Tuesday, January 27, 2015

EWU Eagle Eye Player of the Week 11 Nominees

The Eagles swept another week of Big Sky play improving to 6-1 and keeping pace with Sacramento State and Montana for the Conference lead.  Each week I highlight the individual accomplishments of one particular Eagle whose contributions stood out among his team mates.

In the ideal scenario, the fans and readers would tell me which Eagle has earned the nod for #EagleEyePOW so please click the link to see this week's nominees and let me know your choice in the comments, via twitter using #EagleEyePOW, on the Eagle Eye Hoops Facebook page or by email to brian@ewueagleeye.com.

Tyler Harvey; photo from goeags.com
I've said it before, but it almost can't be said enough, I can't compile a list of nominees without including Tyler Harvey and this week is no different.  The superstar Junior Guard threw in 61 points in two games and added 7 rebounds, 7 assists, 2 steals and 1 block.  He did it by draining 7 of 15 three's and getting to the free throw line often and making it count.  He was 22 of 25 from the charity stripe in this two game stretch.

A fully healthy Drew Brandon twice threatened a triple-double this week and earned back to back double-doubles (his 3rd and 4th of the season).  The Senior Point Guard's two game stat line: 25 points, 19 rebounds, 17 assists, 4 steals, 1 block and 7 turnovers.  Brandon's play is even more significant than his amazing stat lines, he enables the rest of the team to to excel and definitely did so this week.  Like Harvey, he got himself to the charity stripe often, hitting 10 of 11 free throws and helping this team win.

The third member of the Eagle back court also deserves to be on this list.  Parker Kelly, like Brandon, is finally playing healthy and it shows as he drained clutch shots all week and made his presence felt on defense.  Kelly finished with 25 points, 9 rebounds, 2 steals and 1 assist.  He drained 7 of 13 three point attempts with each one seemingly ending a run by the opposing team.  Kelly is a team player whose presence spreads the floor on offense and removes a teams best guard on defense.  Against Northern Colorado, the Eagles shut down the Bears leading scorers completely allowing just 5 points on 2 of 14 shooting and forced them into 6 turnovers.

This week wasn't just about the guards,  Ognjen "OG" Miljkovic was a dominant force for the Eagles this week.  29 points, 7 rebounds, 2 steals, 1 block and 1 assist while playing through injury and without superstar front court mate Venky Jois, OG provided critical interior defense and scored from inside the paint and outside hitting 5 of 8 three's and 5 of 9 two's.  OG also got himself to the charity stripe and made it count going 3-5, all while wearing enough tape on his shoulder to send the tape company's kids to college.

The final nominee for this week comes from the Eagle bench.  Bogdan Bliznyuk continued his red-hot streak since entering conference play and is making a case for Big Sky Freshman of the Year.  Bogdan hasn't started a game in conference play, but he is averaging 26.5 minutes per game including 29 minutes per game this week.  He's not just playing a lot, he's making the minutes count.  This week Bogdan racked up 35 points, 16 rebounds, 5 assists, 4 steals and 1 block.  He went 10 of 11 from the free throw line and 3 of 4 from beyond the arc.  When the team is in desperate need of a post player to help replace the production and minutes of Venky Jois, Bogdan has stepped up in a big time way.
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