San Francisco vs. Eastern Washington Preview


USF Dons (5-3) vs. Eastern Washington University (7-1)

Date and Time: Thursday, December 11, 2014 at 7:00 pm PST

Location: University of San Francisco Campus – War Memorial Gymnasium



Meet the Teams


Jan 18, 2014; San Francisco, CA, USA; San Francisco Dons forward Kruize Pinkins (15) takes a shot against the San Diego Toreros during the second half at War Memorial Gymnasium. The San Francisco Dons defeated the San Diego Toreros 64-62. Mandatory Credit: Ed Szczepanski-USA TODAY Sports

After a dominating performance against Houston Baptist University on Sunday, the Dons are locked, loaded and ready for the Eagles from Cheney, WA. This will be a very tough game. EWU is red hot and trending upwards, USF has been playing a bit flat as of late. The key in this game will be the player to player match-ups and the ability of USF to play tough, relentless defense, which we have seen on display in their games against FGCU, Evansville and to some degree, Colorado.

Look for aggressiveness right out of the chute from Kruize Pinkins, Mark Tollefson and Tim Derksen. Devin Watson has been playing really well as of late, contributing 14 points in the Houston Baptist game so he will be eager to continue racking up the points. No, I haven’t overlooked Matt Glover. He’s still solid. Chris Adams is a virtual sleeper cell who can often come up with points when other players are getting more defensive attention from their opponent

The Dons have not lost at home since the season began, so they won’t want to drop a game, especially to EWU, on their home court. Being tired from final exams is not going to cut it as an excuse. But it will be nice to be able to focus on basketball for the rest of the month until classes resume again.


Nov 24, 2014; Bloomington, IN, USA; Eastern Washington Eagles guard Parker Kelly (10) shoots a free-throw in the game against the Indiana Hoosiers at Assembly Hall. Eastern Washington Eagles beats Indiana Hoosiers by the score of 86-84. Mandatory Credit: Trevor Ruszkowski-USA TODAY Sports

Australian sensation Venky Jois, the 6’8” forward who has shattered previous school scoring records with 38 points per game in the last 2 games he has played will be the man to contain if the Dons expect to win at home against this very, very good Big Sky team. Let the record show my prediction that EWU will win the Big Sky conference this year and assure themselves a ticket to the NCAA’s in March. (Shhh, don’t tell Joe Lunardi, let him crunch the numbers for awhile longer before he has an aha! moment.)

With 7 wins under their belt so far this season, most notably beating Indiana University in front of a national audience on ESPN and their only loss to SMU, EWU football isn’t the only sport on the radar gaining national attention.

Jois will be joined by Tyler Harvey, an all-conference guard who averages 20 points per game and sharpshooting guard Parker Kelly who lands key baskets when they are most needed. The Eagles were ranked 16th in the mid-major poll this week. Mid-major teams have been all the rage this preseason because they have been quietly picking off Top 25 teams that seemed immune to such pre-season insults.

Harvey is 9 points away from achieving 1,000 points thus far in his college career. Kelly will play in his 100th college basketball game. So the picture of EWU is a team with a good deal of experience on the floor, comfortable and experienced at winning on the road.