UW at Boise State men’s hoops Q&A

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.

Follow on Twitter: @IDS_Southorn

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

Dave Southorn

Dave Southorn

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.

Continue reading

UW at Boise State men’s basketball notes

Coming off its first bye of the conference season, the Wyoming men’s basketball team plays at Boise State at 2 p.m. Saturday at Taco Bell Arena in Boise. The game will be televised on CBS Sports Network.

So how did UW use its bye week — or at least its time not having a mid-week game?

Larry Shyatt

Larry Shyatt

Coach Larry Shyatt said the team took Sunday and Tuesday off. It practiced “hard” Monday, and “lifted hard and had a long individual skill development” workout Wednesday. The team began preparations for Boise State Thursday. The coaches also spent time on the road recruiting.

Boise State (16-9 overall, 7-5 Mountain West) has lost four of its last five games, including a crazy 97-93 double-overtime loss at Colorado State where a game-winning 3-pointer by junior James Webb III was ruled no good by the officials.

Here is the link from the MW’s statement about how that game ended: http://www.themw.com/news/mw-16-official-stmt-end1OT-bsu-csu-mbk

Continue reading

UW vs. Boise State men’s hoops Q&A

Here is my question-and-answer session with Dave Southorn, who covers Boise State men’s basketball for the Idaho Statesman, about today’s game with the University of Wyoming.

Tip off is at 2 p.m. MT at the Arena-Auditorium in Laramie.

Follow on Twitter: @IDS_Southorn

Boise State was predicted to be among the top teams in the Mountain West and has played like it at 14-5 overall and 5-1 in the conference. What have the Broncos done well when they’re winning, and what areas — if any — do they struggle?

Though some fans hoped they had at least one win against the likes of Michigan State and

Dave Southorn

Dave Southorn

Arizona (which they played twice), this is about as good as many had hoped the Broncos would be. They’ve done it thanks to a continued focus on increasing their athleticism, able to attack the basket but shoot with players like Nick Duncan and Anthony Drmic. The Boise State offense has been great against everyone except long, athletic squads like Arizona and San Diego State. Four players average at least 11.3 points per game, so options are aplenty. The Broncos haven’t been great in the half court defensively, with teams shooting 43.5 percent overall, but they have forced at least 15 turnovers in six of the last seven games.

Continue reading

MW men’s basketball power rankings

We enter the third week of conference play, and while there wasn’t a lot of movement among the top teams in my power rankings, there was some among other teams.

RPI rankings are from RealTimeRPI.com, and nine of the 11 MW teams have RPIs of between 100 and 181. As a league, the MW has an RPI of 11 out of 32 conferences.

As always, your feedback is welcome and encouraged.

1. Boise State (12-4 overall, 3-0 MW, 49 RPI): The Broncos remain the top dog in the conference. They’ve won nine in a row. Junior forward James Webb III has won back-to-back MW Player of the Week honors, and three this season. Boise State made nearly a 30-point rise in the RPI from last week.

2. San Diego State (10-6, 3-0, 100 RPI): We will see this week if the Aztecs are worthy of being ranked this high with road games at Colorado State and Boise State.

3. New Mexico (10-6, 3-0, 116 RPI): A four-game losing streak prior to league play seems a distant memory after winning three straight to open league play. The defense has improved, which has led to better offense.

Continue reading

MW men’s basketball power rankings

One week into conference play, and the Mountain West is just as baffling as the nonconference portion of the schedule was.

A decent amount of movement this week, and I would expect more in the coming weeks. But here is how I think the MW ranks this week.

RPI rankings are from RealTimeRPI.com. Nothing really stands out as far as the RPI goes, but it does indicate that from top to bottom, the MW is a solid league. Its RPI of 11 out of 32 conferences isn’t all that great, and it looks like the MW could be a one-bid league to the NCAA Tournament as of now.

Call it mediocre or poor, but this league isn’t as bad as many national people think.

I still think the league will get at least two teams to the NCAAs, and possibly three if all works out well.

As always, your feedback is welcome.

1. Boise State (10-4 overall, 1-0 MW, 70 RPI): The Broncos have the longest winning streak in the league at seven, and may have the Player of the Year in the MW in junior forward James Webb III. A tricky game awaits at Utah State Tuesday.

2. San Diego State (9-6, 2-0, 81 RPI): The Aztecs played like the Aztecs last week in a home win over Wyoming and an impressive road win at Utah State last week. The offense is still an issue, but the defense is not.

Continue reading

Players weigh in on toughest places to play in MW men’s basketball

I caught up with players from all 11 Mountain West teams and asked them the toughest places to play in the league during MW Men’s Basketball Media Day in Las Vegas.

As you will see, no big surprises where some of the toughest places are, but it’s still fun to see some of the players’ reactions.

G Josh Adams, Sr., Wyoming: New Mexico. Packed house. Very loud. Their fans know everything about you, and they know basketball.”

G Marqueze Coleman, Sr., Nevada: San Diego State and New Mexico. The crowds there are incredible.

G/F Tyron Criswell, Sr., Nevada: San Diego State. Their student section was wild. You couldn’t hear anything. We had to coach ourselves.

G Joe De Ciman, Sr., Colorado State: The Pit at New Mexico. You walk down that ramp and that’s what college basketball is all about.

F Tiel Daniels, Sr. Colorado State: The Pit.

G/F Anthony Drmic, Sr., Boise State: Colorado State, Wyoming, Utah State. Especially Wyoming with the altitude. 

Continue reading

Preseason MW all-conference team, predicted order of finish

The Mountain West released men’s basketball preseason all-conference team and predicted order of finish Tuesday morning as it began its two-day media day activities in Las Vegas.

Here’s the link to the preseason all-conference team and preseason poll.


I was one of those media members, and here’s how I voted:


Josh Adams

Josh Adams

Winston Shepard – Forward – San Diego State
Anthony Drmic – Guard/Forward – Boise State
James Webb III – Forward – Boise State
Marvelle Harris – Guard – Fresno State
Josh Adams – Guard – Wyoming

Winston Shepard – Forward – San Diego State
Stephen Zimmerman, Jr. – Forward – UNLV
Jerome Seagears – Guard – UNLV

1 San Diego State
2 Boise State
3 Utah State
5 Fresno State
6 New Mexico
7 Colorado State
8 Nevada
9 Wyoming
10 Air Force
11 San Jose State

I nailed the all-conference team, and when it was released one of the Las Vegas media members seemed surprised Adams was on the list. I differed some on the player and newcomer of the year.

I had Wyoming one spot lower than the preseason poll. Hope I am wrong about that.

Let me know what you think, folks. Do you agree or disagree with any of this stuff?

UW-Boise State postgame thoughts, notes, quotes and video

One thing you can say about this Wyoming men’s basketball team — it does a good job with halftime adjustments.

For the third time in four conference games UW trailed at the half. Saturday, it was down 31-30 at home to Boise State. The Broncos made 6 of 14 3-pointers in the first 20 minutes. They only made four 2-point baskets.

But the Cowboys played better defense, had some spectacular offensive plays and made all 10 of their free throws in the second half for a 65-54 victory in front of a solid crowd of 7,024 — the second largest of the season — Saturday afternoon at the Arena-Auditorium.

UW won its seventh straight game, 13th in a row at home and sits atop the Mountain West at 15-2 overall and 4-0 in league play — the only undefeated team in the MW right now.

Boise State entered the game leading the MW in scoring (71.8 ppg) and 3-point shooting percentage (38.3). It shot 40 percent for the game at 10 of 25, which ties for the most 3-point baskets UW has allowed this season.

Sophomore forward James Webb III — at 6-foot-9 — was 5 of 7 from 3. He came into the game 10 of 29 on the season. But aside from Webb, UW did a good job on the other Boise State players from the perimeter. No one made more than one 3, and UW made senior guard Derrick Marks get most of his points from outside the arc. Marks had 16 points, but only one 3-pointer.

“In first half we gave Webb too many wide open 3s,” UW senior forward Larry Nance said. “He was still 5 of 7 but he hit three in the first half that were wide open. Their bigs like to shoot the 3. That is their threat, and ours is inside. It was a clash of play styles.”

Coach Larry Shyatt said UW also did a good job of switching defenses from man to zone in the second half, and recognizing those switches. Here is Shyatt after the game:

Continue reading

UW-Boise State men’s hoops Q&A

WyoSports senior editor Robert Gagliardi did a question-and-answer session with Dave Southorn, who covers Boise State men’s basketball for the Idaho Statesman, on Saturday’s game at the University of Wyoming.

Tip-off between UW (14-2 overall, 3-0 Mountain West) and Boise State (10-5, 0-2) is at 4 p.m. at the Arena-Auditorium in Laramie, and will be televised on CBS Sports Network.

Follow on Twitter: @IDS_Southorn


How big an impact has it and will it be for Boise State after it lost senior guard Anthony Drmic to a season-ending ankle injury?

It obviously was going to have an effect, but we’ve seen pretty quickly just how big of a difference it’s made. His scoring and his leadership would no doubt have helped during the three-game losing streak (losses by three, six and one). Without a 1,500-point scorer, the Broncos haven’t yet found a consistent scoring option since he’s been out the last month.


Who has and needs to step up in his place?

Senior guard Derrick Marks has picked up a lot of the slack, scoring 31 on Saturday against Utah State. He’s been outstanding for the most part this season, making 30-of-52 3s after making 19-of-66 as a junior. But he’s always been productive. Boise State needs others to do so. Sophomore forward Nick Duncan had made 1-of-26 3s in three-and-a-half games before making three in the second half against the Aggies. If he gets the outside shot going, that will help make up for Drmic’s long-range ability. Also keep an eye on sophomore forward James Webb III, an athletic sort the Broncos have lacked in recent years. Webb averaged 13.7 points per game from Nov. 28-Dec. 20, but 7.5 in the four games since.

Continue reading