Chandler Hutchison Was A Stat Machine In College, Will His Game Translate?
This piece does not reflect the views of the Minnesota Timberwolves.
Senior, G, Boise State
College Stats in 2017-18:
31 games, 31.0 MPG, 20.0 PPG, 7.7 RPG, 3.5 APG, 1.5 SPG, 47.5 FG%, 35.9 3P%, 72.8 FT%
First-team All-Mountain West
Where he’ll go:
Hutchinson will be a first-round pick.
Chandler Hutchison, the long, athletic guard out of Boise State, has been climbing draft boards since the draft process began. Watch some tape on him and it’s hard not to understand why. He’s a smooth athlete and a good finisher with both hands around the rim. His shooting stroke looks great, and he has all the physical tools to turn into a quality NBA defender. Hutchison carried Boise state last year, averaging 20 points and 7.7 rebounds per game. At the very least, he’ll be a good backcourt rebounder, a willing passer, and a break-out scoring threat. If things go right for Hutchison, he could become a quality NBA starter.
Hutchison knows that to be successful in the NBA he has to be able to make threes. He shot a respectable 35.9 percent from beyond the arc this year, and while his percentage was slightly down from the 2016-17 season, he had almost twice as many attempts (4.1). Hutchison has demonstrated the encouraging ability to improve his game. His first year at Boise State he averaged 3.1 points per game. Now look at him.
Hutchison’s rebounding, assist, and steal numbers also improved each year, the only exception being in the rebounding category which is nearly identical to last year. If there’s one thing that always makes the leap from college to the NBA, it’s work ethic. It’s very encouraging to see Hutchison working on his game every year—especially with the reservations some scouts have about his ability to be as productive in the NBA as he was in college.
The biggest questions about Hutchison are about the ability of his game to translate to the pro level. The Mountain West isn’t the strongest conference in college basketball. While the games are competitive, Hutchison wasn’t playing against future NBA All-Stars every night. He also got a ton of touches with the Broncos. When he’s not the best player on his team (which he won’t be, at least right away, in the NBA) he’ll need to figure out how to still play an effective role.
Hutchison is also used to overpowering defenders—going straight to the bucket for scores. He’s not someone who has an arsenal of tricky dribble moves, and he doesn’t usually shoot pull-up jumpers. Hutchison didn’t attend the NBA Draft Combine, so we don’t have his agility numbers to look at, but the eye test definitely shows a player who is used to being one of the longest and most athletic players on the floor, but who doesn’t have the on-ball burst that helps many NBA players succeed. Hutchison will need to get more creative in the NBA where he’ll be playing against smarter and quicker defenders than he did in college.
On defense, Hutchison has the length to be effective, and he’s a good team defender, but he probably won’t be fast enough to lock down opposing guards one-on-one. He will however be a good defender against forwards, where his length and size will help him out. If Hutchison can hit his own shot and stay focused to executing his team’s defensive game plan, he’ll certainly be able to carve out a role as a “3 and D” wing or possibly shooting guard. Hutchison could be very good in the NBA, but it’s unlikely that lottery teams will be willing to gamble on that chance. He could represent a perfect opportunity for someone with a later pick to come away with a draft-day steal.