CALGARY, Alb. — You can find big-time talent in the Big Sky this season.
As the season inches closer to February, and the stretch run leading up to both conference tournaments and the NCAA Tournament, the level of parity in the Big Sky is at a level that hasn’t been seen in recent years. There are a handful of teams who could win the conference title, and the case made for them would be tough to dispute.
Year after year, the Eastern Washington Eagles are a team near the top of the standings. The Eagles burst onto the scene when Tyler Harvey was patrolling the back court, terrorizing his opponents each time he touched the ball.
Since then, they’ve stayed in the national spotlight to an extent. If things keep going the way they are right now, we could be hearing about the Eagles come March. If that’s the case, you better get to know the star forward who is leading Eastern Washington on the trek towards the Big Dance.
The senior has been a star for the Eagles this season on both ends of the court, and he showcased all of his talents over the past seven days. Eastern Washington went a perfect 2-0 on their home court, and Wiley was at the forefront.
He averaged 25.5 points per contest over the two wins. When he wasn’t scoring, he was either pulling down rebounds (8.0 rpg), dishing out assists (4.5 apg), or sending his opponent’s shots back to where they came from (4.0 bpg).
After stuffing the box score on two occasions last week, senior forward Jacob Wiley has been named the College Court Report Co-Player of the Week for the week of January 16 – 22, 2017!
Wiley was coming off a 36-point performance in the Eagles’ last game against the Weber State Wildcats, and was looking to keep his strong play rolling as Eastern Washington was looking to keep their momentum going in the Big Sky.
Up first this week, the Eagles took on the Northern Arizona Lumberjacks to open a two-game home swing. The Eagles bounced from a loss at the hands of the Wildcats with a 22-point win over Northern Arizona, 84-62.
In the win, Wiley went 14-of-16 from the floor, scoring a game-high 30 points to lead the way for the Eagles. He pulled down 8 rebounds, dished out 4 assists, and blocked 4 shots to stuff the stat sheet.
Then, on Saturday, Wiley was at the forefront again of another win for Eastern Washington.
Eastern Washington knocked off the Southern Utah Thunderbirds, 83-68, behind Wiley’s 21 points, which tied for the team high with fellow forward Bogdan Bliznyuk.
For the second straight game, Wiley pulled down 8 rebounds and blocking 4 shots. He also dished out 5 assists, and went 7-of-15 from the field.
Over the two games, Wiley had himself quite the week. He averaged 25.5 points, 8.0 rebounds, 4.5 assists, and 4.0 blocks per game, while shooting a combined 67.7% (21-of-31) from the field.
He’s now averaging 17.5 points, 8.2 rebounds, 2.5 assists, and 3.0 blocks per game on the year.
On both ends of the court, the 6’7” Wiley has been an impact player for the Eagles. While he’s not the biggest body in the front court (220 lbs), he has the athleticism and intensity to battle for rebounds on both ends, and can finish above the rim on offense. When he gets to the free throw line, he takes advantage of the opportunities, knocking down over 85% of his attempts from the charity stripe this year.
Behind the play of Wiley, Eastern Washington sits at 13-7 overall this season, and the Eagles are just half a game out of first in the Big Sky, sitting at 5-2 in conference play.
For his efforts on both ends of the floor this past week, a stretch that saw the senior average 25.5 points, 8.0 rebounds, 4.5 assists, and 4.0 blocks per contest, forward Jacob Wiley has been named the College Court Report Co-Player of the Week for the week of January 16 – 22, 2017!
– T. Bennett
Jan. 9 – 15, 2017: Jahad Thomas, UMass-Lowell River Hawks
Jan. 2 – 8, 2017: Ryan Taylor, Marshall Thundering Herd
Dec. 26, 2016 – Jan. 1, 2017: DeAndre Harris, Nicholls Colonels
Dec. 19 – 25, 2016: DeWayne Russell, Grand Canyon Antelopes
Dec. 12 – 18, 2016: Ian Baker, New Mexico State Aggies
Nov. 28 – Dec, 4, 2016: Jaylen Adams, St. Bonaventure Bonnies
Nov. 21 – 27, 2016: Marquise Moore, George Mason Patriots
Nov. 14 – 20, 2016: Eric Mika, BYU Cougars
Nov. 11 – 13, 2016: Jairus Lyles, UMBC Retrievers
**College Court Report Player of the Week recipients are selected from teams in the following conferences:
America East, Atlantic Sun, Atlantic 10, Big Sky, Big South, Big West, Colonial, Conference USA, Horizon League, Ivy League, MAAC, MAC, MEAC, Missouri Valley, Northeast, Ohio Valley, Patriot League, Southern, Southland, Summit League, SWAC, Sun Belt, West Coast, and WAC