Mission Viejo, California is a huge housing project unlike almost any other in the country. In the 70’s and 80’s, homes were being purchased before they even were built. The entire city is Spanish style with stucco and tile roofs on the 7-11’s. Mission Viejo is considered one of the largest master planned communities ever built in a single project in the United States. The Orange County area is mostly republican, white and most households pull down 100k a year or more. They have trees everywhere and it looks like they could have filmed Stepford wives there. Laguna, San Clemente and Capistrano are neighbors. Florence Griffith Joyner, Greg Louganis, Todd Marinovich and Mark Sanchez all came from this area of Southern California. Marty Tadman, Sean Modster and new football recruit Chris Mitchell all came from MV as well. Despite the accomplishments of many from the area, some coaches still say the players from there are soft. Quarterbacks, Group of 5 football players and Olympic athletes? Yes. Power 5 defensive lineman, linebackers, and rim rattling college basketball players? No.
Chandler Hutchison came from Mission Viejo. And he acknowledges that he knows that the Orange County area has a reputation for producing soft players but he says it motivates him to play better. ESPN rated Hutchison a 4 star player out of high school and the 7th best player in California. He was behind physically though and not ready to play early in his college career because he was still growing and skinny. He wore t-shirts under his jersey to give him bulk. The only listed scholarship offer I could find online was from Boise State. UC Irvine and NAU showed interest but no offer. His high school coach said he wasn’t the kind of player who wanted to hurt his teammate’s feelings by hogging the ball and had to be convinced to shoot more. By his senior year he had done that. That’s late in the recruiting process. He committed to Boise State in September of his senior year in high school.
Since he has enrolled to Boise State, he has grown 2 inches and gained 25 pounds. He has grown into a body that went from going 0-2 from the floor for 0 points in 7 minutes of playing time vs San Diego State his freshman year to a record setting 44 point performance last Saturday night. His junior year, he averaged about 13 shots per game. He has about the same this season so far. I bet he still has to be told to shoot more often. His best scoring nights at Boise State he attempted 24, 26, 23 and last Saturday 21 shots. He has upside for sure. He is now listed at 6’7” 197 pounds. He is a few inches taller than most shooting guards in the NBA but just as heavy and still developing physically. And still motivated. He will always hear about being Orange County soft or a developing player. I just don’t think he will listen to it anymore.
Jeff Caves co-hosts Idaho Sports Talk with Caves & Prater weekdays from 3-6 p.m. on KTIK 93.1 FM The Ticket. He can be found @CavesandPrater (Facebook) and @JeffCaves (Twitter).