Thursday, March 19, 2015

How can the Eastern Washington Eagles take down Georgetown

Photo from
It only took a few moments for the pundits to begin proclaiming Eastern Washington a  likely upset team for their round of 64 game against Georgetown.  The story is easy to write, Eastern's high scoring sharpshooters take down Georgetown in a repeat of past early tourney exits for the Hoyas. The problem with that narrative is that many of those pundits never actually watch the Eagles play a game, except maybe their victory at Indiana, and this Georgetown team hasn't lost any NCAA Tournament games to a double-digit seeded team.

The raw numbers make these teams look a lot closer than one might expect given their relative seeding.  Georgetown scores 10.1 fewer points per game than Eastern, but EWU allows 9 more points per game. Both teams are extremely close statistically in rebounding, blocks and assists.  Georgetown edges Eastern with 7.7 steals per game to the Eagles 6.4.  Eastern has the edge in shooting hitting 48% of their shots to Georgetown's 45%.  The trouble with raw numbers is that they do not take into account all of the situations that produce them.  For one thing, Georgetown's conference, the Big East, features 6 NCAA Tournament teams, while Eastern is the sole representative from the Big Sky.

Stick with me through the break and I will break down the challenges and chances for Eastern as they head into tonight's match-up in Portland, Oregon.

Wednesday, March 11, 2015

2014-2015 Week 16 and 17 Eagle Hoops Wrap up

EWU 2014-2015 Big Sky Conference Champions
& Head Coach Jim Hayford's soon to be legendary Red Blazer
photo from
I want to start by saying thank you to all that have read the blog throughout the season.  I've tried to provide good content and interesting takes on this team.  The blog's following has grown by leaps and bounds this season, as it should be when the Eagles have had a season of nearly unprecedented success.  They've won more games than ever before as a Division I program and have secured a share of the Big Sky Conference regular season title for just the 3rd time since joining the Big Sky in the 1987-1988 season.  Coach Hayford's 63 wins rank him second behind only Ray Giacoletti's 69 over that same time period.  His 14 conference wins are the most any Eagle squad has ever achieved in the Big Sky.  The 4 Big Sky losses are tied for the second fewest in the schools Big Sky history as well, behind the 2003-2004 NCAA tournament team and tied with the 1999-2000 squad and the 2001-2002 squad.  As we prepare for tomorrow's tip off in the Big Sky Conference Tournament against Idaho, take a moment to ponder this team, because it marks one of the highest points in Eastern Washington Basketball history.  They are not done yet and if Coach Hayford and the Eagles can find a way to beat Idaho for just the third time ever when both schools have been members of the Big Sky Conference, they will have a chance to continue their climb up the ranks of program history.

Now the bad news, unfortunately the past couple weeks have been extremely busy for me as I prepare for to embark on orders for the military that will have me out of the country for the next few weeks. This has involved a lot of logistical concerns, like booking flights and ensuring that the members of my Navy Reserve Unit are prepared for travel, as well as getting caught up and ahead in my own studies at Austin Community College.  With their Spring Break coming up I've had to get ahead in all of my classes and complete the requirements which would otherwise be due prior to my return.  I write all of this, so you know why I will be simply providing a quick summary of the Eagles last two weeks of conference play on the way to their well earned Big Sky Conference Championship and how they let the right to host the Big Sky Conference Tournament slip away.

Click through for more:

Friday, February 27, 2015

EWU Eagle Eye POW week 15 2014-2015 Venky Jois

Venky Jois, photo from
The Eagles star junior resumed a dominant season after missing 10 straight games with an ankle injury.  The Eagles split the road series by beating Southern Utah and dropping a heart breaker to Northern Arizona.

Venky finally looked 100% or near to it as he led all scorers against SUU with 22 points and was one of just 3 Eagles to score in double digits against NAU with 15.  His two game total: 37 points, 7 rebounds, 3 blocks, 2 steals and 1 assist.

As the Eagles prepare for the home stretch of the 2014-2015 season they will rely heavily on Jois to help them achieve their goal of a Big Sky Championship and a trip to the NCAA Tournament.

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Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Big Sky Conference race narrows to 4 and heats way up

Venky Jois, photo from
The Big Sky Conference Race has narrowed down to 4 teams with Sacramento State currently at the top, but facing a daunting 3 game road stretch to close out the season.

Last week I wrote about the Eagles Magic Numbers to eliminate each team in the Big Sky.  Since then the Eagles split a tough road trip at Southern Utah and Northern Arizona.  Click through below for the updates and current tie-breaker scenarios as best as I can work them out so far!

*Edited 4 way tie break scenario

EWU Eagle Eye POW Nominees Week 15

Venky Jois, photo from

The Eagles took a rough road trip last week and played two teams contending for Big Sky Tournament berths to one possession games with less than a minute to go.  They won against Southern Utah and fell just short against Northern Arizona.  It took a lot of team work and some excellent play to overcome some offensive struggles.  These four players stood out among their team mates.  Click below to read a write up for each!

Eagle Eye POW Week 15

EWU Eagle Eye Podcast featuring Head Coach Jim Hayford

Drew Branon, one of 3 Eagle seniors
photo from
Coach Hayford took time out of his morning Tuesday to talk with me regarding the state of the Season, the recent offensive "struggles" as well as highlighting the Eagles three Seniors who could be playing their last games at Reese Court this week:  Parker Kelly, Drew Brandon and Garrett Moon

Click through for the audio!

Thursday, February 19, 2015

EWU Eagle Eye Podcast featuring Eagle Women's Basketball Head Coach Wendy Schuller

EWU Head Women's Basketball Coach Wendy Schuller
photo from
This morning I got the chance to speak with Eastern Washington University Head Women's Basketball Coach Wendy Schuller.

I want to thank Coach Schuller for taking the time to talk with me, and let you all know she is a great interview and more importantly knows her basketball.  She has her team just 1.5 games out of the lead with one game to play against Big Sky Conference leader Montana among the remaining 6 regular season contests.

We talked about unselfish offense, team defense, Senior stars Lexie Nelson and Melissa Williams, up and coming freshman Kiana Brown and Mariah Cunningham, the importance of team chemistry and Eastern's star sisters Haley and Delaney Hodgins as well as Jade Redmon and of course the upcoming games against Southern Utah and Northern Arizona at Reese Court.

Click below to listen to the full audio.