Eastern Michigan and Bowling Green are set for a Saturday showdown in the Convocation Center in Ypsilanti at 2 p.m.. Both come in at 2-1 in MAC play and have similar records of 10-6 and 11-5 respectively. This could make for a good one. So instead of a typical preview, we asked two fans what would be the keys to victory for their team.
Alex Alvarado's three keys for EMU are:
1. No easy passes to the paint
"As a general rule, you don't want the ball around the basket," said Captain Obvious.
The identity of the Eagles has strayed a bit this season, because if you'll recall, there were a lot of games a year ago where the Eagles were holding teams to under 60 points. Well, now EMU is getting in shootouts. That's all fine and dandy as long as it is consistently keeping people out of the paint against the zone. Passes into the middle of the zone will create easy gimmes or collapse the defense and create open opportunities for shooters on the perimeter. Don't make things any easier for the BG offense.
2. Get Spencer Parker in foul trouble
A BG team without Spencer Parker really lacks any post presence. Rasheed Worrell could sustain enough to keep BG in the game, but probably isn't enough to keep the monster known as James Thompson out of the paint. Parker is playing 26.2 minutes per game and his influence is limited because of that. If the bigs can grab a couple quick fouls on Parker, it could really inhibit the game plan for BG.
3. Have Raven Lee shoot better than 60 percent from the floor
Now healthy, redshirt-junior guard Raven Lee hasn't torched the nets from many games but has put up a steady dose of point totals around 15. If he managed to have another game like Central Michigan (10-13, 32 points), you're going to see another EMU home win.
Matt Daley's three keys for BG are:
1. BGSU needs at least 10 points and 7 rebounds from Denny.
Bowling Green lives through the steady contributions of Spencer Parker and Zack Denny, but usually has someone find a way to con tribute on a nightly basis. But interestingly enough for the Falcons, a trend emerges when Denny hits particular numbers. BG is 10-2 when Denny scores in double-digits and is 7-1 when he grabs at least 7 rebounds. (Thanks for that fun stat Matt.)
2. Must shoot 45 percent from the floor
This season, BG is 9-0 when they're shooting at least 45 percent from the floor. Need we say more?
3. Limit Willie Mangum's scoring.
Mangum might not be getting as much attention as Raven Lee and James Thompson, but his contributions sure have been mighty. Thompson will get his double-double, Lee will get his shots, but how about Mangum? His complimentary 13.9 points per game likely wasn't expected coming in as a transfer, but boy has he been big. Just last week, his failure to score against NIU hurt EMU in its loss to Northern Illinois. Against Louisville? 4 points. If BG can lessen the influence of Mangum and the rest of the Eagle supporting cast, they'll be in good position for a win on Saturday.