Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Assistant Coaches make the difference: EWU Eagle Eye Podcast ep3 Coach Hayford talks Eagles Hoops

Today we've got a special edition of the EWU Eagle Eye Podcast.  Head Coach Jim Hayford joined the show today and we talked about the Eagles non-conference season, the development of key players and some of the challenges they have faced and overcome so far this season.

Coach Hayford wanted to make a special note that his Assistant Coaches: David Riley, Alex Pribble and Shantay Legans should be given special credit for how well the Eagles players have developed in their years with the team.

Click through to hear what else Coach had to say!

Tuesday, December 30, 2014

EWU Eagle Eye Podcast Episode 2: Talking first 5 Conference games

Welcome to the second installment of the EWU Eagle Eye Podcast.  Click below and listen as I talk about the Eagles first 5 conference games as well as an early look at the rankings and challenges as EWU takes on the challenge of winning the Big Sky Conference.

EWU Eagle Eye Player of the Week - Weeks 6 and 7

Tyler Harvey, photo from
The EWU Eagle Eye Player of the week for Weeks 6 and 7 is the EWU record holder for career 3 pointers.

Tyler Harvey was simply too much too handle.  30 of 43 from the field including 19 of 26 from beyond the 3 point line and 12 of 14 from the free throw line.

The star Junior Guard is fourth in the country in scoring averaging 22.8 points per game.  This week he eclipsed that mark averaging 33.3 points per game his scoring represented 44% of Eastern's offense for the week.

His three game stat line: 91 pts, 7 rebounds, 5 steals and 4 assists.

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Tuesday, December 23, 2014

EWU Eagle Eye Links - Weekly Wrap Up

It's been a while since I shared some links, so let's take a look around the landscape and see what we can find.

Before the break let's take a look at the 2013-2014 Parker Kelly Highlight video from EWU Assistant David Riley's YouTube account.

EWU Eagle Eye Player of the Week Nominees: Week 6/7 2014-2015

Three games in six days sorely tested this Eagles squad, but they managed to close on a high note and finished with a win last night over Lewis & Clark State.  Last week Tyler Harvey hit 1000 career points in a win against USF, this week it was Venky Jois as he hit the 1000 career point mark in last night's win over Lewis & Clark State.

So who starred this week for the Eagles, click on through to find out the week 6 EWU #EagleEyePOW nominees.

***Since there were no games during week 7, this week's winner will be the #EagleEyePOW for both week 6 and week 7***

Home for the Holidays Eagles hold off Lewis & Clark State 87-81

Tyler Harvey owns EWU career 3pt record
photo from
A 6 point win over any NAIA Division I opponent does not look impressive.  Giving up 81 points in that game also does not look so impressive.  Impressions from this 10,000 foot view can be misleading.

A closer look at last night's win over Lewis & Clark State may not suddenly turn this into a "quality win," but they will tell a different and more important tale.

Saturday, December 20, 2014

Flying from the Bench

Kyle Reid photo from AP
(AP photo/John F. Rhodes)
Earlier today I posted about the fabulous starting five for the Eagles, now it's time to take a look at their reserves.

Tournament play relies on quality depth, playing in multiple high intensity games over a short period of time will wear out anyone.  These 4 Eagles will need to shine when they hit the court if Eastern wants to be a serious contender for the Big Sky Conference this season.

Click through to find the who, why and how.

Eagles will soar as high as their Fab-5 will take them

Eastern has 4 players that get 30 or minutes per game, and a 5th that gets over 24 minutes and is only limited by foul trouble.

Their line up features 1 players in the top 25 in the entire nation in scoring.  They've held leads of 7 or more points in each of the last 3 games.  And yet they come home with a 3 game losing streak.

Click through to find out what is going on and how the Eagles can turn it around going forward.

Friday, December 19, 2014

In a game of 2 on 5 Eastern Washington falls short at Cal 67-78

In the game preview I said the Eagles needed big time games from their big time players.  Venky Jois and Tyler Harvey absolutely delivered.  It was everyone else that completely fell short.

Tyler Harvey led all scorers with 31 points, Venky Jois was the game's second leading scorer with 23 points, but the Eagles only managed 13 other points.

The Eagles finished a 5 game road trip that spanned just 13 days.  Drew Brandon has been battling a bad back, Parker Kelly has a banged up shoulder.  OG Miljkovic had one of the worst shooting nights in his career and still this Eagles squad battled and refused to quit.  EWU lost by a mere 11 points in a game where Cal had a 16-2 run to close the first half and 20-5 run in the second.

I walk away from the last three games feeling just as strongly about this team as I did after the beat Indiana.  This was a brutal road trip and the Eagles battled each step of the way.  They dropped an ugly one at Sam Houston State, but they gave Washington all it could handle and managed to keep Cal sweating despite going scoreless for more than 6 minutes in the first and almost 5 minutes in the second half.

Let these teams match up on a neutral court with equal rest and the Eagles may have beaten all three of these teams.

Back to tonight's game, it was really a two man show for Eastern.  Venky Jois finished with 23 points, 6 rebounds 1 block, and 1 steal in 34 minutes while fighting off the flu or something similar.  Tyler Harvey finished with 31 points, 3 rebounds, 2 assists and 2 steals in 39 minutes.  The pair combined to go 20 of 31 from the field.

The rest of the team provided 13 points, 14 rebounds, 2 assists and 2 steals while shooting 3 of 23 from the field.

The one player I thought played a fantastic game was Sir Washington the Freshman Guard finished with 5 points, 5 rebounds, 1 assist and 2 steals with 0 turnovers.  More importantly on a night when Drew Brandon and OG were struggling he gave Coach Jim Hayford 23 quality minutes.  This is a good sign for his future with the team.

Up next for Eastern is a long awaited return to Cheney where they will take on Lewis & Clark State on Monday night.

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Big Sky Men's Basketball Scoring Leaders

Just a handful of games separate us from the beginning of Big Sky Conference play, and the Big Sky has played some tough games in non-conference play and has shown well.  Today I want to take a look at the scoring leaders in the Big Sky and see how they stack up.

We'll look at each teams leader in points per game and consider some of the other high scorers after the break.

But first, let's take a look at 3 points from one of the Big Sky's leading scorers Venky Jois:

Cal Men's BBall Head Coach Cuonzo Martin talks EWU Hoops

California Head Man Cuonzo Martin discusses tonight's match up with Eastern Washington, says "[They] are one of the best offensive teams in the country.

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Game Preview: Eastern Washington Eagles @ California Golden Bears

The Eagles will take on the Golden Bears tonight at Cal, tip off is at 7 p.m. PT.

The key to the game, might just be the hot shooting of EWU's star Tyler Harvey

California comes into the game 9-1 with their only loss coming to then #10 ranked Texas in the championship round of the 2k Classic in Madison Square Gardens.

The Eagles and the Golden Bears have no common opponents on their schedule so far, but the Golden Bears needed double overtime to take down visiting Montana 78-76 on December 3rd.  And of course the Eagles led host Washington for 35 minutes on December 14th.  Cal is in the middle of a 5 game stretch at home to close their non-conference schedule, while Eastern is on the tail end of a 5 game road trip that has covered 3 states and 3 top 100 RPI teams in 13 days.

Stick with me after the break for more on tonight's match-up.

Thursday, December 18, 2014

EWU Eagle Eye Player of the Week: Week 5 2014-2015

Who is your Week 5 #EagleEyePOW?  Click below to find out!
A photo posted by EWU Athletics (@ewuathletics) on

EWU Eagle Eye Hoops Podcast Season 2014-2015 episode 1

Welcome to our first podcast of the 2014-2015 season.  Click below the link to listen in as I discuss the last few games, the Eagles non-conference schedule and a look ahead to Saturday's game against Cal.

***Revised audio file for noise reduction

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

BBall 101: Understanding The Eagles Positions in a "Position-less Game"

Picture from
Bonsor, Kevin.  How Basketball Works: Who's Who. HowStuffWorks.Retrieved on January 11, 2006
I caught an interesting article today while scrolling through my twitter feed and it prompted some thoughts regarding the basics of basketball in the modern age.  Famed Duke Head Coach Mike Krzyzewski is among the head men interviewed for the article.

"Our game doesn't have a position," Krzyzewski said. "You have five guys working together trying to stop the other five guys from creating a shot. The fact that a big guy is going to play closer — what if you didn't have a big guy?" 

Stick with me after the break to read my thoughts on how the Eagles break down on offense.

Quick Preview of EWU Hoops at Sam Houston State

Tonight the Eagles take on the Bearkats of Sam Houston State University in Huntsville, TX.  Tip off is set for 4:30 p.m. PT.

Now that I'm done lamenting the fact that this game is being played 3 hours (one way) from my home in Cedar Park, TX on a Tuesday night (thus I can't quite make the trip!), let's take a quick look at the game.

The Eagles are fresh off a very hard fought loss to now 16th ranked University of Washington in Seattle in which Head Coach Jim Hayford's squad lead for 35 minutes and had a pair of 3 point shots in the final 10 seconds that could have changed the outcome.

The Bearkats are fresh off a very had fought loss at Louisiana State University in Baton Rouge.  Sam Houston led much of the first half and hung around until the Tigers hit 7 of 8 FT's in the final minute to widen the gap to 9 points.

The Eagles are 6-2 against DI opponents this season, the Bearkats are 3-4 with wins against South Dakota, Fairfield and UT Pan American and losses to UNLV, Wofford, Texas A&M and LSU.  The Bearkats are 3-0 at home this season (including two wins against lower division teams) and the Eagles are 3-2 on the road.  Eastern lost to Washington and to SMU earlier this season.

Sam Houston State features a deep rotation with 11 players getting 10 or more minutes per game, compared to Eastern Washington with just 7 players getting more than 10 minutes per game.  The Bearkats run with a lot of guards, 5 players with more than 20 minutes per game and all are guards.

Kareem Ransom (#15), 6'1" 180lb Senior Guard, leads Sam Houston in points per game (11.1), assists (4.3), steals (1.9) and minutes (30).  Demarcus Gatlin (#11), 6'4" 200lb Senior Guard, is second in points (10.1).

Michael Holyfield (#35), 6'11" 270lb Senior Center, leads the Bearkats in rebounds (7.8) and blocks (2.2) in 16.4 minutes per game.  Along with Holyfield, Aurimas Majauskas (#34) 6'7" 245lb Sophomore Forward, makes up the front court, he averages 8.4 points and 4.6 rebounds in 15.4 minutes per contest.

Last time these two teams met was February 23rd, 2013 at Reese Court in Cheney.  The Eagles won 81-76 off a 20 pt performance from Collin Chiverton and 8 blocks from Martin Seiferth.  Jeffrey Forbes added 11 points, and Thomas Reuter threw in 7 points as well.  Venky Jois finished that game with 11 pts, 8 rebounds, 6 assists and 4 blocks.  Tyler Harvey had 7 pts, 8 rebounds 4 assists and 3 blocks, Parker Kelly ahd 17 points, 4 rebounds and 2 assists.

Sam Houston returns only three players from that team, Holyfield, Paul Baxter (#21), 6'1" 180lb Junior Guard, and Marquel McKinney (#2), 6'3" 215lb Senior Guard.  Holyfield was held to 2 points, McKinney scored 10 off the bench and added 2 rebounds and 2 assists.  Baxter led the Bearkats with 19 points and added 7 rebounds, 4 assists, 2 steals and 1 block.

The bottom line for tonight, is that the Eagles starting line up is superior in nearly every way to the 2012-2013 team.  Drew Brandon is a true point guard and is a really good rebounding guard.  Parker Kelly has taken over as the tenacious perimeter defender from Jeffrey Forbes and is a really good shooter from beyond the arc.  Tyler Harvey is two years better, Venky Jois is two years better and "OG" Miljkovich is a better shooter, defender and ball handler than Reuter.  That team won just 10 games all season.  This one has a very good chance to win 10 games before conference play even starts.

The Bearkats are not the same team, but they play a small quick line up and shoot under 30% as a team from beyond the arc, and only 42% from the floor.  That could spell disaster for them against this Eagles squad.  Eastern is hitting 41% from 3 point range and over 50% from the floor.

I look for the Eagles to challenge the interior against Holyfield and Majauskas to test their athleticism and endurance.  The recipe for the Eagles could be found in the second half of the game at Indiana where the Eagles led by Brandon brutally attacked the paint to take down the smaller Hoosier squad.

Be sure to listen to Larry Weir call the game tonight on 700espn.

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EWU Eagle Eye Player of the Week Nominees Week 5 2014-2015

The only thing that would have made this week better is if the Eagles had found a way to hold off Washington in the waning minutes of Sunday night's game.  As it was, it took very tough, very unlikely 3 point shots in the final minutes for the 17th ranked Huskies to beat an Eastern Hoops team that is now the 16th ranked mid-major program in the country.  The nation saw what these Eagles did to the Huskies, and as a result... the Huskies have been moved up to be ranked 16th in the nation.

Just a couple days before that the Eagles went to San Francisco and beat a Dons team that had 21 wins a year ago and lost the West Coast Conference semi's in overtime to BYU.

So how did the Eagles get through this week?  On the backs of their stars, click below to check out the nominees for this week's #EAGLEEYEPOW

Monday, December 15, 2014

Why not us? Do these Eagles share any traits with previous NCAA "Cinderella" Teams?

***I am re-posting this one, in light of EWU rising to 41st in the RPI ratings after last night's thrilling loss to then #17 ranked Washington (The Huskies are now ranked #16).  If the Eagles can win at Sam Houston State tomorrow and pull off a surprise at California, these discussions will be even more relevant.***

Recent posts and national attention have brought a feeling of success to this young season.  They will also bring out the doubters, the disparagers and even those who will mask their doubt with off handed compliments:
Their points seem valid, but this team shares some commonalities with teams that have shocked the nation before.

Thursday, December 11, 2014

Eastern Washington @ San Francisco

Eastern is set to tip off in about 30 minutes against San Francisco.

As always you can hear Larry Weir on the call at and you can catch the live video stream on

I'll be watching, so follow along on twitter!
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EWU Eagle Eye Player of the Week: Week 4 2014-2015

Good morning Eagle Fans!  I'm wrapping up my classes for the semester this week, thank goodness the Eagles break in the schedule matched up.  Tonight the Eagles will visit San Francisco and look to continue the best start in their NCAA DI history.

Before I get onto that game however, it is time for the Week 4 EWU Eagle Eye Player of the Week.  Click through the break to read more.

Sunday, December 7, 2014

EWU Eagle Eye Player of the Week Nominations Week 4

With just one game this week, Saturday's win over Seattle University, I'm going to post this week's nominees for #EagleEyePOW earlier, click through to find out and be sure to cast your vote on face book or twitter with #EagleEyePOW and the player's name!

A photo posted by EWU Athletics (@ewuathletics) on
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EWU Eagle Eye Player of the Week for Week 3 2014-2015

Good morning Eagle Fans!  I've just returned from a week long trip on Navy Reserve orders, which included the celebration of my wife's birthday.  The trip was great, but now I've fallen behind on some posts and will try to catch up over the next couple days.

First thing is the week 3 EWU Eagle Eye Player of the Week.  Click through the break to read more.

Tuesday, December 2, 2014

EWU Hoops wins shootout over Eastern Oregon 104-87

EWU Head Coach Jim Hayford earned his 300th win Sunday night
photo from ewuathletics
Sunday night's game was the definition of a shoot out, both teams shot very well most of the night.  The Eagles hit 56.2% of their shots, including 46.2% from beyond the arc, while the Mountaineers hit 46% of their shots and 50% from long range.

Sunday, November 30, 2014

Preview Eastern Oregon Mountaineers @ Eastern Washington Eagles

Good morning Eagle fans, this afternoon the Eagles will host DII Eastern Oregon in their penultimate home game of the 2014-2015 non-conference season.

For the Mountaineers, this game is an exhibition, but they took their last DI exhibition opponent very seriously.  The Idaho Vandals escaped with just an 8 point victory on November 14th.  They are led by Junior Forward Bryan McGriff (#22) who leads the team in scorping with 20.7 points per game and rebounds with 10.5 per game.  He's had 5 double doubles in 9 games and was only 3 rebounds short of the feat against Idaho.  Junior Guard Case Rada (#21) adds 17.3 points, 5 rebounds and 4.3 assists per game.  Senior Guard De'Sean Mattox (#5) is hitting 43% of his 3 pointers this season scoring 16.3 points per game and also adds 4.3 assists and 3.8 rebounds per contest.  Deonta Edwards (#2) is also a double digit scorer averaging 11.4 points and 4.6 rebounds per game.  Senior Wing Michael Crane (#10) is corralling 8.9 rebounds per  game and adding 7.1 points per game.

Look for Eastern to experiment with their line up a bit and get some of their reserves into the game early.  I think the Mountaineers can keep the game interesting if the Eagles don't play to their standard on each possession.  Tip off is at 2:05 p.m. PT at Reese Court

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Saturday, November 29, 2014

Early Season Rankings

The season is very young, but with Eastern off to its best start in 3 decades, I thought it would be fun to see how the Eagles rank.  First we'll go through the power rankings and a quick glance at team stats, then we'll dig into some individual rankings as well.

EWU Eagle Eye Links for Saturday 29 November 2014

With no game for the Eagles until Sunday the news is a bit sparse so the links today are short. I'm working on a couple of posts that I will try to get posted later today so keep checking back!

Friday, November 28, 2014

EWU Eagle Eye Links for Friday November 28th

Head Coach Jim Hayford has the Eagles rising.
photo from

Eagles Head Coach Jim Hayford has the Eastern Washington Eagles off to their best start since the 1980's and lloking primed to make a big time run in the Big Sky Conference.  Follow along after the break to check out the latest EWU Hoops news from around the net.

Big Sky Big Men Comparison

Joel Bolomboy (#21)
photo from Denis Poroy, AP
via Deseret News
Venky Jois (#55) 
photo from
Good morning Eagle Fans!  I spent the morning perusing the Internet for interesting stories on EWU Hoops to share for this morning links and found this gem from, a preseason list of the top 15 Big Men to watch in 2014-2015, the only Big Sky player listed?  Joel Bolomboy (Weber State).  The Junior Forward is a fantastic rebounder and is scoring nearly 17 points a game so far this season.

The article made me wonder how Bolomboy stacks up with Eastern's own star Junior Forward, Venky Jois.  Continue reading after the break to find out how these two players compare.

Thursday, November 27, 2014

EWU Dominates Northern Kentucky 81-60, moves to 5-1 for the first time in 3 decades

Photo from @ewuathletics on instagram
The Eagles led this game wire to wire behind strong performances from the usual suspects of Venky Jois, Tyler HarveyDrew Brandon and Ognjen "OG" Miljkovic.

Northern Kentucky came into last night's contest 2-2 on the year.  They were on a two game winning streak which included beating DI North Carolina A&T as well as DII Ohio Midwestern.  The Norse featured a young line up that gave up some size to Eastern in exchange for speed and quickness.  Northern Kentucky used 14 different players last night, including 11 players with more than 10 minutes on the court in an effort to keep their legs fresh and presumably develop the depth of the program.

As Coach Hayford put it on twitter, "NKU is building a solid program.  I wish them the best of luck."

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Eagles set to host The University of Northern Kentucky Norse at Reese Court

With all the glory of a big time win at Assembly Hall the past couple days, it's important to remember the Eagles have a whole season left before them.  First up a home game tonight against the Northern Kentucky Norse.

The Norse finished last season with a 9-21 (5-13) record last season finishing 8th in the Atlantic Sun Conference.  They are, like the Eagles, a young team featuring just 2 seniors who combine to average 2.7 ppg.  The Norse are led by Freshman Guard Taylor Persons (#2) with 9.3 points per game and a 1:1 assist to turnover ratio.

It is tough to derive anything from their previous opponents this season as they've lost badly to two top 25 teams (#3 Wisconsin and #21 Nebraska) and beaten 2 teams of lesser qualification (D1 North Carolina A&T and DII Ohio Midwestern).  The team has turned the ball over a lot and does not score many points, but they have prevented their opponents from scoring a lot.  Wisconsin and Nebraska both abused the Norse from beyond the arc, which is a good omen for the Eagles.

Based purely on the statistics, it looks like Eastern should win this game handily, but there are other things that could play a factor.  The Eagles are coming off a huge and emotional win over Indiana on top of having traveled 4,737 miles since November 21.  The Norse have won their last two games convincingly and should be feeling confident when they step onto Reese Court tonight.

All in all I think Eastern will prevail and expect the Eagles to be 5-1 after tonight's contest.

Up next for the Norse a game at the Idaho Vandals on November 29th.

Next up for EWU, a home game against DII Eastern Oregon on November 30th.

Tip off for tonight's game is 6:05 p.m. PT.
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EWU Eagle Eye Player of the Week, week 2 2014-2015

This week represents one of the most difficult decisions I've faced in choosing the POW.  The Eagles had 4 players who were completely deserving of the award and frankly I could make the argument for a couple more!  They are playing great team basketball right now and despite the disappointment of the loss at SMU, we will always get to remember the historic take down of Indiana at Assembly Hall.  So before the break and this week's POW, take at look at this video from EWU Athletics Vimeo account.

EWU Men's Basketball Historic Win Over Indiana from EWU Athletics on Vimeo.

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

EWU Eagle Eye Player of the Week Nominations Week 2 2014-2015

The second week of the season flew by, the Eagles took care of business hosting Walla Walla before hitting the road and losing to then 22nd ranked SMU before finishing with a big time win last night against Indiana at Assembly Hall.

With one close loss on the week and a dominating win against a lower division opponent, I think the players performances last night should be weighted just a bit.  With that in my continue after the break to see this week's nominees!

EWU Eagle Eye Hoops Morning Links Tuesday November 25, 2014

Good morning Eagle fans!  Flush off an impressive win of Indiana, the Eagles are preparing for tomorrow nights match up with Northern Kentucky at Reese Court.  We get to bask in the glow of a nationally televised Eagle victory for another day though, so continue after the break and we'll check out all the news on the Internet.

Eastern Washington Eagles take down Indiana at Assembly Hall 88-86

The headlines across the net are all proclaiming that Eastern stunned Indiana at Assembly Hall.  Indiana and the national writers may have been stunned by the tenacious Eagles last night, but those of us that have watched this squad grow up over the last few seasons are not shocked.  They will call this an upset, but I saw an Eastern team that played well, but not their best.  I would expect this team to beat Indiana again if they matched up on a neutral court.

The Eagles played a very sloppy first 25 minutes resulting in a 12 point deficit at 54-42 with 15:32 remaining.  And then they remembered who they are and all the hard work they've put in.  From that point on the Eagles would go on a series of runs to outscore the Hoosiers 46 to 32 over the final 15 minutes of play, capped by Parker Kelly's clutch 3 pointer to give the Eagles a 4 point lead with about 30 seconds to play.

Saturday, November 22, 2014

EWU Eagle Eye Preview Links Eastern Eagles @ Southern Methodist Mustangs

Good morning Eagle fans!  The Eagles are in Dallas, TX tonight and will face off with the currently 22 ranked SMU Mustangs.  I won't be able to watch or listen to the game tonight as I have volunteer work with Naval Operation Support Center Austin, TX Chief Petty Officer's Mess.

That won't prevent me from sharing these quick links to get you a preview of tonight's match up.

Thursday, November 20, 2014

EWU Rolls over Walla Walla 95-34

Eastern Washington Men's Basketball team squared off with the Walla Walla University Wolves last night to close out a 3 game home stand to open their season.  The Wolves compete in NAIA DII and were clearly outmatched from the start.

photo from @ewuathletics, follow them on instagram
Eagle Head Coach Jim Hayford took the opportunity to get his players experience in different roles and to get his reserves plenty of minutes on the court.  The starting line up had been 1) Drew Brandon, 2) Tyler Harvey, 3) Parker Kelly, 4) Ognjen "OG" Miljkovic, 5) Venky Jois.  In this set the 2-3 and 4-5 positions are nearly interchangeable.  Last night the starting lineup was 1) Tyler Harvey, 2) Sir Washington, 3) Felix Von Hofe, 4) Venky Jois, 5) Frederik Jörg. This line up features a true center in Jörg as well as just two guards with a swing forward in Von Hofe.

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

EWU Eagle Eye Player of the Week 11 - 17 November 2014

Good evening Eagle fans!  We are fast approaching Eastern's third game of the season at home against Walla Walla University, tip off is about 20 minutes from now.  As usual I will be tweeting @ewueagleeye.

But first, click through to find out this season's first EWU Eagle Eye Player of the Week.

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

EWU Eagle Eye Player of the Week Nominations 11 Nov - 17 Nov 2014

Good morning Eagle fans!  It's time to decide the first EWU Eagle Eye Player of The Week for the 2014-2015 season.

The Eagles opened the season with a pair of home games and got some stellar performances from their star players.  Check out this highlight video from EWU Athletics YouTube account, then click the link below to find out which three stars are this week's nominees.

EWU Eagle Eye Links for Tuesday 18 November 2014

Good morning Eagle fans!  It's time for another trip around the Internet for the latest on all things EWU.  But first let's take a look at the highlight game report from KREM 2

EWU Eagles Hoops defeat Utah Valley Wolverines 75-50

The Eagles improved to 2-0 (0-0) last night with a dominant victory over Utah Valley.  Eastern opened the game on a 12-2 run on 2pt buckets by Venky Jois, Drew Brandon, and "OG" Miljkovic, who added a pair of three pointers in the run as well.  The Wolverines briefly cut the lead to 8pts late in the first half, but were never closer throughout.  Read more after the page break.
A photo posted by EWU Athletics (@ewuathletics) on

Monday, November 17, 2014

EWU Eagle Eye Links for Monday Morning 17 November 2014

Photo from @ewuathletics
follow them on instagram
Good morning Eagle fans!  Eastern sits atop the Big Sky after winning the nation's first NCAA DI men's basketball game of the season.  Tonight the Eagles will play their second game when they host the Utah Valley University Wolverines, tip off at 5:05 p.m. PT.  Lets take a run around the Internet to get you warmed up for tonight's non-conference match up.

Friday, November 14, 2014

Eastern Washington University Eagles win the first game of the NCAA DI 2014-2015 season

Photo from @ewuathletics, follow them on twitter
The Eagles started the NCAA DI Season early, and slow.  They shot 34.5% from the field in the opening half including an 0-6 performance from Venky Jois, but led 32-30 at the half.

In the first half the Eagles were soft on defense and troubling on offense.  As Jonathan Reed, of, put it:

Big Sky Conference Schedule November 14, 2014 & November 15, 2014

Opening night for the Big Sky Conference Men's Basketball Season, here is whats on the schedule.

Friday Nov 14, 2014

Eastern Washington Eagles vs Texas Southern Tigers
The Eagles open all of NCAA DI basketball this morning at 8 a.m. PST.  Eastern finished last season's non-conference schedule 5-6.  Texas Southern ended last season in the NCAA tournament after winning the Southwestern Athletic Conference tournament.

Idaho Vandals vs Eastern Oregon Mountaineers
The Vandals return to the Big Sky Conference will start with a home game against Division II Eastern Oregon.   Tip off is at 8 p.m. PST.  Idaho finished its final basketball season in the Western Athletic Conference by losing to New Mexico State in the WAC Championship game.

Idaho State Bengals @ New Mexico Lobos
The Bengals finished 10th in the Big Sky last season, but didn't lose a single conference game by more than 8 points and took down Weber State in overtime February 17th, 2014.  The Lobos won 27 games last year and ended their season in the NCAA tournament.  Tip off is at 7 p.m. PST

Montana Grizzlies @ Colorado State Rams
The Grizzlies are starting nearly fresh with new Head Coach Travis DeCuire.  The Rams lost their opening round game of the Mountain West Conference tournament to end their 2013-2014 season.  Tip off is at 7 p.m. PST

Northern Arizona Lumberjacks @ Xavier Musketeers
The Lumberjacks look poised to contend for the Big Sky championship this season on the strength of a very good defense.  The Musketeers ended their 2013-2014 season in the opening round of the NCAA tournament.  Tip off is at 4 p.m. PST

Northern Colorado Bears vs Black Hills State Yellow Jackets
The Bears lost two key players from last years squad in Tate Unruh and Derrick Barden, but they still look deep and balanced.  The Division II Yellow Jackets are using this game as a warm up for their season.  Tip off is at 6 p.m. PST

Sacramento State Hornets @ Gonzaga Bulldogs
The Hornets are led by Senior Guard Dylan Garrity and looked poise to seriously contend for the Big Sky Conference Championship.  The Bulldogs have ended the last 16 seasons in the NCAA Tournament including last year's second round loss to Arizona.  Tip off is at 6 p.m. PST

Southern Utah Thunderbirds @ Kansas State Wildcats
The Thunderbirds finished dead last in the Big Sky last season behind an atrocious offense.  They were also one of the youngest teams in the NCAA Division I and should start to improve.  The Wildcats ended their 2013-2014 with a second round loss in the NCAA tournament.  Tip off is at 6 p.m. PST

Weber State Wildcats @ Utah State Aggies
The Wildcats won the Big Sky last season before losing to Arizona in the NCAA tournaments first round.  The Aggies ended their 2013-2014 season in the Quarterfinal Round of the Mountain West Conference Championship.  Tip off is at 6:05 p.m. PST

Saturday Nov 15, 2014

Montana State Bobcats @ UCLA Bruins
The Bobcats, like the Grizzlies, are trying to reset this season under a new Head Coach, Brian Fish.  The Bruins ended last season by losing to the Florida Gators in the Sweet 16 of the NCAA Tournament.  Tip off is at 9 a.m. PST

North Dakota @ Northern Iowa Panthers
North Dakota will be rebuilding this year after 5 of 7 key contributors departed from last year's team.  The Panthers lost in the opening round of the Missouri Valley Conference tournament to end their 2013-2014 season.  Tip off is at 11 a.m. PST

Portland State Vikings @ USC Trojans
The Vikings finished last season winning 5 of 6 and advancing to the second round of the Big Sky Conference Tournament.  The Trojans struggled in the Pac-12 last season after winning 9 non-conference games.  Tip off is at 7:30 a.m. PST

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EWU Eagle Eye Game Day Morning Links

Photo from @ewuathletics.  Follow them on instagram
Good morning Eagle fans!  NCAA DI Basketball officially tips off in just under 4 hours with your Eastern Washington University Eagles taking on the Texas Southern University Tigers at Reese Court.

Let's take a quick look around the Internet for Eagle news and information to warm us up before the game.

Thursday, November 13, 2014

Quick Look at EWU Eagle Men's Basketball Non-Conference Schedule

The Eagles have what could be a tough non-conference schedule set to open the season.

Photo from @ewuathletics.  Follow them on instagram
This season EWU has 13 non-conference games.  6 of those teams played in a post season tournament, including Texas Southern who lost in the opening round of the NCAA tournament and SMU who lost to Memphis in the NIT championship round.  They will be on the road for 7 of the 13 games including a pair of games in Seattle against Seattle University, who has a 5-3 record against the Eagles since restarting their program in the 2008-2009 season, and the University of Washington, who the Eagles haven't beaten since December 2002.

The Eagles also travel to Houston to take on Sam Houston State University in a rematch of the game at Reese Court in February 2013, the Eagles won 81-76.  Continue after the break to see the full non-conference schedule.

EWU Eagle Eye Morning Links

What better way to start this Thursday morning, the eve of the Eastern Washington Eagles 2014-2015 campaign than with some Eagle Eye links?

We'll take a look around the internet for Big Sky Conference previews as well as any interesting coverage of the Eagles and their first opponent of the season, the Texas Southern Tigers.

EWU Eagles set to take on Texas Southern Tigers

The Eagles tip off their non-conference schedule at 8 a.m. on Friday at Reese Court.

Eastern Washington's Football team played against Sam Houston State in the first game of the 2014 College Football season.  The tip for the basketball team's first game was moved to 8 a.m. to ensure that it was also the first official NCAA Division I basketball game of the 2014-2015 season.

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Player Profile: Bogdan Bliznyuk (#32) Freshman Forward

Bogdan Bliznyuk (#32) Freshman Forward, 6’6” 215lbs
Lutsk, Ukraine - Todd Beamer High School class of 2014

Bogdan is one of the most highly recognized high school players in the state of Washington from last year. With 7 forwards and a center on the roster, he may red shirt this season.

Far from a red shirt season, Bogdan "The Blizzard" Bliznyuk is the only Eastern player through 31 games to have appeared in every contest. He has proven himself the team's key "6th Man" and won recognition as the Big Sky Freshman of the Year.

Named EWU Eagle Eye Player of the Week:
Week 8 2014-2015
Week 10 2014-2015

Freshman Forward Bogdan Bliznyuk
photo from
Stats 2014-2015

Games 31
MIN 18.5
PPG 8.4
FG% 59.3
3PTPG 0.6
3PT% 54.1
TOPG 1.4
PFPG 2.4

From, Hayford on Bliznyuk: “Bogdan is an excellent addition to our roster.  He's a skilled player who can play multiple positions.  He's as an accomplished a player in terms of honors and recognition received that we've had here since probably signing Rodney Stuckey, Marc Axton and Alvin Snow - some of our all-time great Eastern players.  It's great to sign a really good in-state talent who fits our style of play.  We're excited to have him here the next four or five seasons.”

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Player Profile: Cody Benzel (#20) Freshman Guard

Cody Benzel (#20) Freshman Guard, 6’4” 175lbs
Spokane, WA - Ferris High School class of 2014

Cody will red shirt this season behind a deep group at guard.

Freshman Guard Cody Benzel
photo from
Stats 2013-2014

Games --
MIN --
PPG --
FG% --
3PTPG --
3PT% --

From, Hayford on Benzel: “Cody will redshirt as he looks to improve his strength and athleticism.  He is a very good outside shooter.”

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Player Profile: Will Ferris (#15) Freshman Guard

Will Ferris (#15) Freshman Guard, 6’1” 175lbs
Bellevue, WA - Newport High School class of 2014

Will will red shirt this season behind a deep group at guard.

Freshman Guard Will Ferris
photo from
Stats 2013-2014

Games --
MIN --
PPG --
FG% --
3PTPG --
3PT% --

From, Hayford on Ferris: “Will be a redshirt for us this season as he learns to play both guard positions.  We expect him to be a team leader over the course of his career.  He is an outstanding young man and he's a great student and person.  Will is a very hard worker and self-motivated to excellence.  He plays the game with great intelligence, he's a very skilled shooter and he is a natural leader.”

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Player Profile: Bear Henderson (#11) Freshman Forward

Bear Henderson (#11) Freshman Forward, 6’6” 215lbs
Mission Hills, CA - Village Christian High School class of 2014

Bear looks like an athletic 3-4 spot tweener, but could see some time in rotation this season.

Freshman Forward Bear Henderson
photo from
Stats 2014-2015

Games --
MIN --
PPG --
FG% --
3PTPG --
3PT% --

From, Hayford on Henderson: “Bear brings athleticism and plays with great passion.  He can rebound and run the floor, and has a great career as an Eagle ahead of him.”

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Player Profile: Sir Washington (#4) Freshman Guard

Sir Washington (#4) Freshman Guard, 6'3” 180lbs

Las Vegas, NV - Clark High School class of 2013

Sir Washington red-shirted last season, but looks to contribute to the guard rotation this season especially as a defender.

Sir Washington consistently gave the Eagles solid bench minutes this season as the teams 3rd option ball handler and second best perimeter defender. In the week before the home match up against Sacramento State, Sir fractured his knee cap likely ending his season.

2014-2015 stats:

Freshman Guard Sir Washington
photo from

Games 21
MIN 10.1
PPG 2.5
FG% 37.5
3PTPG 0.2
3PT% 28.6
TOPG 0.4
PFPG 1.8

From, Hayford on Washington: “We are excited that Sir will be able to join our team this season.  He is an athletic wing player who can shoot and drive.  We will also look to him to be lock-down defender."

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Player Profile: Felix Von Hofe (#44) Sophomore Forward

Felix Von Hofe (#44) Sophomore Forward, 6'5" 200lbs

Melbourne, Australia - Wesley College class of 2012

Felix logged valuable minutes off the bench last season for the Eagles and flashed talent as an outside shooter at the forward position.

Sophomore Guard Felix Von Hofe
photo from
2014-2015 stats:

Games 25
MIN 14.4
PPG 4.4
FG% 40.2
3PTPG 1.0
3PT% 38.2
TOPG 0.4
PFPG 1.2

From, Hayford on Von Hofe: "We expect Felix to have a breakout sophomore season.  He is a tremendous outside shooter, but is also very skilled in other areas of his game." 

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