Both Jacob Wiley and Bogdan Bliznyuk earn NABC All-District 6 ho - SWX Right Now-Sports for Spokane, CdA, Tri-Cities, WA

Both Jacob Wiley and Bogdan Bliznyuk earn NABC All-District 6 honors

Bliznyuk and Wiley Lead EWU to 2nd Most Wins in EWU Divison 1 History Bliznyuk and Wiley Lead EWU to 2nd Most Wins in EWU Divison 1 History

By EWU Athletics

The Eagles have achieved a different kind of "triple-double" on the NABC All-District men's basketball team.
 
Landing a pair of players on the team for a third-straight season, high-scoring Eastern Washington University standouts Jacob Wiley and Bogdan Bliznyuk were honored Wednesday (March 22) on the National Basketball Coaches Association All-District 6 team. Both averaged better than 20 points a game to lead Eastern to 22-11 record and a third-straight national postseason tournament berth.
 
Wiley was a first team selection on a squad that also included Jeremy Senglin (Weber State), Victor Sanders (Idaho), Tyler Hall (Montana State) and Ian Baker (New Mexico State). Bliznyuk was on the second team along with Quinton Hooker (North Dakota), Jaylin Airington (CSU Bakersfield), Randy Onwuasor (Southern Utah) and LaVell Boyd (UMKC).
 
A year ago, Austin McBroom (first team) and Venky Jois (second team) were selected, and in 2014 Jois and Tyler Harvey were both first team selections. Harvey was on the second team in 2014, and Rodney Stuckey was the first Eagle to be honored when he was on the first team in both 2006 and 2007.
 
Wiley is a senior graduate transfer and graduated from Newport (Wash.) High School in 2012. Bliznyuk is a junior from Lutsk, Ukraine, and he graduated from Todd Beamer High School in Federal Way, Wash., in 2014.
 
"This is awesome and are such great honors for two great players," said Eagle head coach Jim Hayford. "I am particularly proud that we've had two players recognized each of the past three years. Way to go guys."
 
Wiley, playing in his first and only season as an Eagle, made Big Sky Conference history by becoming just the second player in league history to score at least 639 points and have at least 303 rebounds in a single season in the league's 54-year existence. He finished with totals of 694 and 309, respectively, and no other player in league history has coupled that with at least 58 blocks (Wiley finished with 94 to come one shy of the league record) or a shooting percentage of at least .621 (Wiley finished at .643). Montana's Larry Krystkowiak (now head coach at Utah) is the other player to have at least 639/303 in the same year, and he had 709 points and 364 rebounds in the 1985-86 season.
 
Wiley finished the season ranked seventh in NCAA Division I in field goal percentage (.643), eighth in blocked shots (2.76 per game), 29th in scoring (20.4), 46th in rebounds (9.1) and 111th in free throw percentage (.828). En route to earning league MVP honors, he led the Big Sky in field goal percentage, rebounds and scoring, and was sixth in scoring. In league-only statistics, Wiley led in scoring (24.6), rebounding (10.3), blocked shots (2.5) and field goal percentage (.659).
 
Bliznyuk concluded his junior season with 701 points, becoming just the fourth player in school history to hit that mark (Wiley ranks fifth in school history with 694). He earned second team All-Big Sky honors and finished ranked fifth in the league in in points (20.6 per game), seventh in rebounds (6.5), sixth in assists (4.0) and 11th in free throw percentage (.821). He and Onwuasor were the only players in the league to rank in the top 11 in all four categories.
 
In 103 career games (16th in school history), Bliznyuk is the 20th Eagle to join the 1,000-point club, currently ranking seventh with 1,428 points. He'll enter his senior season in 2017-18 needing just 375 points to break EWU's all-time mark of 1,803 points set by Hayford Australian recruit Venky Jois from 2013-16.
 
Eastern's 22 victories in the 2016-17 season are the second-most in EWU's 34-year history in NCAA Division I, ranking only behind EWU's 2014-15 team which was 26-9 and played in the NCAA Tournament. Eastern also was 18-16 under Hayford in 2015-16.

The combined 81 victories in four seasons, 66 in three and 44 in two are also the most since EWU became a member of NCAA Division I in the 1983-84 season. The stretch of 81 victories is the third-best overall -- Eastern won 83 games from 1975-1978 and 106 from 1943-46. The Eagles have won 66 games in back-to-back-to-back seasons, which are also the third most. Eastern won 80 games from 1945 to 1947 and 66 from 1976-78.

Eastern has had its first back-to-back national tournament postseason appearances at the Division I level with a current stretch of three-straight, including its first-ever win (79-72 over Pepperdine in the College Basketball Invitational in 2016.  Hayford, with a 106-91 record in his six seasons as EWU's head coach, was the fastest to 100 victories in school history.
 
In six seasons with Hayford at the helm, the Eagles have been to the NCAA tournament (2015), the CBI tournament (2016, 2017), earned a Big Sky regular season co-championship (2015), and won the Big Sky Tournament title (2015). In addition, the Eagles have reached 20+ wins in two of the last three seasons (2015, 2017) and have had at least 10 Big Sky Conference wins during the past three seasons (2015, 2016, 2017). That includes the top two win totals in 30 seasons as a member of the Big Sky with 14 victories in 2015 and 13 in 2017.
 
 

EWU's NABC All-District 6 Selections

2017     Jacob Wiley (1st team)
2017     Bogdan Bliznyuk (2nd team)
2016     Austin McBroom (1st team)
2016     Venky Jois (2nd team)
2015     Tyler Harvey (1st team)
2015     Venky Jois (1st team)
2014     Tyler Harvey (2nd team)
2006     Rodney Stuckey (1st team)
2007     Rodney Stuckey (1st team)
 

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