Boise State Broncos vs. Texas-Arlington Mavericks: game preview

Boise State head basketball coach Leon Rice. - USA TODAY Sports

Boise State will host UT-Arlington in Taco Bell Arena in nonconference play as both teams open their 2013-2014 basketball seasons

When: Friday, November 8, 8 PM MT

WHERE: Taco Bell Arena, Boise, ID

CONFERENCES: MWC vs. Sun Belt

2013 SEASON: Boise State, 21-11; UT-Arlington, 19-14

COACHES: Boise State head Leon Rice(3rd Year); UT-Arlington head coach Scott Cross (8th year)

WEB STREAMING: live at BroncoSports.com.

RADIO: KBOI (670 AM) and KKGL (96.9 FM) in the Boise area. Radio: KKGM 1630 AM in the Arlington area

SERIES RECORD: Boise State leads 2-0

LAST MEETING: January 2, 2013, in Arlington, Boise State, 64, UT-Arlington, 46

WEB SITES: Boise State official; UT-Arlington official

The Boise State Broncos will be at home in Taco Bell Arena Friday night to take on the UT-Arlington Mavericks in a rematch of last season. It’s the regular season opener for both teams. The last meeting between the two was in January at College Park Center, Arlington, Texas and the Broncos came away with the win.

The Mavericks are ranked third in victories among 21 Texas' Division I hoops programs over the past two years. Last season they went 19-14 and made it to the NIT. Head coach Scott Cross is known for his team’s defense and last year the Mavs finished 25th nationally and first in the WAC in defensive field-goal percentage (39.1 percent). Even though the team is transitioning from the WAC to the Sun Belt Conference this season, Scott says his team could have an outstanding season this year.

Some key Maverick players to keep an eye on will be guards Shaquille White-Miller, 5-9, 176 lbs, and Jamel Outler, 6-2, 183 lbs, along with forward Brandon White, 6-6, 224 lbs. White-Miller and Brandon are the sole returning starters from last season’s squad. The Mav’s center is RSjunior Stuart Lagerson , 7-0, 220, and who is expected to make his presence known as the most imposing inside player.

Boise State returns all five starters from last season’s hoops squad that finished 21-11 and a slot in the NCAA Tournament. They will counter the Mavericks with key players of their own: Anthony Drmic, 6-6, 196 lbs, and Derrick Marks, 6-3, 206 lbs, are two. They were both selected for the second-team All-MW Team in 2012-13 and are among the most talented players on the Boise State roster. Drmic led the conference in scoring last season with 18.8 points per game, while Marks was the league’s leading returner in free throws and field goal percentages. Igor Hadziomerovic, 6-4, 202 lbs, and new incoming freshman Nick Duncan, 6-7, 225 lbs, are two more Broncos who will certainly see plenty of action as well.

Boise State would like another visit to the NCAA playoffs this season so they need every win they can muster to make that happen. One thing in Boise State’s favor is that since 2002, the hoops squad has won seven-straight season openers played at home. Coach Rice intends to raise that record to eight.

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