Rice on Boise State’s season record: ‘We haven’t been getting it done’
Boise State men’s basketball fans, Leon Rice understands your frustration.
And he’s planning on doing something about it.
“It’s my job. I’ll get us back to contending for championships and championship-level basketball, and my push is this year,” Rice said. “My push is to get us playing that level of basketball now and in the next 60 days, and then 100 percent for the future. We’ll get back there.”
The Broncos’ first chance to put an end to their current three-game losing streak is 2 p.m. Saturday against Wyoming at Taco Bell Arena.
Boise State has beaten the Cowboys once this season, winning 69-55 in Laramie on Jan. 2. Wyoming is just 1-5 in the Mountain West and 5-14 overall.
But the Broncos also have seen their share of trouble this season, including a 14-for-67 performance (20.8 percent) from 3-point range over the past three games, all losses, dropping their record to 8-11 overall and 3-3 in league play.
Unless Boise State can go 8-4 in its last 12 games, the Broncos will finish the regular season with a losing record for only the second time under Rice. His other losing season was a 13-17 record in 2011-12, which was the Broncos’ first year in the Mountain West.
Some fans have shared their disappointment with the current state of Boise State men’s basketball on social media, and Rice doesn’t blame them.
“It’s a zero sum game. You either win or lose, and we haven’t been getting it done, and we’re going to fix it. I promise that,” Rice said. “... If I tweeted some things right after some of our losses, I’d probably tweet some of the same things. Nobody wants that, and our guys don’t want that. We’re frustrated, but then it’s my job to regroup them and come out fighting again.
“So I get it. We want to win. And we’re used to winning.”
The 2018-19 Broncos have shown flashes of potential this season, which might have added to the overall sense of frustration. The team can seemingly go from white hot to ice cold in a matter of seconds.
“It’s like the Rubik’s Cube. We’re not going to stop until it’s solved, until all the colors are lined up appropriately,” Rice said. “We’ve got them all over the place, and we’re still turning it, and we’re going to make lemonade out of it.”
Note: Saturday’s game at Taco Bell Arena will be a blue out. Fans are encouraged to wear blue to coincide with the team wearing its blue uniforms at home for the first time this season. ... The game will be streamed live on Stadium College Basketball’s Facebook page and on the radio at 670 AM. ... Hit hard by injuries, Wyoming has only seven scholarship players and two walk-ons available to face the Broncos.
Women: Broncos on the road again
Boise State women’s basketball players have taken to avoiding the numbers these days.
Whether it’s winning streaks or AP poll votes, the Broncos are trying to turn a blind eye.
“We have goals this year, and in order to accomplish those, we have to take it step by step,” Boise State junior Braydey Hodgins said. “We can’t be looking ahead or looking at who has us where or who thinks we can do this.
“It comes from within. If we believe in ourselves, then we can go 1-0 every week, and then I think we’ll find ourselves in a good spot at the end.”
Going into Saturday’s 1 p.m. MT Mountain West Conference game against Wyoming (10-5, 3-3 MW) in Laramie, the Broncos (15-2, 6-0) have won a program-record 16 in a row against league foes dating back to last season. They’re also receiving votes again in The Associated Press and coaches polls, and recently were invited to attend next season’s preseason WNIT.
Through Wednesday, Boise State is one of just six teams in the nation on a double-digit run of wins. The Broncos have won 10 in a row overall to join the likes of No. 8 N.C. State (18), No. 1 Notre Dame (11), No. 5 Oregon (10), No. 6 Stanford (10) and BYU (10).
Note: A live video stream of Saturday’s game in Laramie can be found at WatchStadium.com. A radio broadcast is available on 1350 AM.