Boise State has been making noise – and deservedly so – in the media over the last few days.
They only went into the gym of #11 Creighton and whomped on the top mid-major team in the land by 13 points. A week before that, they nearly knocked off #15 Michigan State, so the upset win was no fluke.
Now they roll into Seattle on Sunday afternoon with a 5-1 record and all kinds of momentum.
Powered by Chicago-area sophomore Derrick Marks and his 19.5 points per game (including an incredible 35 on the road at Creighton), Boise State has a dynamic offense. They shoot the ball well at nearly 47% per game from the field.
They also have an extremely young team. The top two scorers, Marks and small forward Anthony Drmic (who averages 14.3 per game), are both sophomores. There’s just one senior on the roster. The roster makeup is not that of a team expected to be competitive this season, especially in a very good Mountain West Conference, but so far they’re defying that.
Since the Broncos are a young team, it’s entirely possible that a road trip to Seattle will be a little bit of a “letdown” game. Sunday’s contest is the second on a three-game road trip. Boise State will travel to Utah before heading home to host LSU, and might be looking ahead a little.
The Redhawks will need to take control of this one early. If Boise State can jump out to an early lead like they did at Creighton, when the only lead the Broncos surrendered was at 3-0, it will be tough for Seattle to come back.
Another key will be Prince Obasi. The starting point guard will need to have a strong defensive game and keep Marks from getting to the rim at will. Keeping Boise State’s leading scorer from getting hot is a task easier said than done, but it will be crucial for the Redhawks to have a chance in this one.
Seattle U is getting their toughest non-conference opponents early. First Virginia, then Stanford and now Boise State. Stealing a game against a red-hot school from a bigger conference would inspire quite a bit of confidence in this Redhawks team.