DATE: Saturday; Dec. 3, 2011
TIME: 8 p.m. (MT)
LOCATION: Boise, Idaho / Taco Bell Arena (12,480)
RADIO: Bronco Sports Network / BroncoSports.com
THE GAME: The Boise State men’s basketball team will square off against Indiana State in the first meeting between the two programs Saturday at Taco Bell Arena. The game between the Broncos (5-1) and Sycamores (6-1) is part of the Mountain West-Missouri Valley Challenge, the MW boasts a 12-7 advantage in the series. Tip-off is scheduled for 8PM.
RADIO INFORMATION: Boise State’s game against Indiana 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
VERSUS THE MVC: Boise State is 2-2 against current members of the Missouri Valley Conference, including Wednesday’s 108-64 defeat of Drake, and a 75-69 victory over Evansville last season, advancing the team to the semifinals of the CBI.
BIG-TIME SCORING: In defeating Drake 108-64, the Broncos scored the most points against a Division I opponent in school history. They also had two 100-point games in the same month for the first time since February of 1975, a span of nearly 37 years.
I've been thinking about this game since Wednesday night. Whenever I spend time to create a masterpiece like this you know that the game had to be good.
The Broncos welcome the Sycamores from Indiana State to Taco Bell Arena tomorrow night and I have to think that it's going to be a battle. These two teams have a lot of similarities on and off the court. This is year number two for both teams under their current head coaches and Coach Rice's career record of 27-14 barely edges Indiana State Coach Lansing's 26-15 record
Indiana State comes into this match looking a little like Long Beach State just without the marque win (I guess a win over a 4-3 Texas Tech team could be debated as marque but it's no win against #9 Pitt). After winning their conference tourney last year, Indiana State is looking to win the regular season outright this year. In the Missouri Valley Conference they sit behind perennial powers Creighton and Witchita State making this a tough task however the fact they have a chance is further evidence that Boise State has its hands full.
Fortunately "the trees" come to town playing a Bronco team that has to be confident in it's shooting and defensive abilities after Wednesday night's shellacking of our new AD's alma mater Drake. Boise has been shooting well all season and their coldest half came against Long Beach State, the first road game of the season and for many on the team, their collegiate careers. Boise cannot come out cold against this Indiana State squad. Their offensive abilities will be tested by the toughest defense they've faced yet. This is a team that forces steals the ball as much as BSU and forces the same amount of turnovers a game. Texas Tech's leading scorer, Ty Nurse, was averaging 19 points a game until he faced Indiana State. He came away from that outing 0-5 from the field. BSU may find it harder to score but they really don't need to shoot lights out to win this one.
Indiana State offensive efforts tend to come and go so far the season. This is by no means the strongest team offensively. Despite Texas Tech's 22 turnovers (ISU scored 18 points off of those turnovers) and other issues Indiana State lost a large lead to a 12-2 Texas Tech run. ISU failed to score on 12 of 14 possessions. In the past this has been an issue with Bronco teams but it has become far less frequent under Coach Rice. If Boise State is going to come away with a win it'll because of their defensive efforts. The trees struggle against the contested shot and find their best success with the penetrate and kick offense. This may not work as well against a Bronco defense that doesn't tend to leave many people open on the edges. Fortunately Boise State doesn't have to worry about many mismatches in terms of size under the basket. ISU has one 6-10 guy and two 6-8 guys. Not many times does Boise State face a tough opponent who has less height than they do. That being said lets watch out for this guy. Other ISU players to watch: Jake Odum. Jake's triple double last week verse Fairfield was Indiana State's first since Larry Bird's against Drake in1979. Drake seems to be the brunt of all the success these days...
Ultimately this is a winnable game as are the next couple against Idaho State and Portland State (both at home) and the Broncos need to find a way to win these games. They face some tough games and probable losses at LSU and Denver. So lets provide them some major fan support. The attendance record so far this season sits a little over 4500 (vs. Utah). In reality, this game verse Indiana State is far more important and tough. Hopefully that means there will be more fans. Is 6000 really that unreasonable? Get this done Bronco Nation. As advertised, a New Mexico vs. Boise State football tickets gets you in free.
So we've never played these guys before, how do we get ready to cheer against them? Clearly we need reasons to hate and mock them. Here are the only reasons I could come up with:
1) They totally copied our Student Union Building addition for their new Rec Center, kind of.. Those turds!
2) Some of their comments on the ESPN.com boards
3) Their mascot is a furry woodland creature, how cute
4) Their original mascot was the "Fighting Teachers, what the heck?
5) Indiana State fans like to say "roll trees." Indiana the new 'bama?
Ok so that was a pretty pathetic try at instilling some hatred for Indiana State but I think we all can say that we're pretty stoked about the revival of our basketball program and that's enough for me to cheer about! Hope to see some of you nuggies around The Bell. GO BRONCOS!!!