Boise State Looks To Bounce Back vs. Sam Houston State
Broncos looking to get first win of the year.
Broncos need Alston to step up
Opponents: Boise State (0-1) – Sam Houston State (0-2)
Date\Location: Monday, Dec. 1; Fort Worth, Texas
Tip time: 2 p.m. ET
Radio: Boise State via TuneIn
Odds: KenPom favors Broncos by 12
The Boise State Broncos are fresh off a forgettable loss to Houston, where they were down the entire game and didn’t lead a single time. Boise will be without Emmanuel Akot once again due to contact tracing, so they are once also are short-handed, which means Marcus Shaver will start at point guard once again.
RayJ Dennis showed his potential while leading Boise State with 18 points. When you shoot an abysmal 6% from three-point range and get out-rebounded by 23, things usually won’t land in your favor, but it shows what needs to be improved. Derrick Alston Jr has to get involved. He shot the ball only six times, compared to his 13 times last season, but regardless he has the talent to score no matter how many attempts he takes. I’m not sure where you go to fix the rebounding.
That was more indicative of how good Houston is at rebounding rather than Boise being subpar at getting rebounds, but it’s something to pay attention to. It was just a challenging game for Houston; they have so much talent and depth that they are a tough match for any team.
For the Bearkats, they lost their opening battle to SMU by 30 and lost to Texas Tech by 32, obviously not ideal. SHSU does have a phenomenal scorer, though, with Zach Nutall. In the opening tilt against SMU, Nutall had 36 points while hitting six threes. Sam Houston State has been a mess on defense so far, ranking 317th on KenPom, obviously just two games in, but that weighs in Boise State’s favor.
Keys to the win:
Derrick Alston has to score. If your best player is struggling, you have to find a way for him to get easy baskets and raise his confidence.
Improve on three-point shooting. Max Rice made the lone three for the Broncos against Houston. Alston, Dennis, and Shaver have to help in that department. The shooting is a cause for concern after losing Justinian Jessup, one of the top shooters in the country last season, graduated and was drafted 51st by the Warriors. I think Shaver is the guy that could fix the trend. He shot 36% from three during his freshman season at Portland before transferring.
Don’t be deterred by the loss to Houston. It’s early in the season, but in a loss where you struggled to score, it could make players lose confidence and cause things to snowball. It’s essential for that not to happen.
The player spotlight: Marcus Shaver, Guard
Shaver gets another start without Akot and should be the teams best three-point shooter he has to be the one to change the awful performance from three against Houston.
Prediction: Boise State 79, Sam Houston State 59
This should be a sizeable victory for Boise State. The Broncos could be motivated and want to get some confidence and move on. This big win could be the start of positive momentum before Boise State plays New Mexico in a two-game conference tilt.