If the Boise State men’s basketball team needed any further motivation going into the Mountain West Tournament, the Broncos got it Tuesday morning.
Nevada junior forward Caleb Martin was named Mountain West Player of the Year by the league’s coaches over Boise State senior guard Chandler Hutchison, who was the media’s choice for the award.
Martin led the conference in scoring by two points across the entire season, but Hutchison was the only player to rank in the top 10 in scoring, rebounding and assists. Hutchison ranks second in the Mountain West in scoring (19.5 points per game), sixth in rebounding (7.6) and seventh in assists (3.5). Only three other players are in the top 10 in two of those categories. Hutchison also is fifth in steals (1.4).
In conference games only, Hutchison led in scoring (21.9 ppg), while Martin ranked third (20.2).
“He never padded his stats,” Boise State coach Leon Rice said of Hutchison. “We played one game, he took three shots and we won by 30 — because he only took three shots, because they chose to guard him with five guys. He impacted the game in so many ways.”
Hutchison said Saturday that he would rather leave Las Vegas with a tournament trophy than a Player of the Year award.
“It would be nice to have, definitely,” he said. “It shows that people are watching and respect what you can do, but at the same time, that’s not the goal that’s next up for me.”
Hutchison did make the all-conference first team and all-defensive team, making him the fifth Bronco in program history to earn consecutive first-team league honors. He joined Chris Childs (1987-89), Tanoka Beard (1991-93), John Coker (1994-95) and Roberto Bergersen (1998-99).
Boise State sophomore guard Alex Hobbs was named Sixth Man of the Year.
Hobbs was the Broncos’ sixth-leading scorer in league play at 7.7 points per game. He also was No. 2 on the team in assists in Mountain West competition, racking up 43 (2.4 apg). To be eligible for the award, a player must have started no more than five Mountain West games during the season.
Martin, a transfer from North Carolina State, averaged 19.5 points and 5.3 rebounds this season to help the Wolf Pack (26-6) to the Mountain West regular season title. They went 15-3 in league play, including two wins over Boise State (23-7), which went 13-5 in the conference.