Ask anyone who knows anything about Boise State Basketball: Chandler Hutchison is going places!
The Boise State senior has received attention from NBA scouts who believe he has what it takes to play professionally. Hutchison's transformation from zero to hero hasn’t come easy.
"We have to help find Chandler’s hidden treasures. If you couple that with hard work and some really good coaching on some technical stuff, wow, this is what he could become," said Head Coach Leon Rice.
It took awhile for the kid from the blue skies and sunny beaches of Mission Viejo,California to get the confidence he needed. Hutchison averaged only seven points his freshman season at Boise State.
"Chandler wasn't ready for this as a freshman or even as a sophomore,” said Rice. “It was a maturity thing that he just had to develop as a person to understand what he could come.”
Hutchinson says the key to his success has been learning to never settle for just “good enough.”
"Complacency is poison. That's something I always have to get past. I never sit and be complacent and that's something that's always fueled me,” said senior forward Chandler Hutchison.
When Assistant Coach Phil Beckner arrived for Hutchison's junior season, everything changed. Beckner became the catalyst to Hutchinson’s success, and turned the page on Hutchison’s game. Beckner saw that Hutchinson possessed the ability to become one of the greatest Boise State basketball players to lace it up, if he just put in the work.
"I figured out early he did have a drive and he had passion. He really has some special competitiveness, but he just didn't know how to bring it out," said Beckner.
Beckner's plan was to help improve Hutchison’s jump shot, tighten his ball handling, and build an NBA body with the muscle necessary to finish through contact at the rim. Beckner has a history of working with a proven NBA all-star.
Portland Trail Blazers point guard Damian Lillard said, “I train with Beckner in the summer and he will come out sometimes and catch games when he has free time. He still plays the same role when he was my coach in 2007 and 2008,” Lillard continued. “Our relationship has grown so when I go to Boise in the summer to train, I saw that coach has the same impact on me as he is having on those guys,” Lillard added.
Like Lillard, Beckner has become a big brother of sorts to the star forward.
"We will have a set time every day,” Beckner said. “It's planned on when we are coming in here and get our work in. Some days maybe a shooting drill,” continued Beckner, “where it’s just getting shots and reps up.”
Beckner explained Hutchinson would get his stroke feeling good and sometimes he might work on skills like ball handling or breaking down and “attacking the rim,” said Hutchison.
"You have watched guys like LeBron and Michael Jordan on tv. What's it going to be like if you get the chance to play on the same court as LeBron James or Steph Curry or Draymond Green or Kevin Durant,” asked Sports Director Dan Hawk.
"Just being a competitor and watching these guys,” said Hutchinson “That's every player's dream.”
With a lot of work and a little bit of luck, a Mountain West Championship and a strong run in the NCAA tournament will hopefully solidify his place at the next level.