Team: Eastern Michigan Eagles
Coach: Rob Murphy
Record Last year: 22-15. 10-8 MAC
Early 2014-15 record: 11-2
*All rankings/stats are among MAC teams unless otherwise noted:
The Eastern Michigan Eagles recently dropped 100 points on an opponent. Not only is that relatively rare in college basketball, but it might seem a little more surprising because EMU is especially known for its defense.
Head coach Rob Murphy signature 2-3 defense can be nearly suffocating at times, especially now that he has had time to fit his roster with complimentary pieces. That defense is pretty much there night in and night out. A question for Eagles fans is how often will the necessary offense be there?
-- EMU shot 22.6 percent from the floor overall and 18.2 percent (4-of-22) in the loss to Michigan State. Just one Eagle player reached double figures, and Raven Lee (12) hit just 3-of-12 from the field. Forward Karrington Ward and Mike Talley, meanwhile, were both 2-for-12.
-- Dayton, Michigan and Michigan State were part of a five-game stretch in which EMU failed to reach 40 percent shooting.
-- EMU is next-to-last in field goal percentage, hitting 41.5% through 13 games. Opponents, however, are connecting on 34.2 percent.
-- Given the 2-3 zone, one might expect EMU to defend against a lot of treys. Such is, in fact, the case as Eastern opponents have launched 312 triples – top among MAC teams. The next closest is 247 (Toledo). EMU opponents have connected on just 28.5 percent of their tries, best among MAC teams.
-- Thanks in part to the recent 100-point explosion, the Eagles rank fourth in scoring offense (72.5 ppg). They are first in scoring defense, allowing 56.9 ppg. The bottom line is a 15.6 ppg scoring margin, good for second in the conference.
-- EMU is seventh in three-point goals (6.8 per game) and 10th in three-point goal percentage (31.1%).
-- Eastern Michigan is third rebounding margin (4.8).
-- The Eagles average 11.1 turnovers against 15.1 per game for the opposition. That’s a MAC-best turnover margin of 4.0. Akron is next best at 3.0.
-- Despite the loss of Glenn Bryant, Daylen Harrison and DaShonte Riley, Eastern leads the conference in blocked shots (72 overall, 5.54 per game). The Eagles are also first in steals (113 total, 8.69 per game).
-- Two players carry double-figure scoring averages: Raven Lee (14.8 ppg) and Karrington Ward (13.8 ppg). Mike Talley is just a shade off with 9.7 ppg.
-- Jodan Price (24), Lee (21) and Ward (19) are the only EMU players with more than seven triples.
-- Eastern Michigan opens its MAC schedule Wed.,Jan. 7 at home against Ball State (7 p.m. ET).