For a round of sMAC talk in preparation for the Eastern Michigan-Western Michigan game, we had an Ohio fan become an EMU fan for a spell and a WMU fan talk about his team.
Kaleb: I CAN STILL WEAR MY GREEN AND WHITE GO EAGLES. Speaking of which, you ready for the Eagles to dig their super sharp talons into your backs on Saturday?
Justin: If by talons you mean super sharp 2-3 zone then yes. WMU has struggled with the zone in the past and had shot the ball poorly from distance as a whole on the season, but I think the buffalo game was a turning point for Bryce Moore and Tucker Haymond shooting the basketball, more so than the NIU game.
Kaleb: Darn right it's sharp. As for Moore, I wouldn't be too reliant on him given the fact that he's still getting acclimated to playing longer minutes. And good for Haymond to start finding his stroke, but that Buffalo game just felt like one good apple in a bunch. The Broncos will never be that consistently good in MAC play, and look for the Eagles to play with a fire after having one stolen away from them last Saturday. If EMU can get Ty Toney going more efficiently, he'll be a great complement.
Justin: WMU certainly has its limitations, and I'm not sure they would characterize it has relying on Moore as much as it is being comforting to know if he gets going the team can be scary good for stretches. The key for the Broncos is just, for the love of God, DONT GO COLD FOR 8 minutes, and Moore is the key to that. Then again, maybe Thomas Wilder picks up the slack on his own, he's more than capable as we've seen
Kaleb: Just like when the Broncos went cold for most of the second half against Ohio! (Sorry, had to throw that shot in there) but I digress. I'm an Eagle fan for this one! Wilder is quite the impressive guard, I've had the pleasure of seeing that. What I also know is that James Thompson and his MAC-leading 11.1 rebounds per game. While Thompson holds down the paint, we'll take the wait and see approach about Raven Lee and what happens there, as there seems to be some type of tiff going on between Lee and Coach Murphy. In the meantime, I have faith that Mangum and Toney can pick up the slack.
Justin: I'm glad you brought up rebounding, because it's the hardest thing to do out of the zone, and it's actually the one thing WMU is really, really good at. The team leads the MAC in offensive rebounds, despite not a single player coming close to 10 total boards per game, meaning you can't just focus checking one guy. I see a lot of rebounds falling into hands of Bronco players on the offensive end - which is good because they tend to miss quite a few shots.
Kaleb: EMU has got this. Western is just way too inconsistent. Iggles gonna get this one.
Justin: if Bryce Moore plays well and Haymond hits some damn free throws the team looks great. Otherwise...