Following Boise State’s team scrimmage Saturday night at Bronco Gym, sophomore guard Chandler Hutchison had his finger on the pulse of the fanbase.
“They’re coming to watch for the new guys, they’ve already seen us play,” Hutchison said.
Those new faces delivered, while also showing those familiar ones like Hutchison may have taken another step forward. Freshman point guard Paris Austin was 3-for-3 from the field for eight points, adding four assists to one turnover. Hutchison had a team-best 12 points on 5-of-6 shooting. Senior transfers James Reid (Arkansas-Little Rock) and Lonnie Jackson (Boston College) had 11 and six points, respectively.
“It’s good to get the guys in front of a crowd ... some kids react differently when you get them in front of a crowd,” Boise State coach Leon Rice said.
Reid will redshirt this season, but Jackson is eligible immediately, and will be yet another 3-point threat in the Broncos’ arsenal. Austin, the top-100 recruit, showed a deft ability handling the ball, hit a pair of 3-pointers, and had a series where he got a steal, then finished it with an alley-oop to junior forward James Webb III.
“We’re going to have a lot of alley oops,” Austin said. “As long as James runs, I’m going to find him.”
Three guards sat out the scrimmage — seniors Montigo Alford and Mikey Thompson, plus freshman Malek Harwell. Alford (hernia) is due to return for Nov. 13’s opener at Montana, and Thompson (knee) is eyeing a return Nov. 6 for the Broncos’ exhibition against Northwest. Harwell is out for the season after tearing his ACL earlier this month.
With quite a few ballhandlers sidelined, Rice said “the silver lining of having ‘Tigo and Mikey out right now, is Paris is getting a lot of reps and he’s really improved.”
“I wish they were still in, but it’s an opportunity for me and I just want to take advantage of it,” Austin said. “I feel like I did good, wish I could’ve got my teammates the ball a little more ... I’m fitting well, I don’t have too big of a role, but it’s just enough for me.”
A SPLIT DECISION: The Broncos split up into two teams, and each side won two of the quarters. If there was an underdog, it was the Orange team, which was led by Hutchison and Reid. The Blue team featured Austin, Anthony Drmic, Webb (10 points) and Nick Duncan (11 points). Sophomore center David Wacker had six points and six rebounds for the Orange team.