Senior spotlight: Mike Talley III
Talley will leave EMU at the end of the season reaching past the 1,000 point plateau for his collegiate career and brought plenty of experience to the Eagles in his two years playing for the green and white.
Major: Sports Management
High School: Melvindale Academy of Business and Technology
Talley transferred to EMU after two years at Duquesne. Talley transferred to EMU because he wanted to be closer to home.
“Coach Murphy had some influence on my decision,” Talley said. “And the location was the big part [of what] attracted me here. [I’m] Not too far from home and I have family in Ypsilanti. It’s just being close to home.”
Talley reached a milestone with 1,000 points for his career against Northern Illinois Jan. 17, in his time at both EMU and Duquesne.
“It’s just a testament of my hard work. I come to practice every day with the same effort because you can’t get these days back. It’s just how I’ve always been taught to play,” Talley said.
Talley cites his father’s influences as guiding him as a player. His father, Mike Jr., was named “Mr. Basketball” in the State of Michigan in 1989 while at Detroit Cooley High School and helped Cooley win three consecutive state championships. Talley’s father coached Mike in high school at Melvindale.
“I played for my father at Melvindale, and we won a state championship there my senior year,” Talley said. “I played with a chip on my shoulder with knowing my father won three straight state championships. So it was always ‘Well, you’re Mike Talley’s son, so I had to make a name for myself. So he was kinda tough on me growing up of course, being the coach’s son, but it instilled toughness in me and that’s what I needed for my playing career.”
So how does a player with this many accomplishments spend his free time?
“I play a lot of video games,” Talley said. “My class schedule isn’t as grueling [now] as it was for undergrad, but I play a lot of games, I watch a lot of basketball. I sit around at home and just chill when I am not playing.”
Transitioning back to the court, Talley feels there had been struggles but some bright spots.
“We dealt with adversity,” Talley said. “[We] Started off 11-2 in non-conference and started to struggle at beginning of MAC play...I feel like I’m having a good year. I wasn’t starting in the first half of the year and I had to adjust to coming off the bench. But, now that that’s changed, I just have to bring my leadership on and off the court and make examples for the team.”
Like his fellow senior Karrington Ward, Talley sees plenty of potential from the program in the future.
“[I expect to] See the growth as far as the win column. This is my second year playing, but my first year here was the first winning season in a while and I just want to see that continue.”
What does Mike Talley have planned after college?
“After basketball and college, I just want to affect the game in some way,” Talley said. “Whether it’s being a grad assistant coach or playing some other leagues. That’s just a decision me and my family will have to figure out.”