Boise State Basketball: Derrick Alston Jr. To Return For His Senior Season
Alston’s return immediately places the Broncos in the Mountain West title conversation.
The return of Derrick Alston Jr. is the piece Leon Rice needed to bring together one of his most talented rosters at Boise State
The Mountain West basketball landscape just got a little more visible for fans this morning, as Boise State guard and the conference’s returning leading scorer Derrick Alston Jr. has announced his intention to return for his senior season and help the Broncos contend for a conference championship.
“The opportunity to showcase my growth while working side-by-side with my teammates and coaches everyday to improve and to pursue a Mountain West Championship is an opportunity and life experience that I cannot pass up! Go Broncos!” Those were the words of arguably the best returning scorer in the conference, who indeed elevates Boise State directly into the conference title conversation.
Alston Jr. has gone from former walk-on at Boise State to 2nd team All-Mountain West and budding NBA prospect in just four years. He averaged 17.3 PPG 5.2 RPG & 3.1 APG in 32 appearances (30 starts) for the Broncos who finished 5th in a extremely competitive Mountain West in 2019-2020. He also became a member of the programs 1,000-point club this past season while finishing a top-10 finalist for the Julius Erving Small Forward of the Year Award.
The 6-9 scoring guard was one of the players who has seen their names climbing top-100 draft boards over the last couple of months, going from undrafted to a possible second round pick come draft night. But as a fringe prospect in an uncertain sports world and after receiving some apparently constructive feedback in the absence of in-person summer workouts, he knew what to do.
The Broncos made it all the way to the semifinals in last year’s conference tournament and with their returning leader’s official announcement, now have big dance aspirations to work towards over the summer. They lose several key players like the Mountain West’s all-time leading three point shooter, Justinian Jessup and double-double machine R.J. Williams. But welcome back fellow double-digit scorer Abu Kigab who will have a full season to make his mark on the program and one of the most anticipated group of transfers in Mountain West history.
For all of us that were awaiting this news and were happily surprised this Wednesday morning, it helps give us a clearer picture of what to expect in the conference next season. We can now continue writing our way-to-early previews and top returning players rankings as we now wait for just one more Mountain West player’s decision.
The remaining announcement we now await is that of San Diego State junior Matt Mitchell, who is the lone remaining draft declaration still up in the air at this point.
The early entry withdrawal date was announced last month, with August 17th being the last day prospects have to announce their return to school. It’s certainly been a long summer for coaching staffs across the country and we can only hope remaining declared prospects follow the lead of Alston Jr. in the coming weeks.