We have hit the mid-season mark in the 2017-18 NCDA season. Just as was done with a few other regions, we have report cards to hand out for each team in the Michigan Region in what has been an interesting first half to the season.
Easiest grade to give out would have to be CMU. The Chippewas are sitting pretty at 15-0 right now. That’s the best first semester record they have ever had if I’m not mistaken. I would have given Central Michigan an A+, but their last few tournaments of the fall revealed the Chips are beatable. CMU escaped their last game vs. GVSU, ending the semester 3-0 against the Lakers. They also needed last minute heroics to beat JMU in their only battle with the East Coast power this year. Finally, they ended the semester with a tournament at Michigan State where they needed a second half comeback and overtime to get past Bowling Green State. Overall, Central Michigan has had some scares, but the bottom line is they remain unbeaten. Good for an A on the mid-season report card.
Grand Valley State had a rough first semester by their standards. Standing at 9-3 with an 0-3 mark vs. Central Michigan has to be painful for GVSU’s players. Quite simply, GVSU has not been able to put it all together when they face the Chippewas. As GVSU’s younger players grow into their roles on the team, I expect this team to continue to improve going into the winter. We all know Grand Valley comes to play during the second half of the season. Their end of season report card could be much better than what they earned at this point in the year.
Look, we all knew heading into the year that Michigan State would be rebuilding. Their 2-6 record is not surprising, especially considering they have played a lot of games vs. Michigan opponents. MSU has a huge opportunity in the winter semester to change the narrative surrounding their season and their team as a whole. They could transition from a young, inexperienced team, to a promising team with lots of potential moving forward.
Yes, SVSU is a better team than MSU right now, but based on the preseason expectations, SVSU gets a worse grade overall. Bottom line, SVSU has grossly underachieved this fall. They are 3-8 folks. Only win of note was against BGSU to start the year when BG didn’t even have their best player. Sorry, I expect to see more from SVSU. I think we will see a much better version of the Cardinals in the winter. Not sure if that will include any wins over CMU or GVSU. It’s going to be an uphill battle, no doubt.