Starting Strong: Boise State Men’s Basketball starts 2-0

With two wins to start the season, the Boise State men’s basketball team is looking like one of the most well-rounded, talented and focused teams the program has ever seen. 

With a 89-55 win against Vanguard University and a 63-58 win over University of San Francisco (USF), the Broncos fiery start has Bronco Nation hopeful for what is to come. 

After last season’s devastating loss in both the Mountain West tournament and NCAA Tournament, this team seems to have its eye on the prize. 

The team has also received national recognition by analysts of being a “Top-10 Final Four Dark Horse” which is just the kind of recognition they deserve. 

With just two games under their belt, the Broncos have a multitude of things to be proud of, but also some things that will be critiqued and worked on throughout the early season. 


The depth on this Bronco roster is incredible and also completely different from last season where there was all but nothing in regards to powerful players coming off the bench. 

This team, with the likes of RJ Keene, Kobe Young, Mohamed Sylla and Andrew Meadow coming off the bench, could be a dangerous situation for any opponent. 

Unlike last season when all five starters played all but two minutes in a game, this team can rely on a multitude of different players to carry the load on any given night. 

“Part of it in November is just figuring out what you have,” head coach Leon Rice said. “I thought we did a really good job … this team is gonna be different guys on different nights. We got a lot of guys that didn’t didn’t do a ton tonight that you’re gonna see do a lot for us this year.” 

With the season being long, draining and physically taxing, it is important to have players that will step in and take control of a matchup when it is most needed. 

“We’re kind of hanging our hat on the guys we know the known and until those other guys the unknown becomes the known,” Leon Rice said. “It just takes time for that.”


Though Chibuzo Agbo was seen as a hit-or-miss player entering this season, the senior guard has done nothing but prove himself during the opening week of the season. 

Agbo averaged 17 points per game during the two game span and has looked more confident than ever before.

“There’s a lot more comfortability in our offense,” junior forward Tyson Degenhart said. “Coming on year two, I know it took [Agbo] a little bit to get comfortable last year. We don’t have to worry about that this year. He’s ready to go.”

The Texas Tech transfer is not only playing well, but putting in a tremendous amount of work off the court, boasting about a 10 pound difference from last year to this year, and it is all muscle. 

“He was at Axiom the other day and we had practice like 20 minutes later,” sixth-year guard Max Rice joked. “He’s definitely been getting that extra work in and you can see it out there … he’s gotten a lot bigger and better.”


With just a few games of real “play” time, this team seems as cohesive as a team who have been playing together for years. 

The camaraderie on and off the court is undoubtable. With constant communication and a never ending stream of compliments, the team looks like a harmonious team that has each other’s backs. 

“I think we showed a lot of resilience tonight,” Degenhart said. “There were some possessions that we wish to get back on defense, then we just responded with a better defensive position … we’re just continuing to grow as a team and continuing to get better on the defensive end.”

The team began to draw up plays in their matchup against USF rather than playing on a whim like they did against Vanguard. 


O’Mar Stanley has quickly become a fan favorite, understandably so. 

Stanley is a powerhouse in the paint and has quickly established himself as one of the most physical players on the team.

“He’s a shot blocker and energy bringer,” Degenhart said. “Everyone likes to compare him to Naje [Smith], but they’re two different players in the way that they play … it’s great to have a guy like that behind you on defense that you know if you get burned he can come over and block your shot … he just brings so much energy and passion to the team.”

Stanley had a few of his own dynamite type of plays of his own in the last two games including some aggressive dunks. 

Though there are a lot of similarities between former Bronco forward Naje Smith and Stanley, the sky’s the limit for Stanley and there seems to be no stopping.


The Broncos played extremely well, but could’ve done a better job at clinching the easy points.

In their matchup against University of San Francisco, though it was a close game, the Broncos had an opportunity to have an absolute runaway game, however missed 11 of theri 23 free throw shots. 

“We’re kind of just getting that preseason rust off a little bit,” Max Rice said. “We missed a lot of free throws … but we’ll get that together before next week because we have a lot of big ones in a row.”


Though Tyson Degenhart did not play in the season opener against Vanguard due to a nose injury, the junior forward made a showstopping reemergence against University of San Francisco. 

Degenhart, who was nominated for the preseason Mountain West first-team, made his presence known putting up 17 points in the game against USF.

“We’re a different team with him, no doubt,” Leon Rice said. “He’s my security blanket.”

Rocking his Batman mask and all, Degenhart loved being back in The-X.

“When I’ve shown people pictures of the masks they always say I look like Batman,” Degenhart joked. “I think that’s pretty cool.”

Despite the win against Vanguard, the absence of Degenhart was felt throughout the team. 

“Playing with Tyson, I noticed not having him in the first game. It makes it so much easier when you have him out there,” Max Rice said. “He just makes it easier for all of us.”


As the Broncos sit with the 2-0 record against incredibly valiant non-conference teams, the Broncos have a slew of strong opponents coming up in their schedule. 

“Where we’re sitting right now, 2-0 is a heck of a lot better than 1-1,” Leon Rice said. “Especially the dividends this win is going to pay throughout the year. They will be a 20-plus win team, no doubt about it.”

The Broncos will face Clemson on Nov. 19 for a battle that will be a must watch. 

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