UW-Boise State men’s hoops postgame thoughts

Larry Nance Jr. said he redeemed himself.

A week ago, he didn’t make the shots UW needed late in its game at Nevada and the Cowboys lost 61-58.

Saturday night, Nance made a short baseline jumper with 1.6 seconds to play to give UW a 52-50 win at Boise State.

Here is the video of that shot and some other highlights from the final possessions.

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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 about Saturday’s 7 p.m. game with the University of Wyoming at Taco Bell Arena in Boise, Idaho.

Follow on Twitter: @IDS_Southorn

Expectations are high for Boise State based on returning most of its team from one that went to the NCAA Tournament last season. How have they managed those expectations?

One of the things that impressed me over the offseason was that they embraced the expectations, that they wanted to live up to them. Returning 92.4 percent of your scoring certainly helps, too. With that, they knew how hard it was just to simply get an at-large last season, so they know there are things like winning the games they’re expected to, and not going one-and-done at the MW tournament as examples of what needs to be done to perhaps meet those goals.

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UW-Boise State pregame notes

Wyoming men’s basketball coach Larry Shyatt has targeted 54 points.

That’s what his team has averaged offensively since senior guard Luke Martinez was suspended after his arrest back in January. Shyatt feels if his team can get to 54 points, and keep holding teams to a Mountain West-low 55.2 points per contest then the Cowboys have a chance to win.

Of course, Shyatt would like to see his team score more, but this team is limited offensively. We all know that by now, especially since Martinez is out.

It will be interesting to see if UW’s defense can hold Boise State in the mid-50s tonight in Boise. The Broncos lead the MW in scoring at 75.2 ppg, and they are second in conference games at 68.2 ppg.

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UW-Boise State Q&A

WyoSports senior editor Robert Gagliardi did a question-and-answer session with Brian Murphy, who covers Boise State men’s basketball for the Idaho Statesman, about today’s Wyoming at Boise State men’s basketball game. Tip-off is at 6 p.m.

Question: Boise State lost its third close game to San Diego State dating back to last season on Wednesday night, how do you think the Broncos will respond coming home to play Wyoming?

Answer: The loss at San Diego State was a tough one, no doubt. It was a loose ball 3-pointer that led to their defeat. But Boise State has been able to bounce back well from losses, even close ones, and being back at home should certainly provide a boost.

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MW men’s basketball power rankings

WyoSports senior editor Robert Gagliardi ranks the nine Mountain West men’s basketball teams. Included are their records and Rating Percentage Index according to RealTimeRPI.com, and rankings are from The Associated Press poll. Look for these rankings every week during the conference season.

Let him know what you think about these rankings — good or bad.

1. New Mexico (19-3 overall, 6-1 MW, 5 RPI): Best overall and conference record, and the highest RPI. Tough to go against those three factors. The only team in the conference with a winning road conference record (2-1), and is 5-2 on the road overall. Best team in the league, without a doubt, right now, even though it doesn’t have any eye-popping statistics.

2. Colorado State (18-4 overall, 5-2 MW, 15 RPI): A 26-game home winning streak, a starting lineup with five seniors and the best rebounding team in the conference — and one of the best in the country. As stated in previous weeks, the Rams need a big conference road win. It plays at Nevada tonight — a game it should win.

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MW men’s basketball power rankings

WyoSports senior editor Robert Gagliardi ranks the nine Mountain West men’s basketball teams. Included are their records and Rating Percentage Index according to RealTimeRPI.com, and rankings are from The Associated Press poll. Look for these rankings every week during the conference season.

Let him know what you think about these rankings — good or bad.

1. No. 20 New Mexico (17-3 overall, 4-1 MW, 7 RPI): The conference race got interesting again after the Lobos went 1-1 last week with a home win over Colorado State and a 55-34 loss at San Diego State. The loss to San Diego State wasn’t surprising, but scoring 34 points was. That is the lowest for New Mexico in the shot clock era. New Mexico beat ranked teams at the time following its previous two losses. It should get better this week with games at Wyoming and at home against Nevada.

2. No. 22 San Diego State (16-4 overall, 4-2 MW, 29 RPI): The Aztecs moved up by being the only team to win both games in league play last week, and they did it in impressive fashion. San Diego State is the most versatile team in the conference. Why? Six-foot-7 sophomore forward J.J. O’Brien started at point guard in both games last week, and earned MW Player of the Week honors. The team’s 0-2 mark the week before last is a distant memory.

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MW men’s basketball power rankings

WyoSports senior editor Robert Gagliardi ranks the nine Mountain West men’s basketball teams. Included are their records and Rating Percentage Index according to RealTimeRPI.com, and rankings are from The Associated Press poll. Look for these rankings every week during the conference season.

Let him know what you think about these rankings — good or bad.

1. No. 15 New Mexico (16-2 overall, 3-0 MW, 8 RPI): The only undefeated team in league play after two weeks, and the only team in the AP poll. The Lobos also have the conference’s longest winning streak at three, which says a lot about how tough all the teams are. Faces a big home game tonight against Colorado State where both teams are equally as good in the backcourt and frontcourt.

2. Colorado State (15-3, 2-1, 17 RPI): An overtime loss at San Diego State is the only conference loss. This is the most veteran team in the league, and perhaps the most physical. Senior and first-year center Colton Iverson and senior forward Pierce Hornung combine to average 19.1 rebounds per game, and the Rams are the conference’s best rebounding team. CSU needs a signature road win in league play, and tonight it gets a shot at New Mexico.

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UW-Boise State postgame thoughts

Being nationally ranked didn’t last long for the Wyoming men’s basketball team.

It can thank Boise State junior guard Jeff Elorriaga for that.

Elorriaga made two 3-pointers in the final minute of the game, including his last at the buzzer to hand UW its first loss of the season, 63-61, at the Arena-Auditorium in Laramie Wednesday night.

This game came down to 3-point shooting — for Boise State. It leads the MW at 41.3 percent from 3 as a team. Elorriaga led the league in 3-pointers made (46) and shooting percentage (48.4).

Elorriaga was 6 of 10 from behind the arc and Boise State was 11 of 19 as a team.

Ball game.

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UW-Boise State Q&A

WyoSports senior editor Robert Gagliardi did a question-and-answer session with Brian Murphy, who covers Boise State men’s basketball for the Idaho Statesman.

Look for Q&As with writers who cover the Mountain West opponents of the University of Wyoming throughout the conference season.

Question: Are you surprised with Boise State’s 12-2 start and what have the Broncos done well in the nonconference portion of their schedule?

A: A bit surprised for sure. The Broncos played well late last season and returned many of the same players, so I thought Boise State would be better. But for the Broncos to play Michigan State to the last minute on the road and defeat Creighton on the road opened some eyes — and attracted some fans.

The Broncos have shot the ball extremely well from 3-point range (41.3 percent, 10th in the NCAA) and played very unselfish basketball.

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