Though he’s been through the offseason process a few times already, Boise State junior forward Chandler Hutchison is excited to get a new basketball season rolling.
After several weeks of competing against teammates in practices and scrimmages, the Broncos will see different colored jerseys for the first time in the 2016-17 season when they face Lewis-Clark State on Friday (7 p.m., Taco Bell Arena, $10 tickets) in the first of two exhibition games at Taco Bell Arena.
“You spend all summer and fall playing against your own guys, people who know your tendencies down to a T,” Hutchison said. “And it’s always good for the young guys to get out there in front of some people in the stands, just to get those jitters out that have been waiting since they graduated high school. But this is my third time around. I’m kind of used to it by now.”
Coach Leon Rice’s team features a lot of “young guys.” The Broncos lost 65 percent of their scoring due to graduation and the early departure of star James Webb III. Hutchison, who started seven games and averaged 6.8 points per game last season, is considered a veteran. Just one full-time starter returns in senior forward Nick Duncan.
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“The one question we have with this team is, you have a lot of question marks. The question marks are, what can these guys do when the lights come on against other guys?” Rice said. “You kind of have your core. We do have some veterans that I think you can count on. But we have to get some of those questions answered.”
Hutchison is one of many players expected to take on a bigger role in 2016-17. He, sophomore point guard Paris Austin, redshirt sophomore forward David Wacker and redshirt senior transfer James Reid have big shoes to fill with the departures of upperclassman like Mikey Thompson, Montigo Alford, Anthony Drmic and Webb.
“Hopefully our guys are ready for it. You’re never fully ready,” Rice said. “You get to learn a lot from these exhibitions.”
Friday’s exhibition starts at 7 p.m. The Broncos host Northwest Christian in their second exhibition game Nov. 5 at 4 p.m. The team opens the regular season at home against Northwest University on Nov. 12 at 1 p.m.