Jacob Wiley earns national Mid-Major & Big Sky player of the wee - SWX Right Now-Sports for Spokane, CdA, Tri-Cities, WA

Jacob Wiley earns national Mid-Major & Big Sky player of the week honors

Wiley Earns Mid-Major and Big Sky Player of Week Honors Wiley Earns Mid-Major and Big Sky Player of Week Honors

By EWU Athletics

His hard work in the wee hours of the morning is being rewarded.
 
Eastern Washington University men's basketball senior men's basketball player Jacob Wiley was awarded Monday (Jan. 23) with National Mid-Major Player of the Week honors, as well as Big Sky Conference Player of the Week, from College Sports Madness. He was also chosen by the league office as Big Sky Conference Player of the Week for the second week in a row after scoring 51 more points in EWU's home sweep last week.
 
"I am always happy when one of our players receives national recognition," said Eastern head coach Jim Hayford of the 6-foot-7 graduate transfer who routinely shows up at 6:30 a.m. to get in extra shooting prior to EWU's morning practice. "That's true even more so at this time because of all the hard work Jake has put in."
 
In victories over Northern Arizona (84-62) and Southern Utah (83-68), Wiley made 67.7 percent of his shots from the field (21-of-31) and 9-of-10 free throws, and added 16 rebounds, nine assists, eight blocked shots and a pair of steals. He scored 31 points versus NAU on 14-of-16 shooting from the field and 2-of-2 from the free throw line.
 
Selected as the Big Sky Conference co-Player of the Week on Jan. 17, in the last four games Wiley has averaged 28.5 points per game. He has made 46-of-63 shots from the field (73.0 percent) and 20-of-22 free throws (90.9 percent), and is also averaging 8.0 rebounds, 4.0 assists, 2.8 blocks and 1.0 steals per game.
 
"Jake is having an outstanding senior season as he gets more and more comfortable with his teammates and our offensive scheme," added Hayford, whose team plays at Montana Thursday (Jan. 26) and Montana State (Jan. 28) this week. "The results speak for themselves."
 
For the season, he is averaging 17.5 points per game overall on 62.9 percent shooting to rank 11th in the nation and first in the league. He's also averaging 3.0 blocked shots (first in the league and sixth nationally) and has made 85.9 percent from the free throw line (fourth in the league and 55th nationally). In addition, he is averaging 8.2 rebounds on the season (third in the league and 87th nationally) and 2.5 assists per game.
 
In league-only statistics, Wiley is ranked in the top three in four different categories during what will be a one-year career at EWU. He leads in rebounding (9.3) and blocked shots (2.7), and is second in scoring (24.6) and third in field goal percentage (.673). He's also made 85.0 percent of his free throws in league play (eighth) and has averaged 3.4 assists (11th) and 1.0 steals.
 
He has had at least 27 points in three of his last four games, and at least 21 in six of EWU's seven league games. For the season, he has scored at least 20 eight times and in double figures in all but two of EWU's 20 games. In addition, he has had four double figure rebounding performances, including a season-high 14 against Montana on Jan. 7.
 
Prior to his 30-point output versus NAU on Jan. 19, he had had career-high performances of 27 and 36 points, respectively, in a victory over Idaho State on Jan. 12 and a three-point loss to Weber State two days later. His performance at Weber State equaled the 16th-most in school history.
 
 
More on Wiley's Senior Season . . .
 
While impressive, his 63 points in back-to-back games is not rare in recent years for EWU. A year ago, Austin McBroom scored 73 points in back-to-back games – the third time in two years an Eagle has scored at least 72 points in back-to-back games. It was the most in back-to-back Big Sky Conference games in school history, besting the 70 Rodney Stuckey, now with the Indiana Pacers in the NBA, had late in the 2006-07 season against Weber State (34) and Portland State (36). In the 2014-15 season, Venky Jois had 38 each in back-to-back games versus Eastern Oregon and Seattle, then Tyler Harvey had a total of 73 in consecutive games versus L-C State (34) and Weber State (39). The most Harvey had in back-to-back league games was 61 as a senior against Northern Colorado (37) and North Dakota (24). The Big Sky record was set by Damian Lillard (now of the Portland Trailblazers), who had 75 in two games in Feb. of 2012 (40 vs. Portland State 2/2 and 35 vs. Northern Colorado 2/4).
 
Wiley had a near triple-double with what was then a career-high 25 points in an 82-64 win over Montana State by making 10-of-15 shots from the field and 5-of-7 free throws. He also had 10 rebounds, a career-high seven assists and three blocked shots. His scoring performance versus Montana State eclipsed his previous career high of 23 points one game earlier at Idaho when he sank 9-of-13 shots from the field and added nine rebounds and five blocked shots in the 69-62 win. He had 16 points, six rebounds, five blocks and four assists versus 17th-ranked Xavier on Dec. 20, then had 10 points, eight rebounds and two more blocks against Colorado two nights later. Prior to that he had back-to-back double-double performances, with 12 points and 12 rebounds against Morehead State on Dec. 13 and 14 points and 12 more boards against Northern Kentucky on Dec. 18.
 
Earlier this season, Wiley was the MVP of the Legends Classic sub-regional round in Cheney, Wash, finishing with 20 points, nine rebounds, five blocked shots, five assists and a pair of steals in an 80-76 double-overtime victory over Seattle in the championship game. The previous night in an 81-77 win over Bryant, he scored 18 points and had a team-high nine rebounds, sinking 10-of-12 free throws and four of seven shots from the floor.
 
Wiley's numbers compare favorably with those of the forward he's replacing in the starting lineup – all-time leading scorer Venky Jois. Now playing professionally, Jois averaged 14.8 points, 8.3 rebounds, 2.0 blocks and 2.3 assists in his 122-game career, and made 58.3 percent from the field. However, Wiley has a significant advantage at the free throw line where Jois made only 55.0 percent in his career.
 
Wiley capped a spectacular junior season for Lewis-Clark State in 2015-16 by earning first team NAIA All-America honors after averaging 14.9 points, 7.5 rebounds and 1.4 blocked shots per game. He led L-C State to a 29-5 record and was the fourth-most accurate shooter (.604) in the NAIA, as well as ranking 20th in blocks per game and 43rd in rebounds per game. An Academic All-Frontier Conference selection while at L-C State, Wiley originally played 20 games at Montana in the 2012-13 season. He is 2012 graduate of nearby Newport (Wash.) High School.
 
As a true freshman for Montana in the 2012-13 season, Wiley played in 20 games and averaged 3.0 minutes, 0.9 points and 0.6 rebounds per game. In two regular season victories over EWU, he played one minute in each. Wiley scored two points in an 81-66 win in Missoula and had a rebound in a 65-46 triumph in Cheney. His career highlight came during Montana's 2013 NCAA Tournament round game against Syracuse when he scored five points and recorded one block in the 81-34 loss. After quitting the basketball team prior to his sophomore season, he joined the Montana track and field squad and competed in the 400 meters.

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