Boise State vs. Tulsa: Game Preview
A win against the Golden Hurricanes may be bigger than some expect.
Yes folks, it’s Star Wars night in Tulsa.
WHO: Boise State Broncos (5-3, 1-1 Mountain West) vs. Tulsa Hurricanes (7-2, 0-0 American)
WHEN: Wednesday, December 11th — 8:00 PM EST/6:00 PM MST
WHERE: Reynolds Center, Tulsa, OK
SERIES RECORD: Tulsa leads all-time series 6-4
ODDS: Tulsa -3, per KenPom
The Broncos head to Tulsa on Wednesday night to face a 7-2 Hurricanes squad that is a lot tougher than their preseason poll prediction of 10th in the American may suggest.
Boise State is playing their best basketball right now and could have been extending out a five-game win streak if a couple of Justinian Jessup’s shot attempts went in against New Mexico last week in The Pit. These two teams haven’t played each other since the 04-05 season when they were both members of the Western Athletic Conference. Their last match up was a 83-73 Bronco Win in the first round of the conference tournament that year.
Justian Jessup is shooting lights out beyond the arc, going a combined 13-21 in his last two games and averaging 25.5 PPG during that same time span. It has been previously stated that Boise State has some capable scorers. And the fact that Alston and Jessup have given teams headaches all season with all the ways they have been able to score is no surprise and they shouldn’t be judged on their 5-3 record. A loss to a top-25 ranked Oregon team might have been expected and that close loss last week could have been avoided if Jessup had a bit more room to get that last second shot attempt off in time. But the one blemish that might have just been a bad game was a loss to UC-Irvine who is now 5-5 on the season with a plethora of solid wins mixed with interesting losses.
The Golden Hurricanes are having a great start to the season and are 7-2 going into Wednesday’s game. Frank Haith’s squad is 0-2 against the Sun Belt and have losses to Arkansas State and UT-Arlington but boast a quality win against Vanderbilt to give you a current product that is a bit hard to read. Tulsa has a quality line up that includes former LSU Tiger and junior college transfer Brandon Rachal who is leading the team in scoring and rebounding with 15.9 PPG and 7.1 RPG.
Rachal has been a spark to Frank Haith’s offense that lost leader and current Sacramento King DaQuan Jefferies while also improving the teams defensive efforts.
Tulsa is holding it’s opponents to just 61.4 PPG this season which is within the top-50 teams in the nation defensively. The Golden Hurricanes also have forwards Jeriah Horne and Martins Igbanu back from last year in a pretty lengthy line up.
The Broncos aren’t a particularly deep team in the post at the moment and if senior forward RJ Williams get’s in foul trouble Robin Jorch needs to step up offensively. And something I think we all need to see is Alston stepping up as maybe the primary ball handler and continuing to drive the ball into the post and set up his teammates if he doesn’t get fouled first. He is really hard to stop given his frame and ball-handling ability and if the Broncos need to win the game from the free throw line so be it.