Oakland and Eastern Michigan battle between Mid-Majors should be interesting

December 20, 2012 in Division I

By Patrick Hayes

Eastern Michigan hosts Oakland University on Saturday in what should be an interesting matchup — Eastern as the school with a rich basketball history, Oakland as still a relatively new Division I program, but one with a much better immediate history than Eastern.

But the Eagles are showing some signs of life over the last two seasons, and Jeremy of EMU blog Eagle Totem thinks a win over Oakland on Saturday could be another positive step in Eastern reinvigorating some of that dormant basketball past:

  • Eastern will play its most important non-conference game this week, against an in-state foe.  Of course I am talking about the Oakland Grizzlies, who will visit the Convo this Saturday.  Thursday night, I think the best we can hope for is a better showing against our cousins down the road than Western’s 73-41 drubbing earlier this month.
  • In better days for EMU, in this case 1997, Earl Boykins and the Eagles ventured over to Ann Arbor and beat a Michigan team led by Louis Bullock and Tractor Traylor (RIP) by the score of 89-83.  The hero of that game was the always underappreciated James Head, who hit a big three in the closing minutes to put a dagger in U-M’s hopes.
  • In 1997 Oakland was a fledgling program, it would have been quite a leap of faith to believe Oakland would surpass EMU in hoops, but the evidence over the last decade is pretty clearly in Oakland’s favor.  The game this Saturday is a nice opportunity to begin to change that.

Tip-off for Saturday’s game is 2 p.m. in Ypsilanti.

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