Team preview: Eastern Michigan

Blue Ribbon Illustrated previews the 2004-05 college basketball season, exclusively on Insider.

Updated: October 20, 2004, 4:50 PM ET
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Make no mistake, Eastern Michigan needs a good season.

Following last season's first-round MAC Tournament loss at Marshall, and a 13-15 posting, coach Jim Boone (36-78, 4 years) had his contract extended for one season through 2004-05.

The message was pretty clear.

Fortunately for Boone, he has the personnel to deliver, and in doing so, restore Eastern Michigan's proud basketball tradition.

After a highly successful 10-year run at California (Pa.), the fifth-year coach was in the midst of a solid rebuilding effort at Robert Morris when he accepted the Eastern job.

Maybe Boone stepped out of his recruiting territory; but whatever the reason, it's been a tougher turnaround than this coach with 309 career wins would have anticipated.

"Our team has gained invaluable experience over the past two seasons, and we completed both of those years with positive momentum and a strong belief in ourselves," Boone said.

"However, the most difficult part of rebuilding a program is making that breakthrough to winning and realizing you can and will succeed. This team has earned the right to win, it believes it can win, and I know we are ready to break through that barrier."

And if the Eagles don't break through, Boone is probably gone.