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 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.
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 Hudl.com.