MOUNT PLEASANT, Mich. – Three sophomore starters on the Central Michigan men’s basketball team - Chris Fowler, John Simons and Blake Hibbitts - have been nominated for CoSIDA Capital One Academic All-America® honors.
“Having three underclassmen qualify for national recognition for their accomplishments not only on the court but also off the court is a testament to their hard work and the quality of their character,” said CMU head coach Keno Davis.
To be nominated, a student-athlete must be a starter or important reserve with at least a 3.30 cumulative grade point average (on a 4.0 scale) and must have participated in at least 50 percent of the team’s games.
Fowler has followed up on his standout freshman season with a sensational sophomore campaign. The Chippewas’ starting point guard for all 18 games, he leads the MAC in scoring (19.0 ppg) and in assists (5.2 apg) in conference play and ranks second in assist/turnover ratio (2.1) and third in field goal percentage (.566) in all games. The MVP of the Central Michigan Tournament, he has scored in double figures in 13 games, including nine 20-point efforts, and has led the team in scoring in nine games. A theatre major with a 3.43 cumulative grade point average, Fowler is only 23 assists shy of breaking into the top 10 in the CMU record book after just 47 career games.
Simons has been a mainstay in the frontcourt this season, leading CMU in rebounding (6.1) and ranking second in scoring (10.7). The second-year forward has recorded double-digit scoring performances in 10 games and has led the Chippewas in rebounding in nine. An outside-shooting threat at 6-8, he is second on the team with 30 three-pointers. Simons is an accounting major with a 3.45 cumulative grade point average.
Hibbitts has also been in the starting line-up for all 18 games this season. The sophomore forward averages 9.3 points and 3.7 rebounds per game and leads CMU with 37 three-pointers. Versus Hibbitts, who boasts a 3.71 cumulative GPA in pursuit of a degree in accounting, earned a perfect 4.0 for the fall term.
Fowler, Simons and Hibbitts will first appear on the all-district ballot and, if named to the first team, will advance and be eligible for first, second or third team All-America honors.
Continuing CMU’s recent record of achievement in the classroom, 10 student-athletes posted above a 3.0 grade point average during the fall term. Hibbitts led the way with a 4.0 while senior forward Zach Saylor (3.50), sophomore guard Austin Stewart (3.48) and Fowler (3.44) also had strong academic semesters.
Central Michigan men’s basketball is on Twitter. Follow head coach Keno Davis (@CoachKenoDavis) and the program’s official Twitter account (@CMUMensBball) to get insider news and information and team updates. The Chippewas are also on Facebook at www.facebook.com/CMUMensBBall.