Eastern Michigan is loaded with talent. They don’t always play to their potential. When they do, they are one of the better teams in the MAC.
Bowling Green is small for a MAC level team. They don’t have the talent level of some of the top contenders in the MAC. Demajeo Wiggins is still raw. That being said, they are incredibly scrappy, and Wiggins has one of the highest ceilings of any MAC player.
James Thompson IV vs. Demajeo Wiggins.
James Thompson IV is averaging 14.4 and 10.8 rebounds per game. Demajeo Wiggins is averaging 10.7 points and 7.5 rebounds. While great players, both have shown they can play better. Both disappear in games at times.
I believe Wiggins disappears because he is raw. He is not confident in what he is trying to do. If/when the light goes off on this kid, I fully expect him to contend for MAC player of the year honors. The more work he puts in, the better he will become. That being said, a bunch of information is circling around in his head. Almost by magic, it will all click together. When that happens is anyone’s guess. He certainly has been putting in the effort, because his FT percentage has jumped 35 points from last season.
I believe Thompson disappears because he is pressing too hard. When things don’t go his way, he gets frustrated. He also is waiting for the light to go off, so to speak. As a big, you just have to let the game come to you. Sometimes your guards aren’t going to get you the ball. Sometimes the other team is going to triple team you. You have to take what they give you, and make the most of your opportunities. If you go into the game with the mindset that you have to get 20 and 12, you are going to fail, miserably.
Willie Mangum IV vs. the ghost of Reggie Miller.
Despite starting only 2 games this season, and averaging 25 minutes a game, Mangum is leading the Eagles in scoring with 16.7 points per game.
His highest scoring game is 28, his lowest is 9. When he heats up, he is fun to watch. When he cools down, I wonder how he made it to D1. He is like a bulkier Reggie Miller.
The thing is, he tends to heat up against the bad teams, and cool down against the good ones. In MAC play, he is shooting 9-32. Against Pitt, SMU and Syracuse, he was 14-47. That’s kind of the opposite of Reggie Miller.
He needs to start hitting in the big games. I know he can do it. He just has to figure out that he can do it.
Ismail Ali vs. the stat sheet
If you just look at this guy’s stats, you will wonder who he paid to get into the starting lineup of a D1 college.
However, the kid is a gamer. He is a facilitator, and he does all the little things that make a team go. He is a coach on the floor. He is fun to watch, as long as you aren’t looking for points.
Both teams are 1-1 in the MAC. Bowling Green is probably happy with that, opening against Akron and Ball State. Eastern Michigan probably is not. For both teams, this game could be key in predicting where end up.
If Bowling Green is going to be a factor in the MAC East, they would most likely win this game.
If Eastern Michigan is going to be a factor in the West, and the MAC tournament, they would most likely win this game.
When: 1/10/2017 at 7pm
Where: The Stroh Center in Bowling Green.
Watch: ESPN3 via stream.
Listen: Wfro Eagle 99 in Bowling Green, WEMU 89.1 in Ypsilanti
Line: Eastern Michigan -2