Hunt earns final Big Sky Player of the Week honor

Hunt earns final Big Sky Player of the Week honor

Triple-doubles are elusive, but Jesse Hunt became one of the closest Eagles to achieve one in school history.

Averaging a double-double in a weekend sweep, Eastern senior Jesse Hunt has been selected as the final Big Sky Conference Player of the Week for the 2018-19 season, the league office announced Tuesday (March 12) afternoon. Earlier in the day, the 6-foot-7 forward was selected to the All-Big Sky Conference second team.

Featuring a near triple-double in his team’s final regular season game, Hunt averaged a double-double to help Eastern sweep Idaho State (91-62) and Weber State (80-77) to wrap-up sole possession of third place in the Big Sky Conference standings. He had double-doubles in each game and averaged 18.0 points, 14.0 rebounds, 4.5 assists and 1.0 steals per game while making 46.4 percent of his shots from the field and 80.0 percent (8-of-10) from the free throw line.

He had 22 points, 12 rebounds and eight assists for his 12th double-double of the season (8-4 record) in EWU’s seventh victory all-time in 37 tries in Ogden, Utah. His was the eighth performance in school history to come within a combination of two points/rebounds/assists of a triple-double, in addition to the lone triple-double in school history recorded by Bogdan Bliznyuk in 2016.

One game earlier, Hunt had 14 points and 16 rebounds in a 91-62 win at Idaho State (2/7/19) and before that had 10 points, 10 rebounds and four assists in a 68-66 victory over Portland State (3/2/19) to give him a streak of three double-doubles in a row – and the team a winning streak of three in a row — entering the Big Sky Conference Tournament.

“We lost Jacob Davison a few games ago, and Jesse has picked up his production,” said Eastern head coach Shantay Legans . “But he’s doing it within the offense and not forcing anything. He’s playing great basketball and making plays when they need to be made. He’s rebounding and had eight assists against Weber State – to come close to a triple-double was an amazing way for a senior to end the regular season.”

Hunt has had six 20-point outings this season, with 12 double-doubles – including eight of his last 15 games with a current string of three in a row. He has been EWU’s leading scorer in nine games, and has also led in rebounds 20 times, assists in 13 games and blocked shots on 10 occasions. He’s had at least five assists in six of his last 13 games. In January he was selected to the mid-season All-Big Sky team after leading the Eagles in scoring and rebounding during the preseason.

He is currently averaging 14.6 points, 8.9 rebounds and 3.3 assists on the season. He leads the Big Sky in rebounding and is 10th in scoring and eighth in assists. Hunt has shooting percentages of 48.6 percent overall (12th in the Big Sky), 43.2 percent from 3-point range (fifth; 48-of-111) and 74.8 percent from the free throw line (13th). In league play he finished with averages of 13.9 points (12th), 9.5 rebounds (second, a single rebound from tying for the lead) and 3.6 assists (eighth) in 20 games. In league games only, he was sixth in the Big Sky in 3-point accuracy (43.3 percent; 29-of-67) and made 80.8 percent of his free throws (63-of-78) to rank 11th.

He enters this week’s Big Sky Conference Tournament with a team-high seven games of experience (none as a starter), and has averaged 6.7 minutes, 2.0 points and 1.4 rebounds per game. He scored four points and had three rebounds in a quarterfinal victory over Sacramento State in 2017, and scored four points in his tourney debut in a quarterfinal win over Northern Arizona in 2016.

Hunt has played in 114 career games (12th in EWU history) with 48 starts, and has averages of 6.6 points, 4.5 rebounds and 1.3 assists. He has had 14 double-doubles in his career (record of 10-4), and has scored 20 points or more on six occasions (all as a senior). He has had 32 career double-figure scoring performances in his career to go along with 17 with 10 or more rebounds. Hunt did not play in 2018 versus Utah Valley in the College Basketball Invitational, but has played in three other postseason games and has seven points and eight rebounds.

He is a management major and has a 3.57 grade point average at Eastern. Was nominated for Academic All-America honors as a both a senior and junior and will earn his fourth Big Sky All-Academic honor in the 2018-19 season. Born July 30, 1997, in Geraldton, Australia, but spent his entire high school career in the United States and graduated from Sir Francis Drake HS in California in 2015. His parents are Daniel and Helen Hunt. His father was on the 1982 Sir Francis Drake squad that went 34-0 and won the state title. He went on to play at the University of Portland and play 17 seasons of professional basketball in Australia. Fellow Australians playing for the Eagles include Mason Peatling and Jack Perry , as well as former Eagles Felix Von Hofe, Geremy McKay, Michael Wearne and EWU former all-time leading scorer Venky Jois.

Eastern’s Triple-Double History

A total of 11 times in school history an Eagle has flirted with a triple-double (within a combination of three points/rebounds/assists). Here is the list, in addition to the lone triple-double in school history when Bogdan Bliznyuk had 11 points, 14 rebounds and 10 assists versus Northern Arizona on Feb. 16, 2016.

Bogdan Bliznyuk ***11 points, 14 rebounds, 10 assists (vs. Northern Arizona 1/16/16)

Within One Point/Rebound/Assist (6)
Bogdan Bliznyuk 25 points, 9 rebounds, 9 assists (vs. Montana State 2/17/18)
Bogdan Bliznyuk 22 points, 9 rebounds, 11 assists (vs. Denver 11/26/16)
Bogdan Bliznyuk 45 points, 10 rebounds, 9 assists (vs. Portland State 2/4/17)
Drew Brandon – 15 points, 9 rebounds, 10 assists (vs. Montana State 2/11/14)
Drew Brandon – 18 points, 9 rebounds, 10 assists (vs. Idaho 1/31/15)
Drew Brandon – 10 points, 12 rebounds, 9 assists (vs Texas Southern 11/14/14)

Within Two Points/Rebounds/Assists (2)
Jesse Hunt – 22 points, 12 rebounds, 8 assists (vs. Weber State 3/9/19)
Drew Brandon – 11 points, 8 rebounds, 13 assists (vs. North Dakota 1/24/15)

Within Three Points/Rebounds/Assists (3)
Bogdan Bliznyuk 16 points, 11 rebounds, 7 assists (vs. CSUN 12/17/17)
Justin Crosgile – 13 points, 8 rebounds, 9 assists (vs. Utah Valley 11/20/12)
Rodney Stuckey – 14 points, 7 rebounds, 10 assists (vs. Pacific Lutheran on 11/19/05