Boise State Broncos

Boise State's James Webb III (23) shoots over New Mexico's Obij Aget (11) during the first half of an NCAA college basketball game in Boise, Idaho, on Saturday, Jan. 30, 2016. (AP Photo/Otto Kitsinger)

Boise’s Webb III hires agent

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Boise State junior James Webb III has hired an agent, forgoing his chance to return to the Broncos, Yahoo Sports reported Wednesday night.
Webb III did not immediately employ an agent after declaring for the draft last month, but is now going full-bore toward his professional future.
“I felt ready to commit myself to the NBA draft and was confident with the success I had at Boise State,” Webb told Yahoo Sports. “I’m ready to take the next step in my life and I’m hoping to show teams that I’m always getting better. I think my work ethic will be the most important thing to show teams, but I also need to show them I can shoot well because that has been the biggest knock so far.”
The 6-foot-8 forward shot nearly 50 percent from the floor last year, but a paltry 24.8 percent on 109 3-point shot attempts. He did, though, post 15.8 points and 9.1 rebounds per game. He was one of the nation’s best on the defensive glass with a rebounding percentage of 26.4 on that end of the floor.
He’ll need an impressive spring in front of NBA decision-makers to work his way into better draft position, but could be a second-rounder.
Webb’s decision is a significant blow to Boise State, which was already set to lose four senior contributors to graduation.

Boise State hangs on for quality win over No. 24 Oregon

Anthony Drmic, Nick Duncan
Associated Press
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With three of their four losses on the season coming against No. 13 Arizona (twice) and No. 1 Michigan State, Saturday night’s matchup with No. 24 Oregon provided Boise State with another opportunity to add a quality win to its résumé. And in spite of a shaky final two minutes in which they nearly lost the game, Leon Rice’s Broncos managed to hang on for the 74-72 victory.

And Boise State managed to win despite getting a relatively quiet night from forward James Webb III, who battled foul trouble for a significant portion of the game and finished with 12 points on 3-for-9 shooting to go along with five rebounds.

Senior guard Anthony Drmic, who still isn’t back to full strength after having to take a medical redshirt last season, scored a team-high 19 points with Mikey Thompson adding 11 and Chandler Hutchison (eight points, seven rebounds) making some key plays on both ends of the floor. Boise State didn’t have its best offensive night, shooting just 42.6 percent from the field and 11-for-29 form three. But they took a step forward defensively, which is key for a team with hopes of contending for a second consecutive Mountain West title.

Oregon finished the game shooting 43.1 percent from the field and they made half of their shot attempts in the second half. But it was Boise State’s defense for much of the game’s first thirty-four minutes that produced the hole that proved too deep for the Ducks to climb out of. Oregon shot 35.7 percent from the field in the first half, and while their turnover count of 11 isn’t a huge issue those mistakes resulted in 20 Boise State points on the other end.

When you’re having issues offensively as Boise State was, having those extra opportunities can be critical. Boise State led by as much as 17 in the second half before the shorthanded Ducks made their furious rally.

Did Boise State beat a full-strength Oregon? No. Jordan Bell’s finally returned to the lineup, and guards Tyler Dorsey and Dylan Ennis missed Saturday’s game. But that isn’t Boise State’s fault, and the Broncos themselves are still working to discover who they can be as a full unit. Boise State is still looking for the option who can fill the shoes left vacant by the loss of Derrick Marks, last year’s Mountain West POY who served as the team’s closer late in games.

That likely factored into their struggles down the stretch against Oregon, but with Drmic, Webb and even Thompson the Broncos do have players who could potentially fill that role. The finish wasn’t pretty by any stretch of the imagination, but Boise State managed to hang on, adding a much-needed quality win to its résumé.

Depth, guard play make the difference for No. 12 Arizona

Associated Press

TUCSON, Arizona — After winning 35 games and reaching the Elite Eight last season, No. 12 Arizona had to address the fact that four starters from that team had moved on.

And with three of those players currently in the NBA, addressing those losses would not be a simple task for Sean Miller and his coaching staff. But what will help in that quest is Arizona’s depth, and that attribute was on display Thursday night as they beat Boise State 88-76 in an unbracketed game in the Wooden Legacy.

On a night that saw senior center Kaleb Tarczewski account for just four points and nine rebounds and Ryan Anderson (15 rebounds) finish with only eight points on 4-for-13 shooting, other players managed to step forward. Dusan Ristic gave the Wildcats a valuable eight points and five rebounds off the bench, and Arizona’s guards stepped forward on both ends of the floor as well.

Of those perimeter players Gabe York led the way, scoring his 23 points (7-for-12 FG) on multiple levels and being a tough cover for Boise State’s guards. But the looks York managed to connect on would not have been present without the help of his teammates.

“Everyone did a great job of trying to find me, and when I took a bad shot, no one was upset because I think I shot the ball pretty well tonight,” York said after the game. “Parker (Jackson-Cartwright) found me a lot in transition. Kadeem (Allen) did a great job of finding me, and I was able to knock down shots.”

The 6-foot-3 senior guard is a prime example of what can happen when a player sticks to the process, steadily honing his skills and earning more playing time ahead of a final campaign in which the opportunities to score would be plentiful. After averaging 9.2 points per game as a junior York entered Thursday’s game as one of four Wildcats in double figures, and his performance was one reason why Arizona was able to gain some separation in the second half as the visiting Broncos became stagnant offensively.

York was one of four guards to finish the game in double figures Thursday night, but it could be argued that the most important of those contributions (with an eye towards the future) came from Jackson-Cartwright and Allen.

Those two have the difficult task of stepping into the lead guard role left vacant by the departure of McConnell, who was a floor general in every sense of the phrase. But for Arizona to be successful they don’t have to be McConnell, because Allen and Jackson-Cartwright’s respective games differ from the current Philadelphia 76er.

Against Boise State Jackson-Cartwright provided the early spark, coming off the bench to score 12 of his 14 points in the first half and providing a much-needed supplement to York’s offensive output. Allen grabbed the baton in the second half, tallying eight points (he finished with ten) and five assists (six for the game) with just one turnover. Add in Trier scoring 11 of his 13 in the second half, and Arizona had enough production to hold off Boise State’s two-headed front court monster of James Webb III (27 points, nine rebounds) and Nick Duncan (21 points).

“Parker was a big reason we won the game and so was Alonzo,” Miller said. “I talked to both guys after the game…I was disappointed in the way we finished the game with both of them in, because in my opinion if we didn’t have the performance from either one of them we would not have been in the winner’s circle.”

It is early in the season, but it’s apparent that instead of having that single stalwart to call upon at the point Arizona has two players capable of shepherding the team. Before the season began Allen was labeled by some as the “scoring” point guard with Jackson-Cartwright filling the role of distributor. But Thursday night both showed the ability to do things outside of the labels affixed to them, and that can only benefit the Wildcats moving forward.

“(Kadeem) makes me better every day, and I try to do the same with him,” Jackson-Cartwright said. “He is a bigger, stronger guard. He can get into the pain as well as shoot. Going against him every day has been tremendous in making me better.”

On a night in which their leading scorer entering the game shot 4-f0r-13 from the field, Arizona managed to shoot better than 54 percent from the field and 10-for-21 from beyond the arc. Add in a 38-3 edge in bench points, and it’s easy to see why the Wildcats were able to pull away from a game Boise State squad.

At this point in time Arizona may not have the decisive answers at some positions that are generally demanded in college basketball, but they do have a lot of options. And that’s a good “issue” to have if you’re Sean Miller.

Boise State loses guard Harwell to torn ACL

Leon Rice
Associated Press
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Expected to be one of the favorites in the Mountain West this season, Boise State’s perimeter ranks have shrunk by one player due to injury. Thursday it was reported by the Idaho Statesman that freshman guard Malek Harwell will redshirt after suffering a torn ACL in practice. Along with fellow freshman Paris Austin, Harwell is expected to be a key part of the Broncos’ future beyond the upcoming season.

Now, instead of competing with an experienced backcourt that includes four redshirt seniors, Harwell will work to get his knee back to full strength for the 2016-17 season.

Among the guards who will play significant minutes this season are Anthony Drmic, who took a medical redshirt last season, Montigo Alford, Mikey Thompson and grad transfer Lonnie Jackson (Boston College). Chandler Hutchison, who started in Boise State’s final 18 games of the 2014-15 season as a freshman, will also compete for playing time.

Boise State announces late roster additions

SAN DIEGO, CA - FEBRUARY 28:  Head coach Leon Rice of the Boise State Broncos discusses a call with the referee during the first half of the game against the San Diego State Aztecs at Viejas Arena on February 28, 2015 in San Diego, California. (Photo by Kent C. Horner/Getty Images)
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Boise State announced some additional roster depth for the upcoming season as the Broncos added three freshmen and one transfer.

Coming to Boise State is Arkansas-Little Rock transfer guard James Reid and three freshman, including German 6-foot-10 forward Robin Jorch, 6-foot-3 guard Collin Landry and 6-foot-4 guard Cody Spjute.

The official release from the school mentions that the NCAA is still looking into his eligiblity for the upcoming season. Reid, a 6-foot-3 junior, will sit out the 2015-16 season due to NCAA transfer regulations and play his redshirt senior season next year. Spjute is coming off of a two-year mission after winning back-to-back state titles while Landry will add practice depth.

The addition of Jorch is intriguing for Boise State out of this group because he’s a 6-foot-10 forward who can stretch the floor and he has significant international experience. Jorch has been a mainstay with the German national team and led the Germans in minutes (25.2 mpg) during the 2014 FIBA U20 European Championships. Jorch averaged 9.1 points and 3.4 rebounds and shot 35.5 percent from 3-point range.

Given that Boise State loves to shoot 3-pointers and their frontcourt backups are unproven, Jorch could be a potential stretch option if he’s eligible and sees the floor. Reid should help provide shooting in his final season and he’ll be an experienced replacement once he’s eligible.

It’s hard to say if Spjute and Landry will see many minutes, as they just joined the team this week for workouts.

Boise State lands second 2016 commitment

Leon Rice, Cade Price
Associated Press
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With four scholarship seniors in their perimeter rotation for the 2015-16 season, defending Mountain West regular season champion Boise State is in a position where they can use some additional depth for the future. Saturday head coach Leon Rice and his staff landed their second commitment in three days, with Colorado native Justinian Jessup announcing that he’s verbally committed to Boise State.

The 6-foot-4 Jessup, who was Class 4A Player of the Year as a junior at Longmont HS, joins another shooting guard in Alex Hobbs in Boise State’s 2016 class to date.

One of the other options Jessup had in his recruitment was to walk on (or join them after a prep year in 2016-17) at Colorado, with the Buffaloes at the time (May) having two perimeter commitments in guards Deleon Brown and Cameron Satterwhite. That situation changed some for Colorado this weekend, as Satterwhite decided to reopen his recruitment, and a possible backup plan for the Buffaloes is now off the table with Jessup committing to Boise State.

Boise State will lose Mikey Thompson, Montigo Alford, Lonnie Jackson and Anthony Drmic at the end of the 2015-15 season, and with the dismissal of Dezmyn Trent the Broncos have a need for additional perimeter options. Having Paris Austin and Malek Harwell, two guards they can build around in the future, on board learning from that experienced group of seniors will help the Broncos but so will their most recent additions.

Below are some highlights from Jessup’s junior season courtesy of