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Who's Bret Vandergard and what's he done for us lately? [DDSCB3]

Started By PointGuard, Apr 03, 2014 06:50 PM

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#21

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Sam Syed, Head Coach of Savannah State Tigers:


Game #3, Nov. 22, 2013: Eastern Washington Eagles (0-2) at Savannah State Tigers (0-1)

I wish our AD had not scheduled a team from out west. There’s absolutely no draw. We’ve got maybe the smallest home crowd in the three years I’ve been here. It’s going to be much too quiet. We lost a close game in our home opener to the University of San Francisco, and I want my team to notch one up in the win column tonight. EWU might just give us that chance. Their new coach, who I’ve never heard of, doesn’t seem to have this team firing on all cylinders yet.

We hit our first 4 shots and took a 9-3 lead over the visiting Eagles. We had heard the Eagles defense was suspect and found it to be just that. They let us score on 70% of our shots in the first half allowing us to take a 48-39 lead to the locker room.

We held a double digit lead through most of the 2nd half, but Eastern Washington closed to within 3 in the final minute of the game. We barely escaped with a win.

Final Score: Savannah State (1-1)—88, Eastern Washington (0-3)—83.

Team stats:

FG %: 59% (30-51) vs 44% (28-63) in favor of Savannah St.
FT %: 78% (25-32) vs 73% (24-33) in favor of EWU
3 pt %: 33% (4-12) vs 29% (2-7) in favor of Savannah St.
Reb: 37 (including 20 offensive reb) vs 24 (including 8 offensive reb) in favor of EWU
Turnovers: 11 vs 11 so equal
Blocks: 5 vs 3 in favor of Savannah St.
Steals: 5 vs 4 in favor of Savannah St.
Assists: 15 vs 8 in favor of Savannah St.
Fouls: 19 vs 24 in favor of Savannah St.
Pts in paint: 42 vs 36 in favor of EWU
2nd chance pts: 26 vs 12 in favor of EWU
Fast break pts: 31 vs 12 in favor of EWU
Biggest lead: 14 vs 0 in favor of Savannah St.
Lead changes: 1
Times tied: 0

Leading Eagles’ players: C Joseph Palmer-10 pts, 7 reb, 1 block; C Michael Taylor-9 pts, 7 reb, 1 block; SF Terence Hillier-15 pts, 3 reb, 1 steal; PF Cory Davis-10 pts, 3 reb; C Odie Joseph-7 pts, 6 reb, 1 assist, 1 steal.

Savannah State’s SF Billy Avery was the player of the game with 19 points, 3 rebounds, 1 assists, 1 steal.

#22

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Kevin Gebbers, 3rd Asst Coach:

We finally put together a good game on the boards (37-24 advantage) and outplayed the Tigers inside, but again our defense was far too porous. We’ll focus more of our practice time this coming week on our defense.

#23

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DeLawn West, Eastern Washington Eagles’ player:

Game #4, Nov. 25, 2013: Eastern Washington Eagles (0-3) at Bethune-Cookman Wildcats (2-1)

Man, another freakin’ road game. I’m beginning to question the leadership affecting the Eastern Washington basketball team. The AD, Swede Olaffson, really messed up on our schedule. And Vandergard’s choice of starters is killing this team. I didn’t say much at first, but his starting all these freshman is a big mistake. The team would be doing a helluva lot better if he’d start me instead of Terence Hillier at SF. Hillier is really a PF and he’s doing a terrible job at SF. I didn’t say much for a while, but watching from the bench as we continue to crash and burn had gotten me so pissed off that I’ve let Hillier have it a few times. The coaching staff has come between us and tried to throttle me, but nobody else on this team will speak up and we’re going to continue to fall on our faces until they finally figure out they’re giving minutes to the wrong guys.

Well, another night on the bench for me. So I might as well let you know what really goes on in this game tonight.

Same bunch of guys start tonight who’ve led us to 3 straight losses. We’re up against another team that’s been scoring most of their points inside and our starters have just been letting guys blow by them for easy baskets. Bethune-Cookman is pretty weak at SF, so I sure wish I was in there so we could get some offense at the 3.

Hillier wears down so quickly. Coach V then replaces him after 4 minute of play with Joe Blackwell rather than me. Another poor decision. Blackwell picks up 2 fouls in just over a minute of play. And again the coaches pass me, instead inserting Travis Dawson at SF. Hillier comes back in and does nothing except get tired and finally I’m in with 6:20 to play in the half. I force a couple quick turnovers by the Wildcats and hit a 3 in my first minute on the court. For once the coach left me in for enough time for me to put some numbers on the board. I scored 5 points in just over 6 minutes of play and we cut the Wildcats’ lead to 36-31. Michael Taylor and (surprisingly) Terence Hillier led our scoring with 6 points apiece.

With 16:05 to play, we finally got a lead at 41-40. Hillier was dragging by then and I was sent back into light a bigger fire. But our guards began turning the ball over and we fell behind once again. After just 4 minutes on the court, Hillier was brought back in and I was back on the bench. We fell further behind from that point and lost our 4th straight game. This sucks!

Final Score: Bethune-Cookman (3-1)—81, Eastern Washington (0-4)—64.

Team stats:

FG %: 57% (29-51) vs 53% (28-53) in favor of B-C
FT %: 70% (21-30) vs 70% (7-10) in favor of B-C
3 pt %: 100% (1-1) vs 33% (2-6) in favor of EWU
Reb: 26 (including 7 offensive reb) vs 23 (including 9 offensive reb) in favor of B-C
Turnovers: 13 vs 21 in favor of B-C
Blocks: 2 vs 2 so even
Steals: 8 vs 5 in favor of B-C
Assists: 15 vs 9 in favor of B-C
Fouls: 14 vs 22 in favor of B-C
Pts in paint: 42 vs 36 in favor of B-C
2nd chance pts: 15 vs 12 in favor of EWU
Fast break pts: 20 vs 16 in favor of EWU
Biggest lead: 17 vs 2 in favor of B-C
Lead changes: 11
Times tied: 2

Leading Eagles’ players: C Michael Taylor-14 pts, 5 reb; PF Cory Davis-11 pts, 6 reb, 1 assist; SF Terence Hillier-10 pts, 4 reb, 1 assist, 1 steal; PF Cory Davis-10 pts, 3 reb; C Odie Joseph-7 pts, 6 reb, 1 assist, 1 steal.

Bethune-Cookman’s PF Michael Selden was the player of the game with 13 points, 6 rebounds, 1 assists, 2 steals, 2 blocks

#24

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Jamal Smith, 1st Asst Coach: (recruiting):

In the past couple ah weeks, DeLawn West has been accusin' Terence Hillier ah costing us the game plus the two have been arguin' loudly at times. I got in both ah their faces, but it doesn’t seem tah have helped.

Today, Coach Vandergard called each one intah his office tah find out what's goin' on. Hillier felt it wasn’t him that was initiatin' all this (which is true, since it's been West’s bad attitude that has been drivin' things). Surprisingly, West apologized an' said he will try tah control himself in the future. Coach V told he’d better because a recurrence would earn him a suspension.

#25

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Larry Montgomery, 2nd asst coach:

Game #5, Nov. 29, 2013: Eastern Washington Eagles (0-4) at Lafayette Leopards (0-4)

I’ve been travelling with the team on all 5 of our road games thus far this season and trying to get in a little scouting work plus becoming familiar with coaches and other contacts who may be useful to us in other parts of the country. I’m afraid I’ve not had much more success with that than our team has in trying to carve out a victory.

Tonight there will be one less winless team in Division I ball, no matter who wins. DeLawn West is starting at SG in place of Shawn Jackson, as Coach V tries to shake things up a bit. We’ve not been good production from any of our guards thus far, so moving DeLawn from SF to SG and giving him a chance may stir things up some. DeLawn is at least not afraid to put up a 3 once in a while.

DeLawn hits a 3 on our first possession…I’m hoping that’s a good sign. We take a rare early lead (8-3). We expand our lead to 7 before letting Lafayette go on a run that puts them ahead 33-23 with 6-1/2 minutes left in the 1st half. Again our defense folds as the Leopards shred it for easy baskets. The half ends with us trailing 41-34. We turned the ball over 16 times (whereas Lafayette had 9 turnovers). DeLawn West, Cory Davis, and Joe Blackwell each scored 6 points for us in the half.

We hit 60% of our shots and are +10 in rebounds…seems like we should have won, right? Not if you let the other team hit 56% of their shots. Not if you have 28 turnovers. Not if the other team gets 21 more trips to the line (and scores 20 more points on free throws than you do).

Final Score: Lafayette (1-4)—91, Eastern Washington (0-5)—72.

Team stats:

FG %: 60% (29-51) vs 56% (28-53) in favor of EWU
FT %: 84% (27-32) vs 64% (7-11) in favor of Lafayette
3 pt %: 50% (3-6) vs 0% (0-2) in favor of EWU
Reb: 29 (including 10 offensive reb) vs 19 (including 6 offensive reb) in favor of EWU
Turnovers: 12 vs 28 in favor of Lafayette
Blocks: 1 vs 1 so even
Steals: 13 vs 4 in favor of Lafayette
Assists: 17 vs 11 in favor of Lafayette
Fouls: 13 vs 20 in favor of Lafayette
Pts in paint: 54 vs 44 in favor of Lafayette
2nd chance pts: 14 vs 10 in favor of EWU
Fast break pts: 24 vs 14 in favor of Lafayette
Biggest lead: 21 vs 7 in favor of Lafayette
Lead changes: 3
Times tied: 2

Leading Eagles’ players: PF Cory Davis-17 pts, 2 reb; C Joseph Park-12 pts, 2 reb; SF Joe Blackwell-9 pts, 1 reb, 2 assists; C Michael Taylor-4 pts, 7 reb, 1 steal.

Lafayette’s C Victor Long-17 pts, 4 reb, 1 assist, 2 steals.

As to DeLawn West--he hit two 3's, but that was it. So back to the drawing board.

#26

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Bud Springfield, Eagles’ Wings Fan Club President, owns Springfield Ford dealership in Cheney:

The morning after the Eagles’ most recent win, I left my Ford dealership and drove over to EWU. I walked into the Athletic Department. Nancy Parker, who has been the head secretary of the department forever, greeted me as always in her friendly way. After telling her she was getting more beautiful every time I come here (and watching her roll her eyes), I said I wanted to talk with Swede Olaffson. She said he was finishing a phone call, but she got me some coffee while I waited.

After about 5 minutes, she told me Swede was free and ushered me into his office.

“Heya Swede, I appreciate your making some time for me this morning.”

“Sure, Bud, always good to see you. How’s the family?”

“Oh, they’re creating as much of a ruckus as usual, Swede. But Vicky says we owe you an invite to a bar-b-que over to our house. What do you say to next Saturday? I’d like to have you over to meet with some of the fan club members.”

“Bud, if Vickie is inviting me, you know I’ll be there. And, sure, it would be great to get together with the fan club members.”

“Well, that’s one of the reasons I came by this morning, Swede. I’m getting some vibes from members of the club that there’s some unrest. Hell, we all were a bit concerned when you hired a young buck with no experience, but figured you did your homework and he’s work out OK. But the team’s winless. You know, I like to take a flyer by hiring some inexperienced car salespersons at times. But they gotta produce or they don’t stay long.”

“Hey, no one is happy that we’re Oh and Five, but I’m sorta to blame for that, Bud. Saddling Bret with 5 straight games on the road to start the season was no way to treat a new coach. And Bret inherited a bunch of players that the previous regime didn’t exactly recruit with great care. It’s much too early to be tearing him apart. Hell, I figured this would be a down year so I’m not surprised by what’s happened thus far. But, I understand how some of the fan club can be upset and concerned. Maybe me meeting with them at your house is a good way to alleviate some of their concerns.”

“Damned right, Swede. Some of these guys have short fuses. But you’ve got a way about you that can help buy some time. Sure would be good if we picked up a win in our first home game in a few days, though. You can bet there will be a lot of the fan club at that game and some will be looking closely at how Vandergard is handling the team.”

“Oh I most agree that a win would give people some hope for our team. But ultimately, I think we have to hang in there no matter how things turn out. We need to give Bret some time to build for the future.”

“I hear ya, Swede…but some wins will help avoid an insurrection.”

“Tell Vickie I look forward to coming over this Saturday. I’ll bring a bottle of her favorite wine.”

I headed out unconvinced that this new coach was going to be able to do much to improve things this year…or in the future. Hell, not only is he inexperienced, but his who staff is pretty sketchy. I don’t know why he didn’t bring in one or two seasoned assistants.

#27

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DeLawn West, Eastern Washington Eagles’ player:

Game #4, Nov. 25, 2013: Eastern Washington Eagles (0-3) at Bethune-Cookman Wildcats (2-1)


Man, another freakin’ road game. I’m beginning to question the leadership affecting the Eastern Washington basketball team. The AD, Swede Olaffson, really messed up on our schedule. And Vandergard’s choice of starters is killing this team. I didn’t say much at first, but his starting all these freshman is a big mistake. The team would be doing a helluva lot better if he’d start me instead of Terence Hillier at SF. Hillier is really a PF and he’s doing a terrible job at SF. I didn’t say much for a while, but watching from the bench as we continue to crash and burn had gotten me so pissed off that I’ve let Hillier have it a few times. The coaching staff has come between us and tried to throttle me, but nobody else on this team will speak up and we’re going to continue to fall on our faces until they finally figure out they’re giving minutes to the wrong guys.

Well, another night on the bench for me. So I might as well let you know what really goes on in this game tonight.

Same bunch of guys start tonight who’ve led us to 3 straight losses. We’re up against another team that’s been scoring most of their points inside and our starters have just been letting guys blow by them for easy baskets. Bethune-Cookman is pretty weak at SF, so I sure wish I was in there so we could get some offense at the 3.

Hillier wears down so quickly. Coach V then replaces him after 4 minute of play with Joe Blackwell rather than me. Another poor decision. Blackwell picks up 2 fouls in just over a minute of play. And again the coaches pass me, instead inserting Travis Dawson at SF. Hillier comes back in and does nothing except get tired and finally I’m in with 6:20 to play in the half. I force a couple quick turnovers by the Wildcats and hit a 3 in my first minute on the court. For once the coach left me in for enough time for me to put some numbers on the board. I scored 5 points in just over 6 minutes of play and we cut the Wildcats’ lead to 36-31. Michael Taylor and (surprisingly) Terence Hillier led our scoring with 6 points apiece.

With 16:05 to play, we finally got a lead at 41-40. Hillier was dragging by then and I was sent back into light a bigger fire. But our guards began turning the ball over and we fell behind once again. After just 4 minutes on the court, Hillier was brought back in and I was back on the bench. We fell further behind from that point and lost our 4th straight game. This sucks!

Final Score: Bethune-Cookman (3-1)—81, Eastern Washington (0-4)—64.

Team stats:

FG %: 57% (29-51) vs 53% (28-53) in favor of B-C
FT %: 70% (21-30) vs 70% (7-10) in favor of B-C
3 pt %: 100% (1-1) vs 33% (2-6) in favor of EWU
Reb: 26 (including 7 offensive reb) vs 23 (including 9 offensive reb) in favor of B-C
Turnovers: 13 vs 21 in favor of B-C
Blocks: 2 vs 2 so even
Steals: 8 vs 5 in favor of B-C
Assists: 15 vs 9 in favor of B-C
Fouls: 14 vs 22 in favor of B-C
Pts in paint: 42 vs 36 in favor of B-C
2nd chance pts: 15 vs 12 in favor of EWU
Fast break pts: 20 vs 16 in favor of EWU
Biggest lead: 17 vs 2 in favor of B-C
Lead changes: 11
Times tied: 2

Leading Eagles’ players: C Michael Taylor-14 pts, 5 reb; PF Cory Davis-11 pts, 6 reb, 1 assist; SF Terence Hillier-10 pts, 4 reb, 1 assist, 1 steal; PF Cory Davis-10 pts, 3 reb; C Odie Joseph-7 pts, 6 reb, 1 assist, 1 steal.

Bethune-Cookman’s PF Michael Selden was the player of the game with 13 points, 6 rebounds, 1 assists, 2 steals, 2 blocks

#28

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Jamal Smith, 1st Asst Coach: (recruiting):

In the past couple ah weeks, DeLawn West has been accusin' Terence Hillier ah costing us the game plus the two have been arguin' loudly at times. I got in both ah their faces, but it doesn’t seem tah have helped.

Today, Coach Vandergard called each one intah his office tah find out what's goin' on. Hillier felt it wasn’t him that was initiatin' all this (which is true, since it's been West’s bad attitude that has been drivin' things). Surprisingly, West apologized an' said he'll try tah control himself in the future. Coach V told he’d better because a recurrence would earn him a suspension.

#29

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Larry Montgomery, 2nd asst coach:

Game #5, Nov. 29, 2013: Eastern Washington Eagles (0-4) at Lafayette Leopards (0-4)


I’ve been travelling with the team on all 5 of our road games thus far this season and trying to get in a little scouting work plus becoming familiar with coaches and other contacts who may be useful to us in other parts of the country. I’m afraid I’ve not had much more success with that than our team has in trying to carve out a victory.

Tonight there will be one less winless team in Division I ball, no matter who wins. DeLawn West is starting at SG in place of Shawn Jackson, as Coach V tries to shake things up a bit. We’ve not been good production from any of our guards thus far, so moving DeLawn from SF to SG and giving him a chance may stir things up some. DeLawn is at least not afraid to put up a 3 once in a while.

DeLawn hits a 3 on our first possession…I’m hoping that’s a good sign. We take a rare early lead (8-3). We expand our lead to 7 before letting Lafayette go on a run that puts them ahead 33-23 with 6-1/2 minutes left in the 1st half. Again our defense folds as the Leopards shred it for easy baskets. The half ends with us trailing 41-34. We turned the ball over 16 times (whereas Lafayette had 9 turnovers). DeLawn West, Cory Davis, and Joe Blackwell each scored 6 points for us in the half.

We hit 60% of our shots and are +10 in rebounds…seems like we should have won, right? Not if you let the other team hit 56% of their shots. Not if you have 28 turnovers. Not if the other team gets 21 more trips to the line (and scores 20 more points on free throws than you do).

Final Score: Lafayette (1-4)—91, Eastern Washington (0-5)—72.

Team stats:

FG %: 60% (29-51) vs 56% (28-53) in favor of EWU
FT %: 84% (27-32) vs 64% (7-11) in favor of Lafayette
3 pt %: 50% (3-6) vs 0% (0-2) in favor of EWU
Reb: 29 (including 10 offensive reb) vs 19 (including 6 offensive reb) in favor of EWU
Turnovers: 12 vs 28 in favor of Lafayette
Blocks: 1 vs 1 so even
Steals: 13 vs 4 in favor of Lafayette
Assists: 17 vs 11 in favor of Lafayette
Fouls: 13 vs 20 in favor of Lafayette
Pts in paint: 54 vs 44 in favor of Lafayette
2nd chance pts: 14 vs 10 in favor of EWU
Fast break pts: 24 vs 14 in favor of Lafayette
Biggest lead: 21 vs 7 in favor of Lafayette
Lead changes: 3
Times tied: 2

Leading Eagles’ players: PF Cory Davis-17 pts, 2 reb; C Joseph Park-12 pts, 2 reb; SF Joe Blackwell-9 pts, 1 reb, 2 assists; C Michael Taylor-4 pts, 7 reb, 1 steal.

Lafayette’s C Victor Long-17 pts, 4 reb, 1 assist, 2 steals.

As to DeLawn West--he hit two 3's, but that was it. So back to the drawing board.

#30

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Bud Springfield, Eagles’ Wings Fan Club President, owns Springfield Ford dealership in Cheney:

The morning after the Eagles’ most recent win, I left my Ford dealership and drove over to EWU. I walked into the Athletic Department. Nancy Parker, who has been the head secretary of the department forever, greeted me as always in her friendly way. After telling her she was getting more beautiful every time I come here (and watching her roll her eyes), I said I wanted to talk with Swede Olaffson. She said he was finishing a phone call, but she got me some coffee while I waited.

After about 5 minutes, she told me Swede was free and ushered me into his office.

“Heya Swede, I appreciate your making some time for me this morning.”

“Sure, Bud, always good to see you. How’s the family?”

“Oh, they’re creating as much of a ruckus as usual, Swede. But Vicky says we owe you an invite to a bar-b-que over to our house. What do you say to next Saturday? I’d like to have you over to meet with some of the fan club members.”

“Bud, if Vickie is inviting me, you know I’ll be there. And, sure, it would be great to get together with the fan club members.”

“Well, that’s one of the reasons I came by this morning, Swede. I’m getting some vibes from members of the club that there’s some unrest. Hell, we all were a bit concerned when you hired a young buck with no experience, but figured you did your homework and he’s work out OK. But the team’s winless. You know, I like to take a flyer by hiring some inexperienced car salespersons at times. But they gotta produce or they don’t stay long.”

“Hey, no one is happy that we’re Oh and Five, but I’m sorta to blame for that, Bud. Saddling Bret with 5 straight games on the road to start the season was no way to treat a new coach. And Bret inherited a bunch of players that the previous regime didn’t exactly recruit with great care. It’s much too early to be tearing him apart. Hell, I figured this would be a down year so I’m not surprised by what’s happened thus far. But, I understand how some of the fan club can be upset and concerned. Maybe me meeting with them at your house is a good way to alleviate some of their concerns.”

“Damned right, Swede. Some of these guys have short fuses. But you’ve got a way about you that can help buy some time. Sure would be good if we picked up a win in our first home game in a few days, though. You can bet there will be a lot of the fan club at that game and some will be looking closely at how Vandergard is handling the team.”

“Oh I most agree that a win would give people some hope for our team. But ultimately, I think we have to hang in there no matter how things turn out. We need to give Bret some time to build for the future.”

“I hear ya, Swede…but some wins will help avoid an insurrection.”

“Tell Vickie I look forward to coming over this Saturday. I’ll bring a bottle of her favorite wine.”

I headed out unconvinced that this new coach was going to be able to do much to improve things this year…or in the future. Hell, not only is he inexperienced, but his who staff is pretty sketchy. I don’t know why he didn’t bring in one or two seasoned assistants.

#31

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Corky Branigan, KSPK,Radio Commentator:

CB: I’m here with Ted Norcross. Ted has been watching college basketball for over 60 years and was an sports announcer on TV and radio in the Spokane area for 50 years before retiring 5 years ago. But he’s continued to follow Gonzaga, Washington State, and Eastern Washington round ball.

So Ted, what’s up with Eastern Washington’s basketball team this year?

TN: They're a team with some major holes in the lineup. The guard’s in particular just aren’t pulling their weight. And things aren’t much better at the 3 position. There’s been very little scoring from the perimeter and most of these guys shy away from shots outside the arc. The guards have tossed up a TOTAL of 7 shots from 3-point distance. That’s ALL of the guards in all 5 games! But maybe it’s a good thing they won’t shoot from outside since they have not made a single 3 point shot yet.

The SF’s have hit 8 of 16 from beyond the arc in the 5 games. So those guys need to be shooting more from outside...be more aggressive. Joe Blackwell hasn’t played much, but when he’s been in there, he’s shot well and put some quick points on the board. Hopefully the coaching staff realizes this soon and gives him more opportunities.

Also the guards and SF’s don't have many rebounds. They need to mix it up more and attack the boards and go after balls that are tipped outside. All-in-all, they just seem hesitant and lack confidence. But they’re young, so maybe they will mature as the season progresses.

CB: So are there any strengths on this team?

TN: The interior guys have been doing most of the scoring and they’ve shot well also. They aren’t great rebounders, but that’s been improving somewhat as the team plays more games. In particular, I’ve been impressed with Michael Taylor. He’s been coming off the bench, but has been consistently productive. And I think that the coaching staff is realizing this since Taylor’s been getting more floor time with nearly every game.

CB: What do you think about the coaching staff, Ted?

TN: It’s much too early to seriously critique them. As I said, they’re not working with solid players at every position. At this point they are experimenting. I just hope they can get the team playing better ball and coalescing by the time conference play begins.

CB: What do you think about there being no seniors on the Eagles this year?

TN: Well the good thing is that everyone will be back next year. And the bad thing is that everyone will be back next year. Obviously this team doesn’t have a tremendous amount of experience or talent, so it would have been good if they could have gone shopping for a new infusion of talent this year.

But if the players on this squad improve throughout this year and into next year, they might be able to contend within the Big Sky next year.

CB: Ted, it’s always good having you on with us. Thanks for your perspectives.

TN: Any time Corky.

#32

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Bud Springfield, Eagles’ Wings Fan Club President, owns Springfield Ford dealership

Game #6, Dec. 2, 2013: Tulsa Golden Hurricanes (4-2) at Eastern Washington Eagles (0-5)


We finally get to see this year’s version of Eastern Washington basketball. After 5 straight defeats on the road, the Fan Club turnout for this game is less that I’d hoped, but the true fans are here.

Tulsa nearly won the Alaskan Classic Tournament, losing the championship game to Fresno State by 2 points, so the Eagles will have their work cut out for themselves trying to win their first game of the season.

Our team looked shaky at the beginning of the game, turning the ball over once and allowing Tulsa’s PF Jesse Nesland to slide in and get two easy layups in the first minute of play. But we began hitting some shots after that and took a 21-13 lead with 8-1/2 minutes to play in the half. The lead grew to as much as 11 points, but Tulsa made a run at the end of the half to draw within 4 points, 36-32 at the break. The Eagles shot well (58%) and out-rebounded the Golden Hurricanes 16-10. We turned the ball over too much though (12 times), even though Tulsa had 11 turnovers. Jesse Nesland scored the first 11 points for Tulsa, but was held scoreless after that. Joe Blackwell came off the bench for the Eagles to score 14 points in 12 minutes at the SF position.

Tulsa cut the lead to 3 early in the 2nd half, but the Eagles continued their hot shooting which allowed them to pull away. The game produced mixed evaluations from different Fan Club members. Many were concerned that the Eagles made far too many turnovers, but most were impressed with their shooting and tenacity. Even though I don’t think the team is trying to force the ball inside, the guards are passing up shots thus placing the offensive burden on our inside players. The PG’s hit 5 of 10 shots and scored a combined 10 points while making 5 assists, but the SG’s hit just 2 of 7 shots and scored a grand total of 4 points.

Final Score: Eastern Washington (1-5)—71, Tulsa (4-3)—60.

Team stats:

FG %: 61% (28-46) vs 43% (20-47) in favor of EWU
FT %: 68% (15-22) vs 67% (4-6) in favor of Tulsa
3 pt %: 42% (5-12) vs 17% (1-6) in favor of Tulsa
Reb: 23 (including 4 offensive reb) vs 21 (including 8 offensive reb) in favor of EWU
Turnovers: 21 vs 23 in favor of EWU
Blocks: 3 vs 2 in favor of EWU
Steals: 10 vs 9 in favor of Tulsa
Assists: 16 vs 12 in favor of EWU
Fouls: 12 vs 20 in favor of Tulsa
Pts in paint: 46 vs 28 in favor of EWU
2nd chance pts: 13 vs 10 in favor of Tulsa
Fast break pts: 20 vs 12 in favor of EWU
Biggest lead: 13 vs 4 in favor of EWU
Lead changes: 4
Times tied: 2

Leading Eagles’ players: C Joseph Palmer-19 pts, 9 reb, 1 assist, 2 blocks; SF Joe Blackwell-14 pts, 1 reb, 1 assist; C Michael Taylor-10 pts, 5 reb, 1 assist, 3 steals.

EWU’s C Joseph Palmer was the player of the game.

Top Tulsa player: Jesse Nesland-16 pts, 3 reb, 1 steal.

#33

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Torbern “Swede” Olaffson, Athletic Director:

Bud and Vickie threw a great BBQ party with lots of good food and drink. Bud’s had a successful car dealership in Cheney for many years and he displays his wealth through his home, cars, clothes, and hospitality…and also his generous contributions to Eastern Washington University. He footed the bill for a big part of the new Business School building which now bears his name. And his wife, Vickie, even though now in her early 50’s, is one helluva good-looking woman.

Man, am I glad we won last night’s game. That made things a lot more pleasant at Bud Springfield’s party for members of the Eagles’ Wings Fan Club. Yes, there was still some bitching about the team’s slow start, but it was greatly tempered by the convincing win against a good team at home. I took some heat for setting up a schedule with so many away games, but that all will pass.

Michael Jackson was at the party and bent my ear again about his son, Shawn. Even though Shawn has been starting, I think Michael thinks Shawn’s unproductive start is the result of the coaches rather than Shawn being a young player learning the system and trying to elevate his game against a new level of opposition. The kid has a lot of natural talent, but it just needs refinement, but his father can’t see that. He expects his son to be the star, as I’m sure he’s been at all levels in the past. Shawn’s a good kid, and I imagine his father’s expectations aren’t helping him at this point. You’ve heard of “stage mothers”, well Michael is a “court father”, and I think that he’s not only hard on the coaching staff but also his son.

#34

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Kevin Gebbers, 3rd Asst Coach:

Game #7, Dec. 6, 2013: Eastern Washington Eagles (1-5) at Citadel Bulldogs (3-2)


Citadel’s leading players thus far have been PF Pat McClinton and C Jamal Clark. We’ll focus initially on Pat McClinton. Coach V has decided to start Joe Blackwell in place of Terence Hillier at SF due to Joe’s offensive production thus far.

We fell behind 15-5 after 4-1/2 min of play. Shawn Jackson not only hit the first 3 pointer of the entire year for our guards, but dropped in 3 from beyond the arc in the first 6 minutes of play tonight to close the gap. But 3 of our players ran into foul trouble in in first 7 minutes of the game and Citadel was in the double bonus at the 10:17 mark. Our team didn’t give up though and made a late run to cut a 12 point lead to a 38-35 halftime deficit. Our scoring was led by Joseph Palmer with 10 points and Shawn Jackson with 9 points.

We scored 4 unanswered points in the first 27 seconds of 2nd half to take 39-38 lead. Citadel recaptured lead, and then with refs again tagging us with foul-after-foul, pulled away late in the half. Another road game, another loss.

Final Score: Citadel (4-2)--80, Eastern Washington (1-6)--65.

Team stats:

FG %: 58% (28-48) vs 51% (20-39) in favor of Citadel
FT %: 94% (17-18) vs 68% (23-34) in favor of EWU
3 pt %: 44% (4-9) vs 25% (3-12) in favor of EWU
Reb: 25 (including 10 offensive reb) vs 17 (including 5 offensive reb) in favor of Citadel
Turnovers: 20 vs 14 in favor of Citadel
Blocks: 2 vs 1 in favor of Citadel
Steals: 10 vs 7 in favor of Citadel
Assists: 12 vs 10 in favor of Citadel
Fouls: 18 vs 26 in favor of Citadel
Pts in paint: 34 vs 20 in favor of Citadel
2nd chance pts: 16 vs 7 in favor of Citadel
Fast break pts: 18 vs 16 in favor of EWU
Biggest lead: 17 vs 1 in favor of Citadel
Lead changes: 5
Times tied: 2

Leading Eagles’ players: SG Shawn Jackson-14 pts, 1 reb; C Joseph Palmer-12 pts, 3 reb, 1 assist, 1 steal, 1 block; PG Tim Dove-11 pts, 1 reb, 2 assists; SF Joe Blackwell-8 pts, 3 reb, 1 steal.

Citadel’s SF Laron Howell was the player of the game with 17 pts, 4 reb, 4 assists.

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Excerpts from the radio broadcast of the game by KSPK AM radio:
Game #8, Dec. 9, 2013: Eastern Washington Eagles (1-6) at UC Irvine Anteaters (3-4)


Welcome to Eastern Washington Eagles' basketball on KSPK. Tonight we're in Irvine, California where the Eagles will match up against the University of California at Irvine Anteaters. The Anteaters have thus far been inconsistent, but have won 3 of their 4 home games. They're led by senior shooting guard Anthony Oliver who is averaging 17.1 ppg. He's hit 51% of his field goal attempts, 60% of his shots from 3 point distance and 95% of his free throws. The Eagles will need to keep him from catching fire, if they hope to win.

Tonight's game is brought to you by Springfield Ford, where you will have the biggest choice of cars in Cheney, and by Thompson Feed and Seed, your one-stop farm supply source.

Tonight's starting lineup for Eastern Washington is: 6'1" freshman Tim Dove at point guard, 6'4" freshman Shawn Jackson at the shooting guard position, 6'7" sophomore Terrence Hillier returns to the starting lineup at small forward to give the Eagles a little more height, 6'9" freshman Cory Davis will be at power forward, and the starting center is the Eagle's captain 6'8" junior Joseph Palmer.
...
The opening tip goes to the Anteaters. Rogers brings it over the center line, shoots a pass toward the right corner. Hillier steps in front to intercept the ball and flips an outlet pass to Tim Dove. Dove brings it quickly up court then slows it down. The Eagles move the ball around the perimeter. There's a pass to Hillier on the right baseline and he drives toward the basket. The ref's whistle pierces the air. Ohh...they're calling an offensive foul against Hillier. Anteater ball with 19:35 on the clock.
....
Both teams have looked tight in the early going with multiple turnovers. Just one shot in this game thus far. Roberts guarded tightly by Cory Davis passes back outside to Anthony Oliver in the middle. Oliver has some daylight and puts up a shot from 25 feet and it drops cleanly through the twine to make it 3-0 with after two minutes of play. The Eagles have been double-teaming Oliver thus far, but he got free for that shot.
....
With 16:45 on the clock, Tim Dove fouls Oliver on his jumper from the foul line. Coach Vandergard is sending in some reserves. At point guard, replacing Dove, who already has 3 turnovers, will be Robbie Taflinger. Joe Blackwell comes in for Terence Hillier. In past games, Blackwell has been able to put some quick points on the board when he's been brought off the bench. And at center, Palmer is replaced by big Michael Taylor. In just under 4 minutes of play, the Eagles have only gotten off one shot while turning the ball over 4 times, so I guess Vandergard decided it was time for a change. Oliver's first shot rims around but drops through. His 2nd shot is also good. The Eagles now trail 7-0 as Oliver has scored all of the Anteaters' points.
...
Coming out of the first time out, the Anteaters continue to stymie the Eagles with a tough man-to-man defense. Taylor makes a risky cross court pass to Blackwell who drives on his man, pulling up for a 6-footer that careens off the rim, but he was fouled by Johnson on the shot. Joe Blackwell sinks the first...and the second to finally put the Eagles on the board. The score is now 7-2 in favor of UC Irvine with 15:21 on the clock.
...
The Eagles' defense has kept the Anteaters from running away with this game and given the Eagles time to settle down offensively. Odie Joseph takes the ball down low, can't get off a shot, turns and fires it out to Blackwell outside who lofts up a 3...THAT's GOOD! And Eastern takes a 9-8 lead 7 minutes into the contest.
...
Dove gets the ball inside to Joseph. He muscles up a shot that bounces up and in...and he's fouled on the shot by the Anteaters' Grundy. Joseph toes the line and calmly drops it in to complete the 3-point play and give the Eagles an 18-13 lead with just over 10 minutes remaining in the first half. Joseph and Blackwell have come off the bench to provide the instant offense the Eagles so badly needed. Both men have scored 7 points. Brian Robisch has added 4 in his 3 minutes on the court.
...
The refs call a time out with 7:15 left to go in the half. Eastern Washington has been playing inspired ball the past 8 minutes and now leads 26-13, hitting on 8 of their 13 shots and adding 7 points from the charity line. Coach Vandergard has continued to shuttle in players to keep fresh legs on the floor.
...
Roberts shot from the wing rims out as the buzzer sounds and Eastern Washington will leave the court with a 43-29 advantage. The Eagle have hit 59% of their shots and 15 of 16 from the line while holding UC Irvine's shooting to just 37%. They also out-rebounded the Anteaters 15-7. The bench has scored 36 of Eastern's 43 points. Topping the Eagles' scoring in the first half were Joe Blackwell and Robbie Taflinger, each with 9 points. For the Anteaters, Anthony Oliver has lived up to his hype by dropping in 14 points thus far.
...
Taflinger, Robisch, and Blackwell will be starting for the Eagles in the 2nd half as Coach Vandergard tries to ride the hot hands. The Eagles inbound the ball to Robisch, he dribbles to the side line, passes to Cody Davis at the edge of the key who quickly drops the ball off to Taflinger. Taflinger cuts around his man and drives up the middle of the key for an uncontensted lay in to open the scoring in the 2nd half.
...
UCI's hit's their 2nd straight 3 and 8th unanswered point cutting the lead to 49-39. Vandergard doesn't like what he's seeing and calls a time out with 17:29 left.
...
Taflinger dribbles to the head of the key and passes it to Robisch who cuts around the pick set by Taflinger. It's a perfect pick and roll, with Brian Robisch getting free for the 12 foot jumper that finds the bottom of the net. 51-39, Eastern.
...
The Anteaters intercept yet another errant Eagles' pass. The ball is outletted to Johnson who flies up the court for a convincing driving dunk that puts the Anteaters back in the lead 52-51 with 11-1/2 minutes to play. The Eagles have turned the ball over on 3 straight possessions. Eastern calls another time out as the crowd is going wild.
...
After the disastrous nose-dive by the Eagles that dropped them behind by as much as 9 points, they've battled back, folks. Dove works the ball inside. Joseph takes it on the edge of the key, works his man inside and puts up a shot that comes off the rim, but Joseph grabs his own rebound and stuffs it back in to pull Eastern to a 71-68 deficit with 2:20 remaining.
...
Yet another foul on the Eagles. This time Dove is called for hacking with 2:10 to go. The Anteaters have long been in the double bonus so Rogers goes to the line for another 2 shots. He plunks both in to make it 73-68.
...
And that's it folks, a disappointing night for Eastern Washington. After leading by 18 points, the Eagles swan dive in the 2nd half left them on the short end of a 78-68 score here in Irvine. As they say, if you got the bull by the horns, you best not let him loose.

The story line of the 2nd half can be summed up by focusing on the Eagles' 15 turnovers and 16 fouls which turned out to be just too much of an impediment to overcome. The Anteaters took advantage of both to pull away and send the Eagles to yet another road defeat.

And now a word from our sponsor, Springfield Ford....."Hey! Ever feel like your work day is never done? News flash! If you're driving a pickup, it's not. The new Ford F-150 delivers the best combination of towing and fuel economy. So you get the power to do all the heavy liftin', but you won't get soaked at the pump. Come see the new F-150 and all the other great Ford models at Cheney's own...Springfield Ford."

Final Score: UC Irvine (4-4)--78, Eastern Washington (1-7)--68.

Team stats:

FG %: 53% (24-45) vs 49% (20-41) in favor of EWU
FT %: 82% (31-38) vs 82% (18-22) in favor of UCI
3 pt %: 39% (7-18) vs 29% (2-7) in favor of UCI
Reb: 25 (including 7 offensive reb) vs 20 (including 5 offensive reb) in favor of EWU
Turnovers: 18 vs 22 in favor of UCI
Blocks: 2 vs 1 in favor of UCI
Steals: 14 vs 11 in favor of UCI
Assists: 10 vs 10 so even
Fouls: 17 vs 26 in favor of UCI
Pts in paint: 30 vs 20 in favor of EWU
2nd chance pts: 14 vs 11 in favor of EWU
Fast break pts: 22 vs 18 in favor of EWU
Biggest lead: 18 vs 10 in favor of EWU
Lead changes: 8
Times tied: 2

Leading Eagles’ players: SF Joe Blackwell-15 pts, 4 reb, 2 assists, 2 steals; PG Robbie Taflinger-14 pts, 2 assists; PF Odie Joseph-13 pts, 4 reb, 1 assist, 1 steal; SG Brian Robisch-9 pts, 5 reb, 2 assists, 3 steals; C Michael Taylor-7 pts, 3 reb, 1 assist, 1 steal.

UCI's SG Anthony Oliver was the player of the game with 26 pts, 4 reb, 1 assist, 1 steal.

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Kent Proctor, Eastern Washington alum now living in Hartford, CT:

Game #9, Dec. 13, 2013: Eastern Washington Eagles (1-7) at Quinnipiac Bobcats (4-3)

I graduated from Eastern Washington 6 years ago and moved to Connecticut to take a junior management position with an insurance company a year ago. I only know of one other Eastern Washington grad in this area. I talked him into going with me to the game tonight, but then we got hit by a snow storm and he flaked on me (actually I think the snow was just an excuse for him NOT to come). I hear that the team\'s plane was delayed due the snow, so they only arrived shortly before tonight\'s game. The snow has reduced the crowd, which is good because I\'m CERTAIN that I\'m the only Eagles\' fan here.

The Quinnipiac fans around me gave me a hard time, but it all was in fun. But even though there were a couple lead changes, the Eagles played tough defensively and held a small lead through most of the 1st half, leaving the floor with a 28-21 advantage. Brian Robisch led our scoring with 7 points.

Each time the Bobcats threatened in the 2nd half, the Eagles fought back and pulled away again. Quinnipiac made a furious comeback in the last few minutes to make it look closer than it was for most of the game.

It was great to see the Eagles win, and more importantly, I met a great Quinnipiac fan and she’s going to go out on a date with me this coming weekend.

Final Score: Eastern Washington (2-7)—76, Quinnipiac (4-4)—72.

Team stats:

FG %: 51% (23-45) vs 42% (21-50) in favor of EWU
FT %: 77% (24-31) vs 71% (20-28) in favor of Quinnipiac
3 pt %: 40% (6-15) vs 31% (4-13) in favor of Quinnipiac
Reb: 32 (including 9 offensive reb) vs 26 (including 6 offensive reb) in favor of EWU
Turnovers: 18 vs 13 in favor of Quinnipiac
Blocks: 2 vs 1 in favor of Quinnipiac
Steals: 9 vs 8 in favor of Quinnipiac
Assists: 12 vs 10 in favor of EWU
Fouls: 21 vs 25 in favor of Quinnipiac
Pts in paint: 32 vs 28 in favor of EWU
2nd chance pts: 15 vs 10 in favor of EWU
Fast break pts: 23 vs 16 in favor of EWU
Biggest lead: 14 vs 1 in favor of EWU
Lead changes: 5
Times tied: 3

Leading Eagles’ players: C Joseph Palmer-17 pts, 8 reb, 1 assist, 1 steal, 1 block; PG Tim Dove-10 pts, 3 reb, 3 assists, 1 steal; SG Brian Robisch-10 pts, 2 assists, 3 steals.

EWU’s C Joseph Palmer was the player of the game with 17 pts, 8 reb, 1 assist, 1 steal, 1 block.

Top player for Quinnipiac: PF Andre Rowe-10 pts, 5 reb, 1 assist, 1 steal, 1 block.

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Kent Proctor, Eastern Washington alum now living in Hartford, CT:

Game #9, Dec. 13, 2013: Eastern Washington Eagles (1-7) at Quinnipiac Bobcats (4-3)

I graduated from Eastern Washington 6 years ago and moved to Connecticut to take a junior management position with an insurance company a year ago. I only know of one other Eastern Washington grad in this area. I talked him into going with me to the game tonight, but then we got hit by a snow storm and he flaked on me (actually I think the snow was just an excuse for him NOT to come). I hear that the team\'s plane was delayed due the snow, so they only arrived shortly before tonight\'s game. The snow has reduced the crowd, which is good because I\'m CERTAIN that I\'m the only Eagles\' fan here.

The Quinnipiac fans around me gave me a hard time, but it all was in fun. But even though there were a couple lead changes, the Eagles played tough defensively and held a small lead through most of the 1st half, leaving the floor with a 28-21 advantage. Brian Robisch led our scoring with 7 points.

Each time the Bobcats threatened in the 2nd half, the Eagles fought back and pulled away again. Quinnipiac made a furious comeback in the last few minutes to make it look closer than it was for most of the game.

It was great to see the Eagles win, and more importantly, I met a great Quinnipiac fan and she’s going to go out on a date with me this coming weekend.

Final Score: Eastern Washington (2-7)—76, Quinnipiac (4-4)—72.

Team stats:

FG %: 51% (23-45) vs 42% (21-50) in favor of EWU
FT %: 77% (24-31) vs 71% (20-28) in favor of Quinnipiac
3 pt %: 40% (6-15) vs 31% (4-13) in favor of Quinnipiac
Reb: 32 (including 9 offensive reb) vs 26 (including 6 offensive reb) in favor of EWU
Turnovers: 18 vs 13 in favor of Quinnipiac
Blocks: 2 vs 1 in favor of Quinnipiac
Steals: 9 vs 8 in favor of Quinnipiac
Assists: 12 vs 10 in favor of EWU
Fouls: 21 vs 25 in favor of Quinnipiac
Pts in paint: 32 vs 28 in favor of EWU
2nd chance pts: 15 vs 10 in favor of EWU
Fast break pts: 23 vs 16 in favor of EWU
Biggest lead: 14 vs 1 in favor of EWU
Lead changes: 5
Times tied: 3

Leading Eagles’ players: C Joseph Palmer-17 pts, 8 reb, 1 assist, 1 steal, 1 block; PG Tim Dove-10 pts, 3 reb, 3 assists, 1 steal; SG Brian Robisch-10 pts, 2 assists, 3 steals.

EWU’s C Joseph Palmer was the player of the game with 17 pts, 8 reb, 1 assist, 1 steal, 1 block.

Top player for Quinnipiac: PF Andre Rowe-10 pts, 5 reb, 1 assist, 1 steal, 1 block.

#38

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Excerpt from Spokane Spokesman-Review article

Here are the player statistics for the Eastern Washington
Eagles thus far this season:

Attached File  EWU Player Stats after 9 games.jpg   241.3KB   5 downloads

(Guess you have to click on the image to view it large enough to read)

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Interview of Coach Vanderburg by Jared Worth, “Easterner Online” (student news):

JW: So, Coach, is the season going as you expected thus far?

BV: Well, to be honest, I didn’t have any preconceived expectations about this team or how we would do this year. I have tried to keep an open mind about all of my players and see how they develop. With regard to our record, while I’d like to see us have some more games in the win column, I’m not surprised since the players are young, they’re learning new sets offensively and defensively, and our pre-conference schedule is heavily weighted with road games. The main thing is for our players to continue to get more comfortable with the system, work more cohesively together, and just focus on playing their very best in the next upcoming game, taking it one game at a time.

JW: Many are surprised that you’ve been playing such a deep bench. Was this by design?

BV: No, not exactly by design. It’s more by necessity. I think we have some very equally talented basketball players, as their individual stats will bear out. Also, our big men tend to tire pretty quickly, so it’s good we have some backups who can come in without a drop-off in how we’re playing. Also with 2/3 of our team being freshman and sophomores, it’s not surprising that most have a big learning curve and have not yet developed consistency. So, we have to give more time to those with the hot hands on any given night. We basically have 11 players who are getting a good number of minutes with a few of those filling in at multiple positions.

JW: How do you think you will do in the Big Sky Conference this year?

BV: It’s really too soon to predict. Again, we just need to keep improving and see how things work out for us. No one not associated with our team expected much of this squad at the beginning of the year. In fact we were predicted to finish near the bottom of the Big Sky. I think we may surprise a few people though and win a few more games than most expected. The Big Sky will be highly competitive, and this has to be viewed as a building year for Eastern Washington. But our student body needs to come out to our games and support the team, because I think we will be entertaining and that support will definitely help us win more games.

JW: Which players have impressed you most thus far?

BV: I’m impressed that the entire squad is playing their hearts out. They put it all on the court every game. No one player is carrying the team, and we get impressive performances from different players, both starters and reserves, each and every game. Hell, we had one game where nearly all the points were scored by players coming off the bench…that’s almost unheard of in college ball. So far, our interior players have carried us offensively, but I expect our perimeter players to put more points on the board as they gain experience and confidence.

JW: You’ve played and been an assistant coach at a number of colleges before becoming our head coach, what do you think of our facilities?

BV: They’re adequate, but I’m hoping we can make some improvements soon. That will help our team and other teams here at Eastern, and will also make our recruiting easier and more productive in the future.

JW: Finally Coach, what area of the Eagles’ game needs the most attention?

BV: We’ve got a lot of work to do on every aspect of our game. My assistant coaches are working hard to develop players and our overall play…offensively, defensively and on the boards. It’s a gradual process though. But our players are working hard in both practice and during games, so I’m pleased with their effort.

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Bud Springfield, Eagles’ Wings Fan Club President, owns Springfield Ford dealership:

(OK, each of you reading this post is now a member of the Eagles’ Wings Fan Club)

Hey, Fan Club members, this is Bud. As a way to get Fan Club members psyched up to attend upcoming home games and feel like a part of the team, Coach Vandergard has decided to start those players that the Fan Club most wants in the next (and final) away game of the pre-conference schedule. If a player has become a favorite of yours for something done in games thus far, vote for that player. And the player stats were recently posted here, so you can take a look at those also and then indicate which players you would start at each of the 5 positions. Coach V will go with the majority vote. Voting is now open, but will close soon, so vote immediately.




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