The Transfer Game: Can Boise State Play Effectively?

The Transfer Game: Can Boise State Play Effectively?

Boise State

The Transfer Game: Can Boise State Play Effectively?


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Boise State adds mid-season transfer in Devonaire Doutrive.

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Leon Rice has to figure out how to put some pieces together next year. 

Boise State in part has been a small player in the transfer market that has effected low, mid, and high-majors alike. Where other teams around the Mountain West have either been on the benefiting end of the graduate transfer rule or have seen their best players year in and year out looking for greener pastures.

Boise State has seen little to any departures that change the landscape of their team overnight and has partaken minimally in bringing graduate transfers in from other programs to provide an instant boost to their roster. 

This is the world college basketball fans live in now, and your star player could catch the eyes of a high major coaching staff one game and be on a plane at semester break before you blink. Or your coach’s reputation will precede him nationally and you could build a small dynasty around transfers in the biggest little city in the world.

Now your team could be on either end of this and we have seen team’s across the country either benefit from it or have their talent pool wiped clean annually from it, but it’s something Boise State’s head coach Leon Rice has slightly avoided during his time in charge of the Bronco’s program.

Rice has found success during his time in Boise after coming over as an associate head coach from powerhouse Gonzaga under arguably one of the best coaches of the century, Mark Few. His first season in charge was the Bronco’s last in the WAC and he took a team that finished eighth the previous year to second the next.

He then took the program to the Mountain West to compete at a level that only those inside the program may have thought they were capable of. Rice is only the second coach at Boise State to have taken the program to multiple NCAA tournament appearances and the only one to reach seven 20-win seasons in its history.

Now, in a college landscape that witnesses names entering the transfer portal day in and day out Rice has weathered the storm. He hasn’t needed to bring in transfers in bulk like we’ve seen at Nevada or New Mexico, or has he lost his most talented players to bigger programs like Colorado State or San Jose State.

Rice has been able to ride it out by bringing in relatively unknown talent and developing them at a high rate which has been relatively unnoticed around the conference, well besides on game day.

This isn’t to say he has completely abstained from bringing in transfers all together, but up until this past off season there was a very countable four players brought in from other division one schools during his tenure. Guard Lonnie Jackson came over from Boston College for the 2015-16 season as a graduate transfer. Followed by guard James Reid who sat out the 2015-16 season after coming over from Arkansas-Little Rock.

Lastly the additions of graduate transfers Lexus Williams (Valparaiso) and Christian Sengfelder (Fordham), who helped boost a talented 2017-18 squad to a second place finish in the conference and a NIT appearance.

Other than that, Rice has found a competitive formula that includes recruiting guys out of high school, international players mostly out of Australia and bringing guys in from junior college. Each outlet for recruits proving effective for him and his coaching staff throughout the years. Star Broncos Derrick Marks, Chandler Hutchinson and Paris Austin were all recruited to Boise out of high school.


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