MOUNT PLEASANT – New men's basketball head coach Keno Davis declared his focus on in-state recruiting at his introductory press conference April 4, and two months into his tenure his vision is becoming reality.
Of the seven incoming recruits to the 2012-2013 roster, five are either graduating from a Michigan high school this year or have hometown ties to the state.
“We don't want to be outworked in recruiting, especially in the state of Michigan,” Davis said. “That doesn't mean we're going to get every recruit we target, but we know that in a tradition-rich state there's a lot of talent and we're looking to get our share.”
Blake Hibbitts, the Hudsonville forward who was announced earlier this week as the Chippewas' most recent addition, joins Detroit Country Day guard Chris Fowler, Ypsilanti guard Derrick Richardson, Cadillac forward John Simons, and former Romulus forward DeAndray Buckley as the Michigan players recruited to Central Michigan.
Davis said one of the reasons in-state recruiting is so critical is because Michigan players are not only talented, but also well-tutored.
“You find from the high school and summer league coaches that their players are going to be well-coached,” Davis said. “There's going to be a very good foundation because of the high level of coaches in the state.”
Another reason Davis has put an emphasis on recruiting in-state is because he wants to attract players from CMU's backyard.
“You're more likely to increase your retention of players if they're close to home, if their friends and family are within driving distance of being able to come see them play,” Davis said.
Overall, Davis and his staff are very excited about not only the in-state recruits, but the class as a whole, and they are looking forward to this new era of Central Michigan basketball.
“I'm very pleased with the efforts of my staff to be able to recruit such a high talent level, as well as student-athletes who are focused in the classroom,” Davis said. “To be able to do so in such a short period of time gives us not only reason for optimism this season, but for the future of Central Michigan basketball.”