#37 Boise State Men's Basketball 2015-2016 Preview

Boise State Broncos

2015-2016 Overall Rank: #37
Conference Rank:  #2 Mountain West

Boise State Team Page#37 Boise State Men's Basketball 2015-2016 PreviewBuy Boise State Basketball Tickets

One of the great surprises in the NCAA last season was Boise State. The Broncos nabbed a share of the regular season MW title along with San Diego State after a five-win improvement in conference play from last year.  The Broncos were so impressive that they raked in the individual awards. Head coach Leon Rice earned Mountain West Coach of the Year and James Webb III won the conference’s newcomer of the year award.  Boise State, with a lot of returning contributors, should have another NCAA tournament bid in store at the end of the year.

2014-2015 record:  25-9, 14-4 Mountain West Conference
2014-2015 postseason:  NCAA
Coach:  Leon Rice
Coach Record:  102-63 at Boise State, 102-63 overall

Who’s Out:
The biggest loss for the Broncos will be last year’s conference player of the year, Derrick Marks.  He led the conference in scoring average (he ranked in the top 25 nationally). He was also the team’s best long-range shooter at 43.6%.  A mister-do-it-all, his production will be very difficult to replace. The Broncos also lose two season-long contributors in guard Igor Hadziomerovic and forward Rob Heyer. Hadziomerovic was a versatile player who could play on the perimeter or as a swing man. Heyer played in every single game last season and was the team’s best free-throw shooter. They were not high volume scorers, but they were clutch players late in games.

Who’s In:
The good thing for Rice is that all of his projected starters have a ton of game experience from last season. Players like Mikey Thompson will play a bigger role as a probable starter. He has been steady for three years in the program, and he will help fill in for Marks’ loss. There are also a few newcomers that should crack the rotation. Lonnie Jackson, a Boston College graduate transfer, is a sharp-shooter from beyond the arc.  He will provide even more valuable floor experience on a veteran team. Rice also brings in a good recruiting class that should help right away. Paris Austin, a top-20 guard from California, will help round out the backcourt especially with the departure of Marks. Malek Harwell was the Idaho State Player of the Year, who averaged a double-double last season.  Zach Haney, a redshirt freshman, adds a lot of size down on the block to help with defense in the lane.

Who to Watch:
The player to keep an eye on is Anthony Drmic.  He was a highly efficient offensive player prior to injuring his ankle after only seven games.  It would not be surprising to see him average nearly 20 points per game. The offense will assuredly go through him. He is the seventh leading scorer in Boise State history, and, outside of last season, he is very reliable when it comes to availability (he played nearly every game from 2011-2014). With a lot of experience around him, re-acclimating to game play should not be daunting. He will have a lot of opportunities to shine with so many skilled teammates.

Final Projection:
There are a lot of reasons to believe that the Broncos can win the Mountain West outright. The only thing that stands in their way is San Diego State’s recent run of success in conference play. Boise State came as close as a team possibly can to unseating the champs. Any coach in the country would love to have the amount of experience Rice has on this roster. Between Drmic and Webb III, he has two legitimate candidates for MWC player of the year. Despite losing Derrick Marks, this offense should be difficult for stop for opposing teams. This team will be good enough to win a game or two in the NCAA tournament. This year, no one should be surprised if they pull it off.

Projected Postseason Tournament: NCAA

Projected Starting Five:
Mikey Thompson, Senior, Guard, 7.6 points per game
James Webb III, Junior, Guard, 11.2 points per game
Anthony Drmic, Senior, Guard, 15.0 points per game
Chandler Hutchison, Sophomore, Forward, 3.1 points per game
Nick Duncan, Junior, Center, 9.4 points per game

By the Numbers:
Scoring Offense: 70.3 (94th in nation, 2nd in conference)
Scoring Defense: 60.1 (28, 3)
Field-Goal Percentage: 45.6 (74, 3)
Field-Goal Defense: 41.6 (106, 7)
Three-Point Field Goals Per Game: 8.7 (18, 1)  
Three-Point Field-Goal Percentage: 39.2 (18, 2)
Free-Throw Percentage: 72.9 (50, 1)
Rebound Margin: 2.6 (88, 5)
Assists Per Game: 12.0 (214, 7)
Turnovers Per Game: 10.2 (15, 1)

Madness 2016 Men’s Basketball Recruiting:
#146 Paris Austin


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