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Tuesday Tidbits: Between the holidays

December 28, 2010

Matt Hinton of the Dr. Saturday blog lists EMU as the eighth-worst football team of 2010. I’m sure that he, like everyone else, had them as one of the two worst in 2009, so this is undoubtedly an improvement.

In per capita terms, the Eagles were one of the most improved teams in the country, rebounding from an 0-12 catastrophe in coach Ron English’s debut with a pair of skin-of-the-teeth triumphs over Ball State and Buffalo in Year Two. That wasn’t good enough to get them out of the MAC West cellar, mostly thanks to a defense that came in 119th out of 120 teams in rushing, pass efficiency and scoring D, allowing upwards of 40 points in seven different games.

We’ve previously mentioned at least one, but the EMU volleyball team recently announced four signees who will join the team next year: Megan Crawshaw (Mattawan HS, MI), Natalie Folk (Saline HS, MI), Kelsey Jones (Reed City HS, MI) and Katie Krasowski (Marist HS, Oak Lawn, IL).

Although the men’s basketball team went 1-1 last week, Brandon Bowdry was named the MAC Player of the Week for the second time this season and the sixth time in his career. Bowdry registered a double-double in each game, totalling 46 points and 24 rebounds. More meaningfully, in my opinion, these were Bowdry’s two most offensively efficient games of the season; he combined for 13-21 field goal shooting (61.9%) and 19-21 free throw shooting (90.5%), both far above his season averages of 46.6% and 68.8%, respectively.

The EMU women’s basketball team did surprisingly (to me) well last week, handing Temple their first loss to a MAC team since January 2008 — the Owls had won 12 straight games against MAC teams — and following that up with a win over the University of Illinois at Chicago. Senior Cassie Schrock led the Eagles in both games, with 13 points and 16 rebounds against the Owls and 18 points and 8 rebounds against the Flame. The Eagles are now 8-5, and play the final game of their six-game home stand (and of the non-conference schedule) at 7 pm tonight against the Niagara Purple Eagles (1-9). EMU will begin the MAC schedule next Wednesday (1/5/11) at Northern Illinois, in what will be their first road game in more than a month.

The EMU wrestling team will compete in the 48th annual Midlands Championship at Northwestern University on Wednesday and Thursday. Head coach Derek DelPorto had this to say about the event:

The Midlands is a very deep field with many of the top teams in the country. It is also a great opportunity for us to see the teams we don’t normally run into during the regular season. I think if you can place at the Midlands it is a preview of what your potential is for the postseason.

In EMU’s last trip to the Midlands Championship in 2008, the Eagles placed 23rd.

I commented on USA Today’s data on Ron English’s pay a few weeks ago, but I just noticed (via that USA Today also has assistant coach data. EMU’s first-year defensive coordinator, Phil Snow, was the highest-paid assistant coach in the MAC, by a fair amount — in fact, he made more than one current and one former MAC head coach! — but he’s also probably got the longest resume of any MAC assistant coach, having 18 prior years as defensive coordinator at Boise State, Arizona State, UCLA, and Washington, plus five years as an assistant coach with the Detroit Lions. If he can get EMU’s defense out of the cellar, he’ll be worth his (relatively) high pay.

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