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Boise State Basketball: Non-Conference Previews of Arizona, Loyola Marymount

The Broncos released its non-conference schedule and has a number of intriguing contests this Fall.

Mary Langenfeld-USA TODAY Sports

I am joined today with two other SB Nation writers as we break down a couple games of Boise State's non-conference schedule. The complete schedule was released earlier this month, including a home matchup against Oregon, Bradley in the MWC-MVC Challenge, and the Wooden Legacy tournament.

The games that we are previewing include Boise's November matchup against the Arizona Wildcats, (11/19) in Tucson, Arizona and its December game against the Loyola Marymount Lions, (12/9) at home in Taco Bell Arena.

Jason Bartel, of AZDesertSwarm, delivers a sneak peek to the Arizona Wildcats upcoming season.

William Maupin, of Mid-Major Madness, is here to give us insight of Loyola Marymount's side of the BSU-LMU battle.

Arizona Wildcats Breakdown With Jason Bartel

EB: Arizona lost four double-digit scorers this offseason. Who do you expect to break out this year?

JB: Well, the best freshman coming in is Allonzo Trier. He played for Sean Miller and Team USA at the U19 World Championships in their gold medal run, and by most accounts, he has the potential to be a high-volume scorer for Arizona this year. One guy that was here last year that didn't play that I'm really high on is Kadeem Allen. He was the national JUCO player of the year two years ago before transferring to Arizona, and Miller redshirted him last year. All the guys on the team last year, especially Brandon Ashley, would always talk up Allen and how good he is, and who am I to not believe that? I think he has the potential to be great in Tucson.

EB: Center Kaleb Tarczewski is entering his senior year as the returning points leader for Arizona. Do you believe he could be one of the best big men in the country?

JB: I'm not comfortable going that far out on a limb and calling him one of the best big men in the country, but I do think he'll be very good. There were a lot of times last year where he wasn't aggressive enough on the glass and scoring the ball, but another year under his belt should certainly help with all of that.

EB: The Wildcats currently own the longest active home winning streak in college basketball. Why is Arizona so successful at the McKale Center?

JB: First off, Arizona has one of the best fanbases in all of college basketball. McKale Center is always sold out, and as one of the largest arenas in the west, that certainly provides a home atmosphere that most visiting players have never seen before. I think that gets the players a little more amped up than normal as well. It shouldn't go overlooked that the past couple of years, Rondae Hollis-Jefferson, T.J. McConnell, and Brandon Ashley have been here too, so it's not like teams are coming in facing nobodies and getting beat. All of those guys only lost one non-conference regular season game, and that was UNLV last year. When you're not losing non-conference games, and a relatively weak Pac-12 keeps coming to Tucson overmatched, you're not going to lose a lot of home games.

Loyola Marymount Lions Breakdown With William Maupin

EB: Loyola Marymount struggled through conference play last season. What gives you hope that LMU will improve this year?

WM: Hope for this year? Honestly, I don't have much hope for this year. The future sure, but not this year. About all the Lions have going for them right now is that coach Dunlap is in his second year and his roster is now truly his roster. Senior forward Marin Mornar is the only significant remnant of the Max Good era. So, Dunlap should be able to start implementing his system with his guys, but I can't see it coming together in time for this season. Nearly half of the roster wasn't on campus last year.

EB: Incoming freshman point guard Munis Tutu started for the U-18 Canadian National Team and enjoyed loads of success throughout his high school career. What do you expect Tutu to bring to the Lions this season?

WM: Tutu is comfortable when attacking the basket and has the ability to finish under duress, which will fill the void left by the departure of Evan Payne. He has phenomenal court vision and is unselfish. Last season the Lions were one of the nation's least trigger happy teams behind the arc and the starting backcourt made a meager 48 threes all season. Tutu's presence should change that as he has great shooting touch on pull ups and off the dribble. He's certainly in the running for the WCC all-freshman team.

EB: LMU fell to Boise State last November, 77-69, despite 22 points from Lions guard Evan Payne, who is no longer on the roster. What will be the keys to victory for Loyola Marymount this year against the Broncos?

WM: The biggest key, in a strange way, is actually not having Payne on the floor. He and Mike Dunlap clearly did not get along — despite being the best player on the roster Dunlap brought him off the bench on that night, and most nights... if he played him at all. Three point defense, an issue all year with the Lions, needs to improve if they want any shot at pulling the upset. The Broncos didn't exactly torch the Lions as a team, but Nick Duncan sure did and I don't know who will be able to stop him from doing it again. It also helps that Leon Rice won't know too much about the Lions either. This is not the same program he faced twice a year for over a decade while at Gonzaga.

Thanks again to Jason Bartel and William Maupin for taking time to complete this Q&A, and I highly recommend checking out their work on AZDesertSwarm and Mid-Major Madness.