Happy Thanksgiving weekend everyone!
What am I thankful for this year, you ask?
I’m thankful that we got the chance to witness the worst 20 minutes of basketball that five men on a team have managed to put together in a long time this week.
See, on Monday, the scoreboard at halftime of the Rutgers – Eastern Michigan game showed a Rutgers lead 31-4. That’s not a typo. Four.
Rutgers ties an NCAA record for fewest points allowed versus a Division I team in a half in the shot clock era (since 1986) by allowing just four points to Eastern Michigan in the opening half #GardenStatement ⚔️🛡 pic.twitter.com/VgjtKRdyvf
— Rutgers Basketball (@RutgersMBB) November 20, 2018
If you ever wonder what it was like watching the game back in the earliest days of basketball, like when the Pistons beat the Lakers 19-18 way back in 1950, just watch Eastern Michigan’s offensive game tape from this one.
In fact, just in case you don’t feel like watching a basketball team made up of guys who are getting full-ride scholarships to a MAC school shoot 2-25, go 0-7 from the free throw line, and commit 13 turnovers over the course of half a game, let me summarize it for you.
Six minutes go by after tip-off without the Eagles doing a single thing right. 13-0, Rutgers. As the clock ticks over to 13:59 though, Kevin McAdoo hit a mid-range shot to provide Eastern Michigan with half their points for the half.
Don’t worry, it would only be… eight and half more minutes before they’d score again, when James Thompson IV managed to convert on a layup with 5:36 left in the half to make it 23-4. And then eight more Rutgers points later, the buzzer for the end of the half sounded.
Oddly enough, they actually managed to play their opponent to a tie in the second half, with each side scoring 32 points en route to a 63-36 win for Rutgers. In fact, Eastern Michigan opened the second half with an alley-oop, and only took 56 seconds to equal the number of points they’d scored in the first twenty minutes.
The funny thing is, this isn’t even a bad team.
They’re solid for a mid-major school. Elijah Minnie (0 points, 2 rebounds) initially declared for the draft last year before deciding to come back, Thompson IV (6 points, 8 rebounds) was initially going to play for Clemson before legal issues stopped him from going there, and has averaged about 15 points and 11 rebounds in each of his first three seasons for Eastern Michigan, and Paul Jackson (5 points, 2 rebounds, 3 assists), who shot 0-8 in this already infamous first half of basketball, actually had opened the season with a 27 point, 7 assist performance.
They also happen to be the same team that, five years ago, held Northern Illinois to a 4-point half of their own in a 42-25 win. That included holding their conference opponent Huskies to 1-31 shooting on the half and a 13.1% field goal percentage throughout the whole 40 minutes.
What goes around comes around, I suppose.
Before this game, they had a 4-1 record this season. Four. They had as many wins as they scored points.
They’re doing George Gervin’s legacy proud, aren’t they?
Then again, the legacy of Gervin (easily the best player they’ve ever had) at Eastern Michigan involves getting kicked off the team and banned from the Olympic tryouts because he knocked out an opposing player in the middle of the DII National Semifinal, so maybe he isn’t hugely invested in how they’re doing.
Thanks for reading. Tweet at @_SunsOfThunder_ if you can score more than four points in 20 minutes. Also, go ahead and throw Deadseriousness a Like on Facebook so that I can keep the lights on around here at HQ.