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Eastern Washington Open Thread & How to Watch

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Washington will try to win its 5th straight game with the Gonzaga showdown looming

NCAA Basketball: Big Sky Conference Tournament: Eastern Washington vs Southern Utah Brian Losness-USA TODAY Sports

The Essentials

Date: Wednesday, 12/4/19

Tip-Off Time: 7:00 pm PT

TV: Pac-12 Washington (will not be on the overall Pac-12 network feed. That is showing LMU/Colorado)

Radio: KOMO 1000

Streaming: Pac-12.com/live

Location: Seattle, Washington

Betting line: Washington -15.5

Eastern Washington Eagles 2019-20 Statistics:

Record: 4-2

Points For per Game: 75.8 ppg (69th)

Points Against per Game: 75.2 ppg (265th)

Adjusted Offensive Efficiency: 100.5 (152nd)

Adjusted Defensive Efficiency: 100.9 (188th)

Strength of Schedule: 121st overall

Eastern Washington Key Players:

F- Kim Aiken, So. 6’7, 215: 14.2 ppg, 10.8 rpg, 1.3 bpg, 38.9% FG, 29.8% 3pt, 88.2% FT

Aiken’s taken a huge step up after coming off the bench a year ago and is 7th in the country in defensive rebounding rate despite being generally undersized as a center. With good block and steal numbers Aiken is a much more effective defensive player as 2/3rds of his shots are 3-pointers and he’s making under 30% of them.

F- Mason Peatling, Sr. 6’8, 220: 11.0 ppg, 5.8 rpg, 2.0 apg, 46.0% FG, 28.6% 3pt, 72.7% FT

Peatling has scored in double figures in all but one of the Eagles’ games but has generally struggled shooting the ball this season except at the rim. His best attribute is drawing fouls and if anyone on this Eastern Washington roster is able to get Isaiah Stewart on the bench with foul trouble it will be Peatling.

G- Jacob Davison, Jr. 6’4, 175: 16.2 ppg, 4.3 rpg, 2.2 spg, 44.4% FG, 38.2% 3pt, 54.5% FT

Davison led the team last year in % of shots taken when on the floor despite averaging fewer than 20 minutes per game but is now the unquestioned offensive star for EWU. He’s had a rough start from the foul line but otherwise has been generally pretty efficient for someone carrying such a large offensive burden. He’s also averaging better than 2 steals a game so he can make an impact on that end as well.

G- Carson Rouse, Fr. 6’2, 180: 7.5 ppg, 1.8 rpg, 1.3 apg, 42.9% FG, 45.8% 3pt, 57.1% FT

The freshman’s playing time has gradually increased due to injuries elsewhere and has taken more than 2/3rds of his shots from beyond the arc while knocking down a great percentage of them. However Rouse is 4/14 from the floor in the 2 games the Eagles played against power conference competition.

G- Elias Magnuson, Fr. 6’2, 190: 4.8 ppg, 1.5 rpg, 5.2 apg, 33.3% FG, 18.2% 3pt, 77.8% FT

It can be rough to be a true freshman point guard but at the very least Magnuson has shown the ability to wrack up assists and be a plus passer. Unfortunately, everything else on offense has been a bit of a mess as he’s been a terrible shooter and the stats were greatly helped by an 11 assist, 0 turnover game against non-D1 Portland Bible College.

2019-20 Eastern Washington Shot Chart

Synergy Sports

Eastern Washington is shooting under 25% on 2-pointers outside the paint so you can bet that the Huskies will be willing to leave open that free throw line jumper in the zone and make Eastern prove that they can make it. It’s tough to tell when broken up like this but the Eagles take a crazy amount of 3-point shots and they will try to launch it whenever they can.

The Outlook

It has been a nice start to the year for Eastern Washington with the two losses coming on the road against top-150 programs in Saint Louis and Boston College plus a great home win against always challenging Belmont. They haven’t played a team yet that has the talent and athleticism of Washington but they’re certainly good enough to come in and push the Huskies if they play sloppy like they did on Monday.

The Eagles have fully embraced the 3-pt line as their primary philosophy on both sides of the court revolves around that aspect. Eastern Washington is 10th in the country in the % of attempts that come from beyond the arc at nearly 50%. If the Huskies play zone for the majority of the game you can bet that they’re going to be willing to take the first semi-open look and get a shot up even though they’re making just 34.4% of their attempts. Especially since Eastern plays with the 16th fastest pace in the country and they’re willing to get up and down and run at all times.

Meanwhile opponents get just 23.9% of their points from deep which is 320th in the country so they’re aggressive about running players off of the free throw line. Washington generally isn’t a great shooting team but they still have to get up shot fakes and force the Eagles to rotate before driving to the hoop even with their bigger athletes.

Washington will as always try to get the ball down low to Isaiah Stewart against a mid-major who has nowhere near the size of the Huskies. If the Eagles don’t double team him or deny him the ball then he’ll roast them down low all day. Both Stewart and the rest of the team have to get better about handling it when teams double him; Stewart to pass the ball up and his teammates to work harder to find the open man.

There’s certainly potential for a look ahead game with the rivalry showdown against Gonzaga looming on Sunday. This will be the 4th home game the Huskies have played against a team ranked between 139 and 186 in adjusted efficiency. Washington won the previous games by scores of 17, 19, and 20 points although they certainly were pushed in a few of them. Expect an up and down sloppy game but for the Dawgs’ talent to win out late in the 2nd half.

Prediction

Washington Huskies- 78, Eastern Washington Eagles- 60

*****

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