YPSILANTI —- After Wednesday’s night 60-52, defeat and helping the University of Akron continue their winning streak which now stands at 16 and the streak is No. 1 in the nation.
Eastern Michigan University men’s basketball coach Rob Murphy sat behind his desk and then looked up from the top desktop and he told Uncle Mel that he needed to get something off of his chest and clear the air.
Murphy said as long as he has been here, he believes that he has been a fair person and communicating with the media before and after the games, practices and has an open door policy.
“I speak to you guys and I give you all of the information that you need,” Murphy said. “Win, lose or draw I am always the same guy no matter what but it was brought to my attention because I said some commit about were going in the right direction, we as a program we are on our way and then it was said that I am going to the NBA.”
“It is unfair for that to be written. It is unfair to the players on this team when they see it. It’s unfair to our university,” Murphy continued speaking to Uncle Mel. “It is really unfair to my assistants and me when we are out here recruiting and got three or four or five guys on the hook that we want to come here for next year.”
Now nieces and nephews, it is true that during the summer the Orlando Magic of the National Basketball Association did extend and offered a position to Murphy but he turned them down and choose to stay in Ypsilanti and at Eastern Michigan University.
Now your old Uncle needs to throw down the soap box, step up and say something.
The basketball fans of Eastern Michigan University that watch this program, the students that go to school at this fine school and that includes the players that practice everyday – this basketball program needs Murphy to stay in Ypsilanti and guide this program to the promise land of milk and honey.
Uncle Mel wiped away the sweat from his brow and said thank you to the coach up in the sky that Murphy decided to stay here and be a part of this community and the basketball program at Eastern Michigan University.
Even though your old Uncle Mel is not an expert but he has seen a lot of Eastern Michigan University basketball.
Uncle Mel fondly remember the days of the glory years of coach Ben Braun, the show on the court that included Milton Barns directing the symphony, the very dull days and nights of Jim Boone and of course the rocky and sometime volatile days of Charles Ramsey.
Uncle Mel has seen days and nights of the NCAA tournament sweet 16 appearances, the miracle of Earl Boykins, the mystery of Ricky Cottrail and the wasted days and nights of a talented Brandon Bowdry that slip by unnoticed like the deep water of the Huron River.
Eastern Michigan University sponsors 22 different sports but in Uncle Mel’s opinion that Eastern Michigan University is a bona-fide basketball school with a rich past with plenty of tradition.
The rich history of Eastern Michigan University basketball can only get richer and will benefit from Murphy directing this basketball program.
Is he fair?
The answer to that question is a hardy yes, he is fair to his players, coaches and to the university that employees him.
He is also fair to the fans that follow the Eagles because Uncle Mel believes that Murphy recognizes just how hungry for success that the fans have for a winning high profile team and the fans of Eagle basketball want this program to be directed to go the right way and that the program is in great shape.
Make no mistake about it, Murphy wants to win every game that he coaches but he is also smart enough to know that right now his program is at a stage were it is still developing but remember that there is a rich tradition for this team to seek out and find in order to learn and to grow.
Murphy wants the players that he is privileged to be able to coach just to be successful and enjoy playing college basketball.
“The big picture, the program is in great shape and we are on our way, Murphy said. “We’re getting better we are seeing exactly what we need to see the guy we sign early with the two or three guys we are recruiting right now with Ray Lee coming back and with the experience of Glenn a year under his belt and Daylen I think that we can be good moving forward next year.”
“My soul focus is building this program and getting better this year and the next year,” Murphy said. “That stuff was put to rest back in September, I have no intent on leaving. I love being here, this is home for me, my whole family lives here I grew up 30 minutes from this place I watched it be successful.”
The focus of watching the future of this basketball program is about to unfold just like the Huron River there are a lot of twist and curves as it flows but with Murphy at the helm of this program-it is full speed ahead and the rest will be smooth sailing.
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.