Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Central Michigan takes care of Illinois-Chicago 62-52 on road, ends three-game skid

Quick hits
Trey Zeigler
  • Trey Zeigler..still a freshman. Didn't start because of his lackluster defensive performance (and eight turnovers) in CMU's last game, a loss at South Alabama. At UIC, led the team with 17 points, grabbed 7 rebounds and cut his turnovers down in the first half. He also had a sweet turnaround baseline jumper....but traveled several times and looked a little sped up at times. That'll get better. He still averages 4.2 turnovers per game, more than twice as much as anyone else on the team. Of course he also has the ball more than anyone else, averaging 18.8 points per game to lead the team. But he's got to take better care of the ball, especially down the stretch. 
  • On the bright side: Zeigler's defense looked good, especially in man-to-man against UIC's best player Robo Kreps, who came in averaging more than 19 points per game but finished with 14 on 5-of-12 shooting. Kreps played the whole game, too. 

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Hawaii 65, CMU 62; Ernie Zeigler: "It's really clear we having something here."

Derek Jackson's last-second shot from halfcourt hit the right side of the backboard early Tuesday morning and the Chippewas fell 65-62 against Hawaii in the final game of the Rainbow Classic in Honolulu.

CMU (1-2) got 24 points and five rebounds from freshman Trey Zeigler in 37 minutes. Zeigler also had five turnovers.

Senior Jalin Thomas added 14 points in 36 minutes. Jackson had eight points, but went 3-for-12 from the field and had three turnovers.

CMU went 6-for-25 (24 percent) from 3-point range. The Chippewas totaled a paltry five assists.

Thomas was named to the all-tournament team after hitting the game-winning 3-pointer in the team's opening win against Cal State Fullerton.

Sunday, November 14, 2010

CMU falls 65-58 against Montana State in overtime

UPDATED: Central Michigan Life Sports Editor Aaron McMann's recap on can be found here.

CMU's second game ended in overtime against a Montana State team that hit 21-of-30 free throws (70 percent) and 8-of-16 from 3-point land.

Some highlights:
  • Trey Zeigler led all scorers with 21 points. He also had four rebounds, one assist and one steal. He shot 8-of-16 from the field, including 2-of-4 from 3-point range.
  • Jalin Thomas again seemed to be in the flow of things on the offensive end. He didn't shoot real well (6-for-15), but in 33 minutes, grabbed six rebounds.
  • Freshman Derek Jackson came off the bench to contribute five points in 22 minutes.
  • Sophomore Finis Craddock had one his best performances, tallying seven points in 22 minutes.

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Jalin Thomas gives CMU 70-67 win at buzzer

NEW: Central Michigan Life talks with coach Ernie Zeigler, Jalin Thomas about the season-opening win here:

With the game tied at 67 in the final minute, senior guard Amir Rashid drew a charge against Cal State Fullerton’s Perry Webster, setting up the game-winning play.
“We called a timeout and talked about setting a screen with (Andre) Coimbra,” said CMU head coach Ernie Zeigler. “Trey (Zeigler) and Derek (Jackson) were both in and we told them to go make a play. Jalin stepped up.”

Freshman Zeigler took the ball the length of the court and found Thomas on the right wing, where he hit his third three-pointer of the night to give CMU the win.

Thomas, fighting the flu, went 7-of-18 shooting for the night, also grabbing four rebounds in the best game since playing under Zeigler.

“The emphasis has been starting the season off great,” Thomas said. “That’s something we didn’t do last year. I was really sick but being a senior and captain of this team, I knew I had to step up and show what battling through adversity is.”

Friday, November 12, 2010

A new era begins: CMU at the Rainbow Classic and previewing the MAC

The Central Michigan men's basketball program is hours away from tipping off a new season.

The expectations are cautiously optimistic for the 2010-11 version of the Chippewas, who play Cal State Fullerton at 2:30 a.m. EDT Saturday in Honolulu, Hawaii as part of the Rainbow Classic.

It's easy to see that expectations have never been higher for coach Ernie Zeigler and his team. Zeigler has never had this kind of talent to work with before. He began his tenure by taking over a team that was coming off a 4-24 season in 2005-06.

Zeigler has slowly but consistently brought this program back to respectability. It's hasn't been easy — and Zeigler had his share of detractors. A good number of players Zeigler has brought in left the program because they couldn't fit his "Think Tough, Be Tough" mantra. Some, like Jacolby Hardiman and Marcus Van, got in trouble. Others, such as freshman Tyler Brown, were injured and homesick. But for whatever reason, be it the sorry state of Mid-American Conference basketball or Zeigler's unwillingness to accept nothing less than 100 percent effort, CMU has gained a share of the MAC West Division title the past two seasons. It hasn't translated to success in the MAC Tournament in Cleveland, however, as he has yet to guide the Chippewas past the quarterfinals. But that could be changing immediately.