While Eastern Washington has had some strong teams in the past, this team is still more in a rebuilding phase at this point and is built for next season with no seniors currently on the roster.
In addition to being a young team, the Eagles lost star point guard Glen Dean to a stress fracture in his left foot just prior to the start of the season. Last year the 5-foot-10 sophomore averaged a team-high 12.1 points per game and topped the Big Sky Conference with 4.4 assists per game.
Without Dean, Eastern Washington opened the season up against San Jose State this past Friday. Although the game was at home, the Eagles had no answer for former Husky Adrian Oliver, who led the Spartans in a second-half rally to see off EWU, 67-60. Oliver finished the game with 34 points on 12-23 shooting from the field.
On the other end of the court, Tremayne Johnson, a 6-foot-7 junior small forward out of Los Angeles, Calif. - who transferred in this season by way of LA Southwest College - led the Eagles in scoring with 21 points on 6 of 15 shooting from the field and 3 of 7 from beyond the arc. Over his 40 minutes on the court he also had seven rebounds and six turnovers.
Federal Way High School alum Jeffrey Forbes ran the point for the Eagles and finished with 15 points on 4 of 9 shooting. The 5-foot-10 sophomore also had six rebounds, two assists and two steals in his 37 minutes.
As a team, Eastern finished the game shooting 37 percent from the field, 32 percent from three and 55 percent from the free throw line.
Besides the inexperience on the Eagles roster - five of their six juniors transferred in this season from JC programs - EWU are also lacking a true-post presence. In the last game, the Eagles played three players at 6-foot-7, one at 6-foot-8 and one at 6-foot-6 in their frontcourt.
With a smaller roster, Eastern Washington Head Coach Kirk Earlywine generally prefers to play an up-tempo pace.
Following this game, the Huskies will travel to Hawaii to begin the EA Sports Maui Invitational against Virginia and former Washington State Head Coach Tony Bennett. The Cavaliers are currently 2-0 with wins over William & Mary and USC Upstate. The contest will begin at 9 p.m. PST Monday at the Lahaina Civic Center.
Hoops Preview - Eastern Washington
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