Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Eastern Washington Gets Ready For Canada Trip

Eastern Washington is off this week for a trip to Canada, where they will play seven games in six days. Head Coach Jim Hayford said, "The level of competition isn't the equivalent of Division I, but it's solid."

The trip comes at a good time for the Eagles, because they will be breaking in a ton of new guys. There are six newcomers - five freshman and one newcomers - as well as three guys who redshirted last year. The trip should be a good opportunity to gain some experience, as well as a chance for Hayford to begin fleshing out the makeup of the roster. With all of the newcomers, they are as tough to predict as any team in the Big Sky, and I suspect that even the coaching staff is waiting to see how a rotation plays out.

If I had to guess as of today, I think things would look something like thi:

Starting Lineup
G Justin Crogsile
G Jeffrey Forbes
F Collin Chiverton
F Venky Jois
C Martin Seiferth

Really, the only thing we know for sure is that Collin Chiverton will be in the starting lineup. He could lead the league in scoring, and Coach Hayford said he is fully recovered from a foot injury that bothered him all of last season. Jeffrey Forbes started last year which makes him a good bet to start again, but they have a lot of depth there. Justin Crogsile played a lot of minutes for St. Joseph's in his first two years, and my guess is he would have the inside track on the point guard spot, though that could depend on how ready Forbes is to be able to handle the primary ballhandler responsibilities.

Of course, they could start three guards and go with a small ball lineup, though I'm not sure how likely that is. Parker Kelly was a big-time player for them last year, and provides a bunch of range. Kevin Winford had a little bit of a disappointing year last year, but he can put up points in a hurry. Freshman Daniel Hill comes to the program with a lot of high praise, but it will be tough for him to secure a ton of time in a crowded, veteran backcourt. Ivan Dorsey went to junior college with Collin Chiverton, so obviously that familiarity will help him. There are a lot of good options back there.

In the frontcourt, things are a bit more unsettled thanks to a lot of graduations. Jordan Hickert has the most experience at EWU, but I'm not sure he brings enough to the table to play more than 15 minutes per night, as he is a three-point specialist but only an average rebounder. Martin Seiferth has drawn praise, and should be in the mix after sitting out a year after a transfer from Oregon. Venky Jois is just a hunch, as he appears to be an athletic big man that should be ready to play.

Another option is Danny Powell, who put up big time numbers in high school. He can score inside and outside, and he shot 46% from downtown as a junior. It wouldn't be a shock to see him get a lot of minutes. Jaylen Henry played a bit last year, but I am not sure he is a great fit in Hayford's offense. Frederick Jorg (Germany) and Thomas Reuter (Germany) are tough to project also, but it wouldn't be a surprise to see at least one of those guys redshirted.

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