YPSILANTI — The sun had raced across the sky and it reached the point were it was ready to sit in the west.
Inside the athletic compound on the north side of the campus of Eastern Michigan University are a group of offices that contain the Office of Basketball Operations and the office of Eagles men’s basketball coach Rob Murphy.
Murphy pushes his big chair away from his paper littered desk and stands up with his hand still holding onto his phone.
Yes the phone continues to ring with prospect wanting to know how to get to Ypsilanti, Michigan.
Murphy has all ready given directions to a 5-foot-11 point guard with local ties and is transferring from a basketball rich tradition Duquesne University located in Pittsburgh, Mike Talley is excited to come back to Michigan.
“I wanted to come home and find a place where I can be a part of a program and do special things,” Talley said about his decision to contact Murphy. “I see that the EMU program is on the rise, I just want to win and I have heard that coach Murphy is there turning things around and that he is a winner and that everybody wants to play for him.”
Talley began his basketball career in the neighborhood and in the city of Ypsilanti at West Junior High School before he attended Melvindale ABT were he played under the direction of his father Mike Talley Sr.
Talley was a finalist for Michigan’s 2010 Mister Basketball Award averaging 31.2 points and eight assist while leading his team to the 2009-10 Class C state of Michigan champion title.
Talley played two seasons at Duquesne University and playing in the competitive Atlantic-10 Conference. Last season he averaged 7.5 points and 2.0 assists in 27 appearances for the Dukes.
“Mike brings leadership along with lots of playing experience to our backcourt,” Murphy said about the addition of Talley to his squad. “His skill level, work ethic and winning attitude will help him make an immediate impact on our program.”
His impact will not immediate because under the guidelines and the rules of the NCAA Talley will have to sit out the 2012-13 season.
Murphy quest to find help, a point guard to run the offense keeps his phone busy both day and night, he even is answering long distance calls from far away places like the state of North Carolina – a basketball heaven.
Signing a national letter of intent to play basketball at Eastern Michigan University, Jalen Ross will bring his skills as a point guard to the court for the Eagles.
Ross played high school basketball at Greensboro Country Day and he was honored by the Piedmont Athletic Conference of Independent Schools All-Conference selection.
Ross averaged 10 points and 5.2 assist while shooting percentage of 52 percent from the field and Ross is an accurate free throw shooter making 88 percent from the line.
“We are excited about Jalen’s leadership abilities along with his overall basketball skill set,” Murphy said about his newest member of the Eastern Michigan University basketball team. “Jalen’s high basketball IQ, along with his understanding of the game-will make him an early contributor in our program.”
Ross is a solid basketball player his mother Kim Key is a graduate of Ann Arbor Pioneer High School and then she played four years at Saginaw Valley State University, her name appears in the Cardinal record book finishing in the top 10 in assist, steal, field goal made and games played.
Ross’ father Frank Ross scored 1900 points playing at American University and was drafted to play in the National Basketball Association by the Philadelphia 76ers.
“After talking to the coaches, I know they have high goals of playing in the NCAA Tournament. I know I’ll have an opportunity to compete at a high level,” Ross said. “I just feel comfortable with the coaching staff and the direction they were headed with the program.”
With the evening sun setting and the hour growing late, Murphy walks away from his desk and reaches for the light switch to end another busy day building a strong and respected basketball program but tomorrow morning the phone will continue to ring and Murphy will answer the calls.
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.