Men's Hoops Hosts GCU Wednesday
Dec. 12, 2017
WATCH: The game will air on the Mountain West Network.
LISTEN: Radio coverage of Wednesday’s game will be broadcast on the Bronco Radio Network, with 670 KBOI serving as the flagship station. Bob Behler will handle play-by-play duties with Abe Jackson as the analyst.
ABOUT GRAND CANYON: Led by 14-year NBA veteran Dan Majerle, the Antelopes are coming off back-to-back 20-win seasons in just their fifth season as a Division I school. Wednesday’s contest will also be Grand Canyon’s first true road game this season.
Guards Joshua Braun (15.4 ppg) and Casey Benson (10.4 ppg) are the team’s leading scorers while forward Keonta Vernon anchors the inside with 7.4 rebounds and 7.9 points per game.
Wednesday’s game will be the first meeting between the two schools.
9-1 RECORD: The team’s 9-1 record ties for the best 10-game start to a season in school history and is the best since the 1988-89 season when the team also started 9-1. The only previous season with a 9-1 record was in 1987-88 when the team went 16-1 before picking up its second loss.
NON-CONFERENCE STREAK: Since the start of the 2014-15 season, the Broncos have maintained a perfect 23-0 record in non-conference home games. The 23-game home winning streak is the longest in the Mountain West and tied for the 12th longest in the nation. If Boise State is to defeat Grand Canyon Wednesday, it will mark a four-season undefeated run in non-conference games at Taco Bell Arena.
HOT HAND JESSUP: Justinian Jessup is shooting an incredible 54.9 percent from behind the arc with already 39 3-pointers on the season, ranking No. 4 in the nation in both categories. The sophomore has made five or more threes in four-straight games and leads the team in scoring, averaging 15.3 points per game.
HUTCH 1,000 POINTS: Chandler Hutchison is just 15 points shy of becoming the 28th 1,000-point scorer in program history. After scoring 302 combined points in his freshman and sophomore seasons, Hutchison exploded for 557 points last season and already has 126 in 2017-18.
The last Bronco to score 1,000 points was Nick Duncan (2013-17), as he finished his Bronco career with 1,141.
In addition, the Mission Viejo, Calif., native’s versatility continues to be off the charts as his averages of 14.0 points, 8.6 rebounds and 4.3 assists per game makes him just one of four players in the nation currently averaging at least 13 points, eight rebounds and four assists per game.
SENGFELDER MAKING THINGS HAPPEN: While the senior’s surface-level statistics of 11.7 points and 5.9 rebounds per game illuminate his importance to the team, the advanced statistic that best shows his value is his team-best season plus/minus of +26.8 points per 40 minutes. Simply put, when Sengfelder is on the floor, the Broncos almost always outscore their opponent for that period of time.
3-POINT MATCHUP: Wednesday’s game against Grand Canyon will feature a “strength-on-strength” matchup as Boise State’s 3-point shooting prowess (120 made 3-pointers | No. 5 in nation) will be tested against Grand Canyon’s ability to defend the three (27.1% 3-point field goal defense | No. 11 in nation). The play behind the arc will undoubtedly be a key to the game.
The Broncos continue to defend the three at a high level, as well, as they are one spot ahead of the Antelopes in the nation for 3-point field goal defense at 26.7 percent (No. 10).
APPEARANCE IN BOTH POLLS: Boise State received points in both the Associated Press and USA Today Coaches’ Polls earlier this week. The USA Today Coaches’ Poll saw the Broncos receive eight points while the AP awarded them two points. The last time the Broncos were ranked was March 9, 2015 when the AP Poll slotted them at No. 25. That appearance in the top 25 is the school’s lone all-time appearance, as well.
REBOUNDING BY COMMITTEE: The Broncos currently possess a rebounding margin average of +9.7 that is first in the Mountain West and No. 16 in the nation, but the effort on the glass hasn’t been the product of one’s player’s effort. The Blue and Orange have four players averaging at least rebounds five per game: Hutchison (8.6 rpg), Chris Sengfelder (5.9 rpg), Zach Haney (5.5 rpg) and Jessup (5.4 rpg).
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