Defense, effort and conditioning drives Boise State's winning streak

Posted at 8:05 PM, Jan 27, 2022
and last updated 2022-01-27 22:05:05-05

BOISE, Idaho — Boise State has tied a school record with 13 wins in a row and they find themselves alone in first place in the Mountain West with a 7-0 conference record.

This team flies around on the defensive end of the floor as they've given up less than 60 points a game and their team defense has kept them in pretty much every game this entire year.

On the defensive end it starts with Abu Kigab 6'9'' 220 pounds and Emmanuel Akot 6'-8'' 210 pounds, these two create all sorts of problems for opposing offenses because of their strength, length, athletic ability, effort and the ability to guard multiple positions.

It also helps to have Mladen Armus, Tyson Degenhart and Najee Smith in the frontcourt protecting the rim as Boise State leads the conference in rebounding by a plus 7.2 margin.

Perhaps most impressive of all is how they have been able to continue that intensity during a stretch of five games in five states in ten days, then they came home to get another victory against Wyoming 65-62 on Tuesday night.

"Man they play hard they just keep going, keep going and keep going for the amount of minutes they play, it is pretty amazing and pretty impressive," said coach Leon Rice. "Especially in a stretch like this that is going to make or break you."

So we asked Coach Rice about his team's conditioning and he said it started back in September and he was quick to give credit to Boise State strength and conditioning coach Tyler Whitmer.

"We have one of the best strength coaches in the United States of America in Tyler Whitmer," said Rice.

The program focuses on nutrition, hydration, training, but also rest and recovery, but the players have to buy in and that's what has happened with this team.

"It takes the maturity of our players and it is something we can continue to get better at," said Rice. "They put so much time and effort into basketball, but you want to control all those factors too and Tyler really does a good job with that."

While this team has thrived on defense, they also have to make shots, Marcus Shaver Jr. has led the way in that regard especially during crunch time as he hit three-pointers in the final moments at Utah State and at San Diego State that were the difference.

Shaver turned his ankle on Tuesday and after going to the locker room before the half, he returned and played the entire second half, his status is still day-to-day according to Rice, but the Broncos could sure use his playmaking abilities when they play at Fresno State at 9:00 p.m. on Friday night.