Andy Sneddon, CMUChippewas.com
MOUNT PLEASANT, Mich. – Central Michigan men’s basketball coach Keno Davis has talked frequently in the run-up to the season about his team’s depth and the number of new faces on the roster.
Fans will get their first chance to see the Chippewas in action on Sunday (1 p.m.) when they take on Northwood in an exhibition game at McGuirk Arena.
“I think with so many new faces we’re looking forward to having an opportunity to play in front of our fans and continue the high energy and effort that we’ve had in practice,” said Davis, who is in his sixth year in charge of the program. “There’s a great opportunity for this group to improve throughout the year. We’re looking forward to day one.”
The Chippewas, who finished 16-16 last season, open on Friday, Nov. 10 (4 p.m.) with a nonconference game at home against Siena Heights. On Monday, Nov. 13, they go to Michigan (7 p.m.).
CMU returns three senior starters in 6-foot-10 ½ Luke Meyer, 6-6 Cecil Williams and guard Josh Kozinski, along with key reserve David DiLeo, a 6-7 sophomore. DiLeo was third on the team in scoring last season at 8.5 points per game when he made 37.6 percent of his 3-point field goal attempts.
Among the many others who will vie for playing time are 6-11 redshirt freshman Innocent Nwoko; sharpshooting 6-6 guard Corey Redman, a sophomore who redshirted last year; transfer guards Shawn Roundtree (Mineral Area College) and Gavin Peppers (Cleveland State); and sophomore guards Matty Smith and Kevin McKay.
McKay, who is listed at 6-5 and 220 pounds, appeared in 28 games last season, averaging just over four minutes. He is a versatile player with the size and athleticism to play any of several positions.
“Kevin McKay, you might see him on the court as much as anybody,” Davis said. “He’s looking at starter’s minutes. The nice thing about it is if we have foul trouble or injuries or whatever it is, he can move to different spots. He’s big enough, physical enough. Right now he’s probably made the biggest strides from last season.”
Smith appeared in all 32 games a year ago then underwent offseason surgery.
“He gives us depth at the point guard position,” Davis said. “He’s a guy who can get the ball inside and a guy who, as he continues to develop, could be one of our better passers, one of our assist leaders.”