The Eastern Michigan University men’s basketball team will open regular season play against No. 2 ranked Michigan State at 8:30 p.m. Friday in East Lansing.
Ramsey said they prepare for a team like the Spartans just like they do any other team.
“The focus is not on MSU but on us getting better,” Ramsey said. “This game will be a great barometer to see where we are.”
Ramsey said his team will play an aggressive up-tempo style of defense and will be something to watch for on the offensive side of the ball.
“I think we need work at getting better defensively. I think we could be pretty dominant. We’re long, we’re athletic and we move so if we get better defensively it will really help our offense out,” Ramsey said. “It will put us in a position to get a lot of easy buckets.”
The Eagles offense demonstrated its legitimacy by entering the triple digits with a 100-56 win in last Saturday’s exhibition game against Marygrove University.
“Offensively we are probably going to fly around a little bit more than we did in the years past and we are going to play 10 or 11 men a night.”
Last season the Eagles put together their first winning record in 11 years under sixth year head coach Charles Ramsey by finishing 17-15 overall and 8-8 in the Mid-American Conference.
The Eagles aren’t making any predictions, but the team plans to contend for the Mid-American Conference championship with aims at taking the overall MAC championship, as well.
This season the Eagles will be led by senior forward Brandon Bowdry who was recently named to the All-MAC West Division preseason team.
Bowdry was selected to All-MAC second-team last season and was the only MAC player to average a double-double in points and rebounds last season with 16.3 points per game and 10.0 rebounds per game.
“I think he has got a little leaner and a little meaner,” Ramsey said of Bowdry. “He’s improved his leadership abilities and that being said, he should be our best player night in and night out.”
Some notable new recruits joining the Eagles team, which lost two of their top three scorers from a year ago in Carlos Medlock and Justin Dobbins, will be Darrell Lampley, Kenny Stewart and Derek Thompson.
Lampley, 5-foot-10 guard, transfers from Lakeland Community College in Ohio where he averaged 17.9 points per game, 6.8 assists per game and 2.7 steals per game last season.
Stewart, who stands 6-foot-7, transfers in from Weatherford Community College in Texas where he averaged 8.5 points per game, 4.0 rebounds per game and 1.5 assists per game last season.
Thompson, a 6-foot-3 guard originally from Detroit, transfers from Southeast Mississippi State University Thompson where he averaged 8.4 points per game coming off the bench and made 47 three pointers, which was good enough for second most on the team.
Antonio Green, 6-foot-3 junior guard, said everyone should come out and support because they are going to have good team this year.
“I’m pretty excited about the season and the newly acquired transfers,” Green said. “I am expecting a great outcome. We have a great team here at Eastern.”
“I feel as if last year I could’ve made more shots down the stretch, so I’ve been working on taking shots under pressure.”
“We are a work in progress,” Coach Ramsey said of his team. “Our work ethic is excellent. We are going to be fun to watch.”