In his fifth year, Charles Ramsey's EMU Eagles finished 17-15 overall (his first winning season) and had some pretty nice wins: at Oakland, at Akron, vs. OHIO, and their season ended on a double-overtime classic against Akron in the MAC Tournament. They lost two seniors heading into 2010-11, and admittedly they were their two top scorers, but they returned Brandon Bowdry and a wealth of talent.
They underperformed badly. Finishing 9-22 and 5-11 in the conference, EMU was the second-to-worst team in the conference, and that nine wins is rather padded — three of them were against non-D1 schools. And two were wins over Toledo. So.
Despite Bowdry's gaudy numbers, nobody else stepped up. Derek Thompson improved marginally. Antonio Green regressed. Jay Higgins was a little better defensively, but his offense was down. Only Bowdry and backup center Kamil Janton had a FG% of higher than 40 percent. Bowdry, who is not very good at 3-point shooting, was their second best 3-point shooter. Try as hard as they might have, the season was a collective horse pile.
This goes on the coach. EMU was patient with Ramsey, perhaps since he was born in Ypsilanti and it's hard to say no to a native son. But with one year left on the ol' contract, he's been bought out and all his assistants were sent packing.
Is it totally the coach's fault? Perhaps. But there was more than six Division I wins left in this team. And, honestly, if you're winning six Division I games in your sixth Division I year, ANYONE is bound to be shown the door.
Ramsey is at peace with the decision, and he will probably coach somewhere else. However, the chairman of EMU's Board of Regents isn't too keen with spending money on a six-figure buyout. Then again is something a businessman always needs to worry about, and it's truly the only sensible argument for keeping him. For now it's Eastern's job to find somebody who can return the Eagles to the prominence they had back in the '90s.