Basketball recurits locals, transfers


Anna Mills

Tyler Harvey on March 19 in Portland, Oregon during the first round of the NCAA tournament.

By Dayana Morales, Contributing Writer

Fresh off the Big Sky Title, the EWU men’s basketball program has already lost seven players: Tyler Harvey to pursue the NBA, three seniors, two letter winners and Ogjen Miljkovick. Four of these players were starters.

Aside from signing point guard Michael Wearne and Jesse Hunt, Eastern has added four more players to the roster for the 2015-2016 season. Newcomers to the team are Ty Gibson, Enrico “Rico” Nuno, Geremy McKay and Grant Gibb.

McKay, a forward transferring to Eastern from the University of Albany, and guard Gibb from Mark Morris High School in Longview, Washington, will both be redshirting next season.

“I am beyond excited to join the EWU family; it’s just such a great community and basketball program,” said McKay. “Coach Hayford has done a great job establishing a family atmosphere and I cannot wait to be a part of it all.”

Gibb and McKay will redshirt their first season at Eastern.

“[McKay] has to redshirt for NCAA rules when you’re transferring from one division, one school, to another. You have to sit out a year,” said head coach Jim Hayford. “We are redshirting [Gibb] to have a year of developing strength and getting used to the system.”

Even though [Gibb] will be redshirting, he said, “I plan on working hard during my red shirt year to fill whatever role is needed on the team.”

Gibson, a point guard, is from Issaquah, Washington. Earning minutes to play will have to be his priority from the moment he steps into his first practice.

“[Gibson] is one of the three freshman point guards who will be working for minutes on the court, along with Will Ferris, who redshirted this year, and Michael Wearne, who we signed in the fall,” said Hayford.

“I expect to knock down open shots and play tough defense,” said Gibson.

Nuno, a forward originally from Diablo Valley College in California, will be an incoming sophomore at EWU next fall.

“I am very excited, all the guys seem great and I am looking forward to working with them,” said Nuno. “I’m not sure what role I will play yet, I am just looking to come in and contribute for the team and win games.”

“We expect [Nuno] to be a part playing rotation right from the beginning,” said Hayford. “He’s real unique, one of the biggest guys on the team, but he is also outstanding outside shooter, so he is a very versatile player.”

Venky Jois, the lone starter will be returning in the 2015-2016 season, along with last season’s top three subs Von Hofe, Sir Washington, Big Sky freshman of the year, Bogdan Bliznyuk and the two letter winners Kyle Reid and Frederik Jorg. Eagle fans should be ready for this upcoming 2015-2016 season.

Hayford on next season said, “I think that the big sky will be very competitive again. This year we won 12 of 14 conference wins by 10 points or less. I think there will be a lot of parity in the big sky again next year and we can be in the thick of the hunch.”