The Eastern Michigan Eagles started the game slow before Elijah Minnie took over. The 6’9 player had to sit out last season after transferring from Robert Morris. After finding themselves down 6-2, Minnie scored all 13 of the Eagles points as they took a 15-11 lead. Jordan Nobles hit a three and Minnie hit a couple more free throws and the game was effectively over. The final score was 92-60.
I generally don’t get too worked up over blowouts of lesser opponents but the addition of Minnie adds another long and lean body to the already formidable Tim Bond and James Thompson IV. I am not a huge fan of zone defenses in basketball, but when you have the type of active bodies that these three players possess, then it can be exceptionally effective.
A question of mine going into the season was how the guards would handle and distribute the ball. Here the quality of opponent makes a huge difference, but the Eagles only turned the ball over 8 times and managed 19 assists, which is impressive regardless of the competition.
Minnie finished the game with 22 points while Thompson finished with 10 points and 14 rebounds. Malik Ellison, a 5’8 freshman from Flint had 5 assists and a couple of steals. Paul Jackson added 5 assists as well.
Overall, this was an encouraging performance as the Eagles opened the college basketball season. They take on Michigan-Dearborn on Sunday.