Looking Ahead to Huskies’ Next Opponent, Eastern Washington …

by Categorized: Shabazz Napier, UConn men's basketball

Hope everyone had a happy holiday … UConn makes its way downstate to play Eastern Washington at the Webster Bank Arena in Bridgeport on Saturday afternoon. As we look ahead, here are a few notes on the Eagles …

  • EWU is 5-5, has lost three in a row, and has not played a nationally ranked opponent since Gonzaga in 2011. UConn is currently 15th.
  • These schools have never met before.
    • Eagles coach Jim Hayford told the school’s website: “[UConn is] an athletic team – they play with a lot of pressure and play above the rim. Stanford did a good job of making Connecticut miss, for whatever reason. But they can shoot the ball a lot better.”
    • Two common opponents. EWU lost to Washington 92-80, and beat Boston University 80-68. UConn beat Washingon by 12, BU by 17.
    • EWU lost at Seton Hall Dec. 22 and spent the holiday week in New York, taking in sights such as Ground Zero, Ellis Island, the Statue of Liberty.
    • Tyler Harvey leads four Eastern Washington players scoring in double figures with 19.3 points per game.
    • Big man Venky Jois is averaging 8.1 rebounds. From Boronia, Australia, he made the “All-Aussie”  team picked by ESPN’s Fran Frischilla on Dec. 14.
    • Jois is 6-foot-7, Martin Seifeth, also a starter, is 6-10.  EWU is outrebounding its opponents by 1.9 per game.
    • Drew Brandon averages 11.8 points and 5.8 assists.
    • Eastern has three players from Australia, three from Germany and one from Serbia on its roster.
    • EWU was 10-21 last season, 7-13 in the Big Sky, but returned almost its entire team and started out 5-2 this season.
    • Shabazz Napier continues to lead UConn in scoring (15.5), rebounds (6.7) and assists (5.6). No player has ever led the Huskies in all three categories over a full season.
    • UConn is playing a home game in Connecticut, but outside Storrs and Hartford for the first time since 1987, when the Huskies played Syracuse in the old New Haven Coliseum. Back in those days, before Gampel was built and the Whalers had all their dates blocked off at the Civic Center, UConn often played big games in the Coliseum, rather than in the old field house, when Hartford was not available.
  • UConn will practice at Webster Bank Arena on Friday afternoon, with interviews to follow. We’ll bring you all the stuff from there. …
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