The Eastern Washington Eagles had hoped to spend the next few days doing a little scoreboard watching and hoping Montana State might stumble a couple of times and let them sneak into the Big Sky Conference Tournament that opens next Saturday.
Instead they will be busy turning in practice gear after watching their postseason tournament hopes flicker out on Saturday night when they suffered a 66-62 overtime loss at home to Portland State.
Eastern, which finished 12-17 overall and 6-10 in the Big Sky, played exceptionally hard against the defending conference champion Vikings — especially in the second half — but once again fell victim to a weak, ragged finish that saw Benny Valentine burp up a couple of suspect shots and miss the front end of a one-and-one free throw chance that could ahve tied the game with five seconds left.
With the Eagles no longer in contention for a berth in the Big Sky Tournament local interest has probably waned. But those of you who still want to see how the event is shaping up can click here for the latest update from the Big Sky office in Odgen, Utah.
Feel free to leave any opinions you might want to share on Eastern’s 2008-09 season here. And while you’re at it, here’s a few questions to answer:
Do you think the Eagles took a step up from last year?
How much did the mid-season loss of Trey Gross, the only sophomore on Coach Kirk Earlywine’s roster hurt?
How much did yea’sr key returning players — Milan Stanojevic, Adris DeLeon, Matt Brunell, Gary Gibson and Brandon Moore — improve over last year?
Who was EWU’s most valuable player?
Who was the most improved?
Who was the best defender?
Who was the top newcomer?
Who was the biggest disappointment?
I’ll be interested to see what you think. And be sure to check back when the Big Sky announces its all-conference team