Broncos Make Road Trip to Face Conference Elite
BRONCOS MAKE ROAD TRIP TO CONFERENCE ELITE: The Boise State men’s basketball team is off to its best start in over a decade as the Broncos are 12-3, 3-0 in WAC play, however this week they will be put to the test as they travel to Nevada (9-7, 2-1 WAC) and the top seeded Utah State (15-1, 3-0 WAC). The Broncos will make their first stop in Reno to take on the Wolf Pack, Thursday, Jan. 15, at 7:05 p.m. (PST), before traveling down to Logan to take on the Aggies, Saturday, Jan. 17, at 7:05 p.m. (MST).
ABOUT THE NEVADA WOLF PACK (9-7, 2-1 WAC): The five-time defending WAC champions return from the road to start a three-game homestand, which opens against the Broncos ... This season, the Wolf Pack has posted a record of 5-4 when playing at home, with their last loss in the Lawlor Events Center coming in their WAC season opener against Idaho, falling to the Vandals, 73-78 ... Nevada has lost its last two home games, but picked up a pair of wins on the road last week ... Leading the way for the Wolf Pack is freshman Luke Babbitt, who was named last week’s WAC Player of the Week ... Babbitt averages 15.2 points (seventh in the WAC in scoring) and 7.3 rebounds (fifth in the WAC in rebounding) per game ... Defensively, look out for freshman Dario Hunt to make his presence known as he leads the conference in blocked shots with 31, averaging 1.98 per game ... As a team, Nevada tops the WAC in steals (7.44 spg) and turnover margin (+2.62).
LAST TIME AGAINST NEVADA (FEBRUARY 14, 2008): Reggie Larry scored 20 points, Matt Nelson added 19 and Matt Bauscher had a career-best 10 rebounds to lead Boise State past Nevada 77-68 ... Boise State, which leads the nation in field goal percentage, rode 62 percent shooting to build a 42-30 halftime lead, then held off Nevada in the second half ... The Wolf Pack cut Boise State's lead to 58-53 with 9:33 left, But four consecutive free throws by Larry and Nelson, and a Nelson basket put the Broncos back ahead by 11 with 8 minutes left ... Marcelus Kemp led Nevada's second half comeback with 17 of his 22 points in the second half ... Brandon Fields added 12 for the Wolf Pack (16-9, 8-4 WAC) and Armon Johnson had 11 ... Boise State set the tone early, jumping out to an 11-0 lead and never trailing ... Nevada was hindered when starting forward Demarshay Johnson left the game early with an ankle sprain and didn't return until late in the game. He scored only 2 points.
THE BRONCOS AGAINST THE WOLF PACK: While Nevada leads the series 33-20, Boise State swept the Wolf Pack last season, winning by a margin of 7.0 points ... Last season’s, Boise State swept both games from Nevada for the first time since the 1998-99 season ... The season sweep also broke a four-game winning streak in the series against Nevada ... Since Greg Graham took over at the helm of the program, he is 4-9 against the Wolf Pack, and owns a record of 3-9 when coaching against Nevada’s Mark Fox.
ABOUT THE UTAH STATE AGGIES (15-1, 3-0 WAC): The Utah State Aggies are currently on a 10-game winning streak for the second consecutive season and is tied for the third-longest winning streak under head coach Stew Morrill behind the 1999-2000 team that won 19 straight and the 2003-04 team that won 17 straight ... The Aggies have won 26 straight games in the Dee Glen Smith Spectrum, which is the fourth-longest active home winning streak in the country ... Look for two-time WAC Player of the Week Gary Wilkinson to lead the way for Utah State as he ranks second in the WAC in both scoring (17.4 ppg) and rebounding (8.5 rpg), while sitting at third in the conference in both field goal percentage (.648) and free throw percentage (.820) ... As a team, Utah State leads the conference in scoring defense (59.6 ppg), scoring margin (+14.2), free throw percentage (.730), field goal percentages (.520), rebounding defense (26.0 rpg), rebounding margin (+9.6), assists (16.63 apg) and assist/turnover ratio (1.40).
LAST TIME AGAINST UTAH STATE (MARCH 14, 2008): Utah State coach Stew Morrill insisted there wasn't much separating the Western Athletic Conference's top four teams, and Boise State sure proved him right ... Matt Bauscher and Reggie Larry each scored 23 points and Aaron Garner came off the bench for a career-high 14 as fourth-seeded Boise State beat the Aggies 88-78 in the WAC semifinals ... Tyler Tiedeman also had 14 for the Broncos, who did a defensive number on Utah State's Jaycee Carroll, the WAC's leading scorer with a 22.7 average ... The sharp-shooting Carroll, the conference player of the year, finished with 20 points but went scoreless over a 21-minute span that began in the first half ... Bauscher had a strong night, making 8-of-10 from the field, including a 5-for-6 effort from 3-point range ... Stephen DuCharme scored 17 for Utah State, which had its six-game winning streak end ... Tyler Newbold scored 16 and Gary Wilkinson had 12.
THE BRONCOS AGAINST THE AGGIES: The Utah State Aggies lead the all-time series 21-7, but Boise State was victorious in the last meeting to avoid a season sweep by Utah State ... The Broncos have never won a game against the Aggies when playing in Logan ... Coach Greg Graham is 2-5 all time against Utah State ... In the five games won by the Aggies, the game was decided by 5 points or less in three or those games, with their average margin of victory being 6.4 points ... In the two games won by the Broncos under Graham, Boise State’s average margin of victory is 10.5 points.
RADIO: KIDO (580 & 630 AM) in Boise, will broadcast the game live with Bob Behler providing the play-by-play. Former Boise State basketball player Abe Jackson handles color commentary. The games can also be heard on the Boise State Broncos Radio Network in Twin Falls (KSNQ 98.3 FM), Pocatello (KWIK 1240AM), Idaho Falls (KID 590AM), Sun Valley (KYZK 107.5FM), and McCall (KDZY 98.3 FM). KIDO, which is in its first year as the home of the Broncos, will broadcast every Boise State game. Please note that Thursday’s game at Nevada will only be broadcast on 580, while Saturday’s game will be available on both 580 and 630 AM.
TELEVISION: While the game at Nevada will not be televised in Boise, you can catch the game on KIDO radio with Bob and Abe on KIDO (580 AM). However, feed of Saturday’s game at Utah State will be aired on 24/7, starting at 7 p.m. (MST).
BRONCOS ON THE INTERNET: Fans can log on to broncosports.com and watch all home games. By becoming a Bronco Vision premium subscription member, Boise State fans will receive access to live games, past games, seasonal highlights, special features and interviews that can only be seen by paying the membership price of $9.95 per month or $69.95 per year. Bronco Vision members will need a high speed internet connection. Live stats can be found at broncosports.com to follow the game on game tracker.
BRONCO OF THE WEEK: Junior Anthony Thomas led Boise State in scoring in both of the Broncos games last week as they opened WAC play at home, posting wins over both San Jose State and Hawaii ... Against San Jose State, Thomas led all scorers with 19 points, shooting a perfect 5-for-5 from beyond the arc ... Boise State went on to beat the Spartans 84-64, not only marking their 12th consecutive victory over San Jose State, but marks the first time the Broncos have posted a 20 point victory over a WAC team since Feb. 7, 2007 when Boise State beast Idaho 86-63 ... The guards impressive play continued into Saturday as he tallied 13 points to lead Boise State to a 54-49 win over Hawaii ... Thomas was crucial in the Broncos win as he made a 3-pointer when the game was tied at 47 a piece with 2:15 left on the clock, giving Boise State the lead for good ... He clinched the game with 25 seconds left as he came up with a big steal, making a fast break for a layup, putting the Broncos up 53-41 ... The win over Hawaii marked the second straight season in which Boise State has completed a season sweep over the Rainbow Warriors ... On the week, Thomas averaged 16.0 points per game, while shooting .706 (12-17) from the field, including .750 (6-8) from 3-point range, in addition to recording seven assists, four rebounds and four steals.
SWEET START: For the first time since joining the WAC, Boise State has started conference play with a perfect 3‐0 record ... The last time the Broncos started conference play at 3‐0 was during the 1998‐99 season when Boise State posted a record of 21‐8, 12‐4 in the Big Sky under coach Rod Jensen, earning Big West Conference East Division Champions.
OUT OF THE GATES: The Broncos are off to their best start in over a decade with a 12-3 (3-0) record ... Greg Graham’s best record as Boise State’s head coach was last year with a 25-9 record. To find the second best all time Boise State record, you need to venture all the way back to the 1987-88 season in which the Broncos went 24-6 and lost to Michigan in the NCAA Tournament.
GAINING MOMENTUM: The Broncos have won six contests in a row ... It is the longest streak since they won 7 conference games in a row in the 2003-04 season, that saw them advance to the Sweet 16 of the NIT Tournament.
RPI WATCH: According the www.realtimerpi.com, Boise State is sitting at No. 48 on the RPI list out of the 343 eligible schools ... For the WAC, the next highest rated team is Utah State at No. 52 and lowest rated WAC team is Fresno State, coming in at No. 265.
TOURNAMENT WATCH: ESPN’s Bracketology with Joe Lunardi is a good source to gauge the upcoming NCAA Tournament ... Right now he has Boise State as the No. 13 seed in the Portland region ... If this prediction holds true, right now the Broncos would be going up against the No. 4 seed UCLA Bruins.
20-POINT PUSH: Boise State continued its winning streak over San Jose State this last week, beating the Spartans, 84-64 ... The win not only marked the 13th straight win over San Jose State, but the last time the Broncos posted a 20 point victory over a WAC team was Feb. 7, 2007 when Boise State beat Idaho, 86‐63.
COASTING OVER CALIFORNIA: Boise State has faced four teams from the state of California and currently own a record of 3-1 against those from the Golden State ... The Broncos only loss came to San Francisco ... Boise State is 2‐0 against teams from southern California and 1‐1 against those from northern California.
LAST MINUTE LEADS: No one can say the Broncos don’t know how to finish as they have posted a record of 12-0 when leading with five minutes left on the game clock ... Boise State also owns a 12-0 record when leading entering the final minute of play.
HIGH SCORING HALF: The 46 points scored in the first half of play against San Jose State were the second most points scored by the Broncos in a half this season ... Boise State recorded 46 in the second half in its 86‐85 win over Wyoming (Dec. 2, 2008) ... The only time the Broncos scored more was in their season opener against Pacific when they tallied 56 in the first half of play en route to a 100‐68 victory ... In addition, Boise State’s 18 point lead over San Jose State marked the second largest point margin in which the Broncos had over an opponent entering the half ... The largest point margin the Broncos had at the half was 19 when they led Pacific 58‐39 at the half, Nov. 14., and went on to win, 100-68.
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