The Boise State men’s basketball team ended last season with a 20-12 record following a loss against Memphis in the National Invitational Tournament (NIT), while the women’s team finished their season with a 14-9 record.
The men’s team seems to narrowly lose out on trips to the NCAA tournament year in and year out. The women’s team enjoys more frequent success, having won four conference championships in the last five years.
Women’s basketball preview
For the Boise State women’s basketball team, the excitement levels coming into the season opener are high.
After losing three of their top scorers from last year, the team will try to create a new identity going into this upcoming season.
Following Mountain West media days, Gordy Presnell, Boise State women’s basketball head coach, said he is looking forward to working with this core group.
“They are great people,” Presnell said. “The type of players that you want to come to work and be around.”
The team is still benefiting from having senior forward Rachel Bowers, who returned for another year at Boise State.
“[Bowers] is able to connect the success we have had in the past and that she was a part of, to the success that this younger group could have down the road,” Presnell said.
Sophomore guards Anna Ostile and Mary Kay Naro are two players that the Boise State coaching staff is excited about this year.
Ostile averaged nearly six points and three rebounds last season. She showed flashes that she is capable of taking her game to another level this year.
Naro was one of the top distributors on the team during the 2020-21 season. The team is hoping that she will have the same success this season.
Another sophomore that the team is expecting a lot out of is forward Elodie Latotte. Latotte is a type of player that any team would love to have.
“She is a terror on the block and she is not afraid to do the dirty work,” Presnell said.
These two teams are excited for what is next and so are avid Boise State basketball fans. Idaho native Josh De Anda is a big follower of Boise State football and basketball.
“I know that both programs lost a few key players, but I think that both will actually benefit from the losses,” De Anda said.
The women host the Long Beach 49ers, Saturday, Nov. 23 to kick off their 2021 season.
Men’s basketball preview
The men’s team is coming into this season with a different look.
“It’s an exciting team and they have a different energy to them,” said men’s basketball head coach Leon Rice. “I can already tell that there are no separate groups or cliques with this team. Everyone seems to be one unit and that is promising. Especially for when we get down the stretch late in the year where they will lean on each other to win important games.”
While overcoming the losses of Derrick Alston and Ray J. Dennis might seem easier said than done, the potential that “this years’ team has is greater than it has been in recent years,” Rice said.
Going into the year, Rice believes that senior guards Emmauel Akot, Marcus Shaver Jr. and Devonaire Doutrive are going to be team leaders this season. Rice liked what he saw out of Shaver last year and he hopes that Shaver continues to be an aggressive scorer.
Rice also believes that Akot will be the teams’ biggest playmaker after averaging three assists last season. On the other hand, Doutrive proved he can score the ball well, putting up double figures in five of the team’s last six games.
Senior forward Abu Kigab — who is the leading scorer out of all returning players — is expected to take a big leap this season.
Last season, the Broncos would turn to an isolation strategy, their ball movement was poor and they were hurt with bad shot selection.
Bronco fans can expect to see a more in-sync offense this season. Floor spacing, better ball-movement, improved shot selection and the ability to get out in transition will give players more opportunities to be effective.
The men will begin their season Tuesday, Nov. 9 at home against Utah Valley.