Team preview: Eastern Washington

Blue Ribbon Illustrated previews the 2004-05 college basketball season, exclusively on Insider.

Updated: October 20, 2004, 4:50 PM ET
Blue Ribbon Yearbook
Editor's Note: Insider has teamed with Blue Ribbon College Basketball Yearbook, long known as the Bible of college basketball, to provide a comprehensive look at all 326 Division I teams.


There's a reason certain mid-major schools flourish -- such as what Eastern Washington has done the last four years by averaging just over 17 wins per season -- their coach is usually really good. And if that's the case, he usually doesn't hang around very long.

Such was the case after the Eagles earned their way to the NCAA Tournament a year ago. It was only a matter of time before bigger schools came calling on coach Ray Giacoletti, formerly the best-kept secret in the Northwest.

That happened when Utah reached out and pulled Giacoletti from the remote wheat fields of Cheney, Wash. Now it's Mike Burns' turn to continue what Giacoletti built. This is Burns' first try as a head coach, but he was a slam dunk to eventually take the EWU position. He was a popular assistant under Giacoletti for three seasons and spent last year learning under legend Dick Bennett down the road at Washington State.