Glenn Bryant transferred from the University of Arkansas to Eastern Michigan in 2011. Sitting out for a year, but still able to practice, coaches singled him out as a recipient as the Jack Brusewitz Triple E Award for Effort, Energy and Enthusiasm.
Those are exactly what Bryant brought to the table in his first season as an Eagle.
"[This year,] expect me to go as hard as I can so my team can be successful," Bryant said in an interview.
Bryant, a very exciting player to watch on both ends of the court that will block a shot and go coast-to-coast with a two-hand throw down, will cap it off with one of the most intimidating stare downs you'll ever witness. Coming up on his final year of eligibility, the redshirt-senior will have to do a lot more to help his team do better than a 16-18 record.
"Win more games, win the MAC tournament. Those are my two goals going into this season."
Anybody that's watched a Rob Murphy-coached game knows what his number one priority is: defense. If you don't play defense, you don't play, and Bryant got a lot of playing time last year. Averaging 27.4 minutes per game, Bryant totaled 57 turnovers, 44 blocks, 31 steals and 93 defensive rebounds. He wasn't a one-man band though, all of this wouldn't have been possible without the help from Da'Shonte Riley getting a large sum of the blocks and Jalen Ross, Daylen Harrison and J.R. Sims creating a ton of steals to keep the ball out of the other teams' hands.
Having to replace graduates Jamell Harris and Derek Thompson, the Eagles received JUCO transfer Lekan Ajayi and graduate student Mo Hughley. Both are really big guys, which means that anybody wanting to drive down the lane with these guys down low in the post might have to pay a cover charge before heading into the block party.
"We really should surprise a lot of teams out there that's counting us out," Bryant said. "They've got us coming out pretty low in the MAC, but at the end of the year, I don't think that's going to be the case at all."
Heading into this season, there is a sense of urgency with this team, and with good reason. This team has all of the talent in the world (well, Kentucky's recruiting class is better than the Fab 5's, but I digress) and it'd be a real disappointment if Bryant and the Eagles had any sort of decline from last season. This is the last season as an Eagle for six players, so you know that these guys are going to make the most out of it.