Coming into last season, Boise State University had something that was pretty new to all of us—high expectations of the Men's Basketball team. That's what happens when you return a squad that is led by one of the up-and-coming coaches in America and has every starter back from an NCAA Tournament-caliber team the year prior. Starting off, the Broncos raced out to an 8-0 record then ended up dropping a 15-point decision to Kentucky which didn't look all that bad at the time. The next game out, however, an 8-point dud to Saint Mary's proved to be very emblematic of the season to come: a talented, inconsistent team that just refuses to play up to its potential.
After annihilating South Carolina at the Diamond Head Classic and falling just a bit short against a very talented Iowa State team in the championship game, there was still hope that Boise State would be a strong NCAA Tournament candidate at the end of the season. What really bolstered their case a year before, however, was one of the Broncos' biggest hindrances... the strength of the Mountain West Conference. The top-to-bottom quality just wasn't there. Combined with inconsistency leading to a 9-9 conference record, a NCAA Tournament birth wasn't in the cards. When Boise State decided to decline all invitations to post season tournaments, the season came to a very unceremonious end.
In the long run, last season could be a pivotal turning point for the program. Obviously it wasn't as successful as anyone would have liked, but it should serve as a reminder that talent alone will not win at Boise State. The Broncos will never get 5-star recruits in basketball (or any sport) and it takes grit, moxie, and an attention to detail to create a sustainable program.
Looking back at last year, a few moments defined the season:
Low Point turned High Point vs. UNLV (W 91-90 OT)
It sure seemed like another heartbreaker for Boise State, but after a lengthy review by the officials, it was deemed that the ball didn't leave the hand in time.
Turning Point @ UNLV (L 73-69)
After Mikey Thompson scored under the basket to put Boise State up 69-68, it looked like they might actually close out a tight game. Previous contests against San Diego Sate, Wyoming, and Iowa State had gone down in the loss column and it seemed like if Boise State could close out this game on the road, maybe, just maybe, they will have made enough adjustments to be a dominant force in the MWC. Long story short, it didn't happen and heartbreak ensued.
Low Point @ Air Force (L 76-56)
Coming off the thrilling overtime victory against UNLV and what I would consider the high point of the season, the Broncos came out hapless, lifeless, fightless, or all of the above. This game was by far the worst of the season and pretty much sealed the deal that Boise State would not make a return trip to the NCAA Tournament.
|vs UT-Arlington||W 116-87||1-0 (0-0)|
|vs Simpson University||W 110-53||2-0 (0-0)|
|vs Seattle||W 86-68||3-0 (0-0)|
|@ New Orleans||W 100-80||4-0 (0-0)|
|vs Idaho||W 98-89||5-0 (0-0)|
|vs Portland St||W 76-60||6-0 (0-0)|
|vs Utah||W 69-67||7-0 (0-0)|
|vs Carroll College||W 80-52||8-0 (0-0)|
|@ #11 Kentucky||L 70-55||8-1 (0-0)|
|vs Saint Mary's||L 82-74||8-2 (0-0)|
|@ Hawaii||W 62-61||9-2 (0-0)|
|vs South Carolina||W 80-54||10-2 (0-0)|
|vs #14 Iowa State||L 70-66||10-3 (0-0)|
|vs Fresno St||W 86-79||11-3 (1-0)|
|@ #13 San Diego St||L 69-66||11-4 (1-1)|
|vs Wyoming||L 52-50||11-5 (1-2)|
|@ Nevada||W 74-65||12-5 (2-2)|
|vs Utah State||W 78-74||13-5 (3-2)|
|@ New Mexico||L 84-75||13-6 (3-3)|
|vs San Jose St||W 76-55||14-6 (4-3)|
|vs Air Force||W 69-58||15-6 (5-3)|
|@ UNLV||L 73-69||15-7 (5-4)|
|vs #5 San Diego St||L 67-65||15-8 (5-5)|
|@ Utah State||L 76-70||15-9 (5-6)|
|vs New Mexico||W 71-70||16-9 (6-6)|
|@ Colorado St||W 84-72||17-9 (7-6)|
|vs UNLV||W 91-90 OT||18-9 (8-6)|
|@ Fresno St||L 76-56||18-10 (8-7)|
|@ Wyoming||W 72-63||19-10 (9-7)|
|vs Nevada||L 83-81 2OT||19-11 (9-8)|
|@ Air Force||L 64-61 OT||19-12 (9-9)|
|vs San Jose St||W 83-52||20-12 (9-9)|
|vs Nevada||W 75-62||21-12 (9-9)|
|vs #20 New Mexico||L 70-67||21-13 (9-9)|
Telling stat: 0-7 - Boise State record as a underdog
BOLD = No longer on roster