All-American

Bliznyuk, Spight, Harding earn Lou Henson mid-major All-American honors

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OGDEN, Utah (March 30, 2018) – A total of three Big Sky Conference men’s basketball student-athletes were named to the 2017-18 Lou Henson All-America Team highlighting the nation’s top mid-major players with Eastern Washington’s Bogdan Bliznyuk, Northern Colorado’s Andre Spight and Weber State’s Jerrick Harding earning accolades.

The Lou Henson National Player of the Year Award will be announced Monday, Apr. 2 in San Antonio, the site of the NCAA Division I Final Four.

Eastern Washington forward Bogdan Bliznyuk (32) and head coach Shantay Legans/by Brooks Nuanez

Bliznyuk closed out an impressive four-year playing career with the Eagles two weeks ago, being named an AP All-America Honorable Mention selection on Tuesday. Bliznyuk set the Big Sky Conference all-time career scoring record with 2,169 points on Mar. 9, surpassing a 24-year record of 2,102 points set by Idaho’s Orlando Lightfoot (1991-94).

He 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.

Bliznyuk 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.

Harding and Spight joined Bliznyuk as unanimous All-Big Sky First Team selections this season. Harding ranked second in the league and 15th in the nation in scoring with 22.0 points per game while shooting at a 53.0 percentage from the guard position in his second collegiate season. He ranked third in the nation in scoring among freshmen and sophomores.

Weber State guard Jerrick Harding (10)/by Brooks Nuanez

In the regular season finale at Montana State on Mar. 3, Harding notched a Big Sky season-best 46-point performance breaking a 41-year-old school record and notching the 10th-best scoring performance in league history.

Spight currently leads the league with 22.5 points for 11th in the country, carrying Northern Colorado into the CIT Championship game on Friday against Illinois-Chicago as the Bears look to capture the Big Sky’s first postseason title in Greeley. The senior guard comes into Friday’s game with 832 points on the season, 14 points away from breaking a 52-year Big Sky scoring record. His 125 three-pointers on the season currently rank third in the single-season record books, seven away from tying the league record.

Spight was tabbed the Big Sky Newcomer of the Year this season, averaging a league-best 3.4 three-pointers per game while dishing out 3.6 assists per contest. He has totaled a league-high 24 20-point games on the year with eight 30-point performances and three 40-point games.

All three players were also named to the National Association of Basketball Coaches (NABC) All-District 6 Team earlier this month.

2017-18 LOU HENSON ALL-AMERICA TEAM

Trae Bell-Haynes6-2Sr.Vermont
Bogdan Bliznyuk6-6Sr.Eastern Washington
Desonta Bradford6-4Sr.East Tennessee State
Keith Braxton6-4So.Saint Francis (PA)
Tookie Brown5-11Jr.Georgia Southern
Joe Chealey6-4Sr.Charleston
Chris Clemons5-9Jr.Campbell
Clayton Custer6-1Jr.Loyola Chicago
Mike Daum6-9Jr.South Dakota State
Tre-Shaun Fletcher6-7Sr.Toledo
Blake Francis6-0So.Wagner
Jerrick Harding6-1So.Weber State
Brandon Goodwin6-2Sr.Florida Gulf Coast
Max Heidegger6-2So.UC Santa Barbara
Kevin Hervey6-9Sr.UT Arlington
Jordan Howard5-11Sr.Central Arkansas
John Konchar6-5Jr.Fort Wayne
Nathan Knight6-10So.William & Mary
Jock Landale6-11Sr.Saint Mary’s
Zach Lofton6-4Sr.New Mexico State
Jairus Lyles6-2Sr.UMBC
Fletcher Magee6-4Jr..Wofford
CJ Massinburg6-3Jr.Buffalo
Garrison Mathews6-5Jr.Lipscomb
Drew McDonald6-7Jr.Northern Kentucky
Matt Mooney6-3Jr.South Dakota
Matt Morgan6-2Jr.Cornell
Kendrick Nunn6-3Sr.Oakland
Vasa Pusica6-5Jr.Northeastern
Grant Riller6-3So.Charleston
Junior Robinson5-5Sr.Mount St. Mary’s
Devin Sibley6-2Sr.Furman
D’Marcus Simonds6-3So.Georgia State
Andre Spight6-3Sr.Northern Colorado
Jonathan Stark6-0Sr.Murray State
Zach Thomas6-7Sr.Bucknell
James Thompson IV6-10Jr.Eastern Michigan
Seth Towns6-7So.Harvard
Reed Timmer6-1Sr.Drake
Bryce Washington6-6Sr.Louisiana

 

About Colter Nuanez

Colter Nuanez is the co-founder and senior writer for Skyline Sports. After spending six years in the newspaper industry with stops at the Missoulian, the Ellensburg Daily Record and the Bozeman Daily Chronicle, the former Washington Newspaper Association Sportswriter of the Year and University of Montana Journalism School graduate ('09) has cultivated a deep passion for sports journalism during his 12 year career covering the Big Sky Conference. In August of 2014, Colter and brother Brooks merged their passions of writing and art to founded Skyline Sports.

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