The basketball season is over, but life has moved with fastbreak speed this month for former Eastern Washington star Jacob Wiley.
Wiley was married on April 8, then spent the following week in Portsmouth, Virginia, where he made quite an impression on NBA observers:
“Best energy in the tournament,” wrote James Blackburn from BasketballElite.com
“Wiley … was a topic of conversation all week,” reported Tommy Glasgow from SB Nation.
“Easy to see why Jake Wiley was so productive in the Big Sky. Plays super hard. Long arms,” penned Mike Schmitz of Draft Express.
Apart from the subjective impressions, Wiley also put up some solid numbers in front of a big group of NBA scouts.
He averaged 27.3 minutes per game and led the tournament in defensive rebounding with 6.3. His team, K&D Rounds Landscaping, went 2-1, winning two after losing its first game.
Wiley tied for sixth in scoring (17.3 points), fourth in rebounding (9.3) and fourth in blocked shots (1.7) with five total. He shot 53.8 percent from the field.
“Loved the way he competed and played both ends,” said Blackburn, who had Wiley on his all-tournament team. “Runs the floor like a deer and was all over the offensive boards. Always seemed to be in the right place at the right time.”
That’s hardly news to Eastern fans, who wish Wiley could have played more than one year in Cheney. Last season, the 6-foot-7 grad student from Newport, Washington, played post and averaged 20.4 points and 9.1 boards to help the Eagles to a 22-12 record.
Now he’s chasing professional dreams. The Portsmouth event was a jump start.
“I thought it went great, and I got a lot of positive feedback from different NBA teams,” said Wiley, who has met with officials from Utah, Minnesota, Chicago, Orlando and the Los Angeles Clippers.
Wiley is getting a hand from former Eastern great Alvin Snow, who also was an Associated Press All-American honorable mention selection.
“We know a lot of the same people, and our stories felt similar,” said Snow, who’s been an agent for the last three years. “He possesses a skill you cannot teach, and that is energy.”
Those who would shrug off Wiley’s chances at making an NBA roster as a power forward should consider some other stats:
Wiley measured a 37 1/2-inch no-stop vertical jump, which would have tied him atop last year’s NBA Combine, while his 3.177-second court sprint time would have placed in the top five.
Wiley also has a 7-foot wingspan.
Added Snow, “A lot of feedback was that he would be too small to be a (power forward) but with his athleticism and wingspan … but a lot of teams want to see more perimeter shooting and not just be a straight-line driver.”
The next month figures to be just as frenetic for Wiley. Even if his name isn’t called in the NBA Draft on May 20, he’s already made an impression.
Relating the assessment of one NBA scout, Snow said “guys that play that hard have a way of staying around this league for a long time.”