Boise State men’s basketball tips off their season on Friday night at Taco Bell Arena in a home exhibition matchup against the Warriors of Lewis-Clark State College.
Coming off their most successful season under fourth year head coach Leon Rice where they were ousted in the first round of the NCAA Tournament, the Broncos were picked to finish second in the Mountain West Conference this season.
The Broncos haven’t played a competitive game since Mar. 26 earlier this year, and Rice can sense his team is itching to hit the hardwood and play in front of a crowd.
“These guys have been doing a great job of preparing and being dialed in everyday,” Rice said. “But now I really sense that this is coming at a perfect time.”
There will be a lot of things to watch for this season from a program that received 11 top-25 votes in the preseason USA Today Coaches poll, and one of them will be the continued development of their post play.
The Broncos will return all five starters this year, and have added some depth to their roster in the paint. 6-foot-9-inch four year starter senior Ryan Watkins will lead the charge for the Broncos down low.
Watkins will be accompanied in the paint by 6-foot-9-inch sophomore Edmunds Dukulis, and 6-foot-7 freshman Nick Duncan, among others for the Broncos. While the Bronco frontcourt is young, there is still some experience there.
“Edmunds was with us last year,” Rice said. “So he’s kind of built in and has a great feel for the team.”
Stretching the floor with his posts is something coach Rice is focusing on this year, and is something he feels can enhance his team’s ability to compete and win games.
At 6-foot-7-inch, Duncan possesses the frame to be able to go in to the paint and exploit his size to score. Duncan also possess great shooting ability on the perimeter, something that can cause opposing teams fits if their four and five-men are forced to play that far from the basket.
“First of all I think it starts with the maturity of his game,” Rice said. “Secondly, I love a guy that can shoot. He hasn’t done anything or made a shot in a game yet and I’m deeming him as one of our better shooters.”
All eyes will be on Rice’s experienced squad this weekend as Boise State will see if they can live up to the hype and the buzz surrounding them this season.