Here are some game previews from a media outlets around the web for the Basketball game tonight. Should be the litmus test we're all looking for! Game details:
DATE: Tuesday; Nov. 22, 2011
TIME: 8:05 p.m. (MT)
LOCATION: Long Beach, Calif. / Walter Pyramid (4,200)
RADIO: Bronco Sports Network / BroncoSports.com
THE GAME: The Boise State men’s basketball team hits the road for the first time this season, traveling to face Long Beach State Tuesday (Nov. 22) at the Walter Pyramid in Long Beach, Calif. The Broncos (3-0) and 49ers (2-1) are scheduled for an 8:05 p.m. tip.
RADIO INFORMATION: Boise State’s game against Long Beach State will be broadcast live on the Bronco Sports Network, with KBOI 670 AM serving as the flagship station. The broadcast will also be streamed live at BroncoSports.com.
Play-by-Play: Bob Behler
Analyst: Abe Jackson
Here's your previews!
Boise State (3-0) at Long Beach State (2-1) (ET)
GAME NOTES: The undefeated Boise State Broncos take their first road trip of the young season tonight, as they drop in on the Long Beach State 49ers for a non-conference meeting at the Walter Pyramid.
While it is still early, the Broncos have been rather impressive with their three wins thus far, all but at least 20 points. Last Saturday, the team dispensed with visiting Cal State Northridge by a final of 103-61.
As for the 49ers, they went from stunning nationally-ranked Pittsburgh last Wednesday on the road (86-76), to a 77-73 overtime loss at San Diego State on Saturday for their first setback of 2011-12.
In a series that dates back to 1981, Boise State has taken six of the 11 meetings against the 49ers, although it was LBSU that won the most recent meeting last season at Taco Bell Arena by a score of 69-66.
Thomas Bropleh came in off the bench and scored a team-best 20 points in just 23 minutes of action, leading six Boise State players in double figures as he converted 7-of-11 shots from the floor in the win over the Matadors. Igor Hadziomerovic accounted for 18 points as he knocked down 5-of-7 beyond the arc, followed by Anthony Drmic with 14 points. Westly Perryman and Derrick Marks both tallied 11 points and Ryan Watkins 10 to go along with a team-high nine rebounds. In each of the first three games the Broncos have had a different leading scorer, with Drmic now pacing the team overall with his 15.0 ppg stemming from a fantastic 55.6 percent from three-point range. Marks (13.3 ppg), Watkins (11.7 ppg) and Bropleh (10.7 ppg) are the primary performers for a group that is averaging a whopping 92.7 ppg at the moment.
As two of the most productive players flying under the national radar these days, Casper Ware and Larry Anderson kept the 49ers in contention against San Diego State at Viejas Arena the last time out, combining for 51 points but still LBSU was taken down for the first time this season in overtime. Ware was credited with 26 points and six assists for the visitors, but he was also guilty of six turnovers for a team that somehow was tripped up into a total of 23 miscues in the matchup. Anderson tallied 25 points on 8-of-13 shooting from the floor, while T.J. Robinson accounted for eight points and a team-best 13 rebounds before fouling out. Ware is lighting up the scoreboard for 24.7 ppg these days, adding 5.3 apg and 3.0 rpg which means he is doing a lot more than just heaving up one shot after another. Anderson is credited with 17.7 ppg and has been able to take some of the pressure off Ware at the offensive end of the floor.
At some point the Boise State offense is going to go up against a tough defense, but that won't be tonight with the way that Ware and Anderson like to move the ball up the floor.
Take encouragement, this is not a super strong defense. As you may have read in my last fanshot on our basketball team, I'm assuming our high octane offense is probably going to have some issues once they play some stronger defenses due to the inexperience on the team. In the meantime I'm enjoying the 92.7 points per game! I can only hope I'm wrong and we do as well in when that first defensive test rolls around.
Boise State men's basketball team hits the road for the first time this season
The Boise State basketball team is off to a 3-0 start, but the degree of difficulty is about to get tougher.
The Broncos play at Long Beach State (2-1) on Tuesday night, and the 49ers made national news last week with their upset of then No. 9 Pitt. Coach Dan Munson’s team’s only loss came in overtime (77-73) at Mountain West power San Diego State.
Pitt had won 58 consecutive games at home against nonconference opponents until Long Beach’s 86-76 win last Wednesday.
"They went into Pitt and won — nobody does that,’’ Boise State coach Leon Rice said. "They’re tough kids, great basketball players and he coaches them very well."
It’s the first road game of the season for Boise State, which could be an adventure for a team with 11 new faces. Eight of the 14 players making the trip never have been on the road for a college game.
"We’ve got a big learning process," Rice said. "I think they’re ready to go on the road and learn about how to do that. We’ll approach it like a business trip, and they need to understand what it takes to get it done on the road."
The Broncos have been impressive at home, though the level of competition hasn’t exactly been stellar. The three teams Boise State has thumped by a combined score of 278-161 — Division II Colorado Christian, Utah and Cal State Northridge — are a combined 1-7 with no wins against an NCAA opponent.
Still, entering Monday’s games, Boise State ranked third nationally in scoring (92.7 points per game), 11th in field-goal percentage (52.9) and 22nd in 3-point shooting percentage (44.6).
Keeping up that pace on the road and against a good team is the challenge.
"It’s a big challenge," Rice said.
Long Beach State, which opened with a 69-61 win over Idaho, is led by point guard Casper Ware. Entering play Monday, Ware ranked sixth in the nation in scoring at 24.7 points per game. Larry Anderson (17.7 points) and T.J. Robinson (10.7 rebounds) are the other top weapons for the 49ers.
Boise State counters with balance. Freshman forward Anthony Drmic (15.0 ppg) leads four Broncos averaging in double figures. Four others are scoring at least 8.0 points per game.
Tuesday’s game is the second in a two-year scheduling agreement. Long Beach State won in Boise last season, spoiling the Broncos’ 6-0 start.
"They’re a good team," sophomore forward Thomas Bropleh said. "This is a good opportunity for us."
After Tuesday’s game, the Broncos return home for four consecutive home games. Rice senses his team is ready for the road.
"It’s fun for these guys," Rice said. "We’re going to go in there and let ’er rip."
SD State loss gone but not forgotten
Not long after his team lost 77-73 in overtime at San Diego State on Saturday, Long Beach State senior guard Casper Ware was asked how he and his teammates will get past losing a game they probably should have won and prepare for tonight's game against Boise State.
"Short memory," said Ware, whose team will square off with the Broncos (3-0) at 7:05 at Walter Pyramid. "I mean, forget about this and we just gotta move on to the next game. The game is over with. It's in the books and we can't do nothing about it."
It's doubtful Ware or any of the other 49ers will have forgotten about the setback, based on what coach Dan Monson said Monday. He said just like one might remember a big victory and take that into the next game, one also has to remember what happened in a loss or the things that caused the loss could happen again.
"Certainly, you have to get past it and learn from it, but I don't think you ever forget it," Monson said. "If Casper thought he was ever going to forget it, then he was reminded about 40 times over the past 48 hours.
"We watched an hour of film of it, then we had another film session this morning. Then we went out and practiced for three hours. We have had an intense 48 hours and hopefully they won't forget that, either."
That said, Boise State is no patsy. The Broncos have four players averaging in double figures in points and six averaging at least four rebounds.
"They have five or six guys who can shoot 3s, they all rebound, they all defend and they all pass the ball," Monson said.
Anthony Drmic, a 6-foot-6 freshman guard/forward, is averaging 15 points and 4.7 rebounds. Derrick Marks, a 6-3 freshman guard, is scoring 13.3 points per game and pulling down four rebounds. Ryan Watkins, a 6-9 sophomore forward, is averaging 11.7 points and a team-high 5.3 rebounds.
Monson noted the Broncos are young, "but they play like they have been playing together for five or six years."
Although Monson was unhappy about losing to San Diego State after having won at ninth-ranked Pittsburgh three days earlier, he didn't think it was the end of the world.
"We're not going to go undefeated in this preseason schedule," he said about 20 minutes after the defeat to the unranked Aztecs. "It's not like this is a Division II team we lost to today; this is a good basketball team, so we'll take a lot of learning out of it in the film and move on and try to get better.
"This is a long season. ... People think that we beat Pittsburgh, so the season is over. I said that all along, that was one game and we've got 30 more to play."
What Might Have Been
The 49ers this week received four and eight votes in the top 25 Associated Press and coaches polls, respectively. That was one (AP) and five (coaches) more votes than they received last week.
Had Long Beach defeated San Diego State, it almost certainly would have cracked the top 25.
Pitt, which was No. 9 in both polls, dropped to No. 17 (AP) and No. 16 (coaches) this week.