Boise State is set to embark on a new basketball season with a new look to its home arena.
The new video screens, which measure 8.1x14.3 feet, and improved sound system are in place at Taco Bell Arena, and the media got to see it going through the final tests Thursday. The Bronco women and men play a doubleheader Friday, starting at 5:30 p.m.
“It’s going to make a big difference, it changes the feel in this building, it’s going to change the fan experience,” Boise State men's basketball coach Leon Rice said.
It is a big upgrade from the previous board, which had screens measuring 6x8 feet and was installed in 2002.
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Other highlights from Rice's media session:
-Coaches are considering redshirting sophomore center David Wacker, who averaged 2.2 points and 1.9 rebounds per game in 29 games last season as a true freshman. He struggled with a shoulder injury most of the season and had surgery in the offseason. The amount of minutes available for Wacker, redshirt freshman Zach Haney and freshman Robin Jorch may be sparse as the big men are figured into the mix on a team full of shooters.
-Senior guards Mikey Thompson and Montigo Alford may both sit out Friday's exhibition against Northwest. Thompson had his knee scoped prior to the start of practices, and Alford has dealt with a hernia. Rice said Thompson is “50-50” and Alford is definitely out.
“The most important thing is we have them the following Friday (at Montana),” Rice said.
-Rice acknowledged the team may have some uniform tweaks or new looks at some point this season. Sources have indicated the Broncos likely will ditch the gray uniforms in favor of new orange ones.
-Rice said “we need to play somebody else” when he was asked about getting in front of a crowd, and also said he’s “excited to get the whole team back together” with injuries healing and senior Anthony Drmic back in the fold.
-Associate head coach Jeff Linder’s wife had a baby daughter Wednesday, so he took the well-earned day away from practice Thursday. It is their fourth child.