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Boise State men's basketball holds first official practice of the new season

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Posted at 9:18 PM, Sep 28, 2021
and last updated 2021-09-29 08:28:08-04

BOISE, Idaho — With Boise State football heading into its second week of conference play, Bronco fans have more to look forward to with Boise State's basketball season officially underway.

“There’s an excitement about it like, 'It’s time. Let’s go,'" BSU men's basketball coach Leon Rice said. "All that work during the off-season and now we get to start playing games here quicker than you know. It always sneaks up on you.”

The Broncos held their first official practice of the season in ExtraMile Arena on Tuesday.

“There’s a lot of excitement about this group,” Rice said. "I had a bunch of guys that transferred but now I know them. They know our system and our culture."

"The three freshmen that we brought in are awesome, and first of all, they are high character guys, great students, and great teammates," Rice added.

The team lost Derrick Alston, Jr. who signed a pro contract with the Utah Jazz, and RayJ Dennis who transferred to Toledo, but the majority of the Broncos starting rotation is returning this season.

With the team coming off of summer workouts and fall camp, their chemistry is what excites Rice the most.

"The chemistry permeates the whole team. There are no niches or cliques," he said. "This is a group that really likes each other, they respect each other, and that is a great place to jump off from."

The Broncos ended last season at the NIT Tournament, playing some of their best basketball of the year. They beat SMU, 85-84, then lost to Memphis in the quarterfinals.

“I think all three of those teams played really hard, played really good games at the NIT, so yes, it is encouraging,” Rice said. "I had some high expectations and we did some great things, but it is a fine line usually being a really good team and a great team, and for us, it’s winning a couple of more close games.”

Rice did say it was disappointing being on the bubble and not making the NCAA Tournament so their focus heading into this season is on redemption.

"That does leave you with some unfinished business and some desire to do the extra now,” Rice said.

For their schedule of games, click here.