NBE Basketball Report
Raphielle Johnson, Teams

LEFT COAST LAYUPS (12/5/2012): LEON RICE’S BOISE ST. BRONCOS OFF TO A GOOD START

December 5, 2012 by · Leave a Comment 

By Raphielle Johnson

 

During the preseason the general consensus in regards to the Boise State Broncos seemed to be that Leon Rice’s team of sophomores and juniors were a year away from being a factor in the conference race. Of course with the Broncos off to the Big West after this season that wouldn’t do Boise State much good in the Mountain West this season. But after Boise State’s 83-70 win at then-No. 11 Creighton last week there may be a need to re-evaluate the polls that picked the Broncos to finish 9th in the ten-team Mountain West.

 

Guard Derrick Marks went off in the second half of that victory, scoring 28 of his career-high 35 points in the game’s final 20 minutes. As a team Boise State shot 60% from the field and 53% from beyond the arc, numbers that when combined with a 32-19 edge on the boards makes pulling off an upset on the road all the more possible. And don’t let Marks’ performance fool you into thinking that this is a one-man team, as Anthony Drmic was one of the Mountain West’s best freshmen last season and overall the Broncos have six players averaging at least 7.0 points per game.

 

Boise State has improved offensively (their scoring average has increased some eight points from last season’s number) in regards to both points and efficiency (averaging 1.13 points/possession; 1.04 in 2011-12), and the same can be said for their effort on the defensive end of the floor (allowing 0.96 points/possession; 1.01 in 2011-12). And outside of a trip to Utah on Wednesday night and a visit from LSU on the 14th it’s safe to say that Boise State will be favored in the remainder of their games leading up to the Mountain West opener at Wyoming on January 9. Boise State sits at 6-1 right now, and it shouldn’t surprise anyone if they were to go on a run in this next month of games.

 

Thought to be a team capable of scaring some folks but incapable of having a major impact on the Mountain West race, Boise State has played better than expected through the first month of the season. Do the Broncos have enough to sustain their play and turn into a team that can reach postseason play? If their win at Creighton was any indication, it might be wise to not underestimate this group.

 

Mountain West

Player of the Week: Boise State guard Derrick Marks

In wins over No. 11 Creighton and Seattle Marks averaged 24.5 points, 5.0 steals, 2.5 rebounds and 2.5 assists per game. Marks scored a career-high 35 points in the win over the Bluejays, with 28 of those points coming in the second half.

 

How good is Wyoming: One of the questions entering this week is just how good are Larry Shyatt’s Wyoming Cowboys, who moved to 8-0 on the season with a 76-69 win over then-No. 19 Colorado on Saturday. Well, we found out a little more about the Pokes on Tuesday night as they visited an Illinois State squad that gave Louisville all it wanted and then some over the weekend. The end result: an 81-67 victory in a game they trailed by 16 with just over 13 minutes remaining in the game. All five starters reached double figures with Larry Nance Jr.’s 19 points leading the way and defensively the Cowboys forced 20 turnovers. Now 9-0 on the year, Wyoming is a team people are going to have to take more seriously in the Mountain West.

 

Schedule (Wednesday – Tuesday)

Wednesday

8:30 PM Boise State at Utah (Pac-12 Networks)

10 PM USC at No. 18 New Mexico (CBSSN)

10:30 PM Colorado State at Colorado (Pac-12 Networks)

 

Thursday

10 PM UCSB at San Diego State

10 PM San Diego Christian at Fresno State

 

Saturday

4 PM Colorado State at UIC

4 PM Arkansas-Pine Bluff at Air Force

4 PM Panhandle State at Wyoming

8 PM Nevada at Washington (Pac-12 Networks)

9 PM Valparaiso at New Mexico

 

Sunday

3 PM Fresno State at Washington State (Pac-12 Networks)

6 PM No. 21 UNLV at California

 

Tuesday

10 PM Cal Poly at Nevada

 

Big Sky

 

Player of the Week: Eastern Washington forward Venky Jois

The freshman from Australia played the best game of his young career last week and the end result was a much-needed win for the Eagles. In EWU’s 79-75 win over Cal State Fullerton Jois scored 22 points and grabbed 13 rebounds, with both numbers being career highs. That was Jois’ third double-double of the season.

 

Wildcats notch a big win at Dayton: With Montana looking to figure things out with star guard Will Cherry out of the lineup (he may return this week) there’s been room for other teams to make a statement during the first month of the season. But no one had taken advantage of the opportunity until Saturday, when Weber State snapped its two-game losing streak with a 62-61 win at Dayton. Kyle Tresnak (16 points, seven rebounds) and Scott Bamforth (15 points, five rebounds) led the way for the Wildcats, who outscored the Flyers by 18 points from beyond the arc (24-6) in making up for 18 turnovers. Seventeen of Weber State’s 21 field goals were of the assisted variety, and not to be overlooked are the seven points and ten rebounds supplied by freshman Joel Bolomboy off the bench. Randy Rahe’s team was expected to be Montana’s biggest competition for the Big Sky title entering the season, and Saturday’s result was one example of what Weber State is capable of.

 

Schedule (Wednesday – Sunday; all Big Sky home games can be viewed on BigSkyTV unless noted otherwise)

Wednesday

8 PM Northern Colorado at Northern Iowa

8:05 PM UMKC at North Dakota

8:35 PM Loyola Marymount at Northern Arizona

9 PM Utah Valley at Weber State

 

Thursday

9 PM Idaho at Eastern Washington

9:05 PM Montana Tech at Montana State

 

Saturday

6 PM Idaho State at Oregon (Pac-12 Networks)

7:30 PM Sacramento State at San Jose State

8 PM Northern Colorado at No. 24 Wichita State

9 PM Carroll College (MT) at Montana

9 PM UC Irvine at Weber State

 

Sunday

5 PM North Dakota at North Dakota State

 

Big West

 

Player of the Week: UCSB forward Alan Williams

Williams averaged 20.0 points and 13.0 rebounds per game in a 1-1 week for the Gauchos, but it was his play in UCSB’s 83-80 overtime win at Santa Clara that made the week. Williams tallied 29 points and 17 rebounds in the victory, becoming the first UCSB player since 1990 to put up at least 25 points and 15 rebounds in a game (Eric McArthur).

 

Rough week ahead for the 49ers: Long Beach State has taken its fair share of lumps this season as they’re off to a somewhat surprising 3-4 start. But a look at the combination of a once-again brutal non-conference schedule and a roster with just nine available players reveals an explanation for the 49ers’ record. Senior James Ennis posted his first double-double (23 points, 12 rebounds) on Monday night but it wasn’t enough as The Beach lost 64-59 to Fresno State. And the road will get tougher as Long Beach State has games against No. 4 Syracuse and No. 7 Ohio State this week. Transfers Edgar Garibay, Tony Freeland and Keala King can’t become eligible soon enough for the preseason favorite to win the Big West. Those three become eligible at the end of the fall semester.

 

Schedule (Wednesday – Tuesday)

Wednesday

10 PM San Jose State at UC Davis

10 PM UC Riverside at Pepperdine

10:30 PM Vanguard at Cal State Northridge

 

Thursday

8 PM Long Beach State at No. 4 Syracuse (ESPN2)

10 PM UCSB at No. 17 San Diego State

10:05 PM Cal State Bakersfield at Cal State Fullerton

 

Saturday

12 PM Long Beach State at No. 7 Ohio State (BTN)

2 PM Cal State Northridge at Arizona State (Pac-12 Networks)

8 PM San Francisco at Pacific

9 PM UC Irvine at Weber State

10 PM Menlo College at Cal Poly

12 AM Pepperdine at Hawai’i

 

Tuesday

10 PM Cal Poly at Nevada

 

Pac-12

 

Player of the Week: Arizona State forward Carrick Felix

Felix has been hot of late, as he’s averaged 20.8 points and 6.8 rebounds over the last four games. In two wins for the Sun Devils last week the senior scored 21 points in both contests, one of which being a 21-point, 12-rebound outing in ASU’s 90-70 win over Sacramento State on Saturday.

 

Buffs need to refocus in order to avoid skid: Saturday began a tough three-game stretch for Tad Boyle’s team, and the Buffaloes suffered their first loss of the season at Wyoming. It can be argued that Colorado was playing with fire heading into that game in Laramie given their need for overtime to survive Omar Strong (39 points) and Texas Southern. And the road doesn’t get easier either, with Colorado State visiting on Wednesday ahead of a Saturday afternoon game at No. 9 Kansas. Spencer Dinwiddie (24 points) and Andre Roberson (16 points, 12 rebounds) led the way in Colorado’s 76-69 loss at Wyoming, but as a team the Buffs turned the ball over 17 times and Askia Booker shot 2-of-13 from the field. It’s safe to say that Colorado has to play better against both CSU and Kansas in order to have a shot at going 2-0 this week.

 

Schedule (Wednesday – Tuesday)

Wednesday

8:30 PM Hartford at Arizona State (Pac-12 Networks)

8:30 PM Boise State at Utah (Pac-12 Networks)

10 PM USC at No. 18 New Mexico (CBSSN)

10:30 PM Colorado State at Colorado (Pac-12 Networks)

11 PM No. 10 Gonzaga at Washington State (ESPNU)

 

Saturday

2 PM Cal State Northridge at Arizona State (Pac-12 Networks)

2 PM Colorado at No. 9 Kansas (ESPN2)

4 PM Grambling State at Oregon State (Pac-12 Networks)

5:15 PM UCLA at Texas (ESPN)

6 PM Idaho State at Oregon (Pac-12 Networks)

8 PM No. 8 Arizona at Clemson (ESPN2)

8 PM Nevada at Washington (Pac-12 Networks)

9 PM Utah at BYU (BYUtv)

10:30 PM No. 14 Minnesota at USC (Pac-12 Networks)

 

Sunday

3 PM Fresno State at Washington State (Pac-12 Networks)

6 PM No. 21 UNLV at California (ESPNU)

 

WCC

 

Player of the Week: San Francisco forward Cole Dickerson

The nation’s leading rebounder was at it again in the Dons’ lone game last week, scoring 19 points and grabbing 20 rebounds in USF’s win over Montana. On the season Dickerson is averaging 15.0 rebounds per game, and has posted four double-doubles in the last five games.

 

Ugly three-game skid for the Toreros: With all five starters back San Diego is a team some think is poised to make a jump in the WCC standings. However if the three games before their 67-53 win at Southern Utah on Tuesday night are any indication, there may be a need to hold off on that for the time being. Bill Grier’s team has lost three straight games, falling to score more than 60 points in two of those contest. The worst game of the stretch was the first, a 57-39 loss at UCSB. With guards Johnny Dee and Christopher Anderson leading the way USD has the talent needed to be a top half of the WCC team. But averaging just 63.9 points per game won’t be enough to beat out the likes of Loyola Marymount and Santa Clara in the race for fourth behind Gonzaga, Saint Mary’s and BYU.

 

Schedule (Wednesday – Tuesday)

Wednesday

8:05 PM Saint Mary’s at Drake

8:35 PM Loyola Marymount at Northern Arizona

9:05 PM Utah State at BYU (BYUtv)

10 PM UC Riverside at Pepperdine

11 PM No. 10 Gonzaga at Washington State (ESPNU)

 

Saturday

12 PM Portland at Kentucky (ESPN2)

8 PM San Francisco at Pacific

9 PM Utah at BYU (BYUtv)

9 PM Tulane at San Diego

10 PM No. 13 Illinois at No. 10 Gonzaga (ESPN2)

10 PM Pacific Union at Santa Clara

12 AM Pepperdine at Hawai’i

 

Tuesday

10 PM Santa Clara at San Jose State

10 PM Arizona Christian at San Diego

10 PM Jackson State at Saint Mary’s

 

WAC

 

Player of the Week: Louisiana Tech guard Raheem Appleby

Appleby led the Bulldogs to wins over Southeastern Louisiana and Georgia State with averages of 28.0 points, 5.0 rebounds and 2.0 assists per game. In the 86-68 win at Georgia State the sophomore tallied a career-high 34 points (14-of-19 FG) and seven rebounds.

 

Spartans need to take better care of the basketball: After their 1-1 week there should be little doubt that San Jose State can score points, with the prolific James Kinney leading the way. But if the Spartans are to be more than a middle of the pack team in the WAC they have to take better care of the basketball. Through six games San Jose State is averaging 17.3 turnovers per game, most recently handing the ball over 22 times in an 82-74 win at Montana State. SJSU may have scored just 57 in their loss at Kansas, but a team that makes 46% of its shots and averages 76 points per game isn’t going to make a habit out of shooting 29% from the field. That’s why valuing the basketball will be of utmost importance for the Spartans as they approach WAC play. Clean that area up and San Jose State may be able to surprise some people.

 

Schedule (Wednesday – Tuesday)

Wednesday

8 PM Oral Roberts at Texas State

9 PM Mercer at Denver

9:05 PM Utah State at BYU (BYUtv)

10 PM San Jose State at UC Davis

 

Thursday

9 PM Idaho at Eastern Washington

 

Saturday

2 PM UTSA at USC Upstate

3 PM Texas-Pan American at Texas State

7:30 PM Sacramento State at San Jose State

8 PM Southern Miss at Louisiana Tech

9 PM Idaho at UTEP

9:05 PM Western Oregon at Utah State

 

Tuesday

10 PM Santa Clara at San Jose State

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