In my years covering the MAC, the recent Eastern Michigan Eagles basketball team has been the most frustrating team to cover. They should be great, winning a bunch of games, and attending the NCAA tournament. Instead, they have decided to be a middle of the road MAC team, and I don’t know why.
This year starts off no different. James Thompson IV is one of my favorite players in MAC history. Why? He is a combo of two of my favorite NBA players of all time, Allen Iverson and Dennis Rodman. An undersized big man with an edge. He has an over developed competitive streak that sometimes gets him in trouble, which makes him a great player. Elijah Minnie is the 6’9 complete player that every championship team seems to have. Sometimes he is pretty good. Sometimes he can take over a game and create huge match up problems, either hitting jumpers on bigger players or taking smaller players to the rack. Paul Jackson can run a team. This trio, if they were in East Lansing, would be starting and competing for a national championship.
They are in Ypsilanti and there is absolutely no reason they shouldn’t be contending for a MAC championship. My prediction is that they will, in fact compete. If they don’t, it might be time for a regime change.