Boise State vs St. Bonaventure Preview: First Round of the 2021 Shriners Children's Charleston Classic

Boise State vs St. Bonaventure Preview: First Round of the 2021 Shriners Children's Charleston Classic

Boise State

Boise State vs St. Bonaventure Preview: First Round of the 2021 Shriners Children's Charleston Classic

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Boise State vs St. Bonaventure: Preview, TV Schedule, Livestream, and More


Boise State faces a difficult early season test against top-25 ranked St. Bonaventure on Thursday. 


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The Broncos head east to take on the Bonnies as members of a loaded Charleston Classic Field. 

WHO: Boise State Broncos (1-1, 0-0 in the MW) vs. No. 22 St. Bonaventure Bonnies (2-0, 0-0 in the A-10)

WHEN: Thursday, November 18th 12:00 PM ET/11:00 AM CT/10:00 AM MT/9:00 AM PT

WHERE: TD-Arena-Charleston, S.C.

TV/Stream: This matchup can be seen on the ESPN 2, Stream via FuboTV and get a seven-day free trial.

Radio: Tune In

Line: KenPom, Bonnies 5-point favorites

SERIES RECORD: Broncos lead all-time series 1-0

PREVIEW: 

Coach Leon Rice’s Broncos are in need of a bit of a reboot after Saturday night’s 58-50 road loss to UC-Irvine. A cross country trip to Charleston, S.C. to take part in the 2021 Shriners Children’s Charleston Classic Thursday November 18th.

Though a fresh bit of scenery may be all that’s needed for Boise State to find their form again. They’ll encounter what may be the toughest part of their non-conference slate when they begin with the Bonnie of St. Bonaventure in the opening round.

Long-time head coach Mark Schmidt has his program nationally ranked (22/24) and 2-0 to start the season. Like the Broncos, the Bonnies have only played two games thus far. Also like Boise State, St. Bonaventure played like two very different teams in each of those games. In game one, the Bonnies handed Siena a 28-point loss at home. Though in game two also at home, hosting Canisius, another MAAC school they struggled but still got the win.

Against the Golden Griffins, the Bonnies struggled from deep. Shooting 13.3 % from three-point range but a respectable 43.4% from the field. This squad also struggled with turnovers,

About the matchup

The last meeting between these two programs on opposite sides of the country also happened to be their first. That was on November 20th, 2018 at the Cayman Islands Classic in a semifinal matchup.

Boise State handled St. Bonaventure without much trouble, posting a 20-point win. At the time Kyle Lofton, a freshman, dropped 20 points for the Bonnies. While no current Boise State player logged any minutes those three years ago.

The X-Factor

For Boise State: Abu Kigab,

Kigab was expected to take a big jump in his senior season given Derrick Alston Jr.’s absence. The 6-7 Canadian combo-forward is still doing a little bit of everything on the stat-sheet so far, but his shooting through two contests has been less than stellar. Currently shooting 39.1% from the floor and a horrendous 12.5% from deep on 4.0 attempts a game.

This squad needs to have a short memory when they take the floor against a defensive juggernaut like St. Bonaventure on Thursday. If Kigab can find his shot and create opportunities against a hard nose Bonnies perimeter.

For St. Bonaventure: Make the three

Coach Schmidt’s squad does plenty right on both sides of the floor. But a clear weakness in their 9-point win over the weekend was an awful performance from behind the arc. The Bonnies have the tools to crash the boards, play exterior and interior defense. But they have to be careful of their shot selection if things just aren’t falling from deep. Boise State brings more size and athleticism to the floor then Canisius, so to secure the win they have to knock down shots early or adjust.

Matchup of the night:  Whichever Bronco vs. Kyle Lofton

Lofton is a 2-time All-Atlantic 10 selection and dangerous on most spots on the court. He’s not the only capable scorer or playmaker on this St. Bonaventure squad. But for a team that gets majority of it’s 72.0 PPG from three players, Lofton, Jaren Holmes and Jalen Adaway (69% of overall scoring at a 50.0 PPG). Neutralizing the 6-3 leading scorer at 17.0 PPG, might give Boise State a chance if their own shots aren’t falling.

Emmanuel Akot may have been my initial choice to attempt to lock down Lofton. Given a distinct size advantage at 6-8, 210 to the Bonnie’s 6’3 185. The Boise State’s current floor general has the length and athleticism to give Lofton a long morning at the top of the key. Though he’s never been an adept defender in his career, with career averages of just 0.4 SPG & 0.2 BPG. This might be where you insert Doutrive, who can also play the point and guard the perimeter.

Prediction: 

St. Bonaventure are the 5-point favorites in this one (per KenPom) and given the recent form of both teams, I saw that’s a fair assessment. The Bonnies are certainly capable of a double-digit win here, but with nearly a weeks time and fresh legs, Boise State is up to the test.

The Rest of the Field

Depending on the outcome of Thursday morning’s first round matchup, the Broncos will face either the Clemson Tigers or the Temple Owls on Friday.  Both quality opponents and a chance at a quality neutral site win, both dangerous in their own ways as well.

Clemson

The Tigers are currently 3-0 and have four players currently averaging double-figures. Their led by the frontcourt duo of senior forward Hunter Tyson (15.3 PPG) and sophomore big P.J. Hall (14.0 PPG).

Temple

The Owls are led by sophomore guard Khalif Battle, who averages 24.0 PPG and 4.5 RPG in two contests so far. Head coach Aaron McKie has Temple at 1-1 so far on the season.

Link to complete bracket here.

Larry Muniz covers college basketball as a writer for Mountain West Wire and WAC Hoops Digest. Also as a co-host of the college basketball podcast “Hoops Talk W/Jay & Larry”. He is also a USWBA Member.

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