2015-16 Results: Last season was a tough one for Chicago State as it finished 4-28 and 0-14 in the WAC. The Cougars only mustered one win against a Division I opponent when they beat Western Illinois. With eight different players making double-digit starts, the team never found a rhythm as they lost 19 straight games to end the season.
Players to Watch: The good news for Chicago State is that some talent is returning. Leading scorer Fred Sims Jr., a former North Lawndale star, is back for his sophomore season after a promising freshman season. Sims averaged 10.9 points in only 20.7 minutes per game. Sims has to improve his shooting efficiency, but he's capable of scoring in bunches. Senior wing Trayvon Palmer is also back after putting up 9.5 points and 7.8 rebounds per game. Palmer is Chicago State's most productive player and a proven rebounder.
Key Storylines: Chicago State doesn't play a home game against a Division I opponent until Jan. 5 -- which is nearly two full months into the college basketball season. The Cougars start with 14 Division I games at road or neutral sites and finally begin the home slate with WAC conference opponent UT Rio Grand Valley. Chicago State still has two games against non-Division I opponents before 2017 but that schedule could prove to be very difficult.
Newcomers to Track: Help is on the way this season in the form of junior college transfers as point guard Glen Burns and forward Deionte Simmons. The two juniors were teammates at Danville Area Community College last season and helped that team to a 24-8 record. Burns is a defensive-minded point guard who provides athleticism while Simmons shot 69 percent from the floor and was second-team all-conference, averaging 11.1 points and 7.5 rebounds per game. Both figure to be rotation guys at Chicago State right away.
Season Outlook: Between the difficult schedule and last season's losing streak, just putting together wins and being competitive is the main goal for this team. Sims and Palmer were both productive last season and have a chance to be a decent duo to build around and the hope is that some of the newcomers step up. This is a rebuilding year for Chicago State but it at least has some players that will be in the program to play together the next few years.