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Darell Combs Leaving EMU

April 8, 2014

I’ve been hearing rumors over the past two weeks that someone was set to transfer over at EMU basketball central, and that rumor appears to be confirmed.  According to Chicagohoops, Darell Combs is leaving Eastern Michigan for points as yet unknown.  Money quote from Darell:

“I am looking for a great relationship with the head coach and somewhere that I can just enjoy myself and at least feel safe.”

I won’t speculate as to his relationship with Rob Murphy, I never sensed any animus among the players for Murphy, or vice-versa.  For a kid from Chicago to talk about safety…well, that hurts.

Darell seemed like a good kid the few times I questioned him.  He was appropriately humble and said the right things.  If he was fuming below the surface over wanting more playing time or Murphy’s coaching style, he hid it well.

As for the “feel safe” comment, I don’t doubt his sincerity.  Being from Chicago, Darell is allowed to be sensitive to the safety issue.  All I would add is this…the main campus is safe.  The Cross Street drag is safe.  Depot Town is safe.  We all know where the problem area is.  A blanket statement that EMU is not safe is incorrect.  It’s a hell of a lot safer here than in Chicago.

I know there are those who will look at Eastern’s depth chart next year and shrug at Darell’s leaving.  That reaction is foolish.  Darell can play.  He hit a big game winning three at Oakland.  Darell set University Arena in Kalamazoo on fire with a truly inspired five minute stretch of play.

Darell was instant offense off the bench, Rob Murphy called him his Microwave when I interviewed him before the start of the 2013-2014 season.

I will be curious as to where Darell ends up.  A school from a bigger conference could use an instant scorer like Darell off the bench.  If Abdel Nader from NIU can end up at Iowa State, anything is possible.

Darell leaving does free up a scholarship for Tristan Wilson, who was technically set to be a preferred walk-on.  But there is no silver lining here.  Darell has talent, and he is gone.

I’m hoping the transfer rumors I’ve been hearing will stop now.  Rob Murphy still has a talented crew coming back next year, but overall this is not a good day for the program.

One Comment leave one →
  1. Kenneth Barna permalink
    April 9, 2014 9:09 am

    Dear Jeremy,
    Let me throw in two cents worth for discussion. Darell was getting playing time, but maybe he felt he was being over-looked as a starter. Many posters on the “Eagle’s Nest” felt he was taking too many three point shots, as well as driving to the basket when there was no hope of making the shot. My point here is that maybe Coach Murphy was critical of Darell when those things were happening. It’s hard to tell if a player can take criticism (If given), and that may be part of the problem. We will probably never know.
    I will agree that he did make some shots from three point range during the season that helped our cause in winning games. If, he transfers to a division one school he will have to sit out a year, and I don’t think that is in his thinking right now.

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