Team preview: Eastern Michigan

Blue Ribbon Yaerbook previews the 2005-06 college basketball season, exclusively on Insider.

Updated: November 1, 2005, 9:06 PM ET
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(Information in this team report is as of October 1.)

It was no secret last season that Jim Boone needed a good year to keep his job. Eastern was cruising along at 9-4 (3-1 MAC), coming off an 86-82 win at Central Michigan, when the wheels came off. Boone was let go after a 3-14 stretch the last eight weeks which resulted in an overall 12-18 mark.

Enter Ypsilanti native and Eastern Michigan alum Charles Ramsey. The former Ben Braun assistant had been a volunteer assistant at Eastern from 1990-93, graduating in 1992.

He worked as an assistant at Tennessee State (1993-94), Drake (1994-96), rejoined Braun at Eastern in 1996, and then went with Braun to California (1996-2001) before accepting an assistant/recruiting coordinator position at Michigan (2001-05).

Ramsey appointed former EMU standout Carl Thomas to his staff. Ramsey, Braun, and Thomas were together when Eastern Michigan reached the NCAA Sweet 16 in 1991.

"It has always been a dream of mine to have a chance to be a part of this great institution," Ramsey said. "I can truly say I am home now."

The Eagles played in four consecutive MAC Tournament championship games from 1995-98 (champions in 1996 and 1998), but have not reached the quarterfinals in seven years since and have yet to make it to Cleveland's Gund Arena.

This once proud program has averaged less than 10 wins the last seven seasons. The names on EMU's basketball honor roll include George Gervin, Fred Cofield, Grant Long, Marcus Kennedy, Lorenzo Neely, Brian Tolbert, Earl Boykins, and Derrick Dial.

"I'm extremely hungry," Ramsey told USA Today. "Not only me but a university and local community that's starving [for success]. We need to feed a lot of people, and quickly. But we're going to do it the right way."

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