Here is my question-and-answer session with Dave Southorn, who covers Boise State men’s basketball for the Idaho Statesman, about Saturday’s game with the University of Wyoming.
Tip off is at 2 p.m. MT at Taco Bell Arena in Boise, Idaho.
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Take us through the shot by James Webb III in the loss at Colorado State Wednesday night in terms of what you saw and the entire decision-making process from the officials. What is your take on the whole situation, and how do you think the team will respond after the loss?
I’ve never seen anything like it…and spending the last three days writing about 0.8
seconds of one game, I still don’t get it. The Mountain West was in a no-win situation, but offering an explanation Thursday that wound up being wrong (timer was not synced to arena’s clock), it made it worse. Webb clearly got the shot off, and it clearly had an effect with a poor start to the second overtime. I’m not sure if Boise State should have been given the win retroactively, but I think it would’ve probably created a whole lot less negativity for the league. The team was understandably upset, and coach Leon Rice said the continuing drama hasn’t helped, but this team needs wins now, so it can’t let it slow them down.
The Broncos have lost four of their last five games heading into Saturday’s game with Wyoming. What has happened during that time that has led to the struggles?
Most of it traces back to defense, especially in the second half. In those four losses, they’ve been horrible, giving up 43.2, 62.5, 56.5 and 57.1 percent shooting after halftime. The team’s shooting also was pretty bad until Wednesday, when they made a school-record 18 3s, but again, that would win most games, but only one offensive rebound in regulation didn’t help.
Looked like coach Leon Rice changed up the starting lineup and rotation somewhat at Colorado State. How do you think that worked out and should we expect the same thing for Saturday’s game?
It worked pretty well, starting Montigo Alford for the first time since Nov. 16, and he scored a career-high 25 points against the Rams. Rice was really stunned after losing to Air Force and said changes had to be made. I’d expect it to continue, though I’m not convinced Anthony Drmic and Nick Duncan will come off the bench again (they’d started every game in which they’d played this season), but I think there will be some additional minutes for guys that maybe hadn’t seen as much time the first three-quarters of the season.
What were some of your biggest takes from the first game at Wyoming where the Broncos own by 10 points?
Like most at the A-A, I had to wonder what sort of difference it would’ve made with Josh Adams in the game, though it seemed the Cowboys did a great job moving the ball in the
first half before kind of settling for a lot of 3s in the last 20 minutes. It showed to me, even before the recent skid, that Boise State can just as easily beat and lose to any team in the league. What was a positive for Boise State was that they could win on the road without a big game from Webb, and they kept firing up 3s because Wyoming was clamping down on him near the block. They’ll need multiple guys to contribute again if Wyoming can shoot like it did the first meeting, plus with Adams back in the mix.
What will you be watch for Saturday, and how do you see the game unfolding?
It will be really interesting to see if Boise State starts hot, a little fired up after Wednesday, back home and the accumulation of the last two weeks. Will Lonnie Jackson and Nick Duncan have open shots again? I doubt it, but that will mean more for Webb, who hasn’t had his best games in the Broncos’ losses. But the biggest thing will be how Boise State defends in the second half. If they are even average, they probably will win, because the offense rarely has lapses like it did late against Air Force. And I’ll be curious how the Broncos try and slow down Adams after not seeing him the first time around and getting crushed by him in the MW Tournament last season. They’ll focus on him, for sure, but they’re aware of McManamen, especially after what he did the first meeting.
Cowboys game day
Game: Wyoming (12-13 overall, 5-7 Mountain West) at Boise State (16-9, 7-5)
When: 2 p.m. today
Where: Taco Bell Arena, Boise, Idaho
TV: CBS Sports Network
Radio: KFBC (1240 AM) Cheyenne; KCGY (96.1 FM) Laramie