Enough talk and predictions, tonight we tip off the season and it is a fine test for our Eagles. We have had little (and by little, I mean zero) success against Oakland in the past, and while the Grizzlies are a fine program in their own right, a competitive MAC team should be able to take down a team from the Summit in most years.
This, however, is not most years. This years edition of Oakland is bursting with talent, and if we think expectations are high in Ypsilanti, anything less than a tourney berth would be a disappointment for OU. Which is why tonight is such a quality matchup for Eastern.
Keys for this evening will be establishing Dobbins and Bowdry inside, and developing a threat from beyond the three point line other than Medlock. Is Will Cooper going to step up and play a larger offensive role, or will he settle in as an energy/defense player off the bench? I will be curious to see what Coach Ramsey's rotation looks like. A two point guard attack with Medlock and Frazier on the court at the same time could provide problems for the Grizzlies, and minimize the turnovers that have killed us in the past.
Most importantly, I'll be looking for the fundamentals. Our free throw shooting has been awful the past few years, we need Dobbins and Bowdry to get to the line and convert. We need to show some life on the offensive glass, and again, we need to take care of the rock.
Hopefully my post game analysis will be trumpeting an EMU win. I am looking forward to my first trip to the O-rena and hope to find an enthusiastic atmosphere not unlike a MAC road game for the Eagles. I hope to write of many contributions by the newcomers to the team, and a return to All-MAC form for Medlock.