Thursday, November 13, 2014

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.

Texas Southern finished last season by winning the Southwestern Conference tournament and losing to Cal-Poly in the opening round of the NCAA tournament.  The Tigers lost their two top scorers from last season to graduation and are looking to replace their production with transfers Nick Shepherd, from Long Beach State, and Nevin Johnson, from Creighton.  They return their top forward in Senior Jose Rodriguez.

This game should be a good challenge for the Eagles as the Tigers have plenty of experience with 6 Seniors and 5 Juniors.  They played their way into the NCAA tournament last year as well so they know how to win.  Up next for the Tigers, a Monday night game at the University of Indiana, a part of 12 road games in their non-conference schedule.

The Eagles open with three home games in six days before travelling to Southern Methodist University on Saturday November 22.  Coach Hayford's squad returns all but two of it's players from last season.  Martin Seiferth opted to play professional ball in Germany and Thomas Reuter is no longer with the team, though I haven't seen any indication of the reason.

Frederik Jörg the Eagles 7'1" red shirt Sophomore Center should help replace the production of Seiferth. Star Junior Forward Venky Jois will look to continue his stellar career at Eastern Washington, he already holds the career record for blocks with 115 and averages 12.9 points and 8.5 rebounds per contest. Ognjen "OG" Miljkovic, the Eagles Serbian Sophomore Forward is a versatile threat off the bench and will help round out the Eastern front court. Eagle transfer Kyle Reid figures to see significant action as well.

Tyler Harvey (#1); photo from
The Eagle's back court is headlined by Junior Guard Tyler Harvey who led the Eagles in scoring last season averaging 21.8 points per game. Senior Guard Drew Brandon returns to main the point for the Eagles and is one of the best rebounding guards in the conference. Senior Guard Parker Kelly is a solid shooter from the outside and from the free throw stripe and has become a tenacious defender as well.  

Up next for the Eagles is a Monday night home game against the Utah Valley University Wolverines. The last match-up between those teams resulted in an Eastern loss 86-83 at Reese Court on November 20th 2012.

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