SARNIA, Ont. — The Big Sky Conference has undergone some big changes this off-season.
For starters, the North Dakota Fighting Hawks are now officially members of the Summit League, leaving the Big Sky Conference after the 2017-18 season. North Dakota’s departure now puts the Big Sky at 11 teams for the upcoming season.
Many of the remaining teams will also look considerably different, as star players from across the league have moved on in their careers. Whether it was due to graduation or transfer, some familiar names have left the Big Sky Conference. With that said, there are now plenty of opportunities for new players to become the faces of the conference, and there are plenty of candidates around the league.
There are still star players in the league, but the Big Sky is home to some talented players who have flown under the radar so far in their respective careers. One in particular put up massive numbers a season ago, but barely grabbed attention from the national media.
Here are 10 returning players who will be names to know this season in the Big Sky Conference.
SARNIA, Ont. — Seven weeks ago, 96 of the nation’s top players began campaigning for your votes to become the College Court Report Player of the Year.
This past week, the final two players went head-to-head to become this year’s winner. For the third year in a row, the North Dakota Fighting Hawks were represented in the Championship, as junior Geno Crandall was looking to give the school its third straight winner.
Former North Dakota guard Quinton Hooker won the previous two Player of the Year awards.
On the flip side this week was a former conference rival of Crandall. Senior big man Justin Strings put together a stellar career for the Sacramento State Hornets, but his production flew under the radar on a national level. Given the opportunity to support their star, fans of the Hornets pushed Strings into the Championship Round.
Both players were front-runners in the challenge from the outset. Fans of the Fighting Hawks showed up once again to push their own to the Championship Round. Family and friends of Strings were the ones to spearhead a charge for the senior all throughout the challenge.
At the end of the day, only one player could come out on top. After more than 30,000 votes were cast through the online polls and on Facebook during the Championship Round, we finally have our 2017-18 College Court Report Player of the Year.
NEW YORK — On Saturday, October 21st, the NBA G League held their 2017 draft via teleconference at their offices in New York.
Over 140 players made up the draft pool, with the hopes of being selected over the course of the four rounds. Each team had to make a minimum of three selections in the draft. After three selections, a team could choose to forego any selections after that.
If a team opted to forego a selection, they were unable to make any picks for the remainder of the event. The Northern Arizona Suns had three picks in the first round, and after they passed on their second round selection, their day was done.
In total, 96 players were selected in the 2017 draft. The players came from all across the NCAA, and a handful came from either JUCO, Canada, or other parts of the world.
SACRAMENTO, CA. — The 2017 NBA G League Draft is officially underway, and players from across the world have another opportunity to hear their name called and realize their dream of playing professional basketball.
On Friday, the Northern Arizona Suns and Iowa Wolves made a trade that involved the first selection in Saturday’s draft.
The Suns acquired the first overall selection and the returning player rights to Zach Andrews from the Wolves. In exchange, Iowa received the eighth overall selection, the returning player rights to Elijah Millsap and the returning player rights to Michael Bryson.
If there’s one thing about college basketball fans, it’s that they will go to great lengths to ensure that players on their favourite teams get the respect they deserve.
That has been seen week in and week out with our Fan-Voted Player of the Week awards this season. Each week, fans come out to support their players, and show their appreciation for the hard work the players put into their craft each time they step onto the court.
This week was no different, as fans of the Sacramento State Hornets came out in full force to support one of their talented big men.
The Hornets have the luxury of rolling out three talented forwards on a nightly basis. With Justin Strings, Eric Stuteville, and Nick Hornsby patrolling the front court, the Hornets can create all kinds of problems for opposing teams in the Big Sky.
Over the past seven days, Hornsby was a handful for his opponents. Sacramento State took home two big road wins this past week, and the 6’7” Hornsby was a big reason why. He recorded a pair of double-doubles, while shooting above 50% in both games to lead the way for the Hornets.
Over the course of Saturday and Sunday, the Eastern Washington Eagles played host to the EWU Classic. Joining the Eagles in Cheney, WA were the Denver Pioneers, Sacramento State Hornets, and the San Francisco Dons.
Saturday’s action saw the Eagles take down the Pioneers, 85-80, and the Dons push their record to a perfect 4-0 on the year with a 77-59 win over the Hornets,
On Sunday, the Eagles and Dons square off in the night cap of the event, while the Pioneers and Hornets did battle as both teams looked to head home with a 1-1 record in the event.
The first half was all about the Hornets, as they opened up a 16-point lead with under six minutes to play in the opening half. Denver cut the lead down to six at halftime, and the momentum was squarely on their side.
Thanks to timely free throw shooting down the stretch, the Pioneers were able to overcome their slow start, and hold off Sacramento State down the stretch.