A Catch Up on Men’s Basketball

Basketball+is+a+part+of+Spokane%27s+culture.+Successful+programs+at+Gonzaga+and+Hoopfest%E2%80%94the+world%27s+largest+3-on-3+tournament+fuel+the+city%27s+love+for+the+game.

Taylor Newquist

Basketball is a part of Spokane’s culture. Successful programs at Gonzaga and Hoopfest—the world’s largest 3-on-3 tournament fuel the city’s love for the game.

By Randle Kinswa, Co-Managing Editor/Sports Editor

The EWU men’s basketball team has started this odd 2020-2021 season with a 1-0 record in Big Sky Conference play, and a 2-4 record overall. 

The team has lost four games this year so far, two of which included three point losses to two Pac-12 teams: the University of Oregon and Washington State University. 

Head coach Shantay Legans said that even though non-conference games do not count towards EWU’s chances at winning the Big Sky and clinching the first seed to a hopeful campaign that ends with a birth in the National tournament, the beginning of the season is crucial to the team’s success throughout the rest of the season.

“It gets us better,” Legans said. “Our players love playing those games … guys get up to play those games and they look forward to playing against bigger schools.”

EWU won their first game of the season on December 11, against the College of Idaho, 80-56. 

EWU’s second win was against Northern Arizona University on December 19. NAU has been the team’s first and only Big Sky Conference opponent they have faced thus far.

EWU senior forward Mason Peatling makes a move with a view of Reese Court in the background.
(Mckenzie Ford)

The 6-9 redshirt junior from Spokane, Tanner Groves, leads EWU in both scoring (14.5) and rebounding (9.8) per game. Groves also leads the team with eight blocks through six games. 

Groves’s younger brother, Jacob Groves, has started one game this year and is fifth on the team in scoring with 9.7 points per game.

Redshirt senior Jacob Davidson, redshirt junior Kim Aiken Jr., and sophomore Tyler Robertson are all averaging above double figures along with Tanner Groves. 

EWU has had seven games cancelled thus far, including the next two scheduled games at Weber State, Jan. 7 and 9. 

Six of the seven games cancelled were against Big Sky Conference opponents.

EWU’s Big Sky schedule has become much more condensed due to the cancellations. Every Big Sky game that has been cancelled so far, will need to be reschuedualed.  

Looking ahead at the schedule, EWU’s next two games are at home against Southern Utah on Jan.14 and 16.