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‘They had the best player’: CMU’s Tony Barbee speaks candidly about team struggles following loss to Buffalo

MOUNT PLEASANT— Tuesday night, Central Michigan men’s basketball opened conference play against MAC foe Buffalo.

The Chippewas entered the night 5-7 on the season, as for the Bulls, they entered conference play just 1-11.

The Bulls were able to jump out to a quick start on the night, Guard Ryan Sabol dropping 15 points in the first half followed by Sy Chatman with 10. They would lead the Chippewas 36-18 at the half.


“They’ve got a difference maker obviously in the Chatman kid, all you got to do is look at the line. And he was the best player on the floor tonight. They had the best player we didn’t. And he played like it,” Chippewas head coach Tony Barbee said after the game.

Chatman scored a game-high 26 points on the night in his team’s 76-64 win over the Chippewas.

Though Chatman certainly was a difference maker all game long, head coach Barbee feels his guys’ confidence was the missing piece in securing a win on Tuesday night.

“Good players don’t depend on coaches to give them confidence,” Barbee said. “I can tell you the you’re the best thing since sliced bread. But if you don’t put in the work outside of what’s required, to have supreme confidence come game time... right now that’s the crux of all of our problems.”


The Chippewas shot just 22.6% from the field in the first half. In the second, they were up to 50%, allowing them to outscore their opponent in the second 46-40.

“So that was it’s why we won the second half because we played with a little more confidence,” the head coach said.

The Chippewas will attempt to bounce back on the road to 8-5 Ball State on the road come Saturday. But until then, Barbee has his work cut out for him.

“We aren’t guard very well, that all comes back on me. So I gotta go back to the drawing board and figure out what’s best for this team offensively and defensively, we got to change some things up,” he said.

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