The one thing about shooty-hoops is that it is not as “all-or-nothing” as football. For Boise State, in football, the expectation of excellence—or perfection—is what matters in order for post-season success. The margins for error are so slim that any slip up could spell doom for the Broncos.
For the basketballers, the consequences are not as dire. For the most part: win, and in. If they win the regular-season they, at minimum, have access to the NIT. If the Broncos win the Mountain West Conference Tournament, they get the auto-berth into the NCAA Tournament. In the regular season, dropping a game (or two, or three) is not necessarily going to preclude the team from gaining access to the big dance. It certainly does not help if the Broncos drop important games, but there is still, at least, the glimmer of hope. Just a lot of help would be needed form other teams.
Going into the next season, the Broncos were picked to finish fifth according to the media that cover the schools. San Diego State, again, was picked to repeat. Nevada, interestingly enough, was picked second. They have been making a lot of good moves as far as roster, and coaching, are concerned and those pick-ups have been noticed by the media.
The fifth place selection is to be somewhat expected.
The Broncos lost several important starters: Mikey Thompson, Anthony Drmic to graduation; James Webb III to
being awesome early entry into the NBA.
Boise State does have some returning starters that should be able to keep steady. Nick Duncan, and Chandler Hutchison will have to be consistent and vocal leaders on the court.
And some of the new(er) players will have their opportunities to shine. Paris Austin showed flashes of real potential last year. David Wacker, when healthy, provides a lot of height. Malek Harwell* has an opportunity to be a real commodity after his injury last season. And Robin Jorch is still German, probably. Hopefully he moves past his propensity to collect many fouls in the short time he plays. Or, at least, absorbs said fouls so other guys on the squad do not.
There is a lot of potential to be had on this squad. Course, no Broncos were selected to the pre-season team. This could be less to do with ability, and more to “known” commodities.
Expectations, overall, are kind of low considering the situation and the new guys that look to contribute. This could possibly work well for Coach Leon Rice to get his guys to be sneaky-good over the season.
*Note: Earlier version inadvertently had Alex Hobbs as the injured Bronco.