May 25, 2016
MOUNT PLEASANT, Mich. - The Central Michigan men's basketball team has experienced its share of success the past two seasons.
The Chippewas have captured two MAC West titles, put together the program's first back-to-back winning seasons since the late 1980s and made two postseason tournament appearances.
Mirroring the program's recent rise on the court has been its progress in the classroom.
In 2016, CMU led the conference with four Academic All-MAC selections, twice as many as any other team. It marked the third consecutive year that the Chippewas had more players honored than any other team in the league. Following the Spring semester, a total of 10 men's basketball student-athletes have compiled a 3.0 cumulative grade point average.
This season, senior guard Chris Fowler became the first CMU player in program history named to the College Sports Information Directors Association Academic All-District 5 Division I team. Both Fowler and senior John Simons were three-time Academic All-MAC honorees. Blake Hibbitts, who will return after missing what was to be his senior season in 2015-16 due to a knee injury, is a two-time recipient.
"I am very proud of our graduating group of seniors for their accomplishments on the court and in the classroom," said head coach Keno Davis. "They have set a high standard for our program for years to come."
In 2015, CMU was one of 175 institutions and one of just 19 in Division I from across the nation to earn the Team Academic Excellence Award from the National Association of Basketball Coaches, which recognizes outstanding academic achievement by a team with a cumulative grade point average of 3.0 or better for the 2014-15 season.
It was the third season that the organization has handed out the award, and the second time the Chippewas have received it. CMU was the lone member of the Mid-American Conference to receive recognition.
MOUNT PLEASANT, Mich. – Four Central Michigan student-athletes were named to the Academic All-Mid-American Conference men’s basketball team.
CMU led the league with its four selections, twice as many as any other team. It marked the third consecutive year that the Chippewas have put more players on the team than any other team in the league.
“I am very appreciative of the efforts of our student-athletes to not only to be able to win championships, but more importantly to do so while representing CMU in the highest fashion in the classroom and in the community,” said Keno Davis, who is heading into his fifth season as the Chippewas’ coach.
The four Chippewas named to the squad, with year, GPA and major: Chris Fowler, senior, 3.47, theatre arts; John Simons, senior, 3.40, accounting; Luke Meyer, sophomore, 3.35, product design engineering technology; Austin Stewart, senior, 3.35, sociology.
It marks the third consecutive year that Fowler and Simons have been named to the squad, and the second straight year for Stewart.
?To be eligible, a student-athlete must maintain a 3.2 or better grade point average and appear in at least 50 percent of her team’s meets. True freshman and first-year transfers are ineligible.
MOUNT PLEASANT, Mich. – Central Michigan senior guard Chris Fowler and junior guard Braylon Rayson earned additional postseason honors on Friday, receiving all-district recognition by the National Basketball Coaches Association (NABC).
Fowler was named First Team All-District 14 for the second consecutive season while Rayson was selected to the second team.
The NABC divides the nation into 25 districts and honors 10 players from each district, signifying a five-player first team and a five-player second team.
Fowler, a two-time First Team All-MAC honoree, averaged a team-high 16.5 points and 5.9 assists per game to go with a career-best 4.0 rebounds in 2015-16. The four-time team captain finished his brilliant career as Central Michigan’s all-time assists leader with 686 and ranks No. 3 all-time in steals (185) and No. 5 in scoring (1,736 points). A starter of all 120 career games in which he appeared, Fowler is the only CMU player to have all four seasons rank in the top 10 in assists, including 2015-16 when he missed the first seven games due to injury.
A Third Team All-MAC selection, Rayson had a breakout year in 2015-16. The Dallas, Texas native ranked second on the team in scoring (16.3 ppg) and 3-pointers (81), helping the Chippewas break the program mark for triples in a season set a year ago. He scored in double figures in 27 games, including nine 20-plus point efforts. Rayson reached the 1,000-point scoring milestone this season and rose to his current position of No. 16 with 1,206 career points. With one season remaining, he also ranks eighth in career 3-pointers made (178) and sixth in attempts (510).
Fowler and Rayson were instrumental in leading Central Michigan to back-to-back MAC West titles and to 40 wins over the last season two seasons, the most since 1986-87 and 1987-88 (41).