All-American

Bliznyuk named All-American, earns all-star invititation

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OGDEN, Utah (March 27, 2018– Eastern Washington senior Bogdan Bliznyuk continued to rack up honors Tuesday after being named an Associated Press All-America Honorable Mention selection.

Bliznyuk closed out an impressive four-year playing career with the Eagles two weeks ago, setting the Big Sky Conference all-time scoring record with 2,169 points while guiding Eastern Washington to four-straight postseason appearances.

The new Big Sky career scoring standard surpassed a 24-year record of 2,102 points set by Idaho’s Orlando Lightfoot (1991-94).

The Lutsk, Ukraine, native was named the league’s most valuable player after averaging 21.2 points, 6.8 rebounds and 3.9 assists per game. Bliznyuk was the lone player in the league to rank in the top five in points (22.2), rebounds (7.6) and assists (4.8) during conference play, being named the conference’s player of the week five times.


On Mar. 3, Bliznyuk snapped a 17-year NCAA Division I single-season record with his 74th consecutive made free throw in a win over Northern Arizona in the regular season finale. His streak reached 77-straight makes from Dec. 31 to Mar. 8, shooting 90.2 percent (166-of-184) on the season and 98.7 percent (78-of-79) during Big Sky play.

Named to the National Association of Basketball Coaches (NABC) All-District 6 Team this month, Bliznyuk was chosen to take part in the 2018 Reese’s® College All-Star game. The game, hosted by the NABC, will tipoff Friday at 3:35 p.m. CDT from the Alamodome in San Antonio as part of the 2018 NCAA Men’s Final Four®. It will air on CBS Sports Network.

Bliznyuk led Eastern Washington to a 20-15 record and No. 3 seed in the conference tournament this season, advancing to the Big Sky Championship before an 82-65 defeat to top seed Montana. He played in his 138th and final collegiate game on Mar. 13 in the first round of the College Basketball Invitational (CBI) at Utah Valley. Against the Wolverines, Bliznyuk broke the EWU single-season scoring record with a three-pointer on the final shot of his career with 20 seconds remaining. His new record of 741 points sits sixth in the Big Sky single-season record books.

“It’s Bogdan’s show,” said Eastern head coach Shantay Legans during the regular-season. “He takes what the defenses give him and doesn’t force shots. Weber State did a great job of not letting us shoot threes, but you have to pick your poison with us. We have 50-percent shooters out there, and we came in here and shot 65 percent in the second half. That’s a huge number on the road against this team.

“If you have a superstar willing to make the extra pass instead of trying to get to 2,000 and break the Big Sky scoring record, he knows the game is going to come to him,”Eastern head coach Shantay Legans said during the regular-season. “His teammates have so much trust in him and get him the ball when he’s open. He’s doing a great job of facilitating, and he got guys open shots. He is exactly what a player and student should be. He’s unbelievable.”

He finished his career with 16 school records and set the Big Sky career (193) and single-season (82) tournament scoring records this season.

“He’s not fun to play against but it’s been fun to see his progression and his improvements throughout the years,” Weber State head coach Randy Rahe said during the regular-season. “He will be remembered as one of the better players in Big Sky history with the numbers he puts up.

“He plays with such maturity and confidence. He knows he’s good. He knows he can do what they need him to do. You can see the effect that has on his teammates.”

2018 AP ALL-AMERICA TEAM

First Team
Jalen Brunson, Villanova
Deandre Ayton, Arizona
Trae Young, Oklahoma
Marvin Bagley III, Duke
Devonte’ Graham, Kansas

Second Team
Keita Bates-Diop, Ohio State
Trevon Bluiett, Xavier
Jock Landale, Saint Mary’s
Miles Bridges, Michigan State
Jevon Carter, West Virginia

Third Team
Keenan Evans, Texas Tech
Carsen Edwards, Purdue
Mikal Bridges, Villanova
Luke Maye, North Carolina
Kyle Guy, Virginia

Honorable Mention (alphabetical order)
Jaylen Adams, St. Bonaventure; Peyton Aldridge, Davidson; Grayson Allen, Duke; Mo Bamba, Texas; Trae Bell-Haynes, Vermont; Joel Berry II, North Carolina; Bogdan Bliznyuk, Eastern Washington; Desonta Bradford, ETSU; Tony Carr, Penn State; Gary Clark, Cincinnati; Xavier Cooks, Winthrop; Jermaine Crumpton, Canisius; Clayton Custer, Loyola of Chicago; Mike Daum, South Dakota State; Angel Delgado, Seton Hall; Kahlil Dukes, Niagara; Tre’Shaun Fletcher, Toledo; Marcus Foster, Creighton; Brandon Goodwin, Florida Gulf Coast; Isaac Haas, Purdue; Aaron Holiday, UCLA; Jordan Howard, Central Arkansas; Jemerrio Jones, New Mexico State; Nick King, Middle Tennessee; Kevin Knox, Kentucky; Fletcher Magee, Wofford; Caleb Martin, Nevada; Kelan Martin, Butler; Yante Maten, Georgia; Martaveous McKnight, Arkansas-Pine Bluff; Kendrick Nunn, Oakland; Shamorie Ponds, St. John’s; Jerome Robinson, Boston College; Junior Robinson, Mount St. Mary’s; Collin Sexton, Alabama; Landry Shamet, Wichita State; T.J. Shorts II, UC Davis; D’Marcus Simonds, Georgia State; Jonathan Stark, Murray State; Brandon Tabb, Bethune-Cookman; Zach Thomas, Bucknell; Seth Towns, Harvard; Allonzo Trier, Arizona; Grant Williams, Tennessee; Johnathan Williams, Gonzaga; Justin Wright-Foreman, Hofstra

Eastern Washington forward Bogdan Bliznyuk (32)/by Brooks Nuanez

BLIZNYUK NAMED TO ALL-STAR ROSTER

 The Big Sky Conference’s all-time leading scorer and 2017-18 Most Valuable Player has been named a West All-Star for the 2018 Reese’s® College All-Star game, which will be played Friday at the Alamodome in San Antonio as part of the 2018 NCAA Men’s Final Four®.

The Reese’s® College All-Star Game is hosted by the National Association of Basketball Coaches (NABC) and features some of the top senior student-athletes from NCAA Division I. The game is set for a 3:35 p.m. CDT start and will be televised on CBS Sports Network. Admission is free to the event.

The West All-Stars will be coached by Boston University head coach Joe Jones.

Bliznyuk set the Big Sky all-time career scoring record on Mar. 9 in Eastern Washington’s semifinal win over Southern Utah in the Big Sky Tournament, finishing his career with 2,169 points. His 741 points this season rank sixth in the Big Sky’s single-season record books.

In conference play this season, Bliznyuk was the lone player in the league to rank in the top five in scoring, rebounding and assists. On the season, he averaged 21.2 points, 6.8 rebounds and 3.9 assists while shooting at a 52.8 percent clip in 35.1 minutes per game.

Bliznyuk also made headlines by breaking the 17-year NCAA Division I single-season record for consecutive free throws with 77 straight fromDec. 31 to Mar. 8.

Reese’s® Division I East All-Stars

Name, Position, Ht., Wt. College/Hometown

Jaylen Adams, G, 6-2, 190, St. Bonaventure/Baltimore, Md.

Jordan Howard, G, 5-11, 190, Central Arkansas/Chandler, Ariz.

Marcus Foster, G, 6-3, 205, Creighton/Wichita Falls, Texas

Gabe DeVoe, G, 6-3, 207, Clemson/Shelby, N.C.

Xavier Cooks, G/F, 6-8, 185, Winthrop/Wollongong Australia

George King, G, 6-6, 225, Colorado/Fayetteville, N.C.

Peyton Aldridge, F, 6-8, 225, Davidson/Leavittsburg, Ohio

Zach Thomas, F, 6-7, 228, Bucknell/Ijamsville, Md.

Thomas Welsh, C, 7-0, 245, UCLA/Redondo Beach, Calif.

Vladimir Brodziansky, F, 6-11, 230, TCU/Prievidza, Slovakia

Head Coach: James Jones, Yale

Assistant Coaches: Matt Kingsley, Justin Simon, Chris Vincent, James Quincy Jones

Reese’s® Division I West All-Stars

Name, Position, Ht., Wt. College/Hometown

Jordan McLaughlin, G, 6-1, 185, USC/Etiwanda, Calif.

Trae Bell-Haynes, G, 6-2, 180, Vermont/Toronto, Ontario, Canada

Bogdan Bliznyuk, G/F, 6-6, 215, Eastern Washington/Lutsk, Ukraine

Tyler Nelson, G, 6-3, 180, Fairfield/Bradford, Mass.

Desi Rodriguez, F, 6-6, 220, Seton Hall/Bronx, N.Y.

Hayden Dalton, F, 6-8, 185, Wyoming/Parker, Colo.

Yante Maten, F, 6-8, 243, Georgia/Pontiac, Mich.

Gabe Levin, F, 6-7, 230, Long Beach State/Oak Park, Ill.

Ben Lammers, C, 6-10, 234, Georgia Tech/San Antonio, Texas

Rokas Gustys, F/C, 6-9, 260, Hofstra/Kaunas, Lithuania

Head Coach: Joe Jones, Boston University

Assistant Coaches: Curt Wilson, Jack Perri, Walt Corbean, Jim Oakman, Steve Hayn

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