After going 2-1 on three-game trip to California,
Eagles already have as many wins as they did until Jan. 10 of last
Friday, Nov. 29 - Reese Court (5,000) -
6:05 p.m. Pacific - Eastern Washington (4-2) vs. Seattle (3-2)
Shows take place at the Swinging Doors in Spokane at 6 p.m.
Tuesdays from Nov. 26 to Jan. 7 (no shows Dec. 24 and Dec. 31) and
Mondays Jan. 13 to March 10 (no shows Jan. 27 and Feb. 24), and
feature head coach Jim Hayford and host
Larry Weir. The Swinging Doors is located at W.
1018 Francis in Spokane. Shows are broadcast on 700-AM ESPN,
www.700espn.com & via iphone app. (search for “Spokane
Radio” and download app).
Webcast: The Seattle game on Nov. 29 may be watched via: http://www.watchbigsky.com
Radio: All Eastern games are on 700-AM ESPN in Spokane. Larry Weir returns for his 21st season calling the play-by-play, starting 20 minutes prior to tipoff.
Internet Radio: www.700espn.com or www.tunein.com
Radio iPhone App: Search for “Spokane Radio” and download app. An app is also available for tunein radio.
Live Stats: ewulive.statb.us (web/EWU Home Games) or ewustats.com (mobile phones/EWU Home Games)
The fourth win this season for the Eagles came a lot sooner than last year.
And the Eastern Washington University men’s basketball team is hoping the fifth victory comes this Friday (Nov. 29) when it hosts Seattle at 6:05 p.m. at Reese Court in Cheney, Wash. As part of a “Black Friday” promotion, upper level tickets at Reese Court are only $2.
The Eagles played three games in three nights last week in Irvine, Calif., as part of the of the 2K Sports Classic benefitting the Wounded Warrior Project. They came away with a 2-1 record, beating Boston University 80-68 and LIU Brooklyn 102-70 before bowing to host UC Irvine 81-58 in the finale. The Eagles and Anteaters meet in a rematch Dec. 15 in Cheney as a return as a return game for EWU’s appearance two seasons ago in Irvine in the ESPN BracketBusters series of games.
Eastern’s Tyler Harvey and Venky Jois were both selected to the All-Tournament team as EWU came out of the tournament with a 4-2 record for the season. Last year, EWU picked up its fourth win with an 82-59 victory over Northern Arizona on Jan. 10, 2013. The Eagles, who were 10-21 a year ago, picked up their fifth victory on Jan. 28, 2013, with a 76-65 victory over Portland State.
“We’re entering crunch time of the academic quarter, so our travel day Monday was a day of rest and studying,” said Eastern head coach Jim Hayford. “That gives us three days of preparation for Seattle. We have to defend the home court. We came out of the weekend winning two out of three, and maybe the last one is the one that motivates us to get better.”
In trying for their fifth win of the season, Eastern takes on a Seattle team coming off a 69-68 victory over UC Riverside to improve to 3-2 on the season. The Redbirds led by five with 2:04 left before winning by one.
“Seattle is a much-improved team,” said Hayford of Seattle, which finished 8-22 last season. “It will be a good test for us against a quality opponent on our home court. I really believe our players will be ready. We hope our fans will come out and support our team on Friday.”
West Coach Conference powerhouse Saint Mary’s will usher in an equally difficult month of December for the Eagles. Eastern travels to Moraga, Calif., on Dec. 8. to play the Gaels, who were 28-7 overall and 14-2 in the WCC in 2008.
PDF Link to Fact Book
The complete version of the 2013-14 EWU men’s basketball
fact book may be found at:
More Eagle Basketball Links
Eastern Basketball -- http://goeags.com/sports/m-baskbl/index
Link to Ticket Information: http:// http://www.goeags.com/tickets
Big Sky Conference Basketball -- http://www.bigskyconf.com/index.aspx?tab=basketball&path=mbball
NCAA Basketball -- http://www.ncaa.com/sports/m-baskbl/ncaa-m-baskbl-body.html
ESPN College Scoreboard -- http://sports.espn.go.com/ncb/scoreboard
Rodney Stuckey NBA Page -- http://www.nba.com/playerfile/rodney_stuckey/index.html
More Information and Links are Available at: HTTP://WWW.GOEAGS.COM
* In the first NCAA Division I statistical report of the season, Eastern ranks 32nd among 345 schools with an average of 8.7 3-pointers made per game and is 67th in scoring with an average of 81.5 points. Individually, Tyler Harvey is 14th in 3-pointers made per game (3.67) and 55th in 3-point percentage (47.8 percent), with Drew Brandon 20th in assists (6.3).
* The Eagles are an early Big Sky Conference leader in rebounding margin, with a plus 6.3 for the season thus far. A year ago, Eastern was 10th out of 11 teams with a minus margin of 4.2 per game. The Eagles are leading the league thus far in assists (15.3), and are second in the league thus far in assist-to-turnover ratio with a plus 1.3 for the season. Eastern is also second in scoring average (81.5), scoring margin (+12.7), 3-pointers made per game (8.7), blocked shots (3.8) and field goal percentage defense (.393).
* Sophomore Tyler Harvey, Eastern’s leading scorer thus far with an 18.7 average per game, was named to the All-Tournament team at the 2K Sports Classic in Irvine, Calif., where EWU went 2-1. Harvey led the Eagles in scoring against Boston University and UC Irvine with 21 points in each game, and also led EWU in rebounding with eight versus LIU Brooklyn. He followed that performance with a career-high nine boards against the Anteaters. He averaged 18.7 points, 7.3 rebounds, 1.7 assists and 1.3 steals per game in the tourney while making 52.8 percent of his shots from the field including 7-of-15 from the 3-point stripe, as well as 11-of-13 free throws for 84.6 percent.
* Sophomore Venky Jois, the Big Sky Conference Freshman of the Year a year ago, joined Harvey on the All-Tournament team at the 2K Sports Classic. He averaged 15.0 points, 6.3 rebounds and 2.3 assists per game while making 56.3 percent of his shots from the field. For the season, Jois is EWU’s second-leading scorer through six games with a 15.0 average, and is also averaging 6.7 rebounds, 3.0 assists and 1.0 blocks per game. So far with one double-double this season (22 points and 11 rebounds against Pacific), he had nine double-doubles as a freshman to rank among the leaders in NCAA Division I.
* Point guard Drew Brandon, a transfer from Sierra College in California, is averaging 11.2 points, a team-leading 9.0 rebounds, 6.3 assists and 1.8 steals per game after his first six games in NCAA Division I. He already has a pair of double-doubles, including 15 points, 12 rebounds and seven assists against Boston University. He equaled the 15th-most assists in school history with 10 assists against Walla Walla, becoming the 28th Eastern player to finish in double figures in assists in a game. He also had nine rebounds, four steals and three points, just two nights after finishing with 13 points, 14 rebounds and six assists versus Washington. He is the lone newcomer to EWU’s starting lineup.
* Four Eagles are already ranked among among Eastern’s career leaders, including shot-blockers Martin Seiferth and Venky Jois. Seiferth’s 78 blocks ranks fourth in school history, just one behind Chris White (1998-01), nine behind Brandon Moore (2007-10) and 21 behind the school record of 99 (Paul Butorac 2004-07). Jois has 72 to rank sixth, just three behind Cliff Ederaine with 75 (2001-12). Tyler Harvey is currently ranked second for 3-point field goal percentage (45.5 percent), ranking only behind the school-record of 50.3 percent held by Marco Quinto (1999-02). Kelly is eighth in percentage (41.7 percent) and 11th in 3-pointers made with 100. Ranking just ahead of him on the 3-point list are Ryan Hansen (1998-00) with 100 and Alvin Snow (2001-04) with 104.
* In Eastern’s 80-68 win over Boston University, four players scored in double figures on a hot-shooting night against the team picked to win the Patriot League title. Eastern made 54 percent of its shots while holding the Terriers to 38 percent. The Eagles led by as many as 14 points in the second half after leading at halftime 39-34, and sank 10-of-18 3-pointers while also out-rebounding Boston University 43-31. Sophomore Tyler Harvey sank 5-of-7 treys and poured in a team-high 21 points, with Venky Jois finishing with 20 points, eight rebounds and three assists. Point guard Drew Brandon had his second double-double in four games with 15 points, 12 rebounds and seven assists, and Ognjen Miljkovic came off the bench to contribute 14 points on 6-of-9 shooting. Junior Parker Kelly added seven points to the Eagle cause, but it was his defense on D.J. Irving that made a bigger impact on the game. Irving, the preseason Patriot League Player of the Year, scored nine points in the first half on 3-of-3 shooting, but missed all six of his shots in a scoreless second half.
* Six players scored in double figures the next night in a 102-100 victory over LIU Brooklyn, as Eastern had five 3-pointers in the first seven minutes to open a 28-1 lead. The 102 points Eastern scored was its most against a NCAA Division I opponent since beating Cal State Fullerton 110-70 on Nov. 27, 2006. Rodney Stuckey, who now plays for the Detroit Pistons in the NBA, scored 27 points in that game. Parker Kelly scored 11 of EWU’s first 28 points, and finished the game with a team-high 17 points, as did sophomore Venky Jois. Sophomore Tyler Harvey added 14 points, eight rebounds and five assists, and junior point guard Drew Brandon finished with 13 points and seven assists. Junior Martin Seiferth scored 12 points and sophomore Thomas Reuter added 13. Eastern finished the game making 11-of-17 3-pointers for 65 percent, and sank 64 percent of its shots overall. Eastern held the Blackbirds to 35 percent shooting and dominated rebounding by a 40-29 margin. The Eagles led 54-29 at halftime and led by as many as 37 in the second half.
* In an 81-58 loss to UC Irvine, Eastern fell behind by 21 points at halftime and lost for just the second time in six games. UC Irvine made 11-of-19 3-point shots (58 percent) and 40 percent overall in the game. Eastern finished at 26 percent, but the damage was done in the first half when EWU made just 7-of-29 shots overall, and 2-of-11 from 3-point range. Sophomore Tyler Harvey had 21 points as the lone Eagle in double figures against UC Irvine. He made 6-of-13 shots while the rest of the EWU lineup was just 12-of-47 for 26 percent.
* Six-foot-10 junior Martin Seiferth finished with 24 points and 18 rebounds against Walla Walla, as he equaled the fifth-best rebounding performance in school history. He came close to his career highs of 27 points and 21 rebounds set in separate games last season. The last time EWU had a 20-20 performance was Paul Butorac against Lewis-Clark State College on Nov. 18, 2006.
* Eastern returns four starters and seven total letterwinners from last year’s team, which finished 10-21 overall and 7-13 in the 11-team Big Sky under head coach Jim Hayford, who is in his third year at the helm of a squad with no seniors. A year ago, Eastern finished with four wins in its last eight outings, but came up short in qualifying for the seven-team Big Sky Conference Tournament. However, three of those late losses included an overtime loss to UNC, a four-point setback to North Dakota and an eight-point loss at Weber State.
* Eastern’s remaining non-conference home games include Seattle (Nov. 29) and UC Irvine (Dec. 15). Big Sky Conference play begins on the road, but the Eagles host Montana in their league home opener on Jan. 9. Home games will begin at 6:05 p.m. Pacific time for weekday games and Sunday and Saturday games will start at 2:05 p.m.
* In all, Eastern’s 2013-14 schedule includes 10 games versus six schools who participated in national postseason tournaments a year ago. Eastern will play six games against those opponents on the road, and four games at home. Three appeared in the NCAA Tournament – LIU Brooklyn (Nov. 23 in Irvine), Saint Mary’s (Dec. 8 on the road) and Montana (Jan. 9 at home and Feb. 8 on the road). UC Irvine (Dec. 15 at home and Nov. 24 in Irvine) played in the College Basketball Invitational Tournament, and won a game before falling in the quarterfinals. The other three postseason opponents on EWU’s schedule were also in the CollegeInsider.com Postseason Tournament (CIT). Weber State (Jan. 2 on the road and March 8 at home) won four games to advance to the championship, where it lost to East Carolina 77-74. North Dakota (Jan. 30 at home and March 1 on the road) played in the first round, as did Boston University (Nov. 22 at UC Irvine Tournament).
* The schedule also features a trip to the East Coast to play Connecticut and Seton Hall. Connecticut finished 20-10 overall and 10-8 in the Big East Conference last season, while Seton Hall was 15-18 overall and 3-15 in the league. However, Seton Hall and six other teams in the so-called “Catholic 7” broke off from the league, but will retain the Big East tag. The remaining Big East teams, plus others in the expanded conference, will now be named the American Athletic Conference.
* Eastern has been picked to finish fifth by the coaches and sixth by the media in preseason polls announced by the Big Sky Conference on Oct. 17. EWU was picked to finish behind preseason pick Weber State, North Dakota, Montana and Northern Colorado in the coaches’ poll. The media picked Montana State to finish in fifth just ahead of the Eagles. Weber State was picked to win the league in both polls.
* Eastern will be trying for its third Big Sky Conference Tournament berth in the last four years in 2013-14, and its 13th in 27 years as a member of the league. Eastern has 12 previous appearances (1990, 98, 99, 2000, 01, 02, 03, 04, 05, 06, 11, 12).
* The Big Sky Conference Tournament will take place March 13-15 at the site of the regular season champion. For the second-straight year, it will now include seven teams, with the regular season champion receiving a first-round bye. The tournament will include a quarterfinal round with six of the teams playing, followed by semifinals and the championship game.
* The Eagles hope a more experienced team will translate to winning more of the close games they lost in the 2012-13 season. Nine of EWU’s losses were one-possession games with less than four minutes remaining, and the Eagles finished 6-10 in games decided by 10 points or less.
* Hayford won for the 279th time in his 400th game as a collegiate coach on March 7 when the Eagles beat Idaho State 87-73. He entered the 2013-14 season with a 279-122 (69.6 percent) record in 14 seasons as a head coach, including a 25-38 mark at Eastern. He was 217-57 (79.2 percent) in 10 seasons at Whitworth (2001-2011), and before that was 37-27 in two seasons at the University of Sioux Falls (S.D.).
Quoting Coach Hayford
On Drew Brandon and Rebounding: “He’s a really good player. He went to the same junior college that Craig Fortier played at, so that’s how Craig knew about him. What I like about him is he is really unaffected – he’s going to play at his own speed and he plays hard. He’s one of the best rebounding guards I’ve ever coached. Drew is obviously a great addition to our program. We had all these pieces coming back, but we needed to go find a point guard. He certainly is meeting our expectations. Rebounding is something we better improve on from last year, or we will have the same results. Drew really helps us. He really helps us on the boards, and he knows how to run the offense. As he gets more comfortable, we are going to get better and better.”
On Bench Play: “We need to keep getting them in. After you get past Thomas (Reuter), the rest of the bench is new and young. We need to keep developing that. Later in the year we are going to go deeper in the bench. I thought it would have been nice to go a little deeper in the Husky game. There were some things I saw from Felix (Von Hofe) and O.G. (Ognjen Miljkovic) against Walla Walla that I really like. We need Thomas -- he is our Swiss-army knife. He can play multiple positions and fix what is happening on the court. He is our sixth starter, and so we have to get Thomas going little bit more. Garrett Moon brings great energy off the bench. We had a couple of injured guys in Danny Powell (concussion) and Daniel Hill (calf). The bench is going to keep come along, and it will come.”
On Team Identity: “Our identity is that as we are going to play smart and hard basketball, and we are going to do it together. You are going to see an unselfish team that lays it out on the court every night and plays like the band of brothers they are. The biggest difference (from last season) is our players are all a little bit older. We were Eagles that were barely out of the nest last year, and now we can fly a little bit.”
On This Year’s Eagle Team: “We have a great chemistry – they really like each other. A year ago they didn’t know one another. They have been living life together and they do a lot of things as a group. They enjoy spending time with one another, and I think that will spill over into on-court success.”
On Playing at UConn and Seton Hall: “The East Coast trip jumps out at you -- it is an excellent opportunity for our guys to see a different part of the country and to experience playing against one of the nation’s elite programs. I know the guys are looking forward to that trip.”
On Big Sky Conference Race: “I think the Big Sky Conference is going to be more difficult -- there are many teams returning solid rosters. We have a very challenging preseason that will prepare us for a great conference season.”
On Competitiveness of Big Sky: “There were a number of close games. That is part of being in a competitive conference. The hard part about experience is getting it. Hopefully we got it, and we will win more than our fair share of those close games this year. I do like that our guys found ways to win some of those last year.”
On Playing Difficult Schedule: “You cannot be afraid of a tough schedule playing these bigger schools regardless of the outcome. You just focus on it making you better and better. I think we have a non-conference schedule that will put us in the fire. It will refine us, make us stronger and prepare us for Big Sky play. That is what this year’s schedule is, so we embrace it.”
EWU vs. Seattle Series Notes
* Eastern leads the all-time series 10-8 (3-5 since EWU moved to NCAA Division I in the 1983-84 season) after last year’s 75-69 loss in Cheney. Before renewing their rivalry in 2009, the last meeting came on Nov. 22, 1985, when Eastern won 83-64 at Reese Court in Cheney, Wash. That was the lone game played between the two schools since EWU moved to NCAA Division I in the 1983-84 season. The first four meetings came in the 1945-46 season, and Eastern won all four of those games, as well as a pair the following season. A split followed in 1948-49, and Seattle swept a pair in the 1951-52 season. Seattle was in NCAA Division I from 1944-1980, with such star players as Elgin Baylor, John O’Brien, Clint Richardson and Frank Oleynick on its rosters. Baylor, in fact, led Seattle to the championship game of the NCAA Tournament where it lost 84-72 to Kentucky. Formerly known as the Chieftains, from 1980-2002 they were affiliated with NAIA and from 2002-2007 were a member of NCAA Division II. Here is a list of the recent meetings:
11/22/85 - W - 83-64
2/24/09 - L - 59-63 (ot) – H
12/12/09 - W - 100-97 (ot) – H
2/1/10 - L - 62-68 – A
12/15/10 - W - 95-91 – H
1/6/11 - L - 51-60 – A
1/16/12 – L – 78-91 – A
12/10/12 – L – 69-75 – H