Eastern Washington men’s basketball will enjoy the beach this weekend as they travel to play in the Outrigger Rainbow Classic in Honolulu, Hawai’i. In the tournament, Eastern will play Yale on Friday, Nov. 11 at 6:30 p.m. Pacific Time. The Eagles will have a day off before they play the host school, Hawaii on Sunday, Nov. 13 at 7 p.m. The final game will be against Mississippi Valley State on Monday, Nov. 14 at 6:30 p.m.
Eastern Washington opened its season with a tough road matchup against Santa Clara, falling to the Broncos, 72-84. Angelo Allegri scored 19 points to lead the team and Tyreese Davis added 12. Eastern led Santa Clara through most of the first half, but a 9-2 run to close the half gave the Broncos the lead. The Eagles were playing from behind the entirety of the second half and could not erase the deficit.
The Eagles had five players record their first minutes against Santa Clara. Davis, Dane Erikstrup, Deon Stroud and Cedric Coward all played their first minutes and scored their first points as Eagles. Ty Harper also played his first minutes in an Eastern uniform.
A Look at the Eagles
The Eagles are led by second-year head coach, David Riley. The 11-year veteran of the program has previously served as the director of operations, assistant coach, and associate head coach since the 2011-12 season. He was officially introduced as head coach on March 25, 2021. Riley and his staff hit the recruiting trail hard in the 2022 offseason, bringing in nine newcomers with a plethora of different basketball experience.
Six returners are back from last season, where the Eagles finished 18-16 overall and tied for fifth in the Big Sky Conference with a mark of 11-9. The Eagles won their first-round matchup against Northern Arizona (78-75) in the Big Sky Tournament before narrowly falling to Northern Colorado in the quarterfinals by a score of 67-68. Eastern then accepted an invite to The Basketball Classic, marking the eighth national postseason tournament appearance in school history (at the Division I level). They fell to the hosting Fresno State Bulldogs in the first round by a score of 74-83.
Big Sky Preseason Info
Eastern Washington was selected to finish fifth in the Big Sky Conference in both the coaches’ and media preseason poll. The Eagles finished last season with a 11-9 record in the Big Sky and 18-16 overall in head coach David Riley‘s inaugural season in Cheney.
Redshirt-sophomore Steele Venters was named to the Big Sky Conference Preseason Team. Venters averaged 16.7 points per game and ranked sixth in the nation with a 43.7 three-point shooting percentage.
Scouting the Bulldogs
Yale began it season with a 96-41 win over Sarah Lawrence at home. The top scorer for Yale was junior guard Matt Knowling who scored 20 points on a perfect 10-of-10 shooting night. Sophomore guard John Poulakidas and sophomore forward Jack Molloy each scored 10 points for the Bulldogs, with senior forward EJ Jarvis scoring nine.
Last season, Yale won the Ivy League Tournament and posted 19 wins in route to a postseason appearance. It was the third straight season that the Bulldogs earned an automatic bid for the NCAA Tournament. At the NCAAs, Yale, as a 14 seed, lost to Purdue, the third seed, 78-56 in the first round. Yale returns three starters from the 2021-22 team.
Friday’s game will be the first matchup in program history between Eastern Washington and Yale.
Scouting the Rainbow Warriors
Hawaii has not played a game so far in the 2022-23 season, but will open against Yale on Friday (Nov. 11). The team did defeat UH Hilo, 87-71 in an exhibition game.
Head coach Eran Ganot is in his eight season with the Warriors and has a 114-77 overall record. Hawaii was selected second in the Big West preseason poll. They return three starters and nine letterwinners from the 2021-22 team that went 17-11. Last year’s team finished third in the Big West with a 10-5 record. Additionally, Hawaii adds five newcomers, with two transfers and three freshmen.
At the division I level, Eastern has split the all-time series with Hawaii, 1-1, with the last meeting taking place in November of 2011. The Eagles were 0-3 against the Warriors before joining the division I ranks
Scouting the Delta Devils
Mississippi Valley State had a very difficult first game of the season, facing No. 5 Baylor in Waco, Texas. The Bears defeated the Delta Devils, 117-53 in the game.
The Delta Devils return sophomore center, Daniel Umoh, to the front court after he led the team in offensive rebounds and blocks per game. Senior guard Terry Collins is also back for MVS, after averaging 9.7 points and 2.2 rebounds last season. Sophomore guard Kadar Waller was the team’s free-throw leader with an 87.5 percent mark from the line. Waller was 32nd in the nation in free-throw percentage.
The Monday night game will be the first meeting between the teams in program history.