We got a heckuva game last night. Like I said in my preview, people are really getting their money's worth at these home games, last night's game was freaking awesome. A few of my thoughts after last night's game:
I don't think we can talk enough about the role this kid played last night. Tre' is always fun to watch but most of the season we've been watching him in the final minutes of garbage time. Averaging 3.5 minutes a game he was thrown in at the beginning of the game last night after an 11-0 run that put Fresno up 11-2. Tre' got BSU on their own 11-0 run with a layup, an assist and a steal that led to Drmic's first of four 3-pointers. Tre' got 21 minutes total last night and played well throughout. One of the biggest questions I had was how they'd replace Iggy, Tre' may be the answer. Tre's up temp and scrappy play filled Iggy's void quite well. Joe Hanstad's redshirt was burned last week after Iggy's injury but doesn't look to be the replacement. Joe played 3 minutes last night, was 0-1 from the field and got a rebound. The lack of playing time after burning the redshirt probably means that he isn't quite prepared to play yet and clearly Rice isn't planning on getting him involved to fast. He seems to have the potential to be a big part of this team but it'll probably take some time.
I'm Kenny Buckner's biggest fan and was pretty excited for his start last night, I think that was his first start as a Bronco but I could be wrong. Whether it got to his head or he was just off lat night, who knows but last night was clearly not his best game. He didn't have a chance at the opening tip off and missed several put ins from under the hoop. He was 2 for 8 on the night and ultimately Ryan Watkins was put in for lion share of the game. Ryan was just what the Broncos needed, recording his first double double (18 points, 11 Rebounds) of the season. I'm disappointed in Kenny's performance last night but know he'll bounce back, the kid is humility in a can and awesome.
Bronco Nation Surprise
'Twas the week before Christmas, when all through the dorms. Not a coed was stirring, not even a mouse.
There was a small contingent of students high up on the left side working the Aussie! Aussie! Aussie! chant but the traditional standing student section was basically overun by an alternative high school class of student visiting Boise State. I'm drafting a letter to Coach Rice and copying our new AD, I don't care if it's Christmas Break but occupying the traditional standing student section with prospective students is unacceptable. To make matters worse, there were at least 5 of those kids cheering for Fresno State. In the end it helped get my blood boiling to a point I was just as loud as normal even though there were only 5 other loud students with me. (Sorry about the rant, I was ticked and still am)
Overall the atmosphere was pretty impressive. With the football team, cheerleaders, and band boarding buses 3,702 fans stepped up and made the difference. When Fresno State was knocking on the door, fighting to take the lead it got loud and when BSU staved off Fresno's bid in the final minutes with a Drmic dunk, a Wes Perryman steal and lay-in, and a Bropleh 3-pointer as the shot clock hit zero the place was ELECTRIC. After the game Ryan Watkins said the team noticed and got them going. The fact there was that much support after two road losses, no student section cheerleaders or band, Christmas six days away, and it being a Monday night has me believing I won't have to worry about fan attendance for the rest of the season. I think they've sold Bronco Nation on their success at home and visiting MWC foes (sans UNLV and SDSU) are going to struggle here with this kind of support.
Defending the Home Court
Boise State extends it's home winning streak to 15 games, tying Creighton and Texas State for 13th Longest Active Winning Streak in NCAA. The streak started against Fresno State last season so it was only fitting that BSU was able to continue it against them. Fresno State becomes the only team to be beat twice in TBA during the current win streak. BSU doesn't play at home again until Jan 14th when Air Force comes to town. Air Force lost to Drake a week after Boise State throttled them so there's no reason to think we'll win that game which would set BSU up to defend it's 16 game home winning streak January 25th vs. a Top 25 UNLV squad. This has me more excited than anything else. If we got 5K to watch BSU battle a crappy Utah squad I can't imagine what the turnout is going to be to see BSU take on a squad that has wins over a #1 UNC and #10 Illinois. Circle Wednesday, January 25th on all your calendars.
Video recap from Fresno:
DATE: Monday; Dec. 19, 2011
TIME: 7 p.m. (MT)
LOCATION: Boise, Idaho / Taco Bell Arena (12,480)
TV: The Mtn.
RADIO: Bronco Sports Network / BroncoSports.com
THE GAME: The Boise State men’s basketball team returns to Taco Bell Arena to face Fresno State Monday (Dec. 19), the Broncos’ final home game of the nonconference slate. The Broncos (8-3) and Bulldogs (4-7) are slated to tip at 7 p.m., and the game will be televised nationally by The Mtn.
TELEVISION INFORMATION: The Broncos’ game against Fresno State will be televised The Mtn.
Play-by-Play: Peter Young
Analyst: Blaine Fowler
RADIO INFORMATION: Boise State’s game 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
THE SERIES: This will be the 30th meeting all-time between the two schools, and the first as nonconference opponents since Dec. 10, 1983. Boise State leads the all-time series 15-14, though is just 1-5 in nonconference games. The Broncos swept last year’s series, and hasn’t lost to Fresno State at home since Jan. 15, 2004, a streak of seven-straight home wins.
VERSUS THE WAC: Boise State went 81-87 in its 10 season in the WAC (2001-11), including a mark of 14-9 against Fresno State.
HOLDING COURT: The Broncos have won 14-consecutive home games, tied for the 15th-longest streak in the nation (through Dec. 17). Boise State has won its first eight home games of 2011-12, the longest streak since the team went 13-0 during the 1997-98 season.
It's probably safe to say that most fans' expectations for Boise State have cooled off a little bit after double digit losses on the road to LSU and Denver. I am the basketball teams biggest apologist and would beckon Boise State fans to forget these losses. LSU was not much of a surprise, being the fourth game in a week long stretch of games that included the test verse Indiana State. Denver would have been another great win but Denver is hot right now, they snapped Utah State's 33 game home winning streak and own a dominating win over the WCC's St. Marys. I believe losses to decent teams are ok for this young Bronco squad and I haven't seen anything so far this season that's cooled off my expectations. Granted I wouldn't have minded upsets against LBSU, LSU , and Denver to get those expectations even higher.
Fresno State is not one of those "decent teams" I mentioned above. I'll be hitting the disappointed button if Boise State doesn't add another W to their Win-Loss column tonight. Fresno is coming off a deflating loss to Cal Poly, the third in a current skid of losses. Probably the only thing to hang your hat on during the past few games in Fresno,a back in forth game that resulted in a 4 point loss to Oregon. Sorry Bulldog fans, that skid is going to hit 4 tonight.
Igor "Iggy" Hadziomerovic:
The freshmen guard from down under broke his foot in the week of practice leading up to the game vs. Denver and is expected to miss the rest of the season. Iggy scored double digits against Cal State Northridge and Idaho State, had a season-high three steals against Cal State, had his season-high seven assists against Indiana State, and has his season-high five rebounds against LSU. Having only played 10 games, he is expected to redshirt. I'm not familiar with the NCAA Basketball medical redshirt rules but do know the injury has to occur during the first half of the season and be serious enough to warrant another year of eligibility. In Iggy's case, check and check.
Joe Hanstad, a 6-4 Guard out of North Dakota, burned his redshirt at Denver. He should step in as a shooter and will preform well, Joe broke a 45 year old high school scoring record during his Junior season (24.2 PPG).
Hanstad was being recruited by the Zags while Coach Rice was there and when Rice got to BSU he immediately offered him. If Rice used the term OKG, which I think he should, then Joe is most definitaely an OKG. A coach the coached with Rice at the Elite Camp at GU in 2012 said Joe was on their team and "was coachable, looked you in the eye when you corrected him, and always played hard. It's hard to find those types of character kids these days. Joe is a great pick-up for Coach Rice!"
Defending the Home Court:
There's been a lot of mention of the importance Coach Rice and Co. have placed on winning at home, in fact it's about the only think Brian Murphy talks about in what I'm assuming is the Idaho Statesman's only attempt at previewing tonight game. Sophomore forward Thomas Bropleh said it right when he said, "You're expected to win at home. For us to go out and keep winning at home, it's a good thing for the community." What I don't think people have realized or appreciated this season was that their money has been well spent. They've enjoyed lit up boards vs. crappy competition (I don't care if you're played a down Drake team, seeing the board hit trips is always exciting and who doesn't like a Pac-12 school beatdown) as well an exciting and relatively close game vs. Indiana State. Fans that come out tonight will be treated similarly. Today's edition of the fanposting series, "Defending the Home Court" is included in this game preview in an effort to save a fanpost from being pumped from the Recent Fanpost ticker, you gotta take into account post/shot bumping when you post right? Haha here's the current rankings for the longest active home game winning streaks in the NCAA:
|CURRENT VICTIM LIST|
|Thu, Feb 10||Fresno State||W 75-61|
|Sat, Feb 12||Idaho||W 69-63|
|Wed, Mar 2||Cal State Bakersfield||W 95-59|
|Sat, Mar 5||San Jose State||W 66-51|
|Tue, Mar 15||Austin Peay||W 83-80|
|Mon, Mar 21||Evansville||W 75-69|
|Fri, Nov 11||Colorado Christian||W 95-44|
|Wed, Nov 16||Utah||W 80-59|
|Sat, Nov 19||Cal State Northridge||W 103-61|
|Sat, Nov 26||Northern Illinois||W 71-57|
|Wed, Nov 30||Drake||W 108-64|
|Sat, Dec 3||Indiana State||W 74-65|
|Wed, Dec 7||Portland||W 92-70|
Things I'd Like to See at the Game Tonight:
- The same Bronco team we've seen in Taco Bell Arena all year long, putting up 70+ points.
- A more than covered spread (-12), possibly as big a spread as the spread between BSU and FSU's team graduation rates (75% vs 29% respectively).
- Butts in the seats, at least 3000 of them. Expectations have to be low.. Students are gone, it's a Monday night, Christmas is less than a week away, etc. So far we've only managed two sub-3K attendances (Cal State-Northridge and Portland, the two home games I've missed).
- Joe Hanstad step in and fill Iggy's void. He played 12 minutes at Denver and was 0-0 from the field, beyond the three point line and had no boards. Lets hope that he's been prepared to play despite planning on redshirting and a good showing against Fresno will alleviate my fears at least.
Ihavenofriendzz has done a pretty awesome job providing game previews and threads for BSU Basketball, I've tried to do the same. Since nothings been posted yet, I'll designate this the game thread for tonight's game. Last game thread vs. LSU hit 200 comments.. Impressive! I'll be trying to post throughout the game with my thoughts from Taco Bell Arena and hope other nuggies that can will do the same. Video from the games is hard to come by so if you get good video or pics tonight let me know. If you post a vid to youtube I'd be happy to include it in when I update this post with postgame thoughts and links. Any lingering questions or thoughts I've left out?