With sophomores Tyler Harvey and Venky Jois included on the All-Big Sky Conference team announced by the league office Monday (March 10), Eastern Washington University head men’s basketball coach Jim Hayford certainly likes where his team is headed.
After ranking in the top 13 in four categories in NCAA Division I this season – including eighth with a league-leading average of 21.8 points per game -- Harvey was selected to the All-Big Sky first team. Jois received honorable mention after earning the league’s Freshman of the Year honor a year ago. Harvey is from Torrance, Calif., and graduated from Bishop Montgomery High School in 2011, and Jois is from Boronia, Australia, and Box Hill High School.
In all, 21 players were honored, including no freshmen and just three sophomores. Joel Bolombay from Weber State was the only other player honored that didn’t have junior or senior standing. Eastern’s squad in 2013-14 had no seniors on its roster.
“To have two underclassmen recognized in the all-conference voting really bodes well for where our program is headed,” said Hayford, whose team finished 15-16 overall and 10-10 in the league.
Harvey’s combined ranking of 18th in 3-pointers per game (5th, 3.52) and 3-point shooting percentage (13th, 43.3) currently ranks second in NCAA Division I. He was also 10th in free throw percentage with a league-leading 89.7 percent conversion rate, and made his last 25 of the season.
Harvey set the school’s single season record for 3-pointers made on Feb. 27 when he had seven against UNC, breaking the previous record of 103 set by Shannon Taylor in the 1998-99 season. He finished with 109 for the season, ranking second in Big Sky Conference history behind the league record of 124 (Stephen Sir, Northern Arizona, 2006-07).
Jois ranked among the league leaders with averages of 13.4 points (12th), 8.0 rebounds (third), 2.5 assists and 1.6 blocked shots per game (third) while making 52.8 percent of his shots from the field (10th). He established a new school record for career blocked shots, with a current total of 115.
Entering the 2014-15 season, Harvey currently ranks sixth in school history with a 15.88 career scoring average and Jois is 15th (12.88). Jois is also eighth in career rebounding average (8.5) and Harvey has the school’s fifth-best 3-point field goal percentage mark (43.3 percent) and the eighth-most total treys (132).