Miami men at Eastern Michigan Saturday at 3 on ESPN3

Eastern is 7-11 ( 2-5). Miami is 9-9 ( 3-4). Top eight make the MAC tourney and go to Cleveland. Lose this game and we will have to worry about that. EMU has lost 4 in a row and has lost some steam, kind of like us. We need to get it going again. Miami has won the last 3 games vs the Eagles and is up 52-27 all time.

Eastern has 3 good scorers, they are all guards. 6-2 Fr Noah Farrakahn is averaging 16.2ppg and is the likely MAC Freshman of the Year. 6-5 Sr G Monty Scott averages 13.6 and 6-2 Jr G Bryce McBride averages 12.6. They all make more than 1 three per game, but are more put the ball on the floor and drive type of guards. Their leading rebounder is 6-8 Sr Nate Scott 7.1/5.4. 6-6 Fr Colin Golston, Jr averages 9.5/4.7

Wednesday night Dalonte Brown turned his ankle one minute into the game and missed the rest of the night. Hopefully he will be fully recovered and ready to go. Mekhi Lairy also hurt his back and was not at full strength, but again I would guess he will be full go on Saturday. Dae Dae Grant was the only guy on the team who had a good night, scoring 26 which included some spectacular moves. Lairy has now crossed the 1,000 point career mark and has also made 29 free throws in a row. He is shooting 93.8% from the line, which is 6th in the nation. Dae Dae is 22nd in the nation in assist to turnover margin at 2.70. Precious Ayah leads the MAC in both blocked shots at 1.5/gm and in fg % at 70.3%. Dalonte Brown has now totaled 1454 career points, good for 11th in school history, and is only 5 points away from top 10.

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This is a game that on paper we should win, but I’m honestly not confident we will.

Eastern has been hit really hard by COVID. Their top 2 scorers, Farrakhan and Scott, haven’t played together since their last win. They both missed the Kent and Akron games in which they were still competitive. Scott came back against BG but had a rough night as you may expect. Farrakhan was on the bench but didn’t play. It seems like the timeline would lead to his playing but we’ll find out. Before their recent skid, Eastern got off to a decent start. They almost pulled off an incredible comeback at Indiana to open the year, beat Illinois St. and Western Illinois and were 2-1 in the MAC.

Stan Heath has returned to his alma mater to be the coach. The most visible sign of his influence is the pace at which they play. They want to get up and down and attack the basket. Their guards are strong. McBride has the quickest first step, Scott and Farrakhan are the best shooters, Golson is the biggest. Darion Spottsville is your traditional undersized MAC 4. He can do some damage in the lane. So the good news is that they only shoot 30% from 3 and don’t take a lot of 3s. The bad news is that our guards will probably look small compared to theirs. Offensively, they rank in the bottom 50 of Division 1. Defensively, they’re in the middle of the pack. They don’t give up a lot of 3s and their guards fight hard to get through picks, unlike ours.

The biggest question mark for me are their bigs. They play a few of them. Mo Nije, former Centerville Elk, started and is their widest body. He had a nice post up against BG but that was about it. Nathan Scott is a stretch 5 that has a decent shot and showed bursts of athleticism. Axel Okongo started earlier in the year and is 7’. Against BG, they didn’t really impact the game at all. The key will be slowing their guards down offensively. And like always, ball movement for our offense to get their defense moving.

And if my 5-year old doesn’t show side effects from his 2nd vaccine tomorrow, we’ll all be masked up and in attendance tomorrow. If you’re making the trip to Ypsi, I think masks are mandatory, regardless of your vaccination status.

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Wow. I now know more about Eastern Michigan than any person has a right to!

I love Heath as a coach. Easily the most successful modern head coach in Mac history via his elite 8 run at the state of Kent

Stan Heath. Please. If you’re talking modern era with three or more seasons, yours truly is right there behind only Ball State’s Dick Hunsaker.

No respect.

Perhaps I don’t know my history very well. Has a Mac team ever gone farther in the NCAA tourney than Kent’s elite 8 run?

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Stan Heath was at Kent State for one season after Gary Waters built the program from 1996-2001 and let that team so damn loaded it was scary. Stan Heath turned that one season into a job at multimillion dollar contract at Arkansas where he went 82-71 and was fired after 5 seasons.

Then he went to South Florida where he went 97-130 over 7 seasons.

Stan never learned what it took to build a consistent winner. And that’s after he spent time with Michigan State and won a National Title and 3 final fours with Izzo. Had Gary Waters stayed that one more season and not run off to Rutgers, the story of the MAC basketball would be completely different.

This is his first season at Eastern. If history repeats itself, look for the Eagles to swoop downward from this point on.

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Thanks for the reply, but I still need to know despite all this: he is the only coach in Mac history to ever reach the elite 8. Am I right?

Ohio went to the Elite 8 in the 1960s but it didnt require 3 wins at that time

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Any word on Dalonte Brown’s ankle?

No, but considering he couldn’t walk off the court on his own power on Wednesday I’d be surprised to see him on the court much before the MAC tournament, let alone today.

Dalonte out. Eastern Michigan can’t miss from 3. Down by 12 with 9 minutes to go in the first half.


You understand why EMu doesnt miss right- its because we are awful on defense

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I have no idea why we are still playing some of these seniors- it is a sh@t show everytime they hit the court

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Now the lead is up to 16 they’re on a 15-point run.

Don’t let Kenneth Lowe on the bus back to Oxford.

Explain? His scout?


Don’t worry guys it’s COVIDs fault!!!