Tonight the high flying Eastern Washington Eagles arrive at Hec Ed, having already made a name for themselves during a tough nonconference schedule.
Last week, EWU beat Belmont, a 2019 NCAA Tournament team, 87-82.
Also, the Eagles almost upset Boston College losing 72-68.
No doubt, Eastern Washington wants to be a giant killer by knocking off #22 Washington at home.
Eastern Washington is led by three players averaging double figures, Jacob Davison (16.2 points/game), Kim Aiken, Jr. (14.8 points/game, 10.8 rebounds/game), and Mason Peatling (11 ppg, 5.8 rebounds/game).
Eastern Washington is averaging 30.6 Three-Point Attempts per game so expect it to be raining threes at Hec Ed.
Besides being high volume three-point shooters, the Eagles are pretty accurate shooting 36.4% from beyond the arc which ranks 76th nationally.
As a result, the Eagles rank 3rd nationally in Made Three-Point Field Goals per game, averaging 11.2 makes.
A high volume, high accuracy three-point shooting team like Eastern Washington could be the Huskies worst nightmare; at the very least It will be an extreme test of Washington’s three-point defense.
If the Eagles shoot 30+ three-pointers the Huskies could be staring at an upset. However, if the limit the Eagles to less than their usual thirty three-point attempts, the Huskies should dominate.
Not only are the Eagles going to shoot a lot of threes; their transition offense contributes to their 81.0 points per game average (tied – 36th nationally), and will put a lot of pressure on UW’s transition defense.
For the Eagles, #0 Tyler Kidd; #24 Kim Aiken Jr.; #5 Casson Rouse; and #10 Jacob Davison are all offensive threats in transition.
Washington averages 70.4 points per game so something has to give; either the Huskies defense will slow down the Eagles offense or the Washington may find itself in a track meet trying to outscore Eastern Washington.
If the Eagles are prevented from scoring in transition they are versatile enough to be competent in their halfcourt offense.
However, in their halfcourt offense, the Eagles are only good at two things: Pick & Roll and Post-Up actions.
In the Pick & Roll, #0 Tyler Kidd is the biggest threat when he is the ball-handler, averaging an excellent 1.077 points per possession for that type of play; and EWU’s #10 Jacob Davison is less of threat, although he averages a good 0.813 points per possession.
Eastern Washington generates offense from the roll man in the Pick & Roll, particularly with #14 Mason Peatling who averages an excellent 1.333 points per possession for this type of play. Defensively, Washington’s Isaiah Stewart may get tested repeatedly by the Eagles pick and roll, much will depend on the defensive plan of Coach Hopkins and staff plan to counter this tactic.
In their Post-Up offense, EWU’s #35 Tanner Groves is the biggest threat ,averaging an excellent 1.2 point per possession; but #14 Mason Peatling posts up the most for EWU and he averages a very good 0.923 points per possession.
Defending post-ups is what Isaiah Stewart does well, so I would expect that Stewart can handle it but he must be careful not to get in early foul trouble.
Eastern Washington is an opponent that will attempt to punch Washington in the mouth with a barrage of threes and transition baskets. If Washington can weather the storm and control the pace, the Huskies should prevail.
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