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Central Michigan Chippewas
RECORD: 24 - 6 REGION: West  SEED: 11
COACH: Jay Smith CONFERENCE: MAC
RESULTS| STATS| HISTORY | MESSAGE BOARD

Road to the Final Four  ...................................................................................

PREVIOUS GAMES
OPPONENT ROUND RESULT
Creighton 1st Round W 79 - 73
Duke 2nd Round L 86 - 60


ESPN'S TAKE
 

with Joe Lunardi

 

So few teams anymore have a legitimate "go-to" guy in the middle, and the Chips are among the fortunate. They also dominated the MAC, albeit in a down year for that conference, but head to the national stage playing their best ball of the year. We don't have to remind you of the MAC's recent tournament history.

Player to Watch

Chris Kaman
If you haven't seen Kaman play, be sure to catch the Chippewas in the tourney. He's a load in the paint and one of the nation's best centers -- really.

Team Statistics
 
Points Per Game 82.9
Rebounds Per Game 38.0
Assists Per Game 12.6
Steals Per Game 9.3
Blocks Per Game 2.3
Turnovers Per Game 12.6
Field Goal % .444
Free Throw % .726
3-Point % .336
3-Pointers Per Game 5.5
Scoring Margin -3.6

How They Got Here
The Chippewas certainly weren't favored to be in this position a year ago. Central Michigan was 9-19 last season and Jay Smith's team was picked near the bottom of the MAC's West Division. However, that was before the play of junior center Chris Kaman took a huge jump.

Kaman, a very talented 7-footer, went from being an 11-point per game player to the best player in the MAC. That became evident early in the season when Kaman dropped 30 points and 21 rebounds on Michigan in a 85-78 CMU victory. Behind Kaman, Central Michigan went 7-2 in the non-conference season, losing at both DePaul and Valparaiso.

After losing their MAC opener to Miami (Ohio), the Chippewas became as steady as any team in this ultra-competitive league. Central Michigan put together regular-season winning streaks of six, five and three. The Chippewas never lost more than two consecutive league games and haven't lost since dropping a one-point game to Akron on Feb. 25.

In the MAC tournament, Central Michigan rolled a very good Northern Illinois team by 18 in the semifinals before beating defeating Kent State, last season's MAC champ that reached the Elite Eight of the NCAA Tournament.

What We Like
Maybe Central Michigan is a mid-major, but the Chippewas may have the best pure big man in the tournament in Kaman. He averaged 22.7 points and 12.3 rebounds per game. He reached the 20-point mark 19 times during the season. In the first meeting against Ball State, he scored 43 points. In the second game, he put up 39 points and 22 rebounds.

What We Don't Like
Do the Chippewas have good enough guard play to make a NCAA Tournament run? For the season, Central Michigan had more turnovers than assists. In CMU's six losses, it averaged 18.7 turnovers per game, never registering fewer than 16.



ROSTER
NO NAME HT WT YR  PPG RPG APG MPG FG% FT% 3PT%
35 Chris Kaman 7-0  265   22.712.31.334.2.632.751.000
25 Mike Manciel 6-5  235 Sr 16.54.91.232.3.538.773.397
2 J.R. Wallace 6-0  170 Sr 14.42.93.326.0.498.863.387
1 Whitney Robinson 5-11  170 Sr 7.31.51.617.9.365.800.355
15 T.J. Meerman 6-3  185 Sr 5.91.93.028.4.509.729.460
12 Tony Bowne 6-3  220 Sr 4.63.23.325.6.467.800.396
  Kevin Nelson 6-3  180 Sr 2.50.90.97.1.400.875.381
23 Joe Carr 5-6  165 So 1.80.80.910.1.260.762.333
24 Gerrit Brigitha F-C  6-8  235 Sr 1.71.20.17.2.383.579.667
11 Graham Mertz 6-0  190 Sr 1.70.30.02.0.667.0001.000
31 Brandon Voorhees 6-5  205 Sr 1.70.90.36.1.405.636.353
40 Adam Dentlinger F-C  6-7  235 Sr 1.60.60.24.5.750.600.000
13 Tom Pantlind 6-8  215 Sr 0.80.60.02.8.375.667.000
3 Dan Quinn 6-5  230 Sr 0.70.40.01.3.7501.000.000
42 Brent Edwards 6-3  220 Jr 0.70.70.01.71.000.000.000
13 Corey Hallett 6-10  230 Sr 0.40.40.13.0.429.500.000



LAST 5 GAMES LEADERS
OPPONENT RESULT POINTS REBOUNDS ASSISTS
@ Ball StateW, 86-66   
Northern IllinoisW, 73-57   
Eastern MichiganW, 106-89   
AkronL, 70-69   
@ Northern IllinoisW, 87-75   


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