The regular season has officially tipped off for the Boise State men’s basketball team. The Broncos played two games over the course of the weekend and won both, starting out the season 2-0. Boise State defeated Eastern Oregon 104-65 on Nov. 10 and then beat Southern Utah 90-69 on Nov. 13.
Boise State has started out hot from three-point range. The team has made 29 threepoint shots through just two games and have hit 47 percent from behind the arc. Sophomore guard Justinian Jessup leads the team with nine 3-point shots made. Jessup was a starter last year, but he has started off this year coming off the bench.
Senior forward Christian Sengfelder, who transferred from Fordham this year, has also been impressive. He’s made seven 3-point shots. Sengfelder was in the starting lineup for both of the first two games.
Sophomore guard Alex Hobbs has taken over the starting position at guard and leads the team in scoring through two games with 40 points. Last season, he only averaged 4.5 points per game.
Boise State looked impressive against their first two opponents but will be tested for the first time when they travel to South Carolina for the Puerto Rico Tip-Off at Myrtle Beach. This will be a preseason tournament with eight teams, including Boise State, UTEP, Illinois State, South Carolina, Western Michigan, Tulsa, Appalachian State and Iowa State.
In the tournament, Boise State will play three games in three days, and the coaching staff is doing everything it can to get the players ready.
“Our coaching staff is doing a great job making sure we recover and making sure our practices are good and efficient,” said redshirt senior guard Lexus Williams.
Head coach Leon Rice said he has been impressed by what he’s seen so far in his team, but he knows that there is still a lot of room for improvement.
“We’re a pretty good shooting team and at times can be really good. All the guys can shoot it, and that’s hard to guard,” Rice said.
For the Broncos to find success against harder opponents, senior guard Chandler Hutchison will need to pull off great performances throughout the season. Hutchison was named the Mountain West preseason player of the year.
Throughout two games, Hutchison has 27 points, 14 rebounds and 11 assists.
“It kind of started with Chandler making all the right plays to get our offense going,” Rice said. “They were geared in to stop him. That’s why you make 17 threes.”
The defense has been the biggest struggle early in the season, especially defense in the paint.
“You have to come out aggressive. You just have to stick with the process,” said junior center Robin Jorich. “Trust what you do in practice, and trust what you do all week.”
While Rice admits this team is not at mid-season form yet, he believes this team has the ability to learn and correct mistakes and improve on the areas that need help.
“When you have a team that when you address something, and they can fix it right away, that’s a really good sign,” Rice said.
Overall the team has looked impressive in their first two games, but it is difficult to speculate how the season will go. Boise State has a lot of talent, and should be a force to compete with for the Mountain West championship, but they will have to remain consistent throughout the season.