Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Venky Jois Recognized As "Freshman Of The Night" On ESPN.com


By: Eamonn Brennan

"Freshman of the Night -- Venky Jois, Eastern Washington 

One of the most impressive freshman seasons has quietly been happening in Cheney, Wash. Jois leads all freshmen with nine double-doubles, the most recent occurring on Monday. He finished with 20 points, 13 rebounds, five assists and three blocks in Eastern Washington’s 76-65 win over Portland State. Only All-America candidates Jamaal Franklin and Mike Muscala have done that in a game this season."

Eastern Heats Up!! (via Spokesman Review)


Eastern heats up

Jim Allen
The Spokesman-Review
EWU Eagles
Fifteen minutes after the game ended, Parker Kelly still had the hot hand.
Kelly’s palms were red after a big shooting night that helped Eastern Washington to a crucial 76-65 win Monday night over Portland State at Reese Court.
“That’s why I put the hours of shooting in the gym,” said Kelly, a sophomore guard from Gonzaga Prep, who equaled a career high with 17 points on 5-for-8 shooting from beyond the arc.
“I expect to shoot that way every night, even if it doesn’t always happen that way,” Kelly said.
More important, Kelly was one of four players in double figures for the Eagles in a Big Sky Conference basketball win that coach Jim Hayford called one of the most complete of the season.
It couldn’t have come at a better time for the Eagles (5-15 overall and 3-7 in the Sky), who in one night moved from the cellar to within a game of seventh place and a spot in the conference postseason tournament.
In the process, the Eagles ended a four-game losing streak in front of a vocal crowd of 1,214.
Opportunity returns to Reese Court on Thursday against third-place Montana State and Saturday against league leader Montana.
“Our team is developing confidence and there’s nothing that develops confidence like a win,” said Hayford, who was especially satisfied that the Eagles for once came out with a second half that was as good as the first.
The Eagles had blown six of nine halftime leads this year, but opened the second half against PSU with a 9-2 run that stretched a 33-25 advantage to 42-27.
“It’s been a frequently-discussed subject on our team, so it was really important to open strongly,” Hayford said of the second half.
The Vikings (5-12, 3-7) never got closer than seven thanks partly to the Eagles’ 57-percent shooting in the second half and a 20-point, 13-rebound effort from freshman forward Venky Jois.
It was Jois’ ninth double-double of the season.
PSU threatened again when Gary Winston hit a 3 that cut the Eagles’ lead to 61-52 with 6:06 left, but Jois responded with a free throw and a press-breaking alley-oop pass that Martin Seiferth slammed home for a 64-52 advantage with 5:19 to play.
Seiferth finished with 13 points, six rebounds and four blocked shots.
The lead shrank to eight with four minutes left, but Seiferth, for the last of his 13 points, scored another easy bucket as Eastern shrugged off the Vikings’ press.
Senior point guard Kevin Winford, the Eagles’ other double-digit scorer with 12, put the game away with a short jumper that made it 68-56 with 3:20 left to play.
“Venky has been our most consistent player,” Hayford said. “He is a great leader even though he is only a freshman. The biggest compliment (I can give him) is that I expect him to play that way.”
Jois went into the game ranked 21st in NCAA Division I in double-doubles, 33rd in rebounding and 37th in blocked shots, while leading the league in all three categories. He had 14 points, nine rebounds and four assists in the second half alone as he came within two points and a rebound away from his season highs.

Saturday, January 26, 2013

Swinging Through Vegas

We flew into Las Vegas and spent a few hours as tourists before we made the 3 hour trek to Cedar City, Utah.

We stopped and had a great meal at the Stratosphere before heading to the top and riding "The Big Shot." Collin and Ivan decided they wanted to ride "The Claw" which essentially drops you over the edge of the highest point in Vegas... We all enjoyed watching them scream (and scream they did!)

Game tips off tonight at 7pm (Mountain time). Hope you can tune in!

Friday, January 18, 2013

Fueling Up

We always take advantage of an opportunity to eat at Chick-Fil-A!

Saturday, January 12, 2013

Chiverton Leads Eagle's Win

From The Spokesman Review:

January 10, 2013 in Sports

Chiverton leads Eagles’ win

Vince Grippi Correspondent
Courtesy photo
EWU Eagles
(Full-size photo)
Shades of last season. With a few differences.
That was the overwhelming theme Thursday night at Reese Court in Cheney, where the Eastern Washington Eagles dominated Northern Arizona 82-59 in a Big Sky Conference men’s basketball game played before 1,010.
In the similar vein, senior forward Collin Chiverton, who missed six games, from Thanksgiving to after Christmas, dealing with personal issues, was nearly unstoppable on the offensive end, hitting 8 of 14 shots, including 3 of 6 from beyond the arc.
His 22 points were a season high and just four off his career best, set last season.
“It’s been an interesting ride for Collin,” said Eastern coach Jim Hayford, who saw his team raise its record to 2-3 in conference play and 4-11 overall. “It definitely looked like the Collin we saw last year, when he was at his best.
“What I liked most was seeing him play with a smile on his face and just enjoying playing basketball.”
Chiverton smiled a lot last season, when he led the Eagles to 15 wins and a Big Sky tournament semifinal berth, averaging 13.9 points.
Included in that win total were two over the Lumberjacks, who struggled to a 5-24 record, 1-15 in the Big Sky.
But put Northern Arizona, under first-year coach Jack Murphy, into the dissimilar category. The ’Jacks have been better this season, already equaling last year’s win total and splitting their first four conference games.
And they started quickly in this one, scoring the game’s first seven points, before leading 10-2 less than four minutes in. It was 5-foot-11 freshman DeWayne Russell sparking them early, hitting two quick jumpers.
Then Chiverton came in.
“Collin all summer was like ‘Hey, I can be a lockdown defender,’” Hayford said, smiling because Chiverton wasn’t that last season.
But his 6-6 wing was this night, and Hayford felt his size bothered Russell, who had most of his team-high 17 points after the game was decided.
Though Russell was his main target (the guard got off just two shots in the first half while Chiverton was in the game), Chiverton also made the play of the night at a key time.
The Eagles, behind Chiverton outside and Vinky Jois inside – Jois earned his seventh double-double of the season with 14 points and 14 rebounds – chipped away at NAU’s early advantage, before putting together an 11-0 run after the Lumberjacks’ last lead at 17-16.
They stretched that to 16-1 before the ’Jacks caught their breath. When Stallon Saldivar stole the ball at midcourt and raced toward the basket with 3:20 left in the half, it looked as if NAU would cut the lead to single digits.
But Chiverton flew down the court and blocked Saldivar’s layup high off the backboard. The ball caromed out, the Eagles took off, and Chiverton, trailing the play, got the ball back at the top of the key. Swish.
“I just figured if I got the ball within range and I was open enough, I was probably going to shoot it,” Chiverton said, smiling. “I was feeling good after the block.”
Reese Court exploded, three minutes later so did Murphy – earning a technical – and Eastern took its largest halftime lead of the season, 18 points, into the locker room.
The Eagles, who have wasted double-digit second-half leads three times this season, weren’t about to blow this one. Not when they shot 51.4 from the floor after halftime and limited NAU to 38 percent, 34.9 for the game.
Many of Eastern shots came inside, with the 6-7 Jois and 6-10 starting center Martin Seiferth (13 points) the recipient of most of 6-6 freshman forward Thomas Reuter’s season-best seven assists.
But the best assists may have come from Chiverton – and to him, as his teammates have been there for him since his personal hiatus.
“It’s been a tough road,” he admitted. “I love my teammates. … I just feel great that I get to be a leader on this team, keep everybody smiling, keep everybody happy.”

82-59 Win Over NAU Gives Eagles Confidence Heading Into Saturday

From goeags.com

Big First Half Leads Eastern to 82-59 Win Over Lumberjacks

Collin Chiverton ignites a 16-1 run in the first half en route to scoring a season-high 22 in victory over Northern Arizona

It was the Collin Chiverton of old.
The senior forward scored eight points in a key 16-1 run in the first half to help the Eastern Washington University men’s basketball team romp past Northern Arizona 82-59 Thursday (Jan. 10) in a Big Sky Conference game at Reese Court in Cheney, Wash.
Chiverton scored a season-high 22 points to lead four Eagles in double figures, with forwardVenky Jois recording his seventh double-double of the season with 14 points, 14 rebounds and four blocked shots. Eastern made a season-best 50.0 percent of its shots from the field and held NAU to 34.9 percent – EWU’s second-best effort of the year.
Eastern is now 2-3 in the league and 4-11 overall, while Northern Arizona is 2-3 in the league and 5-10 overall. The Lumberjacks have already equaled their win total of a year ago when they finished 5-24 overall and 1-15 in the league. One of NAU’s league wins this season was a 57-50 home victory on Jan. 3 over Sacramento State, EWU’s next opponent.
“I do think we are coming together,” said Eastern head coach Jim Hayford. “Not having Collin for that whole month slowed our development, but he’s back, and he is going to have a good finish to his senior year.”
Six-foot-10 center Martin Seiferth made 6-of-8 shots from the field and finished with 13 points and eight rebounds for the Eagles. Senior guard Jeffrey Forbes added 11 points, four rebounds and two steals. True freshman Thomas Reuter finished with six points, six rebounds and a season-high seven assists for the Eagles, and true freshman point guard Daniel Hill came off the bench to dish out three assists.
Forbes and senior point guard Kevin Winford did the damage on defense for the Eagles, holding starting guards Gabe Russell, Stallon Saldivar and DeWayne Russell to a combined 15 points in the first half and 25 in the game.
“Our senior guards did a really good job in the backcourt on Rogers and Russell, so give Forbes and Winford credit,” said Hayford. “All summer Collin told us he could be a lock-down defender, so give him credit. He did a really good job. I thought Collin’s size really bothered Russell.”
Chiverton also had three assists, and he had his best scoring performance since netting a career-high 26 against Seattle on Jan. 16, 2012. He made 8-of-14 shots from the floor, 3-of-4 free throws and sank 3-of-6 of his 3-point attempts.
“Tonight Collin looked like he did last year when he was at his best,” said Hayford of Chiverton, who missed six games from Nov. 30 to Dec. 22 for personal reasons. “What I like the most is seeing him play with a smile on his face and enjoying basketball.”
Eastern trailed early 17-16, but Chiverton started the 16-1 run with a 3-pointer that gave EWU the lead for good. He hit another trey, then made a pair of free throws with 4:18 to play that gave EWU a 32-18 lead.
The lone points for the Lumberjacks in that stretch was a free throw at the 6:02 mark. Northern Arizona missed nine-straight shots and had four turnovers during the run.
Eastern’s 40-22 lead at halftime was easily its biggest of the season, having owned an 11-point advantage against Utah Valley in November. But the loss to Utah Valley – as well as losses to Idaho in December and Montana State on Jan. 5 – came after EWU held double-digit second-half advantages.
The Eagles led by as many as 25 in the second half and no fewer than 16 after intermission.
Hayford said he could see his team’s level of play rise despite losing at Montana (81-66) and Montana State (70-68 in overtime) last week.
“We started taking a big step forward on the Montana trip,” he said. “We just didn’t finish the second night real well. We were in a position to take a Big Sky road win the other night.”
The Eagles return to Reese Court on Saturday (Jan. 12) to face Sac State in a game that will be televised live in the Eastern Washington region on SWX.
The radio broadcast of all Eastern games is on 700-AM ESPN, via the web at www.700espn.com and via iPhone application (search for “700 ESPN” and download the free app). The broadcast is also available via www.tunein.com and tunein’s mobile phone app. Larry Weir returns for his 20th year as the play-by-play voice of the Eagles.

Thursday, January 10, 2013

Read about Jeffrey Forbes in the Spokesman Review!


Sweet ride

Eastern guard can step on gas, knows when to brake
 The Spokesman-Review
File photo
Jeffrey Forbes ranks ninth in Eastern Washington history in steals and fourth in 3-pointers made.
(Full-size photo)
Winter or summer, Jeffrey Forbes loves to drive the lane.
A 1986 Chevrolet Monte Carlo sits in the family garage back in Federal Way, Wash. It needs a little TLC, but so do the young players on the Eastern Washington basketball team. For now, they come first.
“They’re looking at me as a leader and to follow my direction,” said Forbes, a senior guard and a model student-athlete who hopes to reach the finish line this season with another trip to the Big Sky Tournament.
Last year, it was Forbes who punched the Eagles’ ticket into Big Sky semifinals with a forceful steal in the waning seconds of a quarterfinal playoff game against Idaho State.
“That was a great memory,” Forbes said.
He hopes to build a few more in his last two months as an Eagle, starting with tonight’s home game against Northern Arizona. The Eagles, 1-3 in the conference, are chasing a repeat trip in the Big Sky Tournament and will count on the dependable Forbes to help get them there.
It starts in practice, which Forbes likens to the garage back home.
“You have to keep going hard at it in practices, like a tuneup,” Forbes said. “And you need to use the right gas.
“Then you just get out there for games and ride.”
It doesn’t hurt that Forbes offers a special additive: A winning attitude from his days at Federal Way, which he led to a state title in 2009.
“Jeff does a great job of staying positive, but even if he has a poor shooting night he accepts the role of keeping his chin up and having others do the same,” coach Jim Hayford said of a player who has played 106 games in his career and could break Marc Axton’s eight-year-old record of 119 by the time the season ends.
Along the way, Forbes has scored 920 points, ranks ninth in school history with 109 career steals and is fourth in 3-point shots made (159) and attempted (424). As a sophomore he set the single-season record for free-throw accuracy, hitting 54 of 60 attempts for a 90 percent mark.
He also made 55 3-pointers in the 2010-11 season – 13th-most in Eastern history.
“He knows what it takes to win and his work ethic is outstanding,” Hayford said. “He shoots the ball well, plays hard and has tremendous speed.”
So does the pace of a college basketball career, which Forbes says has gone by faster than he’d planned.
Halfway through, the Eagles hired Hayford, an adjustment that was smoother than expected.
“I think (the transition) has gone well,” Forbes said.
“He’s a player’s coach. He lets you play your game and he relates to us as human beings as well as players.”
That could apply to Forbes’ larger experience at Eastern. Basketball was the pitch during recruiting, but Forbes is sold on the small classrooms and the overall academic experience. He will graduate this spring with a degree in communications and a minor in African-American studies.
After that? Forbes will go into the job market, but first will give the pros a shot.
“It’s a lifelong dream,” he said.
And when that sweet ride is over, there’s another waiting in the garage.

Saturday, January 5, 2013

Congratulations to Venky Jois: Scholar Athlete of the Month!

Freshmen Venky Jois has been named the EWU Eagle Scholar-Athlete of the Month. Venky, a member of the EWU Honor's program, finished the Fall Quarter strong on and off the court. 

For more on Venky, check out this 30 second EWU Scholarship Commercial: