Wish this guy played the whole game. At least it would have kept me awake.
So Lazeric Jones played well (19 points on 10 shots, 6 rebs, 4 ast, 3 stl). So did Anthony Stover. Not coincidentally, these (and maybe Powell when he was in) are the only players that played like they gave a damn tonight. With the Sports Arena doing its best to give off a Library vibe, Eastern Washington decided to employ the Ben Howland patented up-by-a-dozen-in-the-middle-of-the-second-half take the air out of the ball offense...in the first half. It was truly awful. The Eagles shot under 30% in the first half, and the Bruins can't really take the credit for it. EWU's players in the halfcourt could not dribble, could not pass, couldn't drive. That is not a winning strategy. The one thing they could do, however, was rebound, and make the Bruins look awful doing so.
This is not a new problem, but the lack of boxing out and overall defensive awareness went to new levels today. UCLA was outrebounded by 8 with 16 offensive rebounds given up to a EWU team that the Bruins have a moderate size advantage over. Size obviously not a substitute for heart or desire though, because EWU used all those extra possessions to make a game of it in the second half. The team that shot under 30% and was 1-10 from 3 made a game of it. Jerime Anderson had a lowlight reel of poorly taken shots that seem to indicate that he is no longer comfortable with his jumper as he was in the beginning of the year. It seems there's a rule that we are only allowed one confident point guard at a time.
Besides a lob pass to Stover for a dunk, I struggle to think of something David Wear did correctly. When he wasn't throwing the ball out of bounds, or completely missing blockout responsibilities, he was juggling a defensive rebound out of bounds with no Eagle within 10 feet of him. The best thing I can say about him was that he came back from a scary looking fall, but this was a clear regression to the "old" David Wear which unfortunately isn't all that old.
Tyler Lamb continues to be terrible on defense, and though Norman Powell still got a good portion of minutes, I can't be the only one clamoring for Lamb's and Powell's minutes to be switched. I'm not sure what Lamb is supposed to do better than Powell at this point that justifies him playing more. Maybe one of you more observant commentators can clue me in on that one.
Anyway, I can't remember a Bruin victory where I was so relieved for it to just be over. This 60-47 snoozefest wasn't one to write home about or be proud of. But hey, at least we can take comfort in the fact that EWU blew out our next opponent: UC Davis, right guys? Right?
At least we have Zeek.