ROMULUS — Your old pal, Uncle Mel sat in his oversize chair behind his undersized desk with the itinerary in front of his eyes and then at the schedule. Looking up at the Editor-in-Chief of the News Gathering Compound which is located within an bird’s-eye view of the airport that welcomes visitors to the city of Detroit and just smiled.
With keys in hand to the official News Gathering Compound vehicle, Uncle Mel picked up the briefcase, walked out the door and into the vehicle and with the engine warming up. Uncle Mel slip the seatbelt around him and began heading south toward the Ohio River and beyond into the grand commonwealth of Kentucky.
That is right nieces and nephews your Uncle Mel will be ringing in the new year where the Burlington Leaf grows, what is supposed to be blue grass covering the rolling hills and pastures, coal miner’s daughters that live in a holler and get the water from a well, were thoroughbreds run free and easy and is the home of the University of Kentucky basketball.
The Wildcats will share with Eastern Michigan University the bright spotlight as both teams step on the holy court of Adolph Rupp Arena, in Lexington, Kentucky, Wednesday night beginning at 6 p.m.
It will be the first time in history that these two programs will meet on the hard floor of the basketball court.
Now nieces and nephews let Uncle Mel put your worried minds at ease and if you have any visions of grandeur please-just forget about it. Oh Uncle Mel knows that there are miracles that happen everyday but in order for the Eagles to run off of the floor at Rupp Arena with a win there would be a major investigation by the NCAA, the University of Kentucky, the CIA and the Mayans would be right because the world would be at the end.
Eastern Michigan University basketball coach Rob Murphy is gaining a reputation that he will play anybody, at any time and at any place.
Twice all ready in Murphy’s tenure, his team has visited Syracuse University and this season the Eagles have faced the No. 2 team in the country, the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor at Chrysler Arena. After visiting the University of Kentucky, Wednesday night, Murphy and the Eagles will be boarding an airline plane and fly into Boston for a date this Saturday afternoon. The Eagles will play the University of Massachusetts.
Now Uncle Mel was told by a former basketball coach at Eastern Michigan University and by Murphy that big-time opponents give your players some experience and your program gets great exposure.
Uncle Mel knows a couple of things that will be exposed against Kentucky.
Eastern Michigan University will play their zone defense.
Murphy is also hoping that there will be some kind of consistency on offense and it will be exposed because the Eagles are going to need all the points that they can get against the talented Wildcats.
Murphy also knows that the Wildcats will be in a bad mood after losing Saturday afternoon, 80-77 against the University of Louisville inside the KFC Yum Center in Louisville.
University of Kentucky basketball coach John Callpari watched his team score 49 points in the second half against the Cardinals but he watched his team struggle at the free throw line only making 47.8 percent of their free throws.
Meanwhile late Friday night in Ypsilanti, at Eastern Michigan University inside the Convocation Center, the Eagles were still feeling on top of the world after defeating Siena Heights University 87-49, from the city of Adrian, Michigan and play in the NAIA.
The Eagles jumped out right away and scored the first 14 points of the game and went on to defeat the Saints 87-49, in front of a sparse crowd.
Eagles senior point guard Derek Thompson led all scores with 17 points and was one-of-four Eagles that scored double figures.
Siena Heights University will not be mistaken for the talented team at the University of Kentucky.
Uncle Mel did witness the zone being played with perfection against the upset of Purdue University at the Convocation Center. Uncle Mel watch the Wildcats struggle against the zone defense that the Cardinals used and Louisville also used a full court press against the Wildcats.
With that being said, Uncle Mel also saw the Wildcats against the Cardinals and what your old Uncle saw, is that even the eighth or ninth player coming off the bench for the University of Kentucky is a talented basketball player.
At the conclusion of the Star Spangled Banner and the lights are turned up and the young Eagles and Uncle Mel will look up at the banners draping the rafters and feel the rich tradition fall upon them like Kentucky Bourbon whiskey falling neatly into a glass- they just have to drink it up and enjoy the experience.
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.