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The Scheduling Saga: Mid-major EWU men's basketball adjusts to unpredictable season

The team is trying to add more games to its non-conference slate even as the season approaches. The Eags had a game canceled on Monday.

CHENEY, Wash. — Scheduling has been quite the wild ride for all the men's basketball teams n our area and around the country for the 2020-2021 season, which is why through Wednesday we present to you "The Scheduling Saga".

A game is on the schedule, then it isn’t, you think you have something, but it might get canceled due to coronavirus.

For Eastern Washington, a game getting canceled for coronavirus happened on Monday. Two players tested positive for COVID-19 and several others are being held out due to contact tracing. That means no game against No. 20 Oregon on Nov. 25 and the game against Washington State on Nov. 28 is for now on the schedule.

That;s one of the fears the Eags had while putting together the schedule.

"You're a test away, maybe two tests away from having to sit out 14 days," head coach Shantay Legans said. "If you have to sit out 14 days you might have to miss two, three, four games. We're always willing to go play whoever we can whenever we can."

Outside of that, the craziness hasn't stopped. Legans said EWU scheduled to play between 45 to 50 teams in the non-conference portion of the scheduled.  After the cancellation against the Ducks, the Eagles have four non-conference contests scheduled.

"We've talked to so many teams,"  Legans said. "Every team on the west coast, we've tried everything, all California schools. Every school you could think of we reached out to."

Even with the season approaching, the Eags want to add more games.

"It just makes it easier if it's close, like going to go play UW or Seattle," Legans said. "You can just go get on a bus and go play them. That's something we'd do. We'd do anything to get to seven games, five games, however many we can play."

 Another interesting note Legans made was the amount of money schools like EWU is making now in comparison to before when playing games against Power 5 conference teams like Oregon.

As athletic departments around the country struggle, the payouts aren't as large. Legans said the Eags got paid $50,000 less than what they usually would against a team like that.

That's quite the pretty penny lost for a mid-major team.