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Eastern Washington faces Walla Walla in rare home nonconference game

UPDATED: Wed., Nov. 8, 2017, 5:03 p.m.

Eastern Washington University guard Sir Washington, white jersey, and Luka Vulikic vie for a loose ball during a recent practice. (Dan Pelle / The Spokesman-Review)
Eastern Washington University guard Sir Washington, white jersey, and Luka Vulikic vie for a loose ball during a recent practice. (Dan Pelle / The Spokesman-Review)

If you want to get a sneak peek at this year’s Eastern Washington basketball team, better make it to Reese Court on Friday afternoon.

The Eagles’ 1 p.m. game against Walla Walla University will be the first at home for new coach Shantay Legans – and the last for almost six weeks.

In the meantime, the Eagles will be on the road for 10 straight games, beginning Sunday at Washington.

“We’ll be able to see exactly where we are,” said Legans, whose team will go 36 straight days without a home game.

“We’ll see who is ready to play, who picked up everything from the preseason and who can play with the lights on,” Legans said.

The Eagles are off to a good start, winning an exhibition at Portland, 76-70, on Oct. 29.

“We have a bunch of players who can, and a lot of guys will be given opportunities,” Legans said. “We’ll need to put our best foot forward for us to win and succeed at the end.”

The Eagles are coming off a third-straight appearance in a national postseason tournament, and were 22-12 overall a year ago under former coach Jim Hayford.

Legans returns eight letter winners, including starters Bogdan Bliznyuk, Mason Peatling and Luka Vulikic.

Walla Walla is a member of the NAIA and competes in the Cascade Collegiate Conference. The Wolves were 3-26 a year ago, with a 2-18 league record.

The Wolves opened with a 95-65 loss to Lewis-Clark State, ranked No. 24 in the NAIA.

Washington also has a first-year head coach in Mike Hopkins, as he inherits a team that was 9-22 a year ago and 2-16 in the Pac-12 Conference. The Huskies opened their season with a 91-87 exhibition opener versus Saint Martin’s.

Eastern plays at Stanford on Tuesday and UNLV on Friday.


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