I posted the score from last nights game by way of fanshot from my phone while walking back to the car but had all kinds of things going through my mind. What an awesome and complete performance for our Broncos on the hardwood. In hatemay fashion (without the killer writing skills and eye for the unique details of the performance) I present my postgame thoughts:
Drake was no Cal State Northridge (Besides allowind Boise to drop trips on them)
According to StatSheet.com Drake's RPI ranking was 132 before last night (now at 150) and after the game we were bumped from 304 to 252. Sure, Drake is picked to finish 7th in the Missouri Valley Conference behind Creighton, Indiana State (BSU’s opponent this Saturday), and Evansville (who Sophomore forward Ryan Watkins dropped 18 points on during last season’s CBI Tourney Quarterfinal) but they were pretty comparable to us. They kept Cal State Northridge to 49 opposed to us keeping CSN to 61, upset Iowa State and only had two losses to Virginia and Ole Miss that were highly contested.
The bulldogs were only allowing 59.5 pts a game and hadn’t given up more than 65 before walking into TBA for their first road game of the season. Say what you want, maybe this was their road game jitters but overall this was an impressive defeat. We should have all expected a win, but by 40 points? Wowee!
Overall Team Performance:
The team put up the most points of any Bronco team since Coby Karl led the Broncos with 19 points in 2003 to a 113 -67 victory over Eastern Oregon. Coby was not yet a starter yet btw. Last night’s 108 points brought Boise State’s avg. points per game back up to 86.5 and 6th in the nation.
In true Kellen Moore fashion, 10 different broncos put points on the board last night (Jarrell Crayton being the only Bronco to hit the court and not able to attempt and make a shot, only playing for 3 minutes). They shot 61 percent from the floor as a team and 63.3 in the final 20 minutes. This was something I was definitely pleased with. They closed out the game playing HARD. Derrick Marks was all over the place even getting a swat under the basket. I don’t know whether they were playing to hit triple digits but I like to think this is the attitude Rice has instilled in these new kids. Currently BSU is 18th in the nation Boise State possessing an avg field goal percentage of .496
Averaging 9 steals per game the defensive play is proving to be pretty solid. The ultimate Bronco thief? Wes Perryman with a total of 9 steals on the season (1.8 a game) Having seen his level of play and the steals he’s gotten this didn’t surprise me but noticing that Frosh Derrick Marks has 7 on the season was a nice surprise. While I’ll hate to see Wes leave after this season I think we’ll be ok in the take aways department in the years to come.
From behind the arc: 8 of 13 in the opening 20 minutes, 14-22 overall. Drew Wiley shot a perfect 5-5 from three point range. Drew is really an all purpose guy. Another stellar transfer to Boise State.
In the paint: We all love the 3 point ball but most impressive I’ve seen in recent years is the 44 points from the paint. We’ve got a post game! BSU outrebounded the Bulldogs 42-24. (Not an easy task, Drake had some big guys, four that were 6’8">
My players of the game:
Drew Wiley came off the bench to shoot a perfect 5-of-5 from three point range and scored a team-high 17
CSI transfer Kenny Buckner (RS Junior) has some big time potential for the Broncos these next couple seasons. After last night’s 16 points and domination in the paint you’d never know that Kenny never played competitive basketball in high school. He spent his high school days leading his Woodrow Wilson High School Baseball team to championships three times playing first base. He enrolled at a college in Maryland to play baseball before he had to withdraw to take care of his ill grandmother. He began playing basketball at a rec center and he’s been on three collegiate basketball teams since then. I can’t say that tonight was his career high because I have no idea what his point totals at CSI and Garden City Community College in Kansas, not our Garden City (if we’d even claim our Garden City….) but he did set a new season high. Congrats Kenny! We are SO luck y to have this guy. He’s the big presence we need at center and I was thoroughly impressed with what I saw last night. For a little more about one of our new broncos you can check out Jezierny’s article on him following his other spectacular performance against Long Beach State. Here’s a little action from the big man from last night:
It was over when:
Drake’s only lead (8-6) at the beginning of the first half was erased by a 10-0 run
Drake’s unhappiest player:
Jordan Clark. Jordan lined up for a couple free throws towards the beginning of the game, airballed the first and then threw his next try into the glass to the right of the rim on the second. Lets just say the student section didn’t let him forget about it. Chanting airball everytime he touched the ball, when he cam out of the tunnel to start the second half and even as he trailed the rest of the team off the court at the end. His coach let him for almost all the second half when it became apparent he wasn’t going to come back from those free throws.
Coach Rice Being Funny:
The Broncos only hit 22 of 34 free throws (Drimic missing his first 2 in a row). Rice joked that from now on "[they’ll] going to shoot [their] free throws from the top of the key from now on." I seriously love this guy.
I’d say the student section was decent (see Drake’s Unhappiest Player). Since I got there a little late and didn’t have my usual homies I sat several rows up. I believe in standing up all game, it’s the student section! I happened to sit around a few others that felt the same way and most of the section was standing in addition to the lower section that always stands. The students are definitely getting better each week. We could use some new chants. Aussie Aussie Aussie is a classic but should really be accompanied by others. Ideas nuggies. Overall there were 3,325 fans last night which is ok but not where we should be.
The rest of the arena was pretty sparse. I know there were 400 or so sitting in the 2nd level because those are the cheap seats but when there are so many open seats in the 1st I think they should really pop down and occupy them. The sparsity (new word?) you see in the Buckner vid was not that bad on the sides and of course the student section. 7pm is kind of late on a work night but I expect us to do better on Saturday.
Up Next for the Broncos and Drake:
BSU looks now to Indiana State (71 in RPI Rankings) this Saturday. While Indiana State doesn’t have a super impressive win like Long Beach State did against Pitt, this is a great team. They made the NCAA tourney last year, bowing out in the first round to Syracuse. A win here would be a upset in my books but I don’t see any reason why we can’t put our hopes in one. It should be a great game with a lot of fans. Bring your (or a friend’s) New Mexico football ticket and you get in free. This should really drive the attendance.
Drake has Air Force next and for this reason we should keep our eyes on that game. Will Drake rebound? Can the Lightning Bolts dominate them like our boys did? If that game turns into a contest I think we should expect an exciting season in conference play. Air Force was picked to finish fifth in the conference. I’ve thought our last place pick was a little rash but don’t plame them. We’re new and seemed to be in the same league as Wyoming and TCU. I changed my mind after the Utah game and once I started comparing us to other teams playing the strength of schedule we were. I think we can contend with Air Force and Colorado State in the MWC and Drakes next game will help see if that may really be the case.