AKRON, Ohio —- Uncle Mel is feeling the excitement of the season!
The best part of the basketball season is the second season also known as tournament time.
Nieces and nephews Eastern Michigan University will take part of the Mid-American Conference Tournament beginning Tuesday night March 8, 2011 as the Eagles enter the tournament as the 11th seed and will be facing the number five seed in the tournament the University of Akron at the enormous arena in the conference the home of the Zips the James A Rhoads Field House.
Now if you all remember last season at the quarterfinals these two teams met and when the dust settles back down at the Quicken Arena in Cleveland, Ohio the Zips sweated out an emotional victory that took an extra over time periods before Akron ran off of the floor with a 97-89 victory over the Eagles.
Eastern Michigan University basketball coach Charles Ramsey became so visibly upset with officiating that it cost his team a technical foul and that venom continued this season when Akron visited the friendliest basketball arena in the Mid-American Conference and is the home of the Eastern Michigan University Eagles the Convocation Center back in February 2, 2011.
Ramsey and his team came out focused that afternoon and played the style of basketball that Ramsey prefers and the Eagles defeated the Zips 60-56.
The Eagles played a smothering style of defense and collapsed around the basket keeping the Zips outside out on the perimeter but University of Akron basketball coach Keith Dambrot felt like his team did not focused on sticking with the game plan.
“Especially after what happen between us last season at the tournament,” Ramsey said. “This is turning into a rivalry!”
What happen to the Eagles; Ramsey became lost in the moment and he became aggravated with the calls against the Eagles and then he became animated with the game officials that he received two technical fouls from the bench which is an automatic dismissal from the game.
Like the water of the mighty Cayuga River that rolls toward Lake Erie that is just water under the bridge.
The Eagles need to forget what happen to them last season at the tournament and remember that they can play with Zips and Dambrot knows that his team matches up with the Eagles but it will take a big effort to control Eastern Michigan University power forward Brandon Bowdry
Bowdry is fourth on the scoring list in Eastern Michigan University history with 1,815 points and has scored double figures in 93 regular season games for the Eagles. Bowdry is second in the conference in scoring with 20.1 points
Bowdry provides the emotional edge for the Eagles, he is physical and he plays the game in an excited pace.
Some time though Bowdry emotion spills over and he plays out of control and looks like he is struggling with Ramsey’s game plan.
Ramsey is looking for the Eagles to score points and improve from the field but also from the free throw line.
He is also looking for the Eagles to play the same type of defense that controls the middle of the key area and contain the savvy point guard of the Zips the veteran Darryl Roberts who can pick his moments to go to the basket or pull up for a jump shot but he directs the offense with a maximum effort.
The Eagle defense will be led by sophomore center Jamell Harris, he has according to Ramsey the God-given ability to block shots and make opponents change their shot.
Harris leads the Mid-American Conference with 72 blocks shots but his opponent at Akron sophomore center Zeke Marshall is second in the league with 71 block shots.
Ramsey’s game plan is simple enough the Eagles must control the basketball and take advantage of the shot-clock and force the Zips to play defense, if Ramsey elects to run his four around offense it will be imperative for Harris to make his shots around the basket.
Another key for success for the Eagles will be the ability to score points from the free throw line; the Eagles are 11th in the league shooting a poor 63 percent from the charity stripe.
“We can’t afford to leave points out on the court,” Ramsey said after the Eagles defeated the University of Toledo 69-50, last Saturday afternoon March 5, 2011.
Nieces and nephews the road for tournament success is the trip east bound on the Ohio Turnpike for the Eagles and if they would like to extended the stay in northeast Ohio then the Eagles will have to play defense with emotion and literally compete like they have nothing to lose because-oh man wait for it! – There is no tomorrow!
About the Author
Written by Mel Suiter
Graduated from Eastern Michigan University in 2002 and have been working as a beat writer for The Ypsilanti Courier covering Eastern Michigan University football and men's basketball during my school career and after graduation. I like the Mid-American Conference and the rest of the mid-major conferences.