Saturday, December 1, 2012

Eastern Washington Wins Behind Venky Jois

At the start of the year, I pegged Eastern Washington big man Venky Jois as the best freshman in the conference. Early in the season, it seemed I may have undersold him.

In his first seven collegiate games, he has scored in double figures in nine of them, posting three double-doubles. On Friday night, he had his best game yet, scoring 22 points and grabbing 13 rebounds in a 79-75 win over Cal State Fullerton. For the season he is averaging 13.6 points and 8.9 rebounds per game, shooting 55% from the floor.

The Eagles trailed 46-39 at the half, as the Titans looked to push the pace. However, EWU just kept coming and CS Fullerton wore down, as the Eagles held the Titans to just 28% shooting in the second half, outscoring them 40-29.

While Venky was a star, there was a lot of help in this one. Guard Justin Crogsile had 16 points, 10 rebounds, and 6 assists. He had some issues with shot selection early in the year, but has tightened that up in recent games. Freshman Thomas Reuter had 16 points, as Coach Jim Hayford just said they simply found a mismatch where he could take advantage.

“We went to (Reuter) because we wanted to make them pay for having in four guards out there,” explained Hayford. “So Thomas was the mismatch.”
At times it has been a rough start for the year, as the Eagles have had some really difficult road games. But this game is just a small taste of the talent they have, and how good they can be when they finally get some experience. They will be a very dangerous team.

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