Football season is over.
Early signing day is in the rearview mirror.
Leon Rice and Boise State men’s basketball deserve all of our attention as conference play looms.
The team is 10-2 for Pete’s sake!
Since the 2010-2011 season, the Broncos have had an equal or better start five times through 12 games.
(2012/2013 - 10-2, 2013/2014 - 10-2, 2014/2015 - 10-2, 2017/2018 - 10-2, 2020/2021 - 11-1)
Keep in mind, this is the the toughest non-conference schedule that the Broncos have faced in a very long time, if ever.
Key Teams Stats of the Night
Free Throws Attempted/Made
Boise State - 18/20 (90.0%)
Oakland - 6/8 (75.0%)
Boise State - 45
Oakland - 31
Boise State - 14
Oakland - 9
Tyson Degenhart (BSU) - 17 points
Trey Townsend (OAK) - 30 points
Max Rice (BSU) - 10 rebounds
Trey Townsend (OAK) - 8 rebounds
Jace Whiting (BSU) - 4 assists
Rocket Watts, Blake Lampman, and Osei Price (OAK) - 4 assists
Story of the Game
Leon Rice elected to sit Marcus Shaver Jr. once again for resting purposes as he deals with a nagging injury. With the maturity of Jace Whiting, this has not been a major issue. Max Rice got the scoring going as he nailed multiple threes in the opening minutes. While the Broncos did hold a lead for a majority of the first half, they were never able to to truly widen the gap. Oakland guard and leading scorer Trey Townsend was the Golden Grizzlies’ life preserver, accounting for 15 of Oakland’s total points in the opening stanza. Boise State would take a 31-24 lead into the break.
Not bad, but not exactly dominant either.
Thanks to a pair of Chibuzo Agbo free throws, the Broncos finally found their way to a double-digit lead with 17:33 to go. A 12-4 run ensued for the blue and orange, extending the lead to 19 as the second half dwindled. Golden Grizzlies’ Townsend and Keaton Hervey remained in the game, adding to their individual stats, but the door had been shut. The young bucks for Boise State were called into action and Sadraque NgaNga and Pavle Kuzmanovic combined for nine points.
I do want to give props and some deserved praise to Lukas Milner.
He initially was in the starting five to begin the season as the rotation was being tweaked and adjusted. Rice made the decision to place Milner on the bench as the 6th man while Naje Smith was injected into the starting lineup. Milner hasn’t shown any type of malice or disappointment since then, and he has been quite productive in his new role.
I know that this is the expectation inside the Bronco basketball program, but in today’s age of the transfer portal and immediate gratification, it shouldn’t be taken for granted when a player still puts the team first.
BOISE STATE BRONCOS (10-2) 77
OAKLAND GOLDEN GRIZZLIES (2-10) 57
BOISE STATE (10-2) AT SANTA CLARA (11-3)
Location: Santa Clara, California (Leavey Center)
Date/Time: Thursday, December 22nd at 3:00 p.m. (Mountain Time)
Traditional Television: None
Streaming: West Coast Network (Link to the streaming homepage)
Radio: KBOI 670 AM
Head-to-Head: Boise State trails in the all-time series 1-4. Their lone win came last year when they beat Santa Clara 72-60 in Boise.
Keys to Watch
1. Will Boise State guard Marcus Shaver Jr. sit out again as an extended break before conference play nears?
- It may be worth sitting Shaver out considering the Broncos don’t play their Mountain West opener until next Wednesday, December 28th.
2. Which team will be able to lock down the defensive glass?
- Amazingly, the battle of the Broncos features two teams that are top-five in the nation in limiting offensive rebounds by percentage, courtesy of KenPom.
3. Will Boise State be able to keep their focus sharp and put blinders on for one last game before the holiday season?
- It is no secret that this game was scheduled for an afternoon tip because the coaching staffs of both teams wanted to allow their players to flight out after the game to their respective families. Kudos to both Boise State head coach Leon Rice and Santa Clara head coach Herb Sendek for making this decision.
Stat Leaders (Averages)
Boise State: Guard Marcus Shaver Jr. - 14.8 Pts.
Santa Clara: Guard Brandin Podziemski - 18.4 Pts.
Boise State: Guard Marcus Shaver Jr. - 7.4 Reb.
Santa Clara: Guard Brandin Podziemski - 8.6 Reb.
Boise State: Guard Marcus Shaver Jr. - 4.1 Ast.
Santa Clara: Guard Brandin Podziemski - 3.3 Ast.
Via our friends at DraftKings, Boise State is currently favored by two and the total is set at 139.5
This will not be an easy game with extended time off just hours away and the holiday season coming to a crescendo. Santa Clara is ranked inside KenPom’s top-120 and is currently sitting at 115th in the NCAA Net Rankings. I see the Broncos (Boise State, that is) pulling away at the very end and being very jolly as they fly home.
Boise State 68 - Santa Clara 62
What are your thoughts on the Broncos’ performance against Oakland?
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