Inside The Paint With Zach Moritz

July 27, 2010

With our tentative schedule posted there were certainly a few intriguing games that caught my eye, specifically on the selfish side of things. For me, the marquee game worth noting is definitely the December 22nd road game against the University of Portland Pilots. I know this doesn't necessarily appeal to Bronco fans but this is about as good as it gets for my family and I. Hailing from Vancouver, Wash., makes Portland basically my big liberal backyard. So having the opportunity to play there during my senior year and at a time when people are home for the holidays is a gift in itself.

Speaking of going home our numbers are slowly trickling down as more and more of us wrap up our summer classes and take off for one last break before business really begins. And come the 28th of this month when my eight week course comes to an end, I'll be one of them. After taking a five-year hiatus from mathematics I am now three days away from the end of not only math class but also my Area III graduation requirements. It'll be a solid sigh of relief once I hand in that last exam and stroll out the door.

Just last Thursday Coach Schulz presented us with the pleasure of running the timed mile together. Thing is, it wasn't so pleasurable. Even with our advised times being structured relative to position and body build I feel it justifiable when I say that run was not made for people of my stature. At 6'11, 250 lbs it proved to be a struggle. Still I made it in a respectable time, as we all did. And as it was our first attempt all summer I was impressed that no one had a post-run puke.

For those fond of film I highly suggest that you make it your mission to check out Inception. Last weekend a few teammates and I went and left amazed and entertained. It's a visual spectacle in itself but is also full of awesome implicit meaning. I immediately looked forward to seeing it again as the multiple twists and deft dialogue kept me constantly engaged. If I were to describe it to a stranger I'd have to say it's a combo of The Matrix meets What Dreams May Come meets Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind. Figure that out...

That's about all I got though this post but next time I type, it'll be from home sweet home and with a slew of new news to ramble about.

Thanks for reading.


July 12, 2010

Hopefully everyone had a safe and enjoyable Fourth of July weekend. I know we all did. The mass majority of us headed out to McCall, Idaho to soak up that celebratory atmosphere and relax. I had been there and done that just last year so I opted for a more isolated getaway. Taking Forest Road 268 deep into Lucky Peak Reservoir, my girlfriend and I camped for a couple of days before heading back into Boise on the fourth to catch the fireworks display at Ann Morrison Park. It proved to be a near perfect weekend.

In the weeks preceding our nation's 234th birthday our coaches and players alike had all been working, coaching, and mentoring at our annual "Little Bronco Day Camp."  I know I speak for the consensus when I say that we all had a good time. Dealing with 6-12 year olds all day can be trying, but by the third and fourth days the response level and application of learned skills was evident in the camper's play and confidence.

A big "thank you" goes out to all those families and campers for trusting, participating with, and supporting our program with their children's attendance at camp. Hopefully we will see you all again next year and in years to come. Also, to all those who made it out to the first annual Boise Rec Fest at Ann Morrison Park your engagement and enthusiasm for basketball and our station was much appreciated.

Upon returning from the fourth's festivities, it's become apparent to me that our newbie's Tre' Nichols and Thomas Bropleh are turning the corner regarding their comfort level and acclimation here at Boise State. No longer are they wiped out by our workouts. In open gyms their play speaks for itself as both have had moments of dominance and finesse. They have tasted the lifestyle and demand both from a workout and school work perspective and are looking poised to have productive campaigns during their initial year as Broncos.

I recall my first few weeks here in Boise and I don't necessarily reflect upon them in a nostalgic manner. Coming out of high school as a scrawny post player I had never spent my time training in the weight room. Thus my days post workouts were spent sulking in a 100 degree summer, sore and fatigued.

Like any incoming freshman I was naturally naïve and fairly ignorant to what exactly it meant to be a Division I athlete. My rude awakening was real rude on all sorts of levels, some not worth delving into. But, I learned and matured and have made it this far without regrets and with a smile still on my face.

Thanks for reading!

-  Zach

June 28, 2010

Our summer session has begun with an abrupt and exciting energy. The weather is changing, our mentality is changing, and even our conference is changing. Although the majority of our senior-laden squad will no longer be student athletes when that latter change is made the intrigue and anticipation of joining the Mountain West Conference can't be denied. Six years ago at this time and at the height of my recruitment process the former coaching staff had made mention that a possibility of making the change was looming. So as a senior it's naturally surreal for me to know that that notion is finally coming to fruition.

Excitement aside, I can confidently assume that for the majority of Division 1 athlete's summer doesn't quite have the same lure that it once did. It is not an oasis from academics or a time to ease up on conditioning. In fact, quite the opposite as it's seen as an ample opportunity to get ahead, be it in the classroom or in our workouts.

Since returning from my two and a half week break back home my summer schedule has taken off. I spent my first weekend in an all day German Cinema workshop, where from 9:00AM-6:00PM Paul Noonan and I sat in a lecture hall watching, talking about, and analyzing roughly six very different acclaimed German films. Not necessarily physics or mechanical engineering but nine hours of anything wears you thin.

The rest of my schedule has been equally taxing. My weekdays, from seven to about noon, are spent in either study hall or in class. Followed by weight training, open gym, or individual shooting, my days usually end around five. So for those of you, who think student athletes have it easy, please think again. This is my summer schedule I'm rambling about and it's looking more like a nine to five than a break from the grind.

It's a fast yet slow pace here and escaping the monotonous routine is a must. With the weather now abiding that's not too tough to do. For me it's the simple things that break it up and keep me level. Riding my bike, floating the river, finding an outdoor event, catching a concert, and relaxing with my girlfriend are always on my mind. Some of my favorite escapes in Boise include frequenting The Flicks and or Record Exchange. Another adequate outlet in the past, and one I advise all athletes to partake in, has been yoga. Unfortunately I've been on the go so much as of late I haven't yet attended. But in the very near future I plan on getting to the Student Recreation Center and becoming a practitioner once more.

By the time you read this we will have been roughly a month into our summer schedule. And as a unit we are certainly becoming stronger, more cohesive, and more aware of each others strengths and weaknesses. With demands like ours it's hard not to form bonds and create chemistry. It's been no cake walk but we are certainly making noticeable strides, both on and off court.

Thanks for reading


June 14, 2010

Part one of my "summer vacation" is over. And making the transition from home cooked meals back to the reality of peanut butter toast, protein shakes, Mac and Cheese, and chicken breast sandwiches has hit me hard as of late. Since leaving home back in 2006 I have never and will never again take another homemade meal for granted. One of the few flaws of college independence is learning how to feed and fuel yourself on a daily basis and filling the void left by our workouts is no easy feat.

Now I, like any athlete who lives with the demands of their respective sport, tried to make the most out of my brief break at home. My time in Vancouver, Wash., was spent reconnecting with friends, seeing my family, working out, enjoying Portland, Ore., and taking a brief jaunt to Seattle, Wash.

To be frank, the workouts I did three days a week back home were pretty lax. Not having Coach Steve Schulz in my ear makes for a noteworthy difference when it comes to intensity and energy in the weight room. I however did find that pair of elements on the basketball court thanks to fellow Vancouver native, mentor, and ironically enough former Gonzaga standout Dan Dickau.

Dan organized both a slew of weekly pickup games as well as some individualized shooting sessions at his new Dan Dickau Basketball Academy. I won't name drop all that were in and out of the gym those weeks but the competition was consistently high. On one evening in particular my backcourt was being run by two former Gonzaga greats; with Derek Ravio at the point and Dickau at the two we ran off about seven games straight that night.

For those familiar with Gonzaga lore you know that Dan became a first team All-American while at Gonzaga, was later a first round pick in the 2002 NBA draft, and ultimately served as an integral part in building the foundational success that the Gonzaga program developed. It was him who I first consulted when I heard the news about Coach Rice and before I had even made mention of his hiring Dan responded with high praise and an obvious admiration. He would go on to rave about both how good of a man he was and how fond he had been of his coaching style.

In closing, one more relevant thing was mentioned regarding Coach Rice and the relationship his aforementioned former players had with him. A nickname. Its significance remains a mystery to me but to you fans who might be reading this, next time you happen to see Coach out and about be sure to call him, "Everyday." I guarantee it will result in a smile and some nostalgic response.

Thanks for reading


May 10, 2010

Hello there, my name is Zach Moritz and for those who don't know I'm entering the final stage of my career as a Boise State student-athlete. My career as a Bronco has spanned the course of the last four years. And on a personal performance based level it's been less than spectacular, as my opportunities have been few and far between. Granted I wouldn't trade my experiences here for anything. The knowledge I've obtained both on and off the court have molded me into the young man I am today and have prepared me for whatever challenges lie ahead.

Since coming to Boise to play basketball I've lived some of the highest highs and lowest lows that an athlete can experience; earning a conference title ring as a part of a WAC Championship squad, going to the NCAA tournament, overcoming multiple injuries (some season ending), and most recently dealing with the complete upheaval of an entire coaching staff. The latter of those elements has been unfolding day by day and is a transition that has thus far been going about as smoothly as I could have imagined.

With the hiring of Coach Leon Rice and his staff it's been apparent to me that the team is beginning to slowly crawl out of its funk. Rejuvenation, urgency, and excitement are outwardly showing themselves on the faces of and in the words spoken by my teammates. Seven seniors will lead this Bronco squad next season. For La'Shard Anderson, Robert "Reggie" Arnold, Sean Imadiyi, Daequon Montreal, Paul Noonan, Justin Salzwedel, and myself, this is it. Our last off season as college athletes has begun. The feeling on the court has been that everyone involved with the program, players and coaches alike have something to prove, not only to themselves but to the community and university as well. I am confident when I say that each of those aforementioned individuals is committed to going out with a bang and starting this new era of Bronco Basketball off with a purpose

Our mentality thus far as players has been centered on leadership and maturity. Since everyone's return from spring break we have been going at it non-stop. As a unit we have been in the gym competing and pushing one another at least five days a week. Be it in the weight room, a team practice, a position workout, or in an open gym situation, it's all been intense. To be frank, in just these last three weeks, we've been pushed harder than ever before. Ice baths and soreness have been abundant as of late, with many of us being limited to limping around campus probably looking about as haggard as can be.

A process that's been enjoyable for me to watch has been that of the new coaches getting acclimated; not only with us (the players) but with each other as well. The combination of coaches is quite a mix of personalities and styles but it's been meshing harmoniously. Coach Rice, Coach Dave Wojcik, Coach Jeff Linder, and Coach Shaun Vandiver are all passionate about basketball and about furthering this program. That much has been evident in our workouts. So far the staff seems to pride themselves on a few aspects they see as crucial to our overall success. Attention to detail, accountability, teamwork, urgency, and respect have all been implemented into our minds as a foundational framework.

Although we're barely a month into this evolving enterprise, and taking into account that I'm a little biased, I feel more than satisfied with the direction the University has taken. Changes are never easy, especially at my age when you're accustom to certain personnel and are comfortable in an already ingrained system. But I understand change is reality, and that in the long run it can turn out to be the best thing for all parties involved. And ultimately I have faith that the change which has been thrust upon us will in fact end up being for the best.

Thanks for reading


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