Boise State’s offense gives Hawaii a lot to think about
After watching Boise State hang 95 points on his team last Saturday night in Reno, all Nevada coach Mark Fox could do was tip his cap to the Broncos.
"I give their team a lot of credit for shooting the ball as well as they did that night and all season," Fox said in Monday's WAC coaches teleconference. "They're obviously an improved team from what they were a year ago."
The Wolf Pack, who suffered a 15-point home loss, hasn't been alone in struggling to keep pace with the Broncos this season.
Tomorrow, it'll be Hawaii's turn to take a shot at reining them in.
The Rainbow Warriors (7-10, 3-2 Western Athletic Conference) face Boise State (13-5, 4-2) at Taco Bell Arena in the front end of a two-game road trip through Idaho. Tip-off is set for 4 p.m. Hawaii time.
After tomorrow's game, they'll face Idaho (4-13, 1-5) on Saturday at the Kibbie Dome in Moscow.
Boise State, off to its best start since the 1998-99 season, entered the week as the top shooting team in the nation at 52.2 percent, leading to a WAC-best 82.3 points per game.
The Broncos are led by the frontcourt duo of Reggie Larry and Matt Nelson, while forward Tyler Tiedeman ranks sixth in the country in 3-point percentage.
Larry is third in the conference in scoring (19 ppg) and first in rebounding (9.1 rpg). Nelson is close behind in both categories (15.8 ppg, 7.8 rpg) and is shooting 66 percent from the field.
If the ball is forced out of their hands, there's Tiedeman, who's coming off a 27-point night at Nevada.
"Boise's always been one of the higher scoring teams in the conference. They run a great transition, like to get it out in a hurry, like to isolate in the post," coach Bob Nash said.
"They have that ability to go inside-outside. You help inside, they can kick it out to great shooters out on the perimeter."
The Rainbow Warriors left Honolulu on Monday, riding their first winning streak of the season after picking up home wins over San Jose State and Fresno State last week.
"I just like the way we're making progress as a team," Nash said. "Guys are starting to understand their roles a little bit more, we've got more senior leadership."
The Rainbows worked out at a YMCA in downtown Boise yesterday morning and will split their practices into two hour-long sessions today.
Most of the heavy work will be done in the morning at the YMCA and they'll use the evening practice to get acclimated to shooting in Taco Bell Arena.
"This way we can practice when we want to instead of being on someone else's schedule," Nash said of the team's routine of finding an alternate practice site on the road.
"The guys worked hard and they were focused. We put in some of their sets and it was a stay-in-rhythm day for our shooters."
Though just 1-3 on the road so far this season, Hawaii had two of its most productive offensive games of the season in going 1-1 on their first WAC road trip.
Nash hasn't been shy about using all 10 available players in recent games, a tactic which may come in handy on this trip.
"Now our bench is a little deeper than it was before," Nash said. "You go into a little bit of altitude where you have to make subs, you don't hesitate to make those subs now because we've seen our guys play under live fire when the game's on the line."
Following tomorrow's game, the Rainbows head over to Moscow to meet an Idaho team that went 1-15 in both of its first two seasons in the WAC. Wins continue to be elusive for Idaho, but the Rainbows know better than to overlook the Vandals.
Idaho's lone WAC win last year came at UH's expense when forward Clyde Johnson hit a 3-pointer just before the buzzer to give Idaho the game, 76-75.