Wednesday's game against Air Force is huge for the Boise State basketball team. The Broncos are 16-8, 4-6 in the Mountain West and battling for post season. The Falcons beat them without Jeff Elorriaga and Kenny Buckner in January, 91-80. The conference's leading scorer Michael Lyons went for 37. Air Force is one game ahead of Boise State in the loss column, with five league losses, compared to the Broncos six. The Broncos are 10-1 at home this season and need to get another one.
You have to hold serve at home in this conference. Home teams are 35-13 this year...that's winning games at a 73 percent clip in conference games. The Broncos have four of the last six at home and need to take advantage of that. They'll face an experienced Air Force team tonight that starts five seniors. They play a Princeton style offense, but at a much faster pace. A lot of screens and back cuts....I expect a high scoring game. Air Force also plays a matchup zone on defense. Both styles are unique and cause fits.
Lyons is a tough guard...but the Falcons have others who can score. Mike Fitzgerald averages 10 a game and is an outstanding three point shooter. Taylor Broekhuis is a high post center that will pull Buckner and Ryan Watkins outside and point guard Todd Fletcher is a good passer that makes this team go. Like many teams Air Force has struggled on the road, winning three of nine. They are 11-2 at home.
The Broncos need to get Elorriaga back to hitting his threes. He hasn't shot it as well as he did pre-concussion. Derrick Marks and Anthony Drmic need to be a dynamic. They average 33 a game and will need to get that tonight. Air Force doesn't rebound well....so Watkins and Buckner need to control the boards and take advantage on the offensive glass.
Tip time is at 6 at Taco Bell Arena. It's an orange out and the Broncos need the crowd to help them just like it does at the Pit or at the Show.
By my count it will take an 8-8 conference record to get an at large bid. Sitting 4-6, that means a 4-2 finish. With four of the last six at home, that is very doable. But it needs to start with a win tonight.