Boise State Non-Conference Schedule Preview

Previewing the non-conference schedule for Boise State.

Boise State Non-Conference Schedule Preview

Previewing Boise State basketball’s non-conference schedule in 2022-2023

Contact/Follow @Michaelbraydaly & @MWCwire

How will the early part of the season treat the Broncos?

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The 2021-2022 season turned out to be one to remember for Boise State. For the eighth time in program history, Boise State made the NCAA Tournament.

It was a postseason berth that ended early with a loss to Memphis in the first round of the tournament. The result was an 11-point, 64-53, loss in Portland, Ore. The season did not end the way Boise State would have liked, but it was a successful overall season.

Looking ahead, Boise State will try to get back to the NCAA Tournament in consecutive years since the Broncos did it in 1993 and 1994. It will take help from several key returning players to fill the void of losing Abu Kigab and Emmanuel Akot. Marcus Shaver Jr. returned to the program in May after withdrawing his name from the 2022 NBA Draft.

This preview will analyze each non-conference game and predict the outcome. The non-conference schedule will run from Nov. 9 to Dec. 22. The conference schedule opens on the road at Nevada on Dec. 28.

(Game 1) Wednesday, Nov. 9: vs. South Dakota State – Boise, Idaho, ExtraMile Arena

Like Boise State, South Dakota State had a magical run in the regular season and the Summit League Tournament. The Jackrabbits finished the season with a 30-5 record and an 18-0 conference record. This upcoming season will be a big change for the team without the top three scorers from last season. Douglas Wilson graduated from the school and Baylor Scheierman and Noah Freidel transferred from the school. South Dakota State will take a big hit from losing these three players.

Game Prediction: Boise State 84, South Dakota State 61

(Game 2) Saturday, Nov. 12: vs. Washington State – Boise, Idaho, Idaho Central Arena

In 2021, Boise State closed out the non-conference schedule against Washington State in a 58-52 win. This time around, it will be at the very beginning of the season and both teams are attempting to carry over the momentum from last season. Washington State reached the NIT Semifinal in March and ended the season with a 22-15 record.

Last year’s meeting between Washington State and Boise State was in Pullman, Wash., and the Broncos won 58-52. Since it is a home game in front of a large crowd of fans from both teams, it will help Boise State win the game.

Game Prediction: Boise State 60, Washington State 55

(Game 3) Thursday, Nov. 17: vs. Charlotte – Myrtle Beach Invitational, Conway, South Carolina, HTC Center 

An early exit in the 2022 Conference USA Tournament prevented Charlotte from having an real consideration for a postseason tournament. The 49ers had a 17-14 overall record in 2022. Jahmir Young, who was the leading scorer in 2022, entered the transfer portal and left for Maryland. The 49ers will need to build without last season’s leading scorer. This will be a difficult neutral site tournament game for Charlotte.

Boise State will be guaranteed at least one game in the tournament. If they win two games, there will be a final game on Nov. 20. If Boise State beats Charlotte, they will face the winner of Loyola Chicago vs. Tulsa in the second game. There is a chance Boise State could see Texas A&M in the tournament before their scheduled game on Dec. 3.

Game Prediction: Boise State 66, Charlotte 49

Rest of the Tournament Prediction:

Second Round: Boise State 57, Loyola Chicago 54

Championship Game: Texas A&M 53, Boise State 52

(Game 6) Saturday, Nov. 26: vs. Utah Valley – Boise, Idaho, ExtraMile Arena

Add Utah Valley to the list of recycled non-conference opponents from last season. In last year’s meeting, Boise State opened up the season with a 76-56 win over Utah Valley. Expect a similar performance from both teams. The Broncos will take advantage of a weaker team.

Game Prediction: Boise State 72, Utah Valley 53

(Game 7) Tuesday, Nov. 29: vs. Cal State Northridge – Boise, Idaho, ExtraMile Arena

In another 2021-2022 non-conference opponent, Boise State will welcome Cal State Northridge to Idaho. Boise State was on the road last season and defeated the Matadors, 74-48. This year’s game will have a similar outcome.

Game Prediction: Boise State 78, Cal State Northridge 44

(Game 8) Saturday, Dec. 3: vs. Texas A&M – The Battleground 2k22, Fort Worth, Texas, Dickies Arena

Despite missing out on the NCAA Tournament, Texas A&M nearly captured an NIT Championship in March. The Aggies finished last season at 27-13. It will be a season for the remaining key contributors to fill in for Quenton Jackson, who declared for the NBA Draft. Henry Coleman III, Tyrece Radford, and Wade Taylor IV will be the leaders of this team in 2022. The experience will be a tough test for Boise State. Based on this prediction, this will be the second meeting of the season for these two teams. Boise State will be 0-2 in the two games.

Game Prediction: Texas A&M 59, Boise State 56

(Game 9) Tuesday, December 6: vs. Eastern Oregon – Boise, Idaho, ExtraMile Arena

In what should be a bit of a breather in the schedule for Boise State, Eastern Oregon will try to make the most of a big opportunity. Eastern Oregon won 18 games last season as a member of the Cascade Collegiate Conference. This will be a tune up game for Boise State and should not be very competitive. It could be the best showing of the non-conference schedule.

Game Prediction: Boise State 101, Eastern Oregon 54

(Game 10) Saturday, December 10: at. Saint Louis – Saint Louis, Missouri, Chaifetz Arena 

Saint Louis will be a difficult road test for the Broncos. It will be the first official road game of the season and it could feature two teams on the NCAA Tournament bubble. Gibson Jimerson will be the offensive leader for the Billikens. He led the team in scoring in 2021-2022 with an average of 16.3 points. The game being on the road will be in Saint Louis’ favor.

Last season, this was a home game for Boise State and it was an overtime loss in November. Saint Louis has continued to be a strong team and will benefit from the home atmosphere.

Game Prediction: Saint Louis 83, Boise State 76

(Game 11) Tuesday, December 13: vs. New Orleans – Boise, Idaho, ExtraMile Arena

With Derek St. Hilaire no longer on the roster, New Orleans will be reliant upon the rest of the roster to make up for his absence. New Orleans went 18-14 in 2022. This should be a nice recovery game from the loss to Saint Louis.

Game Prediction: Boise State 82, New Orleans 54

(Game 12) Sunday, December 18: vs. Oakland – Boise, Idaho, ExtraMile Arena

The Horizon League turned out to be what prevented Oakland from reaching the NCAA Tournament in 2022. Oakland does not seem to be a better team in 2022-2023. This could be a trap game for Oakland since they played two close games against West Virginia and Oklahoma State in last season’s non-conference schedule. Boise State should get a convincing win.

Game Prediction: Boise State 76, Oakland 58

(Game 13) Thursday, December 22: at. Santa Clara – Santa Clara, California, Leavey Center

When these two teams met up last season in Boise, Tyson Degenhart paced Boise State in scoring with 18 points. Degenhart will need to be a factor in this road game. It will be a tight game for most of the second half, but Boise State will pull away at the end of the game.

Game Prediction: Boise State 68, Santa Clara 59

Non-Conference Record Prediction: 10-3 Record

It should be a favorable non-conference schedule. The Broncos should be able to start the season with three-straight wins over South Dakota State, Washington State, and Charlotte. If they can do that, the rest of the non-conference schedule should be a breeze. The team is projected to lose two games to Texas A&M and one game to Saint Louis.

Gonzaga and Michigan State reportedly trying to revive basketball games on aircraft carriers

Yes, condensation and wind have been a problem in past, but this could be fun.

The return of Tom Cruise to the big screen as Pete “Maverick” Mitchell in Top Gun: Maverick could be influencing a return to one of the more iconic college basketball locales in recent history. According to tweets from both Jon Rothstein and Matt Norlander of CBS Sports, Gonzaga and Michigan State could be looking at reviving the now defunct carrier games from over a decade ago.

The first game played on an aircraft carrier took place November 11, 2011 on the USS Vinson in San Diego as part of ESPN’s Carrier Classic. North Carolina defeated Michigan State in that game as President Barack Obama looked on. Four more games were scheduled the following year in the same fashion, but only two were played to completion thanks to condensation on the court caused by drops in the outside temperature.

Now, Gonzaga’s Mark Few and MSU’s Tom Izzo want to bring them back.

Condensation won’t be the only environmental concern to consider, either. The 2012 game between Syracuse and San Diego State featured a pesky wind that impacted shooting.

Either way, as someone that was a naval aviator and has seen Maverick more times than you can count on one hand, I say DO IT.

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Chucky Hepburn has all the makings of Wisconsin’s next star point guard

Wisconsin has found their next stud point guard:

The University of Wisconsin men’s basketball program has had a pretty damn impressive run at the point guard position, now spanning more than two decades.

While not all of the point guards were highly rated prospects, Wisconsin’s ability to recruit and develop a specific type of player at the position has been nothing short of impressive.

A run of PG’s that began with Devin Harris, Kamron Taylor, Trevon Hughes, Jordan Taylor, Traevon Jackson, Bronson Koenig, and D’Mitrik Trice appears to have a new addition to the fraternity in Nebraska native, Chucky Hepburn.

Freshman year

Mar 1, 2022; Madison, Wisconsin, USA; Wisconsin Badgers guard Chucky Hepburn (23) celebrates his last basket to seal his team’s 70-67 victory over the Purdue Boilermakers at the Kohl Center. Mandatory Credit: Mary Langenfeld-USA TODAY Sports

As a true freshman, Chucky Hepburn was given the keys to the car by head coach Greg Gard, and let me tell you, the early returns were more than promising.

Hepburn started all 33 games for the Badgers and provided a steady presence at point that allowed UW to push the pace whilst remaining under control.

On the season, the Nebraska native averaged 7.9 points, 2.2 rebounds, 2.2 assists, and 1.1 steals in just over 30 minutes per game.

The former Bellevue West standout’s on-ball defense ranged anywhere from good to great and made life increasingly difficult on opposing point guards all season long.

Perhaps the most impressive stat for Hepburn wasn’t something he did, but rather what he didn’t do. In 1,020 total minutes played he only turned the ball over 39 times – which was good for an average of just one turnover every 26 minutes. A truly remarkable stat for a true freshman playing in one of the most physical defensive conferences in all of college basketball.

Overall, the freshman point guard finished the year with an impressive 1.97:1 assist-to-turnover ratio – showing masterful control and patience running the Badgers offense.

Future outlook

Last season, Hepburn wasn’t needed to be a consistent scoring option for the Badgers, instead he was simply asked to take what was given to him.

However, all of that changes this season due to the departures of Johnny Davis and Brad Davison. The Nebraska native will now be asked to take on more of a leadership role and add more to his plate in year two, at least in terms of scoring.

I saw more than enough last season to suggest that Hepburn has what it takes to be a scoring threat for the Badgers.

The 6-foot-2, 211-pound point guard see’s the floor really well, flashed playmaking ability, and has the handles to take defenders off the dribble and get to the rim.

Per HoopMath, Hepburn took just 20% of his shots attempts at the rim last season, finishing them at an impressive 60% clip.

I’m of the opinion that Hepburn can find his way inside the lane a great deal more than we saw last season and act as a shot creator for the Badgers.

Despite shooting a disappointing 9-for-37 (24.3%) from beyond the arc in his first 11 games, Hepburn actually proved to be a pretty reliable spot-up shooter last season. Over his last 22 games, Hepburn was 30-for-75 (40%) on three-point attempts to finish the season.

With a full offseason to work on his game, and plenty of additional opportunities coming, I expect him to become a more consistent threat from downtown.

Essentially, I believe Chucky can become whatever it is he wants to be at Wisconsin. He was one of three prospects recruited during the Greg Gard era that I stamped as a can’t miss impact player for the Badgers – the others being Brad Davison and Johnny Davis.

I stand by my initial evaluation, and am expecting big things from the Nebraska native in his career at UW. Hepburn is a terrific young point guard that makes everyone else around him better. The Badgers are in good hands at PG for the next three seasons.

Contact/Follow us @TheBadgersWire on Twitter, and like our page on Facebook to follow ongoing coverage of Wisconsin news, notes, opinion and analysis.

Emoni Bates and the top 10 players available in the NCAA men’s basketball transfer portal

Where does former top recruit Emoni Bates rank after opting to leave Memphis?

Some folks aren’t a fan of the transfer portal in college sports, but if nothing else, roster fluidity keeps things interesting.

Especially for college basketball players who are dominating mid-major conferences, the transfer portal offers plenty of great opportunities. Some players want to play against tougher competition to get more exposure and to show pro scouts what they are capable of doing. Others are just looking for a fresh start.

For schools looking to bolster their rosters this offseason, meanwhile, the transfer portal offers a ton of available talent who are also going to be more ready to contribute than most collegiate freshmen.

Below, we highlighted some of the most notable names in the transfer portal. You can see a full list of the available players if you click here.

Note that players like Andre Curbelo (Illinois to St. John’s), Brandon Murray (LSU to Georgetown), and Tristen Newton (East Carolina to UCONN) were excluded from this list as they are no longer available in the transfer portal.

Mwani Wilkinson and Justice Williams cement LSU legacies by deciding to stay

Wilkinson and Williams were the ones that stuck around when they had every reason to leave.

There are 101 ways to become a legend in college sports.

It’s one of the many things that make collegiate sports so fun to follow. There’s a passion there that is unrivaled in American sports and because of that, little things become big things. Moments and decisions that may seem trivial can begin to carry more meaning.

If you were writing a screenplay about LSU men’s basketball’s last couple of months, you’d probably have new coach [autotag]Matt McMahon[/autotag] walk in and look at an empty locker room, hands on hips, wondering where all his players went. It’s dramatic and probably didn’t actually play out that way, but you get the point.

It looked like everyone was gone, every scholarship player that LSU had on its roster was in the transfer portal. With [autotag]Will Wade[/autotag] on the move, so were they. The situation was so dire that it’s hard to draw any parallels.

Continuing the story, about 20 or so pages into that script, you’d have a moment where a couple of players decide to stick around. They’d march into McMahon’s office and say, “Coach, I’m not going anywhere.”

Again, that’s probably not how this happened, but [autotag]Mwani Wilkinson[/autotag] and [autotag]Justice Williams[/autotag] deciding to return from the transfer portal and stick around LSU gives you that feeling. These are the guys that stayed when it was easy to leave.

The guys that left don’t deserve any criticism. With the incoming sanctions and the coach that brought them to Baton Rouge gone, it makes sense to explore other places. Nobody gets to play college sports forever, and players have to make the most of it. With that said, Wilkinson and Williams deserve all the praise in the world for sticking around.

It’s the type of move that automatically puts a player in the fan-favorite category. Even if the play on the court isn’t great, when Wilkinson and Williams do eventually move on from LSU, this is the thing that will be remembered.

I don’t know what exactly made them come back. Maybe it was McMahon or maybe they looked around and saw prime playing time at an SEC school. Either way, they are back.

Both now have a chance to make this their team. With the current state of the roster, the opportunity is there. They have a chance to anchor LSU through these next couple of years and especially in 2022. There won’t be much pressure, they just have to go out there and play.

I don’t know how good they will end up being, but the potential is there. Williams could have been in high school last year but started an SEC basketball game. Wilkinson got plenty of minutes on a talented team, playing with an energy that was hard to match.

These are legit players and should be a pivotal part in this program going forward.

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Coach K blasts NCAA ahead of Final Four

Do you agree?

Hey, did you hear?

[autotag]Mike Krzyzewski[/autotag], the famed head basketball coach at [autotag]Duke[/autotag] and the all-time winningest coach in college basketball history is coaching in the Final Four this weekend in his final season before retiring.  It could be a storybook tale if he were to win it all before riding into the sunset.

Now that you’re caught up with the news I’m sure you weren’t aware of, let’s take a moment to discuss Krzyzewski putting the NCAA on-blast Friday ahead of the Final Four.

Krzyzewski met the media ahead of Duke’s Final Four showdown with rival North Carolina and was asked about the current system in college basketball. Let’s just say that Coach K [listicle id=29455]sounded like a man that isn’t going to miss the business side of the job.

Duke’s Paolo Banchero made Mike Krzyzewski blush during his postgame interview and hoops fans loved it

What a sweet moment.

I’m not sure if you’ve heard about this or not but this is going to be Mike Krzyzewski’s final season as head coach of the Duke Blue Devils. Shocking news, right?

Well, his final fun became even more special Saturday night when Duke beat Arkansas 78-69 to win the West bracket and advance to the Final Four next weekend in New Orleans.

Coach K has now gone to the Final Four in five different decades, which is just insane, and this will be the 13th time he’s made it to the Final Four.

Right after the game he was being interviewed by Tracy Wolfson when two of his best players – Paolo Banchero and Wendell Moore – jumped in and shared a special moment with their coach.

Banchero called Coach K the GOAT and Krzyzewski’s reaction was pretty great:

What a sweet moment.

Twitter had reactions.

Top NCAA basketball images from wild night of Sweet 16 games

Incredible moments captured from an action-packed night of Sweet 16 matchups.

Saint Peter’s Cinderella Story highlighted a high-flying and intense night for the 2022 NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament, becoming the first No. 15 seed ever to reach the Elite 8.

Kansas held on against a surging Providence team to remain the tourney’s only No. 1 seed, while North Carolina survived a classic nail-biter to top No. 4 seed UCLA.

And to close out Friday’s Sweet 16 rush, Miami held off Iowa State.

As we await more March Madness tomorrow, let’s take a look around the regional semifinals and check out the best of the best images captured from the hardwood.


Saint Peter’s made NCAA history with another stunning upset and hoops fans were in awe

Saint Peter’s did it again!

Saint Peter’s has become the underdog that everybody has come to love in the past week of the NCAA tournament and that love will only continue to grow after what the Peacocks did Friday night in Philadelphia – they upset No. 3 Purdue to become the first No. 15 seed in history to advance to the Elite Eight.


Saint Peter’s took a four-point lead in the final minute of a back-and-forth game against the Boilermakers and were able to hold on for the 67-64 victory.

They will play the winner of tonight’s North Carolina-UCLA game on Sunday.

It’s been a wild week for the small school, which you can get to know right here.

Here’s the final seconds of the game:

This postgame interview was awesome:

Fans had reactions:

The NCAA should be embarrassed by how bad the refs have been so far in the men’s tournament

This can’t go on.

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The 2022 men’s NCAA tournament has been a lot of fun so far. We’ve had thrilling finishes, incredible upsets, and plenty of big-name teams advancing to the Sweet 16.

But you know what wasn’t great at all during the first two rounds? The refs. They were largely terrible and mostly embarrassing and there inability to do their jobs at a high level can’t continue the rest of the way or the NCAA will have a mess on its hands.

Three bad moments from last weekend stick out immediately when it comes to looking at how bad the refs have been.

There was the horrendous Flagrant 2 call against UNC’s Brady Manek that had him ejected from the game, which helped Baylor storm back and force overtime before being knocked out of the tournament. The call on Manek was a joke and should never have happened.

Speaking of jokes, on Sunday we saw Illinois’ R.J. Melende get T’d up for hanging on the rim, which was just a mind-boggling call. Melende barely hung on the rim at all and only did so for a split second to get his balance and to make sure he didn’t land on anyone. I watched the replay a number of times and never in a million years would I have thought that it deserved such a call. It was just so bad.

Then in Sunday’s final game we saw TCU get you-know-whatted when Mike Miles Jr. got tossed to the ground in the final seconds of a tie game and no call was made. Arizona scooped up the ball and almost won it at the buzzer but Miles should have been on the foul line trying to win the game. How did they not call this one? Arizona, by the way, went on to win in overtime. Shameful.

Again, those are just three REALLY bad examples that stick out on this Tuesday morning. But if you watched a lot of the games last weekend then you know there were a ton of other moments in which the refs were so, so bad.

It’s never good when fans are on Twitter saying certain referee crews should be banned from working any more games in the tournament but that happened a few different times over the first two rounds last weekend.

There’s a ton on the line in this tournament for the players, coaches, and fans and it will be a travesty if refs continue to play such a large factor in games simply because they can’t do their jobs.

The NCAA needs to send a message to its refs and do it now because this can’t go on.

Quick hits: More proof that Urban Meyer is a joke… NFL fans rip Falcons over Matt Ryan trade… Sign up for our new NBA newsletter… And more. 

(Photo by Sam Greenwood/Getty Images)

– The Athletic yesterday published an incredible behind-the-scenes story on Urban Meyer’s disastrous stint with the Jaguars and his cowardly threats were only topped by the fact that he didn’t know who Aaron Donald was. Seriously.

– The Falcons traded Matt Ryan to the Colts for a third-round pick and NFL fans ripped them for it.

– Our new daily NBA newsletter Layup Lines kicks off this week and it will get you ready every afternoon for the big games coming up that night. Signing up for it is quick and easy to do right here. You’re going to want this in your basketball lives.

– Mary Clarke breaks down the winners and losers of yesterday’s NHL trade deadline.

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