The Boise State basketball team is likely to play a trio of newcomers this season, and all three made their Taco Bell Arena debut Friday in a 79-55 exhibition win over Northwest. Here’s a look at the fresh faces and their different skill sets:
PARIS AUSTIN, FR., G (5-11, 180)
One of the most highly-touted recruits in school history (Scout.com top 100, Rivals.com top 150, ESPN top 20 point guard), Austin has done little to show it was unwarranted. He had a team-high 18 points Friday, showing an ability to maneuver through traffic and guide the offense.
With two senior guards fighting injuries the past month, Austin has seen a ton of work and is no doubt the point guard of the future.
“Obviously, since Mikey (Thompson) and Montigo (Alford) are out, I have gotten to play a lot more, but I’m just here to play my role and get my teammates involved, just run the show,” Austin said.
Coach Leon Rice: “We think he’s going to be a really good player, and he showed signs of that (Friday) of some of the stuff he can do. He’s a natural point guard, he’s figuring a lot of things out.”
Sophomore guard Chandler Hutchison: “Good leadership, I mean, you don’t really get that from a freshman, but he’s locked in.”
LONNIE JACKSON, SR., G (6-4, 178)
Recruited out of high school in Valencia, Calif., Jackson signed with Boston College, where he hit 175 3-pointers (ninth in school history).
His decision this summer to transfer gives the Broncos four players who have hit six 3-pointers in a Division I game, along with Anthony Drmic, Nick Duncan and James Webb III. Rice likes having instant offense off the bench, which Jackson seems to provide.
“I think I fit in very well with the guys, personality-wise, and on the court,” said Jackson, who hit two 3-pointers Friday. “We’re all smart players. We all can shoot the ball, looking to get up and down the floor, and I fit in perfectly with that.”
Rice: “Lonnie can really shoot the ball. ... He’s going to have some big, big games, especially when teams try to zone us.”
ROBIN JORCH, FR., C (6-10, 250)
A late addition who arrived on campus just after the school year started, the Berlin native was granted full eligibility last month and is expected to see some time inside with sophomore David Wacker slated to redshirt.
Jorch played on the German national team four times at the European Championships and averaged 9.1 points per game last summer at the U-20 European Championship. He had five points in 16 minutes against Northwest.
“First off, a great teammate, he’s really willing to learn and he’s a hard worker,” redshirt freshman forward Zach Haney said. “He likes to bang in the post, get rebounds. He can step out and shoot it, too.”
Rice: “With big guys, you start with their hands and their feet. ... He’s got great skill, a good feel for the game, which some centers don’t have. It’s a matter of him catching up with what we’re doing.”
▪ Boise State men: at Montana, 7 p.m., Friday
▪ Boise State women: vs. Cal State Los Angeles, Bronco Gym, 7 p.m. Friday