#113 Eastern Washington Men's Basketball 2019-2020 Preview

Eastern Washington Eagles
2019-2020 Overall Rank: #113
Conference Rank: #1 Big Sky
 Eastern Washington Logo
Last season Eastern Washington had to replace the Big Sky’s career scoring leader in Bogdan Bliznyuk. With just about everybody else back, most expected the Eagles to improve on their 20 win season of 2017-2018. However, EWU needed a lot of time to figure out how to play without Bliznyuk and struggled to a disappointing 16-18 record.
2018-19 Record: 16-18, 12-8
2018-19 Postseason: None
Coach: Shantay Legans
Coach Record: 36-33 at Eastern Washington, 36-33 overall
Key Departed Players:
Jesse Hunt, Forward, 14.6 ppg
Cody Benzel, Guard, 6.0 ppg
Luka Vulikjic, Guard, 5.2 ppg
Ty Gibson, Guard, 4.2 ppg
Key Returning Players:
Mason Peatling, Senior, Forward, 15.5 ppg
Jacob Davison, Junior, Guard, 15.2 ppg
Tyler Kidd, Senior, Guard, 9.9 ppg
Kim Aiken Jr, Sophomore, Guard/Forward, 6.5 ppg
Jack Perry, Junior, Guard, 4.1 ppg
Austin Fadal, Sophomore, Guard, 3.8 ppg
Tanner Groves, Sophomore, Forward, 2.8 ppg
Elijah Jackson, Sophomore, Guard, 1.7 ppg
Key New Players:
Jacob Groves, Freshman, Guard/Forward
Adreil Linares, Freshman, Forward
Ellis Magnuson, Freshman, Guard
Michael Medows, RS Freshman, Guard
Abdullahi Mohamed, Freshman, Forward
Tyler Robertson, Freshman, Guard/Forward
Casson Rouse, RS Freshman, Guard
Jordan Veening, RS Freshman, Forward
Steele Venters, Freshman, Guard/Forward
This time around Eastern Washington should have higher hopes thanks to the return of Mason Peatling and Jacob Davison. Peatling led the squad with 15.5 points and added 7.5 rebounds. He is not going to knock down a ton of three-pointers, but the 6-8 senior is at least a threat to shoot the ball. Peatling missed a dozen games during the season and having him back for a full campaign will be huge. That is true of Davison too. He missed the last ten games of the season with an ankle injury after averaging 14.6 points per game. Senior Tyler Kidd is back to run the point and there is plenty of depth with Kim Aiken, Jack Perry, Austin Fadal and Elijah Jackson all itching for some playing time on the perimeter. Last season the Big Sky was pretty balanced and relatively weak. There were a ton of teams right in the middle of the pack, but this Eagles group has the potential to separate themselves and improve on their 12-8 conference record.
Projected Postseason Tournament: NCAA
By the Numbers:
Scoring Offense: 72.4 (175th in nation, 9th in conference)
Scoring Defense: 74.3 (251, 4)
Field-Goal Percentage: 42.9 (255, 10)
Field-Goal Defense: 45.2 (263, 7)
Three-Point Field Goals Per Game: 9.1 (55, 4)
Three-Point Field-Goal Percentage: 35.0 (144, 7)
Free-Throw Percentage: 72.9 (99, 4)
Rebound Margin: -0.2 (204, 6)
Assists Per Game: 13.7 (147, 4)
Turnovers Per Game: 11.8 (75, 2)