior college transfer Cecil Williams providing versatility as someone who can play several different positions. Softball rules 2016 Junior Luke Meyer is athletic and lengthy, although perhaps miscast as a center when he has more attributes in line with playing power forward. Fantasy football team names antonio brown Junior DaRohn Scott splits time with Meyer and has elite shot-blocking skills, but often gets into foul trouble and searches for blocks rather than maintaining defensive positioning.

Freshman center Innocent Nwoko is going to be of considerable help as an interior defender and shot blocker in the future, but right now he is redshirting as he becomes acclimated to the college game.

You would think having two 5-9 guards would not help CMU’s perimeter defense, but the Chippewas are actually surprisingly good with their 3-point defense as they rank 49th by allowing opponents to shoot only 31.8 percent from beyond the arc. Florida softball roster On 2-point attempts, however, Central Michigan is letting teams hit at a 53.6 clip which is among the worst teams in Division I.

Whether this is fixable over the next nine games will determine whether the Chippewas can be a contender in the MAC Tournament. Garden of the gods resort As it stands, CMU is two games behind Ball State in the MAC West Division race while Eastern Michigan and Northern Illinois both sit at 5-4.

Central Michigan has shown with a couple of tweaks it is capable of beating anyone in the MAC. Usssa softball tournament schedule Frontrunner Akron is 9-0, but barely got out of McGuirk Arena with an 89-85 win on Jan. Plants and flowers 10 in a game that went down to the wire.

Expect yet another very high-scoring affair Friday night when Western Michigan comes to town. Football field length The Broncos, another team that is efficient offensively and poor defensively, snapped a four-game losing skid Tuesday via a 90-85 home win versus Ohio.

It is quite likely that CMU will be the Vegas favorite in five of its next six games with an upcoming schedule that is conducive toward being in the thick of things in the MAC West race heading into the stretch run.