November 28, 2006

Stuckey Honored by Big Sky Conference

Nov. 28, 2006

The points have picked up where they left off last year, and so have the men's basketball accolades for Rodney Stuckey.

The Eastern Washington University sophomore guard was honored for the fifth time in his career as Big Sky Conference Player of the Week, the league announced on Tuesday (Nov. 28). This is his first honor of the season after he averaged 28.0 points per game in the last week while helping the Eagles to a pair of victories and a near-miss of nationally-ranked Washington. He also averaged 5.3 assists, 4.3 rebounds and 2.3 steals per game.

Most recently, Stuckey had 27 points in Eastern Washington's 110-100 victory over Cal State Fullerton in a shootout Monday (Nov. 27) at Reese Court in Cheney, Wash. Stuckey led Eastern in scoring for the 33rd-straight game and added nine assists -- one shy of his career high -- and five steals.

Although he was just 11-of-25 from the field, his teammates made 33-of-47 attempts for 70 percent. The Eagles had 72 points in the paint and had 12 offensive rebounds.

"One thing Rodney Stuckey does is draw a lot of attention from the opposing team and that creates space for the rest of the team to make plays," said Eagle head coach Mike Burns after Monday's game. "We ask Rodney to take a lot of shots, and there are times when we want him taking difficult shots that will open up the offensive rebounding opportunities for guys like Derek Risper, Brandon Moore, and Paul Butorac. He will draw enough attention that those guys will be able to finish the play off the glass."

Stuckey scored 31 points in a narrow, 90-83 loss versus the Huskies, who were ranked 16th nationally at the time. It was the eighth 30-point game in his short 36-game career. One game earlier, he scored 26 points and had five rebounds and three assists in just 27 minutes versus The Evergreen State in a 106-65 Eagle win.

Selected as last year's National Freshman of the Year by Collegeinsider.com, Stuckey has averaged 24.6 points in his career with a total of 886 points. He has also averaged 4.7 rebounds, 4.1 assists and 2.1 steals as an Eagle.


More on Stuckey . . .

Without even stepping a foot on the basketball floor for the 2006-07 season, Stuckey attracted national acclaim and attention. Last year he was the Freshman of the Year in NCAA Division I by Collegeinsider.com and won Big Sky Conference Player of the Year accolades.

Stuckey was one of 50 players selected as a preseason candidate for the men's 2006-07 Wooden Award All-American Team as chosen by the National Preseason Selection Committee for the John R. Wooden Award. The list is composed of 50 student athletes who, based on last year's individual performance and team records, are the early frontrunners for college basketball's most coveted trophy.

He was also selected by Collegeinsider.com as one of 16 players nationally on its preseason All-America team. Another impressive accolade came from Lindy's Magazine, which ranked him as the third-best shooting guard in all of NCAA Division I. Gary Parrish from CBS Sportsline selected Stuckey as the sixth-best shooting guard in the nation.

Stuckey was named a first team selection on the collegehoops.net All-Underrated Team in September and CHN also ranked him as the 34th-best player in the nation (eighth among sophomores).

He was also recognized by Frank Burlison on Fox Sports.com as a sophomore to watch. Burlison quoted Southern California head coach Tim Floyd - a former head coach at Idaho and the Chicago Bulls - as saying Stuckey was "the best NBA prospect we played against last season." Stuckey scored 15 points and had five rebounds in EWU's 69-51 loss to the Trojans at the Great Alaska Shootout. That, incidentally, was the last time he hasn't led the Eagles in scoring during a streak that has lasted 33-straight games through EWU's game with Cal State Fullerton on Nov. 27.

In addition, Stuckey has or will be featured in various collegiate publications and web sites, including Slam Magazine, Basketball Times and numerous daily newspapers.

Playing for a team with just one senior, Stuckey burst onto the scene last year with one of the best seasons by a freshman in NCAA Division I history. His record-breaking season was unmatched in the history of Eastern Washington and by any freshman in the 43-year history of the Big Sky Conference.

The 6-foot-4 guard from Kent, Wash., set seven school records, including a 24.2 scoring average per game that is a Big Sky record for a freshman and the seventh-best overall in the history of the league. His average ranked eighth in NCAA Division I. His 726 total points is fifth-best in league history, the most in the conference in nearly 30 years (since 1978-79) and the most-ever by a freshman in the BSC.

Stuckey became just the 36th player in NCAA Division I to lead his conference in scoring as a freshman. He won league MVP and Freshman of the Year honors, and in the process, became the first player in Big Sky history and the 12th in Division I history to earn league MVP honors as a freshman.

Below is a list of 30-point games by Stuckey along with his ranking in school history:
1. - 45 - Northern Arizona (1-5-06)
4. - 38 - Portland State (3-4-06)
7. - 36 - Montana (1-28-06)
14. - 34 - Boise State (12-29-05)
20. - 33 - Lewis-Clark State (11-18-06)
28. - 31 - Washington (11-24-06)
28. - 31 - Portland State (1-14-06)
34. - 30 - UC Riverside (12-10-05)

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