Thursday, November 29, 2012

Statement from MAC Commissioner Dr. Jon Steinbrecher

The Mid-American Conference released the following statement tonight from Commissioner Dr. Jon Steinbrecher tonight concerning the NCAA's decision to grant Georgia Tech a bowl spot despite the possibility of a 6-7 record:

“I am disappointed in the NCAA’s decision to issue a waiver.   I could not disagree more with the rationale provided.  One of the reasons for the development of the policy covering this matter was to clearly create a selection order to manage just this situation.
“These selection orders were developed with NCAA staff input and approved unanimously by the NCAA Board of Directors last July.  To suggest that that the NCAA staff or task force working on bowl policy did not contemplate such a circumstance, when this same situation occurred last year, is incorrect.   The policy is clear and understandable. 
“What is lacking is the willingness to enforce NCAA policy and that is regrettable. All the Mid-American Conference asks is that the rules that have been approved by the member institutions of the NCAA be enforced.   That did not occur in this instance."

Monday, November 19, 2012

11-19 MAC teleconference quotes from CMU coach Dan Enos, Umass coach Charley Molnar

I apologize for the lateness. It's been kind of a hectic day and haven't been able to get around to transcribing this until now. Here is what CMU coach Dan Enos and UMass head coach Charley Molnar had to say during today's Mid-American Conference teleconference.

Quotes from CMU head coach Dan Enos:

On the 30-16 victory over Miami:
"Well, we had our final game at home so we were certainly excited to be able to have our seniors end their career here at Kelly/Shorts Stadium with a win. We had a lot of good performances out of a lot of different people. We ended up running the ball pretty effectively, we won the turnover margin. We had some pretty good special teams play and I thought it was a really good team win."

On thoughts going to UMass:
"I know they are a football team that continues to get better every week. I've been impressed with their football team on video from what I've watched so far." 

On keys for success versus UMass:
"I think first and foremost, we have to win the turnover margin. Obviously, it's a key every game. But with us and our formula, it's how we win. That's a pretty key ingredient. Also, our ability to run the football. If we can take care of the football and run it effectively, we should be alright. It's very important that we play with a lot of effort and toughness. It's important that we be a (strong) football team in all three phases."

On the positive changes CMU has made in winning its last two games:
"We have a lot of young players that are still playing in our program and I think gaining experience helps every week. I think the other key is that offensively we've been able to stop turning the ball over these last several games. We've been able to keep them to a minimum. I also think we've gotten much more consistent play out of our defense."

On whether he is using the chance at a bowl game as motivation:
"I think to get to .500 and to be bowl eligible is something that is very important to our team. Yes, we've talked about that. But more importantly, we've talked about winning our last game. There's nothing guaranteed past this one and we understand that. This is the only game guaranteed to us and we want to make sure we play very well."

On his thoughts about his seniors playing their final game at Kelly/Shorts Stadium this past Saturday:
"I feel it was a very emotional day for our players and to be able to see them and their families before the game. It's why you coach, to have an impact on people. It's really neat to see these guys come along the last couple of years. The maturity of these young men these last couple years has been amazing. We talk about it all the time as coaches how far these guys have come with their live. The other thing is that they are going to be moving onto the next phase of their lives pretty soon and it's exciting for them. It's exciting for us to watch them and I know they are going to be successful because they are really, really good people."   

Quotes from UMass head coach Charley Molnar:

On what he sees out of CMU:
"Number one, looking at their offense.... they have three really, really good football players. Number one is their quarterback, Ryan Radcliff. Each year as the starter he has gotten better and better. They have two receivers. The one guy, Cody Wilson, he reminds us in Massachusetts of Wes Welker. He's quick, he's got great hands when receiving the football, he's dynamic with the football in his hands. He's really impressive. Then the running back (Zurlon Tipton) is big, he's rushed for over 1,000 yards. He's like an NFL running back back there. They've got a very good offensive line, a good running back, and certainly Dan has done a good job of putting together his kind of offense and gotten his kind of people in place. It's going to be a real challenge for us. Then on defense, the one guy that really sticks out to us is the safety Jahleel Addae. He's around the ball all the time. Every play you look and see him there. So we've got our work cut out for us Friday, no question about it." 

On the transition from the FCS to the FBS:
"Well, I knew the transition was going to be difficult. Any time you take a group of young men from one level of football to a higher level, there are going to be some growing pains. I think from an administrative standpoint, we were ready for the move. They knew what the commitment had to be from that end. But the players, I don't think they had any idea. I don't think they had any idea about the stadiums they were going to be walking into, the caliber of competition. They had played some guaranteed games in the past, so they knew what big-time football looked like in the stadiums. But I don't think they expected this kind of competition on the field. When you go and play any of the top teams in the Mid-American Conference versus any of the other guaranteed games, the level of competition is going to be almost the same. The venues are a little bit smaller and the crowds are a little smaller, but the competition on the field there's not much difference. I think that was a real eye-opener for them. Some of our guys were recruited as FCS players and haven't been developed yet to their maximum physical potential. They have a ways to go. We're a young football team and quite frankly we've been mismatched some games. That's just the way it is. But we are a hard-working group of guys. We work really hard in the weight room and some guys have made some miraculous gains. We're hoping the rest of the team can catch up so we are ready for 2013."

On the keys versus Central Michigan:
"Offensively, they are very diverse. In my mind, they have two really good receivers in addition to the big running back. So we need to stop the run without committing so many guys that we get shredded in the pass game. That balance on defense is critical. The guys need to make sure they play their gaps, they are gap sound. Don't try to do too much, just try to do their job and stay under control. Then of course on offense, we just have to sustain drives. We don't have to score every series, it'd be sure nice if we could. But we need to use the clock. I think what really hurt us against Buffalo is that we were just worn out. Our defense was just on the field too much. So if we are able to sustain drives offensively and we are sure capable of doing that, we'll have a shot. We need to do better with our pass protection and not have breakdowns. We need to make sure we are assessing our schemes throughout the game. Make sure we have the right guys fitted in the right places. Of course, we have to make plays. We have to have our quarterback be a little more precise against the pass defense. Just the normal things that every football team needs to do. Those will be the keys for us Friday."

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

CMU men's basketball announces three signings for 2013-14 roster


Keno Davis has announced the signing of three thousand-point scorers to National Letters of Intent during his first early signing period as head coach of the Chippewas. Nick Carlos (Ashland, Mo.), Josh Kozinski (Edwardsburg, Mich.) and Braylon Rayson (Mesquite, Texas) have committed to playing at Central Michigan next fall.
The three-member signing class is comprised of two guards and a forward, all three of whom have scored over 1,000 points and earned all-state honors through their junior seasons.
"These are three very talented student-athletes we targeted because they have what it takes to thrive at Central Michigan both academically and on the court," said Davis.
Carlos is a 6-foot-7, 180-pound small forward who averaged 18.9 points, 7.1 rebounds, 1.8 blocks, 1.5 three-pointers, 3.3 steals and 2.3 assists per game as a junior. He earned first-team recognition on the All-Mid-Missouri Conference list after helping Southern Boone High School to a 24-4 record and an undefeated league record. He was named to the Missouri Sportswriters and Sportscasters Association All-State Second Team and the KRES All-Star Basketball Team after accumulating 1,214 points and 131 blocks through his junior year.
"Nick is a versatile threat who can not only score from the perimeter but can use his athleticism to score around the basket," said Davis.
Kozinski, a 6-foot-4, 180-pound shooting guard, led Edwardsburg High School with averages of 20.6 points, 9 rebounds, 5 assists, 4 steals and two blocks last year, recording the second-best scoring average in southwest Michigan. He shot 75 percent from the free throw line and was one of the state's top three-point shooters, knocking down 43.7 percent from long range. The first-team All-Lakeland Conference guard is a two-time league MVP and two-time Basketball Coaches Association of Michigan Class B All-State Team selection who has scored 1,104 points through his junior year. Kozinski was named to the McDonald's Michiana High School All-Star Team and is a member of the National Honor Society. He also plays on the golf and tennis teams.
According to Davis, "Josh is one of the best shooters to come out of the 2013 recruiting class and we are looking forward to utilizing his ability to stretch defenses out beyond the three-point line."
Rayson (5-11, 165 pounds) averaged 16.2 points, 2.1 rebounds, 4.8 assists and 1.8 three-point field goals per game last season as the starting point guard at West Mesquite High School. The District 15-4A Offensive Player of the Year shot 91 percent from the free throw line en route to all-district and all-state first-team honors. He scored 1,038 points through his first three season, leading the team in scoring, three-pointers and assists each of the last two years.
"Braylon is an extremely quick floor leader who fits right into our fast-breaking style and our pressure defense."

Monday, November 12, 2012

11-12 MAC teleconference quotes from CMU coach Dan Enos, Miami coach Don Treadwell

Here is what was said this morning during the weekly MAC teleconference:

Quotes from CMU head coach Dan Enos:

On the 34-3W1 victory at Eastern Michigan:
"We got off to a pretty poor start. We turned the ball over on our first play and Eastern did a really good job scoring, then they got up on us 14-0. We obviously didn't get out of the blocks the way we would have wanted to, but I credit our young men to bounce back and hang in there in cutting the deficit to 14-10 by halftime. Then Eastern switched quarterbacks after halftime to Alex Gillett, who I have a tremendous amount of respect for. He really gave them a spark and they went up 21-10. Once again our guys battled back and scored to cut it to 21-17. Then we were able to go ahead 31-21. I thought our defense played very well at times in the fourth quarter getting big stops. It's not how you diagram it when you picture playing a whole game, but it was a big win for our football program. It was nice to be able to come from behind and then go into the fourth quarter with a lead and be able to hold onto that lead."

On the positives CMU showed in the second half:
"We talk to our players constantly about being able to handle adversity. We've had several games this year where we've had leads in the third and fourth quarter. Against Western and Toledo, for example. We hadn't had a lot with hanging on to wins. Then you throw in the asterisk of being able to come from behind. Credit to our players and coaches for continuing to believe in what we are doing and continuing to battle."

On the strength of the MAC this season:
"I can't speak to it being as strong as the conference has ever been because I've only been here three years. But I've been very impressed with it this year. There's a lot of good football teams in this conference. Why it's so strong, I don't have an answer for that either other than the fact that the coaches have been doing a very good job of recruiting. You know, you have a coach like Coach Solich (at Ohio) who has been there for many years and building that program. Coach Beckman at Toledo, what he has started there. They hired a guy from the staff to keep the continuity. At Kent State, Coach Hazell has done a good job. From the top to bottom, I think the league is very good and very well-coached. I also think that being at Michigan State and Cincinnati for my last two jobs, I see how the recruiting plays out. I think the Mid-American Conference schools have a bit of an advantage at times in finding players later in the recruiting process. Whereas a lot of those bigger schools fill up sooner, where a lot of guys when they are in their junior year those schools are already done recruiting. A lot of these Mid-American Conference schools aren't filled up yet and we are able to recruit a lot of these really, really good players late. In the couple years I've had, I've felt we've gotten some very good players late in the recruiting process. Maybe those kids are available because other bigger schools are filled up so early."

On the status of Titus Davis' ankle injury:
"I would say he is probable right now. Today, he wasn't very swollen and he seems to be moving around pretty well. We'll probably know more by Wednesday, but I think he is probable at this point."

On his familiarity with Coach Treadwell:
"Coach Treadwell and I are very good friends. We worked together for two years at Cincinnati and then several years at Michigan State. He's an outstanding person and a great coach. I have the utmost respect for him as a professional and as a friend. He does a tremendous job of coaching and teaching."

On the keys versus Miami:
"I think at the end of the day they are a lot like us. They have the same record and I think the keys of the game are slowing down their quarterback, Zac Dysert. I think he is an NFL player and I think he is probably the best quarterback in this league. That's saying a lot as I think there are a lot of good quarterbacks in this league. I've been very impressed by him. We played against him two years ago. I'm impressed by not only his accuracy but also his decision-making and poise. They do a very good job with him as well."

On what he sees out of the Miami defense:
"They've been banged up a little bit here and there. But they are playing a lot of man coverage and bring a lot of pressure. They did that this past week against Kent State. Nunnally, their cornerback, i feel is an outstanding player. I think they are very good on the defensive line as well. What they do creates a lot of challenges with the multiple looks they give you with their man coverages and zones. But like I said, I think they play hard and are extremely well-coached. It's going to be difficult."

On his seniors playing their final game at Kelly/Shorts Stadium:
"We've been very blessed. We have a very good group of seniors. We love these guys and they've provided outstanding leadership for us this year. We've been able to count on these guys to handle adversity. Every Sunday and Monday we come in after we've lost a game and these guys provide a great influence for our younger players. They say let's get back to work and let's win the next game. These guys have done a very good job of working over the last few years. They love this place and they love this school. We have very good team chemistry. We know our underclassmen are going to want to send them out the right way. It's just lucky for me to be able to be a part of these young men's lives the last couple of years. I know our coaching staff is going to greatly miss these kids."

Quotes from Miami head coach Don Treadwell:

On familiarity with Coach Enos and what he has done at CMU:
"Dan is a tremendous coach. I have a lot of respect for Dan. I think he is still a work in progress as a head coach. You can just sense certain guys are meant to be leaders and I've always admired Dan. I've worked at him at a couple different places, from Cincinnati to Michigan State. He's just always had that ability to put things together and see the big picture. He's just always had his mind made up and I think that probably goes back to his quarterback days. He knows what he wants to do it and he's known how to do it very well. I'm not surprised at all he's doing some positive things there at Central and I know he'll continue to do some things because he knows how to get the job done.

On Miami's keys against Central Michigan:
"We've got a great challenge. Obviously, I don't get as much time on Monday to watch the tape as my assistants do. But certainly their offense is very balanced. They are a team that is very good at running the ball and they have a tremendous back. And they have a tremendous passing game. The balance is always a concern because sometimes you try to stop one thing and hopefully they don't do something else as well. They do both well. Their able to run the ball and throw the ball. Then on the flip side, the thing that catches my eye with their defense is that they are creating turnovers. At least in the games that I've watched and had a chance to take a peak at. They're turning the ball over and I think maybe even returning some picks for touchdowns. That's huge in the momentum of the game, so that concerns me. At the end of the day, it's always tough on the road."

On the challenge of playing on the road:
"Every game is a little bit different. To be honest, the simple advantage is that the home team has a crowd advantage in terms of the fans that are there cheering and energizing their team. Even more importantly, it's important to get out to a good start when you are on the road. Because that home crowd energy isn't there for you, number one. You've got to make sure you are playing your game to the best of your abilities. Again, one of the things we admire so much about our conference is that it is so competitive week in and week out. You just try to keep the guys locked in and make sure the guys know that the margin of error is so small. You want to make sure the guys are executing the best that they can. That's really what you hope and sometimes it's magnified more on the road."

Monday, November 5, 2012

11-5 MAC teleconference quotes from CMU coach Dan Enos, EMU coach Ron English

Here is what Central Michigan head coach Dan Enos and Eastern Michigan coach Ron English had to say during this morning's MAC teleconference.

Coach Enos quotes:

On team's performance in 42-31 loss to Western Michigan:
"Well, obviously we didn't win so we're not too happy about that. We're very disappointed that we had a nine-point lead and we had a fourth-quarter lead at one point that we lost. Then we came back and took another lead in the fourth quarter. We just weren't able to hang on. We gave up 28 points in the fourth quarter, which is just not acceptable. Early in the game we had a dropped third down pass and missed a field goal. Then we had another dropped pass in the end zone and had to end up kicking a field goal. Later in the game, we had another drop in the end zone as well. We still ended up having over 500 yards offensively, but we felt we had room to get a lot more. More importantly, we felt we left 10-14 points out there. Ultimately, that was the difference in the game and you have to give (Western) credit because when they had a chance to capitalize on their opportunities they did that."

On 200-plus day of sophomore wide receiver Titus Davis and what he means to the program:
"He had 10 catches for 208 yards and had a couple drops. He could have had maybe 250 or 300. But he's a great player and works hard. He's a very explosive player. Cody Wilson had another good day and our quarterback threw for almost 400 yards. Western Michigan played a lot of man coverage and Titus did a great job working his routes all afternoon. Again, we had some explosive plays and he is an outstanding player. His work ethic and his things he does off the field make him an even better player, because he is a great person and tough. There is not one aspect of his game that he does not work at. He works at everything. And he's only been here about a year and two months, so we think as time goes on he is going to get better and better."

On continued strong effort from junior running back Zurlon Tipton:
"He's had three in a row over 100. He's a good player and that helps us remain balanced with what we do. Offensively, the formula was there last week. We had over 500 yards and spread the ball around. We used a lot of different receivers. We had tight ends catch balls. Cody Wilson had seven catches, Titus had 10. Zurlon had two catches and rushed for 100 yards. We just have to finish drives, finish on third down and finish games. But Zurlon is a guy who is approaching the 1,000-yard mark and we have three games left. I said this last week, for the first time he is putting together a whole season. We want to keep him going and get him the ball. Give him 20-25-30 touches if we can this week and continue to do that for the remainder of our games."

On challenges EMU sophomore QB Tyler Benz and sophomore RB Bronson Hill present:
"They are very good players and I have a lot of respect for Ron (English) and his program. He does a good job of getting those guys ready to play every week. He is an outstanding coach and a good person. They've done a good job of recruiting and getting his guys in there. The tailback and quarterback are very good. Their offensive line is tough and physical. They run the ball very well. They are very well-coached on both sides of the ball. It's a rivalry game, another rivalry game for us. We have to pick our emotions back up and get ready to move. The guys yesterday had a great attitude and we're looking forward to this game. It's going to be a great environment against an opponent who is well-coached. Again, it's another in-state rivalry so we'll have to be ready to go because I know they are going to be."

On the keys matching up against EMU's defense:
"We have to stay balanced. We have to be able to run the football and stay multiple in our personnel groupings and formations. Again, keep making them defend the entire field and all of our eligible receivers. We have to keep throwing the ball to the tight ends and keep using our wide receivers. Then again, when we run the ball we have to be effective with it. At the end of the day, these games come down to turnovers and which offensive line handles the other team's defensive line better. This game this week is going to be no different."

On the message to his football team heading into Ypsilanti:
"The message is to find a way to win. Anything that we need to do preparation-wise this week we have to do it. We have a 24-hour rule that after you win or lose, in 24 hours you have to move on. Our guys have already done that. We have already put all our focus into this game. We want to get on the road and play a great game on the road. Again, it's an in-state rival and a very important game for our football program. We just want to keep getting better and improving and working on our techniques and fundamentals every day.

Coach English quotes:

On team's performance in 45-14 loss at Ohio:
"We kept it close in the first half, but we had some turnovers. We had one really big turnover in the red zone when we had a chance to cut the game to one possession. We gave up one big run just before the half. So right now, we just aren't playing well enough to beat really good teams like Ohio. I also think it was probably our worst performance on special teams. We played an excellent Ohio team and didn't play well enough to win the game. So really, we are moving on to our rivalry game."

On positives he saw against Ohio:
"I thought we did move the ball. We moved the ball, but we didn't score enough points as we did move it. We did run the ball good enough to win. We were over four yards per carry. Did a good job there. And we did force turnovers. So those things were positives and with this young team and those other guys that are playing, another positive is that they continue to play and get reps and get better."

On the importance of the rivalry games ahead:
"I think it is an awesome opportunity. I think it's fortunate to be able to play rivalry games, to have rivalry games like we do that are noted between the three universities. We just put up new oak lockers in our locker room and the reality is that would not have happened if we didn't win the Michigan MAC last year. One of our most influential donors, some of his chairmen are Western grads or Central grads. So he wants to have some bragging rights too. I think it goes a long way between the alumni, the former players. It's just something that you can get really excited for and I know our team is really excited. We want to play our best and give our very best effort on Saturday. Our coaches are really excited too."

On challenges he sees CMU presenting:
I think they are running the ball really, really well. They run two or three backs and they all run the ball hard. Coach has done a good job with his football team. I think they are playing really hard and lost a tough game last week to Western. I think they are playing hard with a lot of energy. His team has gotten much, much better. They have been competitive in all the games. I think as he is putting his program together, that's what you look to see - if your team is competitive. So Dan's team is competitive right now. I like the quarterback, I think he is an excellent quarterback. I like the tight ends and I really like #84 (Titus Davis) at wide receiver. He really stands out because he can make a lot of plays. So I think Central is a scary team to play. I think we have to do our part to show up and really compete and do the things it's going to take to get a win at the end. Because I know Central will do that and I'm really impressed with how hard they play."

On confidence team has after winning against CMU and WMU last year:
"You know, I think this team is so much different. It's just a lot different. We are playing with a lot of different personnel, guys that didn't really play a lot last year. It's kind of evolved particularly as the season has gone along that we are playing more and more younger guys. I don't know if that really helps us. What I try to do is teach our guys what rivalry games are all about. The ebbs and flows of them and that it can be an emotional roller coaster. You look at the game last week and I tried to tell them that Central was way ahead and Western ends up coming back. In fact, Central was ahead in the fourth quarter with five minutes to go. I tell them about last year how we were up 28-7 and Central comes back to tie it before we ended up winning that game. If you can understand how rivalry games work, that they are highly competitive and there are a lot of  ebbs and flows. That you cannot get too emotionally caught up in one play, then you have a chance."