3-point specialist only underclassman on team
As Eastern Washington guard Tyler Harvey elevated his game this season, the Big Sky Conference took notice.
The leading scorer in the conference at 21.8 points a game, Harvey became a marked man, with opposing coaches focused on stopping him.
But on Monday, those same coaches marked him down as a first-team all-conference selection, the only underclassman to make the team.
“The sky is the limit for Tyler,” said Eastern men’s basketball coach Jim Hayford, who watched Harvey blossom this year into one of the top playmakers in the conference.
The sophomore from Torrance, Calif., averaged fifth in the nation in 3-pointers made (3.52), 13th in 3-point shooting percentage (43.3 percent) and 10th in free-throw shooting with a Big Sky-leading 89.7 percent.
He also set the school single-season record for 3-pointers made on Feb. 27 when he had seven in an overtime win over Northern Colorado, breaking the previous record of 103 set by Shannon Taylor in 1998-99. Harvey finished the season with 109.
“My teammates are good at finding me with the ball,” Harvey said.
That included Eagles forward Venky Jois, who was named honorable mention after averaging 13.4 points and eight rebounds. Jois is the Eastern career leader in blocked shots with 115.
In all, 21 players were honored, with no freshmen and just three sophomores.
Joel Bolomboy, a sophomore at Weber State, is the only other player honored who didn’t have junior or senior standing. Eastern had no seniors on its roster.
“To have two underclassmen recognized in the all-conference voting really bodes well for where our program is headed,” said Hayford, whose team finished 15-16 overall and 10-10 in the league.
Weber State senior guard-forward Davion Berry was named the conference Most Valuable Player after leading the Wildcats to the regular-season title.
Berry ranks third in the league in scoring with an average of 19.2 points per game. He also averaged 4.5 rebounds, 4.0 assists, and one steal per game.
Harvey and Berry were joined on the first team by Montana senior Kareem Jamar, North Dakota senior Troy Huff, Sacramento State junior Mikh McKinney and Northern Arizona junior Quinton Upshur, who also was named the conference Newcomer of the Year.
Jamar was named to the first team for the third straight season. Huff and Berry were repeat selections.
Wildcats guard Jeremy Senglin was tabbed the Freshman of the Year and Bolomboy was named Defensive Player of the Year.
Northern Colorado senior forward Derrick Barden and senior guard Tate Unruh led the second team. They were joined by Weber State senior center Kyle Tresnak, Idaho State junior guard/forward Chris Hansen, and Portland State junior guard Gary Winston.