Tuesday, March 10, 2015

Big Sky Awards Announced

As you know by now, Montana and Eastern Washington are the co-champions in the Big Sky, with Montana earning the right to host thanks to a tiebreaker victories. Sac State's hearts were broken by a Kris Yanku runner, ending their dreams of hosting the tournament.

At the back end of the bracket, Weber State and Idaho did what they could to lose their spots by losing on Saturday, but got bailed out when Portland State went on the road and beat Southern Utah, saving a spot for both the Wildcats and Thunderbirds. It was a great Saturday of basketball!

The first-round matchups are:

(1) Montana vs (8) Weber State
(2) Eastern Washington vs (7) Idaho
(3) Sacramento State vs (6) Portland State
(4) Northern Arizona vs (5) Northern Colorado

That is a great slate of matchups! I will have much more to come this week in terms of previews and predictions, I am just getting back into the swing of things after being out of town all weekend.

The other news was the release of the awards!

Here is the first-team Big Sky:

- Mikh McKinney of Sacramento State
- Tyler Harvey of Eastern Washington
- Martin Breunig of Montana
- Venky Jois of Eastern Washington
- Kris Yanku of Northern Arizona
- Jordan Gregory of Montana

McKinney was the Player of the Year, in a mild surprise (I thought it may be Breunig because of Montana's spot in the standings). On first thought, without digging into things too much, I can't disagree with any of the choices, including the pick of McKinney as POY. That is very well deserved! I will give more thoughts and awards and all-conference teams next week once the conference tourney talk dies down.

The second-team Big Sky:
- Connor Hill of Idaho
- Mike Scott of Idaho
- Joel Bolomboy of Weber State
- Dylan Garrity of Sacramento State
- Quinton Upshur of Northern Arizona

Honorable-Mention Big Sky:
- Jeffrey Solarin of Idaho State
- Drew Brandon of Eastern Washington
- Chris Hansen of Idaho State
- Mario Dunn of Montana
- Aaseem Dixon of Northern Arizona
- Tevin Svihovec of Northern Colorado
- DaShaun Wiggins of Portland State
- Jeremy Senglin of Weber State

In the other awards, Bogdan Blizynuk was the Freshman of the Year, which was an easy choice. Jordyn Martin was the Defensive POY, which was a little surprise because he doesn't block shots (and numbers usually win awards), but it was a very good choice, as he anchors their D. Marcus Colbert was the Top Reserve, another good choice.

Jim Hayford and Brian Katz shared Coach of the Year honors. I can't argue with those guys, and I couldn't have argued if Travis DeCuire or Nick Robinson had won the award either, as all of those guys were worthy.

Any thoughts?

Follow me on Twitter @bigskybball


  1. Being biases, I thought Tyler Harvey deserved POY. I think if the award is for the best basketball player in the conference, this isn't close. Tyler Harvey is one of the best players and scorers on the West Coast. But I can understand why McKinney or even Breunig could win also. Just my 2 cents, is Harvey is the most likely to play in NBA, and has the best set of skills in the conference.

  2. Disagree completely. McKinney played the far superior team game this season. EWU won without Harvey this year, Sac doesn't come close to winning without McKinney. Shooting percentages, assists, and defense all put McKinney far ahead of Harvey. This award was voted on by the BSC coaches and they know who they have to game plan against and how much impact each player has. Sorry, McKinney was and is the superior player. BTW Harvey doesn't sniff the NBA because of his shot selection and defense. In the league you have to have more than one strong point to make it. If McKinney was bigger he would have a far better chance at the NBA than Harvey.

    1. Couldn't agree more with everything you just said. If you put 15-20 pounds on McKinney and I believe he could have a shot to make the NBA. No question about it.

    2. hahaha easy to make such bold claims when you are faceless behind a keyboard. You are completely wrong on Harvey. He will 100% be in the NBA and may leave early for the NBA this season. Don't be so bitter that your Hornets just completed one of the biggest choke jobs in Big Sky history.

      HAHAh is Kevin Johnson still getting the rec center ready?? Sorry, but being a Seattle sports fan, I despise the city of Sacramento and KJ still. Your pathetic NBA team should be prospering in a real city like Seattle.

    3. Where is your face tough guy???? Just admit sour grapes and go on your way. McKinney IS the BSC MVP!!!!!!

    4. For what it's worth, I think Harvey probably has more next level potential (because he has a few inches on McKinney, and an elite skill in terms of his shooting)... However, that doesn't really matter a bit when it comes to determining who was better this year.

      About midway through the conference year, I picked Harvey, but over the last half of the year, with Harvey getting injured and then struggling a bit on his return, I thought McKinney was the rightful winner. He really had a remarkable season.

    5. I'm not the one making claims that Harvey wont sniff the NBA. That's a bold claim, and easy to make when your name isn't on the line. You are wrong, and will be proven wrong soon enough. I would just like to give you a shout out when that happens, tough guy.

    6. I wasn't replying to you specifically with the Harvey NBA stuff, just talking in general. Too many anonymous's to keep track of!

    7. Haha understoon Jon. I was replying to the Harvey naysayer not you. AKA the bitter Hornets fan.

  3. Obviously you are biased towards Harvey. I am surprised the POY didn't go to the best player on the best team, that's usually how it goes. But, McKinney is the best overall player in the conference. He is in the top 15 in 7 major stat categories on both offense and defense, including shooting over 50% from the field. A very well deserving POY. Hopefully the Hornets can show something during the tournament, would love to see their incredible season continue into the big dance.

    1. LOL their incredible season? Finishing 4th in the Big Sky is now an "incredible season". So sick of people giving them love. They are an average team in this conference. I never once said McKinney wasn't a baller. Just think Harvey is more of a next level player and will show that come tourney time. IF EWU is lucky enough to advance to the NCAA tourney, Harvey is the player that will give a high ranked team nightmares, not McKinney. Harvey is the player that could become a media darling in the tourney. IF he is hot, he could single handedly change a tourney game with his 3 pointers. McKinney is a very nice player, and is just that, a nice Big Sky player. Harvey has potential to be much more.

    2. So is the award for the guy you think will be a next level player or the Most Valuable Player this year in the BSC???Assist count, steals count, defense counts, shooting percentage counts, and assists to turnovers count.

  4. Hooker, 15pg, 5reb, 5 dimes 2.2/1 ratio. 1.3 steals and 45%. Should have made HM

    1. Didn't realize Hooker had put up that good of numbers during conference play...He was a nice bright spot for them!

  5. I'd take Harvey. McKinney had a remarkably steady season. Harvey had some ups and downs relating likely to his injury, so in those two a lot of your decision rests on how much you value consistency versus potential performance ceiling. When Harvey was at his best, he had a level no other player could reach. His off nights were inefficient, but they were not net negatives. Keep in mind, though his off nights have been recent, they are not the sum of Harvey's body of work. EWU finished a missed Jois bunny (vs. Montana) away from the outright title. The Eagles are not close to that slot of Harvey doesn't have as many spectacular nights as he had. Of the two, Harvey appeared to be the most indispensable, in part because he rotated between SG and PG when EWU had no depth at guard. He also was able to put up as many points as he did without being a ballstopper, a feat unto itself. The attention he drew also made it possible for players like Jois and Bliznyuk to perform as well as they did.

  6. One anonymous internet tough guy calling out another anonymous internet tough guy out. This is great entertainment!!! Jon your blog is big time now! Congrats!

    Anyone not realizing that this is the best Hornet season in our history just shows how little they are aware of other BSC programs that isn't their own.

    I'm glad McKinney got the nod. I always thought it was a coin flip but Harvey's late season injury probably did him in. Congrats to Katz finally getting some recognition he deserves.

    1. I will admit the exchange above is comical. But I will not admit the Hornets had a great season. Just because its the best season in your history doesn't make it a great season. They had a slightly above average Big Sky season. And they are a slightly above average team. I just feel like people on this blog and in general fell victim to rooting for them as an underdog. To quote the infamous Denny Greene, they are who we thought they were.

  7. Have any of you guys played D1 basketball????

    1. Have you??? Wtf type of question is that? What is your context dude?

      Have any of you guys ever been to the Grand Canyon?

      I mean if we are just asking random ass questions with no backing or clarification of the point of the question.

    2. Brian Fish, Brian Jones, Travis DeCuire, and Nick Robinson are the only head coaches in the BSC who also played DI basketball.