As Eastern Washington seeks its first road win of the Big Sky Conference season, what better place to start than tonight at Northern Arizona?
That was the scene last year of Tyler Harvey’s coming-out party, when the then-freshman came off the bench to score 14 points to rally the Eagles to an improbable overtime win.
A year ago, the Eagles trailed by 13 points with less than 4 minutes remaining when Harvey scored 14 points in the last 8:31 of the game and rallied the Eagles to an improbable win.
At a team meeting earlier this week, Eastern coach Jim Hayford posed the question: “So, Tyler, did you like it there in Flagstaff?”
The line produced laughter from the whole room, Hayford said.
Less than a year later, Harvey is the second- leading scorer in the conference, averaging 20.3 points a game, and Hayford believes Harvey is the best guard in the conference.
Harvey had 44 points with nine 3-pointers and six assists in last week’s sweep of the Montana schools to earn College Sports Madness Big Sky Conference Player of the Week honors.
Ups and downs
Jordan Railey was expected to be a force for the Cougars down low entering the season. Tall, muscular and athletic, the hope was that the Iowa State transfer could provide a post presence for the Cougars, who have plenty of wings but a dearth of big men.
While Railey has shown flashes – including a 13-point, five-rebound effort in the team’s win over Purdue – he entered the week averaging 3.3 points and 2.7 rebounds per game. WSU coach Ken Bone said that that’s not enough production for the big man.
“Jordan, statistically in games, might not deserve to play at all,” Bone said on Tuesday. “He just has not performed well. And yet, even yesterday he had a really good practice, was really consistent and very efficient around the rim. We’re hoping that he does the same thing in a game.”
Gonzaga’s Kevin Pangos has played in 85 career games and David Stockton 119. Neither has dunked in a regular-season game. That doesn’t mean they can’t dunk. The 5-foot-11 Stockton slams frequently in practice, the 6-2 Pangos on rare occasions.
So, who is more likely to dunk with the lights on?
“Definitely Stockton,” forward Drew Barham said. “Kevin’s arms are too short. Stocks can actually get up. I’ve seen Kev dunk, but it barely squeaked (over the rim).”
Stockton and Pangos agreed.
“I’d like to say me,” Pangos said. “I know what he said. He said himself and I’d have to give it to him.”