Alex: I triple-dog dare you to give me two reasons why Ball State thinks that they can come to Ypsilanti and hand the Eagles their first home loss of the season.
Keith: Damn. Can it be why the Cardinals will cover? Ok, I'll take my best shot.
1. Unknown commodities. The team is young anyway, but Eastern will be tasked with handling the virtually unknown Jeremiah Davis. Davis is a Muncie product who transferred to Ball State from Cincinnati. He applied to waive the one year residency requirement for transfer students, and in its infinite wisdom, the NCAA granted the request. He played 17 minutes against Bethune-Cookman on Saturday. 2 points, 2 steals, 3 rebounds, 17 minutes. That's what Eastern Michigan knows about Jeremiah Davis.
2. Live by the three, die by the three. Ball State is 55th in the country in three point shooting, Showing that MAC basketball is not all that different than MAC football, that's only good for fifth in the league. That said, the Cardinal front court will have its hands full with an Eastern Michigan team that is tenth in the country in rebounding. The triples they will be a-plentiful. If they start to fall, Ypsilanti may be upset city.
3. We're not scared of tough road opponents. Ball State opened the season on November 14th at #25 Utah. That was a six point game with 5:06 remaining. December 20th, Ball State traveled to then #19 San Diego State. the Cardinals had several cracks at keeping it within single digits midway through the second half. Eventually we are going to put together a complete game on the road and you know it. Might be against you.
Alex: Nah man, covering ain't good enough.
1. Hey, we have that too. Well, not so much from freshmen, but first year Eagles. Sure Karrington Ward, Mike Talley and Raven Lee are all continuing to make a big impact this year, but we're seeing solid contributions from Mike Samuels, Anali Okoloji and Jerome Hunter to fill some shoes of the guys that graduated last year.
2. Shooting the 3 is how you beat the 2-3 zone, which will be key for the Eagles to stop. But, thankfully, we're holding opponents to under 30 percent shooting in that category.
3. Sure you could brag about the tough opponents that you lost to, but shouldn't you be studying or something?
Keith: You know this isn't North Carolina, so yes, we do handle academic issues by hitting those books harder. I did a little studying of my own though, and learned you were out-rebounded by 1-11 Coppin State in your last game that counted. So maybe that front court won't be a big concern.
Alex: Beg to differ, especially when a quick Google search will show you that Eastern Michigan is tied for ninth in the nation with 41.4 boards per game, while your Cards are tenth in the MAC with 34.4. So yeah, maybe the front court won't be a big concern (punny), but that all depends on who you ask.
Keith: Gotcha. So what you're saying is that you're good in the post, as long as you're not playing Coppin State.
Alex: I guess. Who do we play tonight? Not Coppin State?
Sounds good to me. [thumbs up emoji]
Keith: Coppin State owns your paint.
Line is out. 12.5. Surprised?
Alex: In EMU's favor? not at all. I'm also not surprised that we're undefeated at home (albiet, weaker opponents, but good teams don't lose at home, either), nor am I surprised you've yet to win a road game.
Hey, did you hear EMU beat Michigan on the road? Also, got any predictions?
Keith: Of course in EMU's favor, you Vegas virgin.
Michigan on the road means less everyday and you know it. There will be road conference victories that will impress me more.
Anyway, I'm happy to keep it competitive. That's call it 70-61, EMU. But if we leave Ypsilanti with a W, I will remind you everyday for the rest of the season.
Alex: I'm actually going to Vegas at the end of February, which will be my first time there, so you're right on that one.
My prediction is 73-50, EMU. #AndBoomGoesTheDynamite