EIU Panthers

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Life In A FishBowl

Ever wonder what it's like to be a fish staring out at the great unknown?
If you take out the cartoon versions of what people think fish are thinking like Finding Nemo or the Little Mermaid - the next closest item in real life to feeling like a fish in the bowl are athletes and coaches.
Think about it. Every play scrutinized. Every successful venture applauded (like a treat for your pet). Every disappointment played out in full view of the public. You have to give credit to those athletes and coaches for bouncing back and heading into their jobs each and every day. -- Granted it's much easier to do when you making a $1 million a game like some pro athletes.
Any way the Panthers basketball teams will have a chance to once again jump into the fish bowl on Wednesday and Saturday this week. The EIU men are at home in Lantz Arena both days on Wednesday against Ball State and Saturday vs. Western Illinois. The women's team is at Indiana State on Wednesday and home hosting Illinois-Chicago on Saturday.
So without further ado we take a quick look at some Know Your Opponent Facts on each of these schools:
Ball State
1.) The school name Ball State is derived for the Ball Brother's Glass Company which was located in the area in the early 1900's.
2.) The University's entrepreneurship program has been rated in the top five in the nation each of the last three years.
3.) Famous alumni include TV personality David Letterman, NBA player Bonzi Wells and Three's Company actress Joyce DeWitt.
Indiana State
1.) The list of famous alumni has to start with NBA Legend Larry Bird, former Major League baseball player Tommy John and Volkswagen of America COO Mark Barnes
2.) The campus sets aside a day each fall to work on campus projects called Donaghy Day
3.) The Indiana State Tricycle Derby was started on campus in 1963
1.) The school originally opened as Chicago Circle based on its close proximity to the downtown Chicago Circle (Loop) it was located next to.
2.) One out of every ten Chicago residents with a college degree has one from UIC
3.) The campus has been used for many movie and TV sets including the UIC Police Department as the early setting for Hill Street Blues
Western Illinois
1.) Western Illinois was founded in 1899 as the Normal School to accommodate teaching needs in the western part of the state near what would later become known as the Quad Cities.
2.) Famous alumni include actor Michael Boatman and NFL players Bryan Cox and Rodney Harrison.
3.) The mascot Leathernecks is named after former athletic director and US Marine Rocky Hanson.

Saturday, December 4, 2010

One Week, Almost Four Wins

With 8:25 left in the second half of tonight's Eastern Illinois men's game against Austin Peay all seemed to be going the Panthers way.

EIU was on the verge of a four-game sweep of Ohio Valley Conference games which would have put the EIU men and EIU women on top of the early OVC standings with a 2-0 record.

Then the proverbial wheels came off as the Panthers could not execute an inbounds pass on several occasions and eventually fell in overtime to the Governors to stand at 1-1.

EIU's men had to battle through a tough game on Thursday to win by one point against Tennessee State. But still a 1-1 conference mark is still a good start as EIU now preps for a second game against Ball State on Wednesday.

The Panther women on the other hand seemed to cruise to a pair of OVC wins and definitely looked like the defending champions on both nights.

Mariah King is playing lights out right now with eight straight games in double figures while other players are contributing at crucial points. The team is learning it doesn't need Ta'Kenya Nixon to do it all and they only makes them that much more dangerous.

Wins over Tennessee State and Austin Peay have put the Panthers in first place in the OVC after one week. Now a regional battle with Indiana State on Wednesday as the Panthers have won three straight heading into the contest.

Following one weekend of OVC action for the Panthers we think these players are stars in the making for the Panthers.

Alfonzo McKinnie for the EIU men and Mariah King for the EIU women (we know we already mentioned her, but trust me she will compete for OVC first team honors for the next couple of years). McKinnie brings a raw energy that has not been seen in Lantz in a few years witnessed by his one step, one handed jam against Austin Peay on Saturday.

Next up a pair of Wednesday games and then a home Saturday doubleheader.

We leave you with It's Beginning to Look A Lot Like Christmas (as snow was on the ground in Charleston on Saturday night).