Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Eastern Washington Inks Three

I have already written about Sir Washington, but Eastern Washington has signed three more players within the last week.

The first was Australian forward Felix Van Hofe. He played for Australia's U17 National Team, which finished second (to the USA) in the World U17 Championships, so he has experience playing against a high level of competition. Coach Jim Hayford says he is a "great shooter and solid all-around player." He also calls him the most acclaimed international recruit they have signed.

It continues the Australian pipeline for the Eagles, as they already have Venky Jois and Daniel Hill in the program, with Jordan Hickert having just graduated.

Then they signed 6'3'' JUCO guard Drew Brandon, who played for Sierra College in Rocklin, CA. Hayford says he has the ability to shoot the ball, drive the ball, and pass the ball. He had a fairly ridiculous stat line last year - 15.5 points, 7.4 rebounds, and 6.8 assists per game. Obviously, he has talent.

The signing makes sense too when looking at their roster. With the graduation of Kevin Winford and Jeff Forbes, and the transfer of Justin Crogsile midseason, there are depth issues at the PG spot. Daniel Hill showed some flashes as a freshman, but was up and down. Tyler Harvey can play the spot, but he is more natural off the guard. This gives the Eagles another option at the point, which is very important in Hayford's system.

The guy that perhaps the Eagles are most excited about is big man Ognjen Miljkovic (sidenote: EWU is not doing this Big Sky blogger any favors with making their guys' names be easy to spell!). Miljkovic is originally from Serbia, but played the last two years at Bishop Montgomery High School. He is 6'7'' and will be a freshman. He averaged 17 and 9 last year, but is a big man that can hit the three (notice any trends?) and has a versatile offensive game. He reportedly had some other potential options, so it has to feel good to snag him.

When you are rebuilding a small program that has some disadvantages, sometimes you have to think out of the box. That is what Eastern Washington has done the past couple of years, and I think it will pay big dividends. They have put together another very nice class.

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