#115 Boise State Men's Basketball 2014-2015 Preview

Boise State Broncos

2013-2014 Overall Rank: #115
Conference Rank: #6 MWC

Boise State Team Page#115 Boise State Men's Basketball 2014-2015 PreviewBuy Boise State Basketball Tickets

Coming off an NCAA Tournament trip in 2013, there were high expectations for Boise State entering last season. The Broncos returned seven of their top eight players and looked set to return to the NCAA Tournament. However, Boise State couldn’t capitalize on a 10-3 start and ended up going 8-9 in MWC play and missed the postseason all together. Good news for the Broncos though is that the nucleus of that 2013 NCAA Tournament team, wing players Anthony Drmic and Derrick Marks, are back for their senior seasons. Both players saw their averages drop last season to 15.9 and 14.9 points per game respectively and they will try to improve on that this season. The 6-foot-6 Drmic will be key for Boise State on the boards this season, as he is the leading returning rebounder, having averaged 4.5 per game last season, while Marks can do a little bit of everything, as he led the team in assists with 2.6 per game and was third in rebounding at 3.4 per game. Both players are crucial to Boise State’s chances this season.

2013-14 Record: 21-13, 8-9
2013-14 Postseason: None
Coach: Leon Rice
Coach Record: 77-54 at Boise State (77-54 overall)

Who’s Out:
Ryan Watkins will be sorely missed by the Broncos this season. The 6-foot-9 forward accounted for the majority of the Bronco’s production in the frontcourt, averaging a double-double with 11.9 points and 10.6 rebounds. Boise State had a 4.3 rebound margin last season, which was 41st in the nation, and it was largely because of Watkins. He grabbed 361 rebounds, over 200 more that the second leading rebounder in Drmic. Starter Jeff Elorriaga and key bench player Thomas Bropleh are also gone, leaving more holes for Boise State to fill. Elorriaga, the team’s top three-point shooter, saw his average drop from 10.2 points per game in 2012-13 to 7.9 last season, but he was still key to Boise State’s success. Bropleh averaged nearly 20 minutes per game last season, averaging 8.0 points per game while doing most of his damage from behind the arc. Edmunds Dukulis and Joe Nebeker also depart, but neither saw more than 47 total minutes last season.

Who’s In:
Leon Rice did a great job on the recruiting trail, landing a big time prospect in Chandler Hutchison, as well as a number of big men who will bolster the frontcourt. Hutchison, a 6-foot-6 forward, was a consensus four-star recruit who made the ESPN Top 100 list for high school recruits. A talented and athletic player, Hutchison could see quality playing time early, likely in a perimeter oriented offense with he and Drmic occupying the forward spots. Rice will make up for the loss of Watkins by bringing in three players who stand 6-foot-9 or taller. Kevin Allen, a 6-foot-10 JUCO transfer, is probably the most ready of the bunch. He averaged 13.4 points and 8.4 rebounds last season at Pratt Community College and could see some time early. He is joined by two freshmen centers, 6-foot-9 David Wacker and 6-foot-11 Zach Haney, both of whom could become key reserves this season. Two transfers and two redshirts round out the group of newcomers. Robert Heyer sat out last season after transferring in from Texas-Permian Basin, where he averaged 9.9 points per game while shooting over 40 percent from three-point range as a junior. He will be joined by Montigo Alford, a JUCO transfer from the College of Southern Idaho who averaged over 15 points per game there last season. James Webb II, a 6-foot-8 forward, and Chris Nealy, a 6-foot-2 guard both redshirted in their first season on campus last year.

Who to Watch:
Boise State will need role players from last season to step up in support of Drmic and Marks if they are to have success this year. Mikey Thompson and Nick Duncan are two of those players who should slide into the starting lineup in place of Elorriaga and Watkins. Thompson, who averaged 8.6 points and 2.5 assists per game last year, should slide into the point guard role, freeing Marks up to play more off the ball. Duncan, who fits the mold of a stretch big man due to his three point shooting ability, could be forced to slide into the vacant center spot, as he is the lone rotation player returning who is taller than 6-foot-6. He averaged 5.0 points and 2.6 rebounds per game last season and would benefit the most should one of the incoming big men step up. Igor Hadziomerovic should be a key member of the backcourt off the bench. He averaged 3.7 points and 2.9 rebounds per game last season and could slide into the role that Bropleh played last season. Dezmyn Trent, 2.6 points per game last season, is back in the backcourt, and he will be joined by reserve guard Joe Hanstad and forward Jake Ness.

Final Projection:
What happens for Boise State this season will rely on how well Marks and Drmic perform. They are the two most experienced players on the team and both can score in bunches, but if they don’t have a solid supporting cast, it wont mean much. Some of the returning players, like Thompson, Duncan and Hadziomerovic, will need to increase their production and a couple of the newcomers will need to provide solid numbers right off the bat if Boise State is to improve on last seasons disappointment. Watch out for the freshman wing Hutchison. He has the skillset to put up big numbers right away and he could turn into a legitimate third option for Boise State.

Projected Postseason Tournament: CBI/CIT

Projected Starting Five:
Mikey Thompson, Junior, Guard, 8.6 points per game
Derrick Marks, Senior, Guard, 14.9 last season
Chandler Hutchison, Freshman, Forward, DNP last season
Anthony Drmic, Senior, Forward, 15.9 points per game
Nick Duncan, Sophomore, Forward, 5.0 points per game

By the Numbers:
Scoring Offense: 76.2 (47th in nation, 1st in conference)
Scoring Defense: 69.0 (145, 6)
Field-Goal Percentage: 45.6 (98, 3)
Field-Goal Defense: 44.6 (223, 11)
Three-Point Field Goals Per Game: 7.8 (47, 2)  
Three-Point Field-Goal Percentage: 37.2 (63, 2)
Free-Throw Percentage: 74.9 (20, 1)
Rebound Margin: 4.3 (43, 5)
Assists Per Game: 11.9 (230, 8)
Turnovers Per Game: 10.0 (17, 3)

Madness 2014 Men’s Basketball Recruit Rankings:
#101 Chandler Hutchison


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