Hopes were high at the beginning of the 2013-14 season for the Boise State men’s basketball program. The Broncos were the only team who qualified for the 2013 NCAA Tournament to return all five starters.
The Broncos were knocking on the door of the top 25 rankings following an 8-0 start, the best in school history.
Over those next eight games, the Broncos would go just 3-5, a stretch that included losses at Kentucky, versus Saint Mary’s, and in the Diamond Head Classic championship game against Iowa State; all were games which could significantly improve the Broncos RPI rating, which is currently ranked 51.
“Boise State returned everybody from a team that went to the NCAA tournament; that’s one team you think should be better,” San Diego State head coach Steve Fisher said over the weekend in an interview with USA Today reporter Nicole Auerbach.
In a conference being rumored to get just one bid to the 2014 NCAA Tournament, a significant drop from the five last season, keeping the current streak alive could be key if the Broncos want to make a push for another appearance at the big dance.
“It’s just what this league is,” head coach Leon Rice said. “To survive in it you just have to have that grit to just be able to keep going and just move forward.”
In their second straight conference win in a home victory to Utah State over the weekend, the Broncos saw significant improvement from their key offensive area behind the three point line. The Broncos leading shooter beyond the arc, senior guard Jeff Elorriaga, played 40 minutes against Wyoming last weekend and was scoreless in a 52-50 point loss.
The Broncos have shown struggles with selfish play and forcing it on the offensive end of the floor in the past weeks. Saturday night’s 78-74 win against the Aggies may show some signs of improvement.
“That’s the thing with this team, when someone is on like Derrick at the end, we give it to Derrick,” freshman forward Nick Duncan said. “If I’m on at the start of the second half, everyone gives me the ball and there’s no selfishness or anything.”
Sitting fifth in the MW standings now, the Broncos head to The Pit on Tuesday night to take on New Mexico, who currently sits second in the conference.