The men's basketball (3-8) team lost again Tuesday to former head coach Jay Smith (now an assistant with Detroit), 67-55, this time three days after an embarrassing loss to Robert Morris at the Palace of Auburn Hills. Simply put, things don't look good for coach Ernie Zeigler and Central's chances in the Mid-American Conference this season.
It was another loss that saw the Chippewas commit 30 personal fouls, which is pretty ridiculous. That is enough fouls for six players to foul out. Jordan Bitzer (8 points) and Jeremy Allen (5 points) fouled out of this game, and by the looks of two technical fouls, Zeigler and company weren't very happy about it. Marcus Van picked up a technical, and so did Zeigler. Since its opener against Princeton, when it committed 17 fouls, CMU has not committed less than 20 fouls in any of its games. Seven of its 11 games saw at least one player foul out. Either CMU players can't stay with the opposition and are forced to foul, or the team simply doesn't have enough discipline on defense. You're not going to win very many games with that many fouls, especially when you're only playing four or five guys off the bench. Either let the opponent get the shot off (hey, they might even miss!) or put yourself in a better position. But this many fouls not only makes games boring to watch (there's a stoppage of play it seems every posession), it's not good strategy.
And it's not like these fouls are picked up as CMU fouls near the end of the game. These are totaled throughout the game, being overaggressive on defense.
The team continues to struggle behind the 3-point arc, shooting 5-of-19 (26.3 percent) against the Titans. Robbie Harman, who scored a team-high 16 points, shot 0-for-5. That won't cut it if CMU wants to stay in games.
Central now has six days off before traveling to Kentucky (9-3) on Dec. 29 in Lexington. The Wildcats started slow before winning nine of their last 10 games, including wins over West Virginia and Kansas State.