West Coast Conference meets Mountain West as the Boise State Broncos host the BYU Cougars.
After winning 19 games last season BYU currently stands 3-1, last defeating Houston 72-71 November 15. The Cougars have won two straight after dropping a contest earlier this month vs. San Diego State.
Meanwhile, Boise State is still reeling a bit from last season’s 13-19 finish -that sub. 500 performance came one year after reaching 20-plus wins for the sixth consecutive year. The Broncos current stands 1-2 after back-to-back losses vs. nationally-ranked Oregon and UC Irvine.
Tonight’s contest is listed as a pick em’ affair.
Pope looks for immediate success with strong returning rosterFollowing the retirement of program institution Dave Rose, who enjoyed 12-straight 20-plus win seasons before last year’s 19-13 finish, former assistant Mark Pope takes BYU’s mantle. Pope has several impact returning pieces to smooth his transition from assistant to head coach this winter.
After weighing NBA options, Yoeli Childs is back in Provo. Childs, a 6-8 forward, led all West Coast Conference scorers last season with 21.2 ppg, his 9.7 rpg ranked second. Joining potential first-round NBA draftee on roster this year include TJ Haws, Gavin Baxter and regarded transfer Jake Toolson.
BYU averages 71.8 ppg this season and allows 67 ppg. Depth is a bit of an issue for BYU as the Cougars rely on seven regulars. Three BYU players add double-figure scoring, led by Toolson’s 15.3 ppg. On the road, tonight the Cougar’s will need bigger numbers from Toolson to sway matters in their favor.
Boise State can’t hit vs. UICBoise State has dropped two straight vs. quality opposition after a season-opening blowout of NAIA member Life Pacific. That inflated win aids BSU’s 87 ppg average. The Broncos allow 74.3 ppg. Coach Leon Rice, who has enjoyed prolonged success at Boise State, returns four-fifths of last year’s starting lineup. Justinian Jessup and Derrick Alston lead the program’s charge. Rangy at 6-9, Alston is listed as a potential breakout star one season after averaging 13.4 ppg.
Alston led all Broncos with 22 points, as senior RJ Williams (20) and Jessup (10) added double figures. However, the Broncos’ defense did little to prevent UIC from regularly scoring. A major stat line from the Broncos recent 69-60 loss sees Boise converting just 30.9 percent FG as UCI netted 42 percent.
Boise State adds a bit more depth than BYU, with ten players averaging seven-plus minutes. Though, improved shooting is a must tonight if the Cougars are to event their record.
Odds courtesy of Covers.com
- Cougars are 4-1 ATS in their last 5 road games.
- Cougars are 4-1 ATS in their last 5 games vs. a team with a losing straight up record.
- Cougars are 7-3 ATS in their last 10 games vs. a team with a winning % below .400.
- Broncos are 1-4 ATS in their last 5 games following an ATS loss.
- Broncos are 1-4 ATS in their last 5 games vs. a team with a winning % above .600.
- Broncos are 1-4 ATS in their last 5 home games vs. a team with a road winning % of greater than .600.
- Broncos are 1-5 ATS in their last 6 home games vs. a team with a winning road record.