Previewing Eastern Washington: Eagles are battle-tested and full of foreign flavor

Junior Parker Kelly (35.2 mpg, 9.7 ppg) is a major part of EWU's 7-man rotation. - Harry How

2013-14 Eastern Washington Eagles (5-4; KenPom: 217; RPI: 121)

2012-13 Eastern Washington (10-21, 7-13; KenPom: 296; RPI: 321)

Big Sky foe Eastern Washington have lost some talent, but have done very well to replace most of it after a disappointing 2012-13 season. Gone are Collin Chiverton (10.8 ppg), Kevin Winford (6.1 ppg), Jeffrey Forbes (5.8 ppg), and Jordan Hickert (2.9 ppg) to graduation and Justin Crosgile (14.7 ppg, 5.5 apg, UTEP) and Ivan Dorsey (2.1 ppg, Hawaii Pacific) to transfer.

Third-year coach Jim Hayford uses a short seven man rotation that includes several players who have really stepped up. Sophomore guard Tyler Harvey plays 89.4% (35.8 mpg) of possible minutes after playing just 14 mpg last season. Harvey leads the Eagles in scoring with 19.7 ppg to go along with 4.3 rpg and 2 apg. Junior college transfer point guard Drew Brandon (11.7 ppg, 7.3 rpg, 5.9 apg, 1.4 spg) and junior Parker Kelly (9.7 ppg, 35.2 mpg) join Harvey in an Eastern Washington's backcourt that doesn't play anyone shorter than 6-foot-4 (69th in average height as a team).

Up front, Australian Venky Jois (13.7 ppg, 7.8 rpg, 1.4 bpg, 13 blocks), Serbian freshman Ognjen "O.G." Miljkovic (7.4 ppg, 3.4 rpg), and 6-foot-10 junior Martin Seiferth (7.7 ppg, 4.4 rpg, 1.6 bpg, 77th in block%) play all of the minutes. A native of Germany, Seiferth played sparingly (4.3 mpg) as a freshman at Oregon before transferring. Another German, sophomore Thomas Reuter (15.9 mpg, 4.6 ppg, 3 rpg), plays minutes on the wing off the bench. Venky Jois was the third Australian on the Eagles' roster last season and still is this year with freshman Felix Von Hofe (8.5 mpg, 1.5 ppg), and sophomore Daniel Hill (only 6 minutes played) also hailing from Oz. Von Hofe has played for Australia's u-19 national team.

Despite their top-75 average height, the Eagles do not rebound very well, including a (-33) rebounding margin over their last four games. Eastern Washington sports the 278th best offensive rebounding margin and the 243d best offensive rebounding percentage when on defense (how well their opponents do on the offensive glass).

Eastern Washington shoots particularly well from the field (51.9 eFG%, 85th) and from deep (74/197, 37.5%, 53rd in country, 33% of total points), with Tyler Harvey and Parker Kelly taking a majority of their 3-ball attempts (47/109, 43%). Ognjen Miljkovic is the Eagles' lone forward threat (8-22,  36%) to stroke it from outside the arc. Unlike Seton Hall, EWU is not a threat to beat any team from the line as they only shoot 62% (107/171) from the charity stripe, with just 16.7% of their total points (335th) coming from the line. Despite a seven man rotation (337th in bench minutes), Jim Hayford's team plays at the 33rd fastest tempo in the country with just the 56th longest average possession length while on offense (and 59th on defense). Eastern Washington does not have a single senior on their roster.

...

Two of Eastern Washington's five wins have come against non-Division 1 opposition, but they have also beaten Boston University (KenPom #149) and LIU Brooklyn (#277) on neutral courts by a combined 44 points. All four of the Eagles' losses have come against tough opponents in Washington away (#124), Saint Mary's away (#25), and UC Irvine both home and away (#133).

KenPom says: No. 136 Seton Hall - 77, No. 217 Eastern Washington - 69 (79%)
Projected Eastern Washington starters:

6-4 Jr., G - Drew Brandon

6-4 So., G - Tyler Harvey

6-4 Jr., G - Parker Kelly

6-7 So., F - Venky Jois

6-10 Jr., C - Martin Seiferth

When: Sunday, 5 p.m. ET

TV: FOX Sports 1

Radio: AM 970

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