Boise State men's basketball coach Leon Rice confirmed Tuesday the Broncos will play at North Carolina State this upcoming season.
Rice said the game is slated to be played the day after Thanksgiving in Raleigh, N.C. There are no plans for the Wolfpack to return to Boise. North Carolina State, two time NCAA national champions, have reached the NCAA Tournament in all of coach Mark Gottfried's three seasons.
"We're excited about that, to get an ACC school we have a tremendous amount of respect for Mark and his program," Rice said.
Per the Broncos' coach, there are no further schedule updates, though agreements signed last year have them playing Idaho the day before Thanksgiving and at Saint Mary's. The Idaho game at CenturyLink Arena could be moved ahead a day to accommodate the North Carolina State game if it were to be set for that Friday.
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I spoke with Rice and sophomore Nick Duncan about the upcoming season now that all the team's newcomers and Australian players are now on campus. Both said the team will probably look different than years past with additional height at their disposal. Check the video above for more.
"I can play that (center) spot, but I think with a bunch of new big guys I can play a bit further from the basket," the 6-foot-8 Duncan said. "That puts two big guys on the floor at once. Defensive rebounds hurt us a bit last year, so hopefully that gets better this year."
Of the Broncos' newcomers, freshman Zach Haney is 6-11, junior Kevin Allen is 6-11, freshman David Wacker is 6-10 and freshman Chandler Hutchison is 6-8. Junior guard Montigo Alford is unique at 5-8, but has some serious hops to go with speed. Sophomore James Webb, who redshirted last season grew two inches over the last year and is now 6-9.
"Now we have what I feel is Mountain West size and maybe more Mountain West athleticism," Rice said.
Rice noted with five newcomers and Webb coming off a redshirt, the team is noticeably more athletic. Duncan called College of Southern Idaho transfer Alford the fastest player on the team. Rice said added depth and athleticism could help the team add more pressure on the defensive end.
"This can maybe give us some flexibility to be a little more aggressive," Rice said. "Some of these guys, if you threw a San Diego State uni on them, they'd be like 'there you go, that looks like a Mountain West team.' That's exciting for a coach."
I'll have a story in tomorrow' Statesman on Duncan, who has shed a good amount of weight since last season ended. He played at as much as 265 pounds, but is currently at 248. The goal by the start of the season is for him to weigh 235-240.
"He doesn't look like a beer league player anymore, he's looking like a Mountain West player," Rice said.