Wednesday, January 7, 2009

It's a Thursday night game up in Boise

We're going to be short here about the coaching bio because everyone should be familiar with Greg Graham's background -- former SJSU assistant coach Greg Graham has been at the helm of Boise State for seven seasons and is coming off a league and tournament championship.

BSU is coming off a double-double, that being a win against the Rainbow Warriors in the conference opener and a trip to Hawaii to boot:

1/04/08 -- Boise State took Hawaii 70-58 in the islands with Kurt Cunningham scoring 14 points, Mark Sanchez contributing a double-double of 12 and 12 and Anthony Thomas adding 11 points and eight assists in the WAC opener for both teams.

BSU Season To Date

11-14-08 Pacific University W 100-68
11/17/08 @ Siena College L 52-82
11-22-08 Idaho State W-OT 92-84
11-24-08 Montana State W 74-61
11-29-08 Southern Utah W 62-59
12-03-08 Wyoming W 86-85
12/06/08 Colorado State W 85-76
12/10/08 @ BYU L 56-94
12-13-08 San Francisco L 76-79
12.20.08 @ CSU Bakersfield W 66-62
12/22/08 @ San Diego W 75-72
12/29/08 EWU W 57-48
01/03/09 @ Hawaii W 70-58

About the two blowouts:

*** The 30-point road loss to Sienna was 'aided' by 22 Bronco turnovers. Plus, BSU shot 18-52 for the game and 2-17 from three-point land. The free throw differential was 19 - BSU and 32 - Sienna.

*** The 38 point loss to BYU was just a four point halftime deficit, 33-29, but the Cougars went on a 51-11 second half run, totaling 61 in the second 20 minutes. Boise shot 4-20 from long distance. Each team took 66 shots, with Boise making 23 and BYU 35.

*** For comparable opponents: San Jose State also beat San Diego on the road 56-52 (as did Boise 75-72) and topped San Francisco 82-76 at home (Boise lost at home to the Dons 79-76).

The Boise State Starting Five

Kurt Cunningham 6-10 265 - He's become a major surprise playing 20 minutes a game -- averaging a point every two minutes (9.9) -- and especially with shooting 76% from the floor. Cunningham is also shooting 82% at the foul line so a touch is definitely there. He's at 3.5 rebounds a contest and almost half his boards have been at the offensive end.

Mark Sanchez 6-7 235 - Another surprise, he had moved into the power forward spot and put up impressive numbers. 30 minutes a game, 15.4 point a contest and 7.9 boards each time out. Sanchez is shooting 54% overall and 47% on 15 three-point attempts. He has blocked 16 shots in 13 games and committed but 19 fouls.

Paul Noonan 6-7 210 - He's not that much of a creator but possesses a nice touch and with range if left open. In 25 minutes a game, he's scoring 11.6 ppg. on 47% shooting from the floor as well as 39% on 59 long-distance shots (the most on the team).

Aaron Garner 6-3 175 - Garner is at 18+ minutes a game and averaging 7 points, shooting 47% overall and 45% from three-point range (38 shots, second on the team). He has but two free throws so far this season so dribble-drives are not his forte.

Anthony Thomas 6-0 205 - Playing the most minutes on the squad at 30+ a game, Thomas is the team quarterback and is averaing 8.7 points each time out and the top assist man in 13 contests with 74. He is shooting 46% from the floor and 39% on three-pointers.

The Bench

Ike Okoye 6-9 230 - Greater production was expected of Okoye, who transferred in from Wyoming. He's playing around 18 minutes a game, scoring 8 per contest and grabbing 5.9 rebounds a night. Okoye has 22 blocked shots in 13 games while playing more at center than forward.

Jamar Greene 6-0 203 - Greene also plays 18 or so minutes a game but his shooting (33%) and ballhandling (16 assists/27 turnovers) have been subpar to date.

La'Shard Anderson 6-0 160 - A junior college transfer point guard after a single year at Irvine Valley JC, Anderson is shooting 28% and has 33 assists to 27 turnovers.

Sean Imadiyi 6-7 200 - He is a good athlete with some scoring ability.

As A Team

*** Boise State is shooting 48% as a team to 42% for opponents

*** Rebounding numbers have the Broncos in a minimal deficit

*** BSU has earned 209 assists to 138 for opposing teams

*** On the flip side, Greg Grahma's team is a -43 in turnovers, having committed 209 to 166 for opponents

The Boise State roster (by position and alphabetically)

La'Shard Anderson G 6-0 160 sophomore
Aaron Garner G 6-3 175 senior
Jamar Greene G 6-0 203 senior
Nate Larsen G 6-2 190 junior
Anthony Thomas G 6-0 205 junior

Sean Imadiyi F 6-7 200 junior
Paul Noonan F 6-7 210 sophomore
Ike Okoye F 6-9 230 junior
Shawn Rouse F 6-6 187 sophomore
Mark Sanchez F 6-7 235 Senior
Tyler Young F 6-8 200 freshman

Kurt Cunningham C 6-10 265 junior
Zack Moritz C 6-10 246 sophomore

What Else

Greg Graham's teams typically shoot well, working it around patiently for good looks. It seems his teams are more the 'sum of its parts' rather than being led by a star player. The turnover differential isn't that much of a surprise considering the number of new players but the team needs to level the difference to be a factor in the WAC.

Oh yes, it's currently 34 degrees in Boise. Chalk up another reason for residing in the Bay Area.

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