Chicago State may be the worst program in college basketball history. Since entering Division one 39 years ago in 1984 they have a record of 291-833 (.259%). There are no active program with a worse win percentage, and only 5 defunct ones, many of which only played a season or two decades ago that have ever had a worse winning percentage. Add on they do not have a conference home currently and of course have never been to an NCAA tournament and that seals it.
When we saw they had signed the Bewley brothers from Overtime Elite, it at least made it interesting to dig in a little more. After all why were they going to an independent school with almost no chance to make it to the NCAA tournament? We had previously ran the numbers on their returners and they had two of the solid mid major players in the model coming back for 2nd year coach Gerald Gillion.
The best returning player is Wesley Cardet (16.6 Pts, 5.0 Reb, 3.1 Ast, 20.5 PER, 1.7ADJeff). He came to Chicago State last year with the pedigree of being the consensus 84th best recruit in the nation out of high school although he did not find success at Samford (8.1ppg). He seems to have found his grove last year.
If the Bewley twins do qualify and are on the court as 6-9, 215lb post players, at 6-6, 210 Wesley Cardet will give Chicago State a formidable running mate and likely primary ball handler (3.1 assist). Chicago State also returns Jahsean Corbett (14.2 Pts, 8.8 Reb, 1.1 Ast 17.9 PER, 1.5ADJeff) at 6-6 as well who is more of a frontcourt player but does take a few three’s (doesn’t make them but at 31% clip).
That gives Chicago State a potential strong top 4 with three former top 100 players, and two proven ones vs a relatively strong mid major SOS last year. The Bewley twins are 19 years old so there is still a question in the age of the covid super senior era how effective teens really are going against many 23 and 24 year olds. That said they were productive at Overtime Elite. Ryan Bewley averaged 10.7ppg, 7.7rpg, 0.4bpg on 57% shooting in only 20.6 minutes and Matt Bewley 11.3ppg 9.1rpg, 2.7bpg in 21.6 minutes on 55%. That’s pretty outstanding per minute production on a team that played a few professional and serious teams. Neither shoot threes, but that block rate for Matt Bewley is especially impressive. He seems like the better prospect. There is enough there to believe they can compete early.
Many top 100 players are completely overrated or just average. It’s why there is so much movement in the portal. It’s a main reason we are skeptical of most players outside of the top 20 as being highly impactful, especially in this era where college is older than ever. Seemingly there is talent here or at least could be relative to what Chicago State is. I really like Matt Bewley and Wesley Cardet.
The problems I see is they have do not have a real distributor and little three point shooting. A little better shooting and a more clear point guard distributor option and this team would be even more intriguing and probably crack our top 200. Brent Davis projects to be the 5th starter or player they close with. We have Chicago State ranking #229th in our preseason poll currently but it’s as interesting team with some upside as you will ever find given the circumstance. Probably the most interesting independent team ever coming off a 300+ season there ever has been. We will tune in for a game early to see what it looks like and adjusted our expectations accordingly. It’s a team that could be a lot better but it’s hard to jump that far right now. Need to see if they twins are even on the court.