BOISE, Idaho — Boise State's men's basketball team has found a ton of success this season, as they currently sit in first place in the Mountain West, and that is in large part due to the contribution of true-freshman Tyson Degenhart.
"This is some of the most fun I have had in my entire life and I couldn’t have a better group beside me," Degenhart said. "It has been a dream come true for me."
He just picked up his league-leading, eighth Mountain West Freshman of the Week award, making it his fifth straight week with this honor.
“I knew he was going to be special. Like everybody says he is not an ordinary freshman," Marcus Shaver, Jr., BSU guard said. "He has a great feel for the game, high basketball IQ for a freshman, and man he puts in a lot of work. I am happy that it is paying off and he is doing great things for this team."
Degenhart's eight Freshman of the Week awards is more than the rest of the league's freshmen combined. But, more than what Degenhart is able to do on the court, head coach Leon Rice said that it's what he's like off the court that adds to his success. Something Rice said that he saw of him all the way back in eighth grade when he first started watching Degenhart play.
"When you get to know the character and the work ethic and then get to follow it through for five years, you really get to know what you’re getting," Rice said. "And that’s also what made me be able to bang my fist on the table and say, 'No, we are putting him in the starting lineup. Let’s go, it is time."
Degenhart worked his way into the starting lineup earlier this season and has been a constant contributing factor as to why the team is in first place, half of a game ahead of Wyoming.
"I knew the kind of kid he is. Did I know that he would be completely ready as a freshman to play at the level that he is playing at? No, and it is hard in this good of a conference and with the kind of team we have because we have a lot of other good players so you just didn’t know that he could have this kind of success," Rice said. "But, you certainly bet on his character, his work ethic, the kind of guy he is, the kind of guy that makes players better, and all those intangibles that he brings to the team."
"Coming in I thought I would be playing 10-15 minutes a game, but you just have to be ready whenever life throws you a curveball, and I think I have been doing alright," Degenhart added. "I think I am in the right spot and I couldn’t be more thankful to be here in Boise."