March 1, 2007
Although he doesn't repeat as MVP, Stuckey was unanimous first team selection and Butorac earns honorable mention for second-straight year
Eastern Washington University basketball players Rodney Stuckey and Paul Butorac were selected to the All-Big Sky Conference team that was announced on Thursday (March 1) following a vote of the nine league coaches.
Stuckey was a unanimous first team selection while Butorac earned honorable mention accolades for the second-straight year. Stuckey was a first team choice a year ago when he was also MVP. Eastern finished the 2006-07 season 15-9 and tied with two other teams for fifth in the Big Sky with an 8-8 mark, but tiebreakers kept the Eagles out of the Big Sky Conference Tournament for the first time in 10 years.
Butorac, a senior and 2002 graduate of nearby Medical Lake (Wash.) High School, finished his EWU career with 98 blocked shots to break the school record of 79 held by Chris White (1998-00). Although no records exist for dunks, he finished with 101, including 41 as a senior.
A career 58.7 percent shooter to rank second in school history behind Eastern Athletics Hall of Fame member Ron Cox, 101 of Butorac's 365 career field goals made were dunks. This year, he made 64.0 percent to currently rank seventh in NCAA Division I and rank second in EWU's history behind the school record of 66.0 set by Cox in 1977.
Butorac played in 113 career games to rank third all-time at EWU. He is the lone returning player from Eastern's 2003-04 team that won the Big Sky Conference regular season and tournament titles and advanced to the school's first-ever NCAA Tournament.
His first appearance at Reese Court in Cheney, Wash., after he graduated from high school came in summer 2002 when the State beat the City 124-98 in the State 2A All-Star game. In a sign of things to come, he had 15 points, 13 rebounds and six dunks as he was named the game's MVP.
"Paul has had a great career -- one of the most distinguished of any big man in our school's history," said EWU head coach Mike Burns. "He was a hometown product that came from humble beginnings, and he exceeded everybody's expectations. To become a two-time All-Big Sky player, set a school record for blocked shots, rank in the top 10 in the country in shooting and to reach all the statistical milestones he did, those are accomplishments that speak for themselves."
A 2004 graduate of Kentwood High School in Kent, Wash., Stuckey led Eastern to 30 victories in the past two seasons. He was also the Collegeinsider.com Freshman of the Year.
Stuckey is ranked seventh in NCAA Division I in scoring with an average of 24.6 points per game after averaging 24.2 as a freshman. He has broken 10 school records and has a current career total of 1,438 points. In Big Sky Conference statistics (16 games) heading into the league tournament that begins this week, Stuckey led the league in scoring (25.8) and assists (6.3), and was second in steals (2.4), sixth in free throw percentage (.829) and 13th in rebounding (5.3). Butorac was first in field goal percentage (.662), eighth in scoring (15.4), 12th in rebounding (5.5) and 13th in blocked shots (0.8).