Remembering the 2014 Seniors: Ryan Watkins

April 2, 2014

This week BroncoSports.com takes a look back at the careers that comprised one of the most accomplished senior classes in Boise State basketball history. Thomas Bropleh, Jeff Elorriaga and Ryan Watkins finished their stay at Boise State with 77 wins and two postseason appearances.

Only five Broncos have won more games in the Blue and Orange than Bropleh, Elorriaga and Watkins; but perhaps no four-year trio has resurrected Bronco basketball quite the way they did. With the wins piling up, attendance soared during their careers and the members of the class of 2014 fit the role of fan favorites.

The series continues with a look at Ryan Watkins. Watch the video below and join the conversation on Twitter by using the hashtag #WatkinsWednesday.

Watkins Wednesday
Judging by the number of rebounds Ryan Watkins gobbled up this past season, most Bronco fans probably would not be surprised to see Watkins walking around campus with a hard hat and lunch pail. Watkins turned in one of the most prolific rebounding seasons in Boise State history by averaging 10.6 rebounds per game. Couple that with a steady 11.9 points per game, and you have the first Bronco to average a double-double since 1971-1972.

From the start of the season Watkins showed flashes of the workman-like play that would soon become his staple. By the end of non-conference play, he was averaging 9.6 points and 8.6 rebounds per game. Little did we know, he was only scratching the surface on what would become a historic season.

Once Mountain West play began, Watkins began turning in double-doubles on almost a nightly basis. He compiled a six-game double-double streak midway through the conference season where he averaged an eye-popping 14.3 points and 15 rebounds per game. During this stretch he logged a season-high 22 rebounds on January 21 at New Mexico, good for No. 2 in the country for most rebounds in a game.

In Watkins' first 96 career games, he recorded just six double-doubles. In his senior season, he exploded for 17 doubles-doubles, ranking him No. 7 nationally and giving him the most double-doubles in a season in Boise State's Division I era that began in 1970-1971.

Most notably, Watkins led the country in offensive rebounds in 2013-2014. While many of his 170 offensive rebounds resulted in put-backs, Watkins seemed to always exercise the correct judgment in sometimes kicking the ball back out to the perimeter to either re-start the offense or find one of his teammates for an open shot.

Watkins contributed 22 points and 15 rebounds to Boise State's thrilling 91-90 overtime victory over UNLV on February 22, and recorded a season-high 27 points on Senior Night against Nevada on March 5.

A 2013-2014 All-Mountain West Second Team selection, Watkins logged 1,070 points (No. 19 in school history) and 814 rebounds (No. 2 in school history) over the course of his career. He set or tied single-season Mountain West records for rebounds, rebounds averaged, offensive rebounds, and double-doubles during conference games.

Being a true iron horse, it is fitting that Watkins is now tied for most games played in school history with 130.

 


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