The Big Sky announced that it will offer replay for basketball and football officials for every game held during the 2015-16 season in a Big Sky venue.
All 12 conference basketball arenas will have the technology after a deal with DVSport.
“We put a very high-quality product of college athletics on the field, and having replay for our officials will only increase the experience for fans, coaches and student-athletes,” Big Sky Conference Commissioner Doug Fullerton said. “I commend the presidents and administrators of our universities for understanding the importance of this technology, and investing the resources to make this a reality.”
The addition of replay in all Big Sky venues should make for a better quality of play for the future and is a step in the right direction for the league.
Prior to last season Eastern Washington had just one NCAA tournament appearance to its credit, back in 2004. Head coach Jim Hayford’s team changed that, winning 26 games and the Big Sky’s automatic bid to the NCAA tournament with players such as Tyler Harvey, Venky Jois and Ognjen Miljkovic leading the way. As a result of that success, the school has decided to reward Hayford with a new contract.
Thursday it was announced by the school that the two sides have agreed on a contract extension that will run through the 2019-20 campaign.
Hayford’s Eagles put together the program’s most successful season as a Division I member, not only winning 26 games (which included a win at Indiana) but also winning 14 conference games. Now comes the tough part for Eastern Washington: accounting for the loss of three of their top four scorers (Harvey, Miljkovic and Drew Brandon) with Jois being their most productive returnee.
Among Eastern Washington’s additions are grad student Austin McBroom, who played his last two seasons at Saint Louis. The Eagles also add 6-foot-8 junior college transfer Rico Nuno and four freshmen to the program. Forwards Bogdan Bliznyuk, who averaged 8.7 points and 4.0 rebounds per game as a freshman in 2014-15, and Felix Von Hofe (5.1 ppg) should figure more prominently in the rotation as the Eagles look to earn the Big Sky’s NCAA bid for a second consecutive year.
One of the nation’s best scorers has decided to move on to the professional ranks.
Wednesday afternoon Eastern Washington announced that junior guard Tyler Harvey has decided to enter the 2015 NBA Draft. According to the release Harvey, who was named an Academic All-American last month, will complete his degree requirements (he’s one class away from graduating) online while going through pre-draft workouts.
“When I went home (for spring break) I had a good chance to talk to my family about everything and what happened this year,” Harvey said in the release. “I was fortunate and blessed enough to lead the NCAA in scoring and we had a great year as a team, so we felt like the time was right. We thought this was the best opportunity to pursue a professional career.”
Harvey was outstanding for the Big Sky champion Eagles (they shared the regular season title with Montana and won the Big Sky tournament) this season, averaging 23.1 points, 3.6 rebounds and 2.6 assists per game while shooting 46.9 percent from the field and 43.1 percent from beyond the arc. DraftExpress.com currently ranks Harvey 84th on its list of the Top 100 prospects, projecting him to be a second round pick in the 2016 NBA Draft.
While the school did state in the release that Harvey would be free to return to school should he decide to, as he hasn’t had an agent, current NCAA rules only give underclassmen until April 12 to declare their intentions to return. Harvey also stated that “as of now my mind is made up” in regards to turning pro.
There has been discussion of a more “player-friendly” calendar being put into effect in the future, which would get them more of the information they need to make an informed decision when it comes to moving on to the professional ranks.