|Position:||SG/SF||Team/Class:||Boise State (Sr.)|
|Dom Hand:||Right||Stats:||Click here|
Chandler Hutchison is a relative unknown to most casual basketball fans, but after two straight stellar seasons at Boise State, he has a good chance to not only be the first mid-major player to be drafted this year, but also to be the first senior selected. Hutchinson made steady progress in his four seasons with the Broncos, capping his college career off by being named the Mountain West Player of the Year this past season. As a senior, he averaged 20.0 points, 7.7 rebounds, 3.5 assists, and 1.5 steals per game, making him the first player in Boise State history to lead a team in points, rebounds, assists, and steals. He also finished the season ranked among the top 50 in the nation for points per game, defensive rebounds per game (6.8), and PER (24.8).
Playing in the MWC, Hutchison’s statistical accomplishments will be scrutinized. Boise State’s schedule was relatively weak for sure, but Hutchinson played some of his best ball vs. the toughest teams that the Broncos faced this past season. In six games against Nevada (2), Oregon, San Diego State (2), and Washington, he averaged 26.8 points, 3.3 assists, and 9.3 rebounds per game. In terms of scoring and assists, his stats are even more impressive when you consider that he was not surrounded by a high level of talent at Boise State.
NBA teams are always looking for big, athletic guards who can handle the ball and create offense for themselves and others, and Hutchinson basically fits the bill. I would not classify him as an elite athlete, but he is more than adequate in terms of speed, quickness, and vertical lift. He has good length, is solidly built, and plays bigger than his listed weight of 197. He is not particularly fancy as a ball handler or a passer, but he is very smooth with the ball in his hands. He can score inside and out, go right or left off the bounce, and can finish with either hand. His height allows him to easily see the floor and find teammates for easy baskets. He is capable of being a primary ball handler and executing the pick and roll. In sum, Hutchinson is truly a triple threat every time that he touches the ball.
Hutchison’s ability to make plays in transition is one aspect of his game that immediately stands out. He is fast up the floor, and is a threat with or without the ball. With the ball in his hands, he has the ability to be a one-man fast break, or he can make plays for others with his open-floor passing skills. And being such a good defensive rebounder, he can initiate the break in an instant. This past season, he averaged 1.4 points-plus-assists (72 percentile) in transition.
In the half court, Hutchinson can be used in a variety of ways. Most of his offense comes either in spot-up situations or as a ball handler in the pick and roll, but he also gets a fair number of touches in isolation or as a cutter. No matter where or how he gets the ball, you can generally count on him trying to find his way to the rim. The combination of effective crossovers and a quick first step allows him to easily get into the paint. How easily? Easily enough that he attempted only three jumpers between 17 feet and the three-point line over the past two seasons.
Hutchinson is at his best when driving all the way to the basket, which he does often, utilizing his strength, length, and athleticism to score with regularity. He glides to the bucket with long strides, can alter his shot and/or switch hands in midair, and can finish above the rim. He is also very adept with jump stops, which often allow him to slide to the rim for easy layups. Overall, he made 72% of his shots at the rim this past season, and be it in spot-up, isolation, or pick-and-roll situations his field-goal percentages and points-per-possession numbers were excellent when driving to the basket (see chart below).
|Drives to Basket||Points per Possession||FG%|
|Pick and Roll||1.3||67%|
When Hutchinson doesn’t make it all the way to the rim on his drives, he can struggle. In such situations, he often takes shots with a high degree of difficulty, such as spinning jumpers and left-handed runners. This past season in the half court, runners accounted for nearly 12 percent of his shots, and he converted less than 28 percent of the time. And over the past two seasons, he made just 32% of his jumpers inside 17 feet. Given that he shouldered such a heavy offensive load for a limited Boise State team, taking difficult shots is understandable. On the other hand, the ability to make difficult shots is often what defines a good pro.
Constantly driving into traffic and living in and around the paint, resulted in Hutchinson being among the nation’s leaders in two categories: getting fouled and turning the ball over. This past season, he went to the free-throw line on nearly 20% of his possessions, and averaged 7.2 free throws per game, which tied him for 20th in the country for most attempts per game. He has steadily improved at the free-throw line during his time at Boise State, making 73% of his attempts as a senior, but for an aggressive driver who handles the ball a lot, it would be ideal if he could raise that percentage even higher. Hutchinson’s style also led to him committing 3.4 turnovers per game this past season, which tied for the 23rd most in the country. Even when factoring in how much he handled the ball, the numbers are still unsatisfactory – he turned the ball over on 16.3% of his possessions. If he wants to succeed at the next level, he will have to tighten up his handle.
Hutchinson is also effective without the ball in his hands. He is an active cutter (and a willing screener). This past season, he was especially effective shooting off screens, averaging 1.2 points per possession (81st percentile). The year before, he was more effective on cuts to the basket, averaging 1.4 points per possession (89th percentile). And in both seasons, he was deadly when catching and shooting, averaging 1.3 points per possession and ranking no worse than the 84th percentile.
Overall as a jump shooter, Hutchinson fell into the average range over the past two seasons, averaging .93 points per possession in the half court. He made a solid 37% of his three-point attempts over the same span. He was clearly more effective catching and shooting than he was shooting off the dribble, making just 28% of the latter type, averaging less than .6 points per possession over the last two seasons. Percentile wise, he also fared significantly better when shooting unguarded compared to guarded. Some of his lackluster shooting numbers might be a result of him having a tendency to dip the ball before getting into his jumper, slowing down his release and making it more difficult for him to get off clean shots in tight spaces.
Defensively, Hutchinson is alert, active, and engaged. He does a good job of sticking with his man, and generally maintains good positioning on the help-side (ball-you-man), allowing him to make plays in the passing lanes without losing touch with his man. This past season, he allowed just .76 points per possession (81st percentile) and limited opponents to 34% shooting. The one aspect of his defensive game that is obviously lacking is shot blocking – he averaged less than .3 blocks per game this season. Of course, Boise State plays a lot of zone, using him as a backline wing, so it is a bit difficult to completely gauge his man-to-man skills, but for certain, he has the length and the athleticism to be a good defender at the next level. And he’s an excellent defensive rebounder, who is willing to put a body on someone and fight for rebounds, which cannot be said of a lot of wings and a number of big guys in this draft.
In summary, Hutchinson definitely has the look of an NBA wing. His size combined with his ball handling, passing, scoring, rebounding, and defensive abilities make him a lock to be drafted. He’s not without flaws, however. His shooting mechanics need some work. He is not exceptional from beyond the arc or the free-throw line. He struggles to score off the bounce with runners and jumpers. He commits a lot of turnovers. And he has yet to develop a back-to-the-basket game. Overall, I believe that he has displayed enough potential to be selected at the end of the first round or the start of the second, and ultimately, I think that he will be a solid, but not a spectacular, pro.
Sources, Credits, and Acknowledgements: Stats used in our scouting reports mainly come from Synergy Sports and RealGM, and occasionally from Hoop-Math.com. The photos were courtesy of the Boise State Photo Services.