Inside the Paint with Zach Moritz
Our first road trip is under our belt and was a fairly successful one at that. To go on the road and get revenge wins not once but twice, I can’t complain. It felt very familiar to enter Jenny Craig Pavilion at USD and come out with a strong performance. Just two years ago we went in there and played our hearts out en route to a road win and this time was no different. The stats don’t lie, as our rebounding and defensive efforts seem to be what’s pacing our winning record. All that defensive drilling and preseason preparation is starting to show in our success.

UC Davis was a weird one for us. From the match-ups to the pace of the game the Aggies presented some first-half difficulties. Coach Rice rightfully singled out a few individuals with a passionate half-time plea that was inspiring to say the very least. And in return we responded. Paced by great guard play and freshman Ryan Watkins’ rebounding and offensive activity we came out and turned a two-point halftime deficit into a 20-point win. After that road sweep was completed it was all smiles and jokes along the boring journey back. Since it was an earlier afternoon game we showered and then bused immediately from the gym to the Oakland airport, where we were delayed two hours until finally returning to a snow-filled Boise around 9 p.m.

With the dorms closed for the holiday week our house might as well have been called Hotel Highland St. Along with the normal tenants of Paul Noonan, myself and Drew Wiley, we also hosted freshmen Jeff Elorriaga, Thomas Bropleh and Ryan Watkins. To earn their rent they chipped in with household chores such as the dishes and trash duty. It made for an entertaining, but at times overwhelming, energy to our already interesting household dynamics.

On a personal level, I feel beyond blessed to have had my family safely arrive in time for Thanksgiving. Not only was I pleased to have them witness our dominant play over Eastern Washington and Denver, but excited to relax and enjoy their company. I know not all of my teammates are fortunate enough to have that luxury so I’m always sure to soak up their presence. Speaking of those two games it was nice to see them fairly well attended. To have roughly 3,000 fans pour in during a holiday week that’s void of student support was great.

As I type we are en route to back to Boise. Our Chicago trip to take on Northern Illinois was about as successful as it could have been. The focus and urgency we played with was on display as we not only won by roughly 30 points but also held a future NBA player in Xavier Silas well below his average. Before he dealt with the Broncos he was second in the nation in scoring at 28.8 points per game…we held him to 9 points. Since we’ve begun to get the ball rolling on the hardwood I know we all hope the fans will begin to pour into their seats at Taco Bell Arena. This Sunday we take on Long Beach State at 2 p.m., see you there.

Thanks for reading!

- Zach

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