Broncos Open MW Championship Against Air Force
March 11, 2015

Boise State Game Notes

Mountain West Championship Quarterfinal
No. 1 Boise State vs No. 9 Air Force
Thursday, March 12 | Noon PT | Las Vegas (Thomas & Mack Center)

TV: CBS Sports Network
DirecTV 221 | Dish 158 | Cable ONE 139/1139
Play-by-Play: Dave Ryan | Analyst: Bob Wenzel | Sideline: Evan Washburn

Radio: Bronco Radio Network (Listen Live)
Play-by-Play: Bob Behler | Analyst: Abe Jackson

THE GAME: Boise State men's basketball opens the 2015 Mountain West Championship Thursday, in a quarterfinal matchup at Noon PT / 1 p.m. MT. The Broncos are the No. 1 seed and will face No. 9 Air Force. The tournament is held at Thomas & Mack Center in Las Vegas.

THE MATCHUP: Air Force defeated No. 8 New Mexico 68-61, Wednesday in the tournament's opening round to set up the third meeting of the season between the Broncos and Falcons. Boise State swept the regular-season series from Air Force. The last time the Broncos beat a team three times in one season was 2008, against Hawai'i. Boise State leads the all-time series 6-3. This will be the first meeting between the two schools in the conference tournament.

MW CHAMPS: Boise State went 14-4 in Mountain West play to win a share of the conference championship with San Diego State. The Broncos swept the season series from the Aztecs to earn the No. 1 seed in the conference tournament. It is Boise State's first Mountain West title, sixth conference championship in school history and the first since 2007-08 (Western Athletic Conference).

NO. 1 SEED HISTORY: Boise State enters its conference tournament as the No. 1 seed for the fourth time in program history and first in the Mountain West. Previously, the most recent occurrence was the 1999 Big West Tournament. Boise State was also the No. 1 team in the 1988 and 1989 Big Sky Tournaments. The Broncos won the 1988 tournament.

BRINGING HOME THE HARDWARE: Boise State cleaned up in Mountain West postseason awards voting. Derrick Marks was named MW Player of the Year and first-team all-conference. James Webb III was selected as the MW Newcomer of the Year, a second-team choice and a member of the all-defensive team. Leon Rice was named MW Coach of the Year. The MW postseason awards were voted on by the league's coaches. Media members who cover the league held an independent vote and bestowed the same honors on the Broncos. Marks was the unanimous choice for player of the year among the media vote.

RECEIVING RECOGNITION: Boise State is ranked No. 25 in this week's Associated Press Top 25 Poll. It is the first time in school history the Broncos have broken into the rankings. Boise State picked up 82 points in the poll, appearing on 29 of 65 ballots and checking in as high as No. 21 on two of them. Boise State received 30 points in the latest USA Today Coaches' Poll, the second team outside the top 25. Boise State has never been ranked by the coaches.

A SEASON FOR THE AGES: Derrick Marks is the first Bronco to be named Mountain West Player of the Year and the fourth conference MVP in program history. Marks is Boise State's first league player of the year since Roberto Bergersen in 1998-99, in the Big West.

GOOD OMEN: James Webb III is the third Bronco to win a conference's Newcomer of the Year Award and the first since 1996. Previously, Arnell Jones (1987) and Joe Wyatt (1996) earned the honor in the Big Sky Conference. In their next season, both Jones and Wyatt were named first-team all-conference. Jones was the 1988 Big Sky Player of the Year.

MW COACH OF THE YEAR: Leon Rice was named the Mountain West Coach of the Year, in a vote of fellow conference coaches. It is the sixth time a Boise State coach has been named conference coach of the year and Rice is the fourth different Bronco head man to earn the honor. He was also selected coach of the year in a separate vote by MW media members.

DISTRICT HONOR: The United States Basketball Writers Association (USBWA) named Leon Rice the District VIII Coach of the Year. District VIII encompasses all Division I schools in Wyoming, Utah, Idaho, New Mexico, Colorado, Nevada and Montana. Rice is the first Boise State head coach to earn the distinction from the USBWA. Greg Graham earned the NABC District 13 Coach of the Year Award in 2007-08. NABC districts are determined by conference.

ALL-MW FIRST-TEAM: Derrick Marks is the first Bronco to be named first-team All-Mountain West. Marks is the 20th different first-team all-conference honoree in Boise State history and the first since La'Shard Anderson in 2011 (WAC). In 10 seasons in the WAC, Boise State collected just four first-team all-league honors. Marks was a unanimous choice for player of the year and first team in a separate media vote.

ALL-DISTRICT: Derrick Marks was selected to the USBWA All-District VIII Team. District VIII encompasses all Division I schools in Wyoming, Utah, Idaho, New Mexico, Colorado, Nevada and Montana. It is the second straight season a Bronco laded on the list. Anthony Drmic was named to the all-district team last year. Marks becomes just the fourth Boise State honoree in the last decade.

ALL-MW SECOND TEAM: Redshirt sophomore James Webb III was named All-Mountain West Second Team by the conference coaches. It is the third straight year the Broncos have been represented on the second team. Anthony Drmic was a second-team choice each of the last two seasons, with Derrick Marks joining him in 2012-13 and Ryan Watkins also making the team in 2013-14.

ALL-DEFENSIVE TEAM: James Webb III was selected to the Mountain West All-Defensive Team by the conference coaches. Webb is the first Bronco to earn the honor in the Mountain West. A Bronco was named to the WAC All-Defensive Team seven times, most recently La'Shard Anderson in 2011. Jason Ellis (2004 and 2005) is the only two-time honoree in Boise State history.

LEAGUE LEADER: Derrick Marks leads the Mountain West in scoring at 19.6 points per game. Marks averaged 21.3 points per game in conference play, also the top mark. His scoring average in league games was the fourth-highest in conference history.

TOP OF THE MOUNTAIN: Derrick Marks ranks No. 6 in Mountain West history with 1,859 points in his career. Marks has a chance to break into the top four. He needs 17 points to take over fifth and 40 points to eclipse fourth place. With 41 points Marks would become the fourth player in MW history to score 1,900 points. Anthony Drmic has 1,528 points to rank No. 13 in conference history.

LEAVING HIS MARKS: Senior Derrick Marks is in the midst of one of the greatest seasons in school history and it could lead him to the career scoring record. Marks is 86 points from breaking Tanoka Beard's school record of 1,944 points. If Marks breaks the record, he will score at least 654 points this season. That would rank No. 2 all-time at Boise State. The record is 661, accomplished by Reggie Larry in 2007-08 in 34 games. Only three times in school history has a Bronco averaged 20 points per game.

INSIDE OUT: James Webb III has excelled scoring close to the basket and from the three-point line this seaosn. In MW play, half of Webb`s field goal attempts came from beyond the arc. He shot 44.9 percent from three-point range, No. 3 in the conference. Webb also tallied a team-high 15 dunks in the 18 MW games, helping him shoot 65.4 percent from inside the arc.

BIG PLUS: In MW play, Boise State outscored its opponents by 211 points while James Webb III was on the floor, the largest margin of any Bronco. Opponents averaged just 56.9 points per 40 minutes with Webb on the floor, while Boise State averaged 71.7.

BRONCOS BOUNCE BACK: Two weeks into the conference slate, Boise State left Laramie, Wyo., 0-3 in league play, a half game ahead of last place and three and a half games behind first place. The Broncos responded with eight straight wins, and closed the regular season winning 14 of 15 to claim a share of the regular season conference championship. Boise State also earned the No. 1 seed in the Mountaint West Championship by virue of a season sweep over San Diego State.

24 AND COUNTING: Boise State has won 24 games this season with at least two contests remaining. (the Broncos earned an automatic berth to the NIT if necessary). The 24 wins are tied for the second most in program history. It is also Leon Rice's highest single-season win total. The school record for wins in a season is 25, accomplished in 2007-08.

GETTING DEFENSIVE: Boise State has held a school-record nine opponents to fewer than 50 points this season, including five of its last nine games. The Broncos limited a school-record six conference foes to fewer than 50 points, including twice doing so to consecutive opponents. The last time the Broncos held consecutive conference opponents in the 40s was 1999. Boise State has held an opponent under 50 points 15 times in the Leon Rice era, nine of those games have come this season. The Broncos are 14-1 overall in those games, including a 8-1 mark this season.

MW TOURNAMENT HISTORY: Boise State picked up its first win at the MW Championship last season. The No. 6-seed Broncos were victorious twice, earning a spot in the semifinal where they lost 70-67 to eventual tournament champion New Mexico. The Broncos had lost in the quarterfinals against San Diego State each of its first two seasons. A complete conference tournament record book is at the back of the release.

AT CONFERENCE TOURNAMENTS: Boise State has won five conference tournament championships in program history. The Broncos took home the WAC title in 2008. The previous four championships came in the Big Sky, winning conference tournaments in 1976, 1988, 1993 and 1994. Boise State has played in the semifinal round of a conference tournament 16 times, advancing to the championship game 10 times. The most recent trip to a tournament final was 2011 in the WAC during Leon Rice's first season.

THE ONLY ONE: Boise State is the only school from the Football Bowl Subdivision to capture a share of its regular-season conference championship in both football and men's basketball.

ON HARDWOOD AND GRIDIRON: Boise State captured a share of the Mountain West regular-season championship in both football and men's basketball in 2014-15, just the sixth time since the inception of the league that one school claimed both titles in the same year. Boise State is the only current MW school to have accomplished the feat. Utah did it in 1999-2000, 2004-05 and 2008-09, and BYU did it in 2006-07 and 2007-08.

A WINNING COMBINATION: Boise State captured a share of the conference championship in both football and men's basketball for the first time since 1975-76, when the school was in the Big Sky Conference.

HOLDING COURT: Boise State is 62-15 at Taco Bell Arena under head coach Leon Rice, including a 33-2 mark in nonconference games. Boise State has won 41 of its last 47 overall at home.

WINNING AWAY FROM HOME: Boise State has won 11 games away from Taco Bell Arena this season. The Broncos are one of 30 teams in the country with at least 11 wins away from home. Of those 30, they are one of just 12 to also rank in the top 40 of the RPI. It is the third-most wins away from home in school history, trailing only the 14 posted in 2007-08 and 12 in 1998-99.


» «