Probably the last item for the 2010 soccer season, senior EMU goalie Monique Budani was named the MAC Defensive Player of the Year. In addition, Budani and senior Paige Sheridan were named to the All-MAC first team. Junior Julie Kaim and freshman Stephanie Clarke were named to the All-MAC second team, and Clarke was also named to the MAC All-Freshman team. Budani led the MAC with 146 saves for the season, an incredible 50 more than her closest competitor. She also led the MAC with a .874 save percentage while posting a 1.03 goals-against average. Budani will graduate with EMU’s single-season and career saves and save percentage (.872) records. She is also second on the all-time list in minutes played, second in shutouts (23), third in wins (27), and third in goals-against average (0.94). … Recent former Eagle Carlos Medlock was selected by the Utah Flash in the sixth round of the 2010 NBA Developmental League Draft last week. That makes him the 89th pick overall in the NBADLD, which is really pretty far down the pro basketball food chain, but it will at least give him a chance to show what he’s got. … EMU announced the Eagle All-Access and WEMU broadcast schedule for men’s and women’s basketball games. … Last Wednesday, the EMU women’s basketball team won their second, and final, pre-season exhibition, defeating the Division II Northwood Timberwolves 96-49. The regular season begins this Friday at 7 pm at the Convocation Center, with a game against the Loyola (Chicago) Ramblers of the Horizon League. The schedule then gets much tougher, with a Sunday (11/14/10) game at Ohio State. The team also announced the addition of a home game against Canisius College at 4 pm on December 11, which will make a doubleheader with the men’s team facing Detroit Mercy at 2 pm. For the women, that will come amidst a massive homestand; from 12/6 through 12/28 they’ll play six consecutive home games, and 9 of 10 games from 12/6 through 1/15 will be in the Convo. … Meanwhile, the men’s basketball team played their one and only exhibition game of the season on Saturday, crushing Marygrove College (NAIA) 100-56. The Eagles showed off their depth, with seven players getting 20 minutes or more but none going over 30 minutes, and the same seven players all scoring in double digits. EMU pretty well shut down Marygrove’s inside game, holding the Mustangs to just 25.9% of their 2-point shots. Areas in which the Eagles will need to do better include rebounding (EMU did win the rebounding battle 47-32, but it probably should be more lopsided in a matchup like this), 3-point defense (allowed Marygrove to shoot 61.5% from beyond the arc), and free throw shooting (EMU made just 19 of 31 shots, 61.3%). Yes, you read that correctly, Marygrove made a higher percentage of their 3-point shots than EMU did of their free throws. That has the potential to be a huge problem going forward, as the Eagles face tougher competition. In addition to what I’ve already shared, there are several more season previews now out. Sporting News Radio previews the MAC. About EMU, they say:
Coach Ramsey can rest easy knowing that one of the best players in the MAC resides on his roster. Brandon Bowdry averaged a double- double last season (16.3 ppg, 10.0 rpg), and gives the Eagles an athletic spark on the floor. Bowdry gives a consistent effort and has a non-stop motor that makes him a force during each matchup. However, after Bowdry there isn’t a whole lot in terms of offensive punch for Eastern Michigan.
The Detroit News preview of EMU also focuses on Brandon Bowdry, quoting him extensively:
My main goal is to get a conference championship…[Eastern] did a lot for me and I want to give back to them. This year, we plan on doing everything right…I dropped 30 pounds over the summer so I could become more agile…I’m more explosive off the quick jump and I can move better.
Last year they were a very scrappy three-headed monster with Medlock/Bowdry/Dobbins acting as the three leaders, but only Bowdry remains. Who’s going to replace all those three-pointers, and who will guard the big men? They probably underwhelmed coach Ramsey last year with a .500 MAC record, and I don’t know if they can be much better than that, but they look like a team that has a tournament run in them. Of course, I said that last year. Nevertheless, it’s going to be Bowdry and friends who just might surprise everybody in the West.
… EMU’s women’s swimming and diving team lost badly, 193.5 to 95.5, to Miami University. With the loss, EMU is now 0-3 for the season. This Friday, the men’s and women’s swimming and diving teams will head to Purdue. … EMU’s wrestling season began Saturday with the EMU Open. Junior Filiberto Colon won the 133 pound weight class, and five other EMU wrestlers reached the finals. Next up for the Eagles is the Michigan State Open this Saturday. … Periodically we do talk about things that aren’t part of EMU’s athletic department. Sometimes it’s cheerleading, sometimes band, sometimes the club hockey team, and today it’s Mixed Martial Arts. Apparently EMU has an MMA club with about 17-22 members, according to a feature in the Eastern Echo, three of them will be fighting in televised (pay per view) matches this Friday at 8 pm. It’s the Independent Fight League’s IFL Armageddon event in Cincinnati. If you’d like to watch but don’t feel like forking over the dough for PPV, there will be a watch party starting at 7:30 pm in the Walton/Putnam Lounge in the first year center. … After a week off, the men’s and women’s cross country teams will head to the Great Lakes Regional, close to home in Rochester, Michigan. Last year the men finished ninth overall, second among MAC schools and second among Michigan schools (behind runner up Michigan State), while the women finished sixteenth overall. Among individual performers, watch for the three All-MAC runners: Terefe Ejigu, this year’s MAC men’s individual champion, Harry Dixon, 12th place in the MAC, and for the women, of course, Courtney Calka, who has led the Eagles in every race she’s run, most recently finishing in fifth place in the MAC. … Last, but very definitely not least, the EMU volleyball team split their final home matches over the weekend, falling 3-2 to the MAC-leading Ball State Cardinals and sweeping the worst-in-the-West Toledo Rockets 3-0 on Senior Night. With a 12-2 conference record, Ball State is now guaranteed at least a share of the regular season MAC title, and since they’re two games ahead of EMU with two games remaining, and holding a tie-breaker (2-0 in head-to-head competition) over the Eagles, the best EMU can finish is second place in the West Division (and overall), which would give them the #3 seed in the MAC tournament. At 10-4 in the MAC, EMU is currently tied for second place with Northern Illinois and Western Michigan, but those ties will be broken this weekend; the Eagles will play in DeKalb at 6 pm on Friday before heading to Kalamazoo for their regular season finale at 7 pm on Saturday. In practical terms, that means that by winning their games, the Eagles will guarantee themselves a second-place finish and the #3 seed in the MAC tournament. If they lose both games, they’ll drop to fourth in the West, and the #5 tournament seed, which will require them to host a first-round game (probably against either Central Michigan or Akron) rather than getting a bye. If they split the games this weekend, it will depend on how Western Michigan and Northern Illinois each do in their other games, and may get messy with tie-breakers.