The Chippewas have been working hard to get better individually and as a team starting this summer and continuing into the fall, with the first official practice being almost three weeks earlier than in years past.
“With 10 of our 13 scholarship players being underclassmen, the time on the court has been invaluable,” said Davis. “Now we feel like we can go into the season not just trying to be competitive by the time games come around, which was our goal last season, but now we have a better opportunity to win each game that we have on our schedule.”
“We are looking forward to the season. Not only because of the hard work that has been accomplished but the high character of the student-athlete that is now part of the CMU program.”
A year ago, the core of the CMU squad was made up of young and inexperienced players. After a year of battles on the court, those returning “veterans” have matured as players and as leaders, according to Davis.
“It is very beneficial (to have so many returning players) and yet we are talking about players who have only been a part of the program for a year. You talk about them as veterans but they have three years left and that is exciting. Our five newcomers have blended well with our veterans on and off the court. There is so much unselfishness on this team and that is unique to college athletics.”
Hard work has also paid off for the Chippewas in the classroom, as the team was one of only 19 NCAA Division I programs to receive the Team Academic Excellence Award from the National Association of Basketball Coaches. Developing the student-athlete in its truest definition is an aspect that will continue to be a focal point for Davis and his staff.
“I go back to just over a year ago when I talked with Dave Heeke. He talked about his philosophy and what he envisioned for the men’s basketball program. I think being able to recruit and develop the character of student-athletes who will have success in the classroom and represent Central Michigan University with the utmost integrity will translate to success on the court.”
CMU will make its 2013 debut on Monday, Oct. 28 when they welcome Lake Superior State to McGuirk Arena for an exhibition contest. Central hosts six regular season home games before the month of December, allowing fans ample opportunity to get an early-season glimpse of the Chippewas’ exciting up-tempo style of play.
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.