Boise State athletics finally got some good news with the announcement that Derrick Alston will return for his Senior season. Alston, citing “unfinished business” and a desire to improve his overall game to increase his NBA draft stock in 2021, announced on Twitter that he is committed to leading the Broncos when basketball returns to Taco Bell Arena.
The news comes on the heels of several setbacks for Boise State athletics. The baseball and swimming & diving programs fell victim to COVID-19 related budget cuts, and the start of the football season has never been more in doubt. Among a swarm of gloomy news for the program, the announcement that Alston has decided to stick it out for a final run on the hardwood was welcome news to Bronco fans.
Even before Alston announced his return there was considerable buzz about the talent of the basketball team heading into the 2020-2021 season. The Broncos return talented players in Abu Kigab and RayJ Dennis to go along with highly touted transfers in Emmanuel Akot, Devonaire Doutrive, Marcus Shaver, and Mladen Armus. Additionally, the Broncos add Naje Smith and Pavle Kuzmonovic to the mix for the upcoming season. The Broncos are also looking to add one more piece before the start of the season.
With all the talent that will be on display at Taco Bell Arena in this upcoming season, it is safe to assume that the enthusiasm and expectations will be at an all-time high for the Boise State basketball program. Those expectations fall heavily at the feet of Head Coach Leon Rice. Rice is unquestionably the most successful coach in program history, but fan expectations are quickly reaching “NCAA Tourney or Bust” levels.
While fans are riding high about the return of Derrick Alston, and the overall talent level of the squad that Coach Rice has assembled, it wasn’t all good news on the basketball front this week. Rice announced that the basketball budget has been reduced by 20% due to COVID-19 related budget shortfalls. Even so, in a time where good news is seemingly few and far between, returning a player that Rice calls a player of the year front-runner is a win for Bronco fans.
What say you, Bronco fans? Will this be the year that Boise State basketball breaks through and wins an NCAA Tournament game?