Tradition-challenged Boise State has a real NBA draft choice in Chandler Hutchison

Posted: 01/14/2018 in college basketball
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Let me start with a little perspective — Boise State hasn’t had an NBA draft pick this century and has never won an NCAA tournament game.

Pretty much lets you know how the school rates in the tradition department.

But that draft pick drought is about to end because there is no longer any question that Broncos forward Chandler Hutchison will hear his name called in June’s draft.

The discussion of how high is one for after the season. But just know NBA teams are going to love the tape they view of Hutchison’s school-record 44-point performance against San Diego State on Saturday.

Hutchinson carried the team all night and made 15 of 21 shots, including 7 of 10 from 3-point range. He banked in two 3s, displayed mid-range ability, and repeatedly gained separation while driving to the hoop.

He carried himself like the best player in the building, which was a good thing as Boise State had to survive a last-second 3-point miss to notch an 83-80 victory over the Aztecs.

Making it more impressive is that San Diego State is one of the best teams Boise State will play this season. It also doesn’t hurt that NBA scouts are well aware of the Aztecs’ reputation for playing stellar defense.

This game will be the one where a few NBA teams say “We’ve got to get that kid” and a few others will take him off their bubble and determine he is draft-worthy and a few others will move him higher up their draft boards.

Scoring 44 points on 21 field-goal attempts demands attention from NBA personnel directors.

Look, Hutchison’s performance on Saturday could be tabbed the top moment in Boise State’s basketball history. Did I mention the Broncos have never won an NCAA tournament game? (Oh, I did … 0-7 is the record).

The school’s media guide says the Broncos have had just four NBA players in program history. Also, NBA draft records show just six picks from the school, the last being Roberto Bergersen in 1999.

The most notable NBA player from Boise State is Chris Childs, the point guard who averaged 6.9 points in 541 games over nine seasons from 1994-2003.

The previous school record for points of 42 was set by Ron Austin way back in 1971. The most-recent 40-point outing was in 1979 by Carl Powell and Hutchison’s performance marked only the fourth time a Boise State player reached 40.

It certainly was the best performance I’ve seen live by a Boise State player since I moved from Paradise (San Diego) to Paradise Junior (Boise). The previous best effort was a game I covered in 2013 when Derrick Marks scored 33 second-half points and 38 overall in a victory over Colorado State.

Oh yeah, some Boise media types actually were floating the idea Marks would get drafted and I cringed. As in where is the perspective? But yeah, many of them were also stunned when a Boise State quarterback named Grant Hedrick didn’t get selected in the 2015 NFL draft.

Take it from a guy who spent eight seasons watching NFL practices, Hedrick would’ve needed the NFL draft to go back to 17 rounds to have a chance to be selected.

You know, let’s not even discuss Kellen Moore.

The same media folks were stunned a basketball player named James Webb III didn’t get picked in the 2016 NBA draft. Well, I covered nearly 20 of Webb’s games at Boise State and I never once said the following to myself: “Hey, there’s a future NBA player.”

Webb plays for the Delaware 87ers. And if you have to be a minor league hoops player, at least having your team called the 87ers is pretty cool. Beats playing in Lithuania.

In other words, I’ll tell you the real deal. Saturday night at Taco Bell Arena was the very first time I’ve seen a Boise State player that caused me to say, “Now that’s a future NBA player.”

Chandler Hutchison will without a doubt be selected in the NBA draft. And perhaps he will become the fifth Boise State player to suit up for an NBA game. Maybe he ends up playing a decade in the NBA. Who knows?

What I know is that as of Saturday night, Hutchison is etched in the books as one of the top Boise State players ever. And the night he torched San Diego State for a school-record 44 points will still be talked about in 2071. 


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