Eastern Goes Perfect 6-0 on Canada Tour - Spokane, North Idaho News & Weather KHQ.com

Eastern Washington Basketball

Eastern Goes Perfect 6-0 on Canada Tour

Eastern Washington went 6-0 on their tour of Canada during this offseason (Photo: EWU Athletics) Eastern Washington went 6-0 on their tour of Canada during this offseason (Photo: EWU Athletics)

by EWU Athletics

Going into his team's six-game preseason tour of Canada, second-year Eastern Washington University head coach Jim Hayford knew it was an opportunity for his team to gain experience and blend together.

But he and the Eagles got more than they bargained for.

The six-game, seven-day trek across British Columbia not only helped blend nine newcomers on the floor with his veteran players, but off-the-floor the experience was even more valuable. Hayford's biggest chore during the trek was developing camaraderie and a team-first attitude among a melting pot of a roster consisting of Germans, Australians and Americans from five different states. On the floor, he had to blend together returning letterwinners, redshirts, four-year transfers, a junior college transfer and lots of incoming high school players.

"It really was a great trip," said Hayford as his team prepared to head back to Cheney. "Our team enjoyed and got to know one another better, and we improved in many areas."

"We took a portion of each day going through a mental fitness curriculum and I'm very pleased with the buy-in each player had," he continued. "We know the competition in the regular season will be more difficult, but we were pleased with our play and the outcome of the games."

The team's trip was captured on a blog that included game recaps, videos and facts about the players. It was another tool Hayford utilized to bring his team together. The blog may be found at: http://ewuhoops.blogspot.com

NCAA Division I schools are allowed to make one preseason foreign trip every four years, including up to 10 practices and six games. Of the 15 players on his roster, 14 of them played during the tour.

The team departed on Sept. 6 and played six games in six nights. After opening with an 87-70 win over Thompson Rivers University, Eastern headed west and edged the University of British Columbia in Vancouver, B.C., 77-73. Eastern then defeated the University of Victoria 77-58 on Sept. 9 before another narrow triumph over the University of The Fraser Valley, 84-79. Eastern concluded its tour with overwhelming victories over Quest University in Squamish (93-46) and Trinity Western (86-57) in Langley. The Eagles returned to Cheney on Sept. 13, with classes at EWU beginning on Sept. 26.

In winning six games in six nights, Hayford's squad had a different leading scorer each night.

"I think that shows we are going to have a deeper team with more balanced scoring," he predicted. "We have a team with a lot of newcomers and we know there are adjustments that need to be made. This trip goes a long way to expedite the process of becoming familiar with one another on the court."

The Eagles open the season Nov. 10 at Washington State, but won't play at home until Nov. 30 when Cal State Fullerton visits. Although the Eagles officially don't open at home until Nov. 30, they will host an exhibition game versus Concordia (Oregon) on Sunday, Nov. 4 at approximately 3:30 p.m. at Reese Court, following an exhibition game for the Eastern women's squad.

After losing four seniors to graduation from his first Eastern team, Hayford's 2012-13 squad will return two starters and four other returning letterwinners. His team also includes three players who redshirted last season – featuring a pair of NCAA Division I transfers – with six newcomers rounding out his squad.

Eastern finished 15-17 overall and was 8-8 in Big Sky Conference play to finish fourth, and the Eagles won their first Big Sky Conference Tournament game since 2006. Eastern improved by five victories from the year before, as the Eagles equaled their most wins since Eastern made its first-ever NCAA Tournament appearance in 2004.

  • College

    • Husky softball heading to Women's College World Series

      UW Athletics SEATTLE— Sixth seeded Washington punched its ticket to the Women's College World Series with a 2-1 victory over 11th seeded Utah on Sunday at Husky Softball Stadium.

      BYU bats blitz Bulldogs in WCC Championship

      Gonzaga Athletics STOCKTON, Calif.—The Gonzaga baseball team lost two games to BYU Saturday, falling in the West Coast Conference Championships at Banner Island Ballpark in Stockton. Game One: No. 3 BYU 10, No. 1 Gonzaga 3 The Cougars forced the winner-take-all nightcap by jumping out to an early lead in game one. They scored four in the bottom half of the first inning on four hits. The first two batters reached via a pair of tough infield singles, and then Tanner Chauncey br...
    • Cougars drop season-finale to No. 8 Stanford on Senior Day

      by WSU Athletics PULLMAN, Wash. – Washington State dropped a 15-1 decision to No. 8 Stanford in the season-finale in front of a season-high 1,776 fans at Bailey-Brayton Field Saturday afternoon. Prior to the game, WSU recognized senior lefthanded pitcher Trenton Dupre, the only senior on the roster. The Cougars finished the season 24-29 overall and 10-20 in Pac-12 play, recording more overall wins from a year ago including four Pac-12 series wins and a . WSU finished the yea...
    • WSU’s 9th inning rally held off by No. 8 Stanford

      PULLMAN, Wash. - Washington State put runners on first and second in ninth inning but No. 8 Stanford turned away the rally to post a 5-3 victory at Bailey-Brayton Field Friday afternoon.   The Cougars (24-28, 10-19 Pac-12) put runners on with one out in the ninth but the Cardinal (39-14, 20-9 Pac) ended the game with a strikeout and groundout.

    • Gonzaga one win away from a NCAA Tournament berth

      STOCKTON, Calif.--A host of scouts came out to Friday's WCC Championships game between top-seeded Gonzaga and second-seed Loyola Marymount to see LMU starter Cory Abbott Friday afternoon, but it was Gonzaga starter Justin Vernia who stole the show as he powered the Zags to a 3-1 win and a berth in the tournament title game.

    • Bennie Seltzer returns to WSU as assistant basketball coach

      PULLMAN, Wash. – A former Cougar standout on the basketball court and 20-year coaching veteran, Bennie Seltzer returns to Pullman to join Ernie Kent's staff as an assistant men's basketball coach, Kent announced Friday.

    More
HD DOPPLER 6i
/
  • Eastern WashingtonEWUMore>>

  • 7-foot graduate transfer Benas Griciunas to play for Eagles

    7-foot graduate transfer Benas Griciunas to play for Eagles

    Courtesy: EWU AthleticsCourtesy: EWU Athletics

    Seven-foot center Benas Griciunas from UNC Charlotte will spend his senior season as a graduate transfer at Eastern Washington University and play for Shantay Legans, the new EWU head men's basketball coach announced Thursday (May 25).

    >>

    Seven-foot center Benas Griciunas from UNC Charlotte will spend his senior season as a graduate transfer at Eastern Washington University and play for Shantay Legans, the new EWU head men's basketball coach announced Thursday (May 25).

    >>
  • NAIA World Series bracket revealed; all games Live on SWX

    NAIA World Series bracket revealed; all games Live on SWX

    The defending champion Lewis-Clark State Warriors will look to win their 19th NAIA World SeriesThe defending champion Lewis-Clark State Warriors will look to win their 19th NAIA World Series

    KANSAS CITY, Mo. – (Bracket – PDF | Schedule) The National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA) has announced the seeds and bracket for the 2017 Avista-NAIA Baseball World Series, hosted by Lewis-Clark State (Idaho).

    >>

    KANSAS CITY, Mo. – (Bracket – PDF | Schedule) The National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA) has announced the seeds and bracket for the 2017 Avista-NAIA Baseball World Series, hosted by Lewis-Clark State (Idaho).

    >>
  • 2015-16 Academic Progress Rates released by the NCAA

    2015-16 Academic Progress Rates released by the NCAA

    Courtesy: Washington AthleticsCourtesy: Washington Athletics

    SPOKANE, Wash. -- Gonzaga's athletic programs continued to thrive in the latest release of the Academic Progress Rate by the NCAA on Wednesday with seven teams earning a perfect 1,000 score and all GU teams combining for a 997 mark. That mark is tied for the second-best combined average for any school in the nation, behind only the Ivy League's Dartmouth.

    >>

    SPOKANE, Wash. -- Gonzaga's athletic programs continued to thrive in the latest release of the Academic Progress Rate by the NCAA on Wednesday with seven teams earning a perfect 1,000 score and all GU teams combining for a 997 mark. That mark is tied for the second-best combined average for any school in the nation, behind only the Ivy League's Dartmouth.

    >>