When: Tuesday, December 3, 8:05 PM MT
WHERE: Rupp Arena, Lexington, KY
CONFERENCES: MWC vs. SEC
2013 SEASON: Boise State, 8-0; Kentucky 7-2
COACHES: Boise State head Leon Rice(3rd Year); Kentucky head coach John Calipari (5th year)
WEB STREAMING: Watch ESPN
RADIO: KBOI (670 AM) and KKGL (96.9 FM) in the Boise area
This is already billed as a David versus Goliath even though Boise State (8-0) is riding their best start in school history. There is no doubt the Broncos face a daunting task Tuesday evening in Lexington, Kentucky when they go up against the perennial powerhouse Kentucky Wildcats (7-2). But the Broncos are determined to change history with this game. It will being 11th time the Broncos have gone up against a top-10 team, but in all those other times the Broncos came away without a win. The closest they have come was last year’s win over #11 Creighton.
Head coach Leon Rice has put together one of the best teams in Boise State history. The undefeated Broncos come into the game leading the nation in scoring with an average of 97.7 points per game (as of December 1st ), and 22nd in steals. That is thanks to a squad of talented players on a team that returned all five starters from last year’s team.
Bronco star Anthony Drmic, 6-6, 196 lbs, averaging 20.4 points per game, will lead the charge against Kentucky, as will Broncos standout Derrick Marks, 6-3, 206 lbs, who has been emerging as one of the biggest playmakers on the squad. He is averaging 17.6 points a game and has 35 rebounds, 20 assists and 18 steals so far this season. One player who emerged back into the limelight in last week’s game is Jeff Elorriaga, 6-2, 180 lbs. He accounted for 18 of Boise State’s 80 points over Carroll College.
Kentucky is one of the top teams in the nation for a number of reasons, not the least of which is that they are 2nd in the nation in rebounds and ranked 8th in blocked shots per game.
The Wildcats are also coming off a loss last week to the #20 Baylor Bears, 67-62, and coach John Calipari isn’t happy about it. He and the Wildcats will be seeking retribution and some of that anger will be taken out on the Broncos. “We’re catching them at probably a bad time,” coach Rice reflected.
Yeah, it probably doesn’t bode well for the Broncos. But if Kentucky has an Achilles' heel, it could their inexperience this season. In last week’s game Kentucky showed a “lack of hustle and heart” and shot 12 for 23 from the foul line. Perhaps that comes from starting four freshmen. But then again those freshmen are also among the most elite freshmen in the country.