Sometimes it helps to change up the venue to get a little energy going, so the Broncos took to downtown Boise’s Idaho Central Arena for the second game of their season. The visiting Washington State Cougars came down from Pullman to play on the Big Sky Tournament court in what is being called the Capital City Classic

The game tipped shortly after 5pm MST, allowing for it to finish well before the BSU-UNR football game kicked off tonight.


Wazzu won the tip and set the tone initially, running up to an 8-0 lead. Max Rice got some shots to drain, including three FTs after a hard foul outside the arc, and the Bronco defense started to stiffen up. The Broncos ended up on an 11-0 run to go up 11-8, then messed around with a tie game. Just when it seemed like things were gonna get boring, Marcus Shaver Jr. lobbed a deep alley-oop to Naje Smith to light up the crowd.

Solid defense carried the Broncos into halftime with the lead, featuring some Naje Smith solo full-court press.


With both teams relatively cold from deep, the Broncos adjusted to mid-range and kept up the tight defensive play. Naje Smith took it upon himself to keep making big plays, including a beautiful defensive series of swats that the refs deemed “too good to be fair”.

Wazzu briefly managed to tie it up at 48-all before Marcus Shaver Jr., Naje Smith, and Lukas Milner made some plays to push the lead back up. Chibuzo Agbo and Lukas Milner fouled out down the stretch, but the Broncos had more than enough in the tank to keep the lid on Wazzu.


Boise State moves to 1-1(0-0) on the season.

Some postgame notes:

  • BSU is now 2-0 against Wazzu for the past two seasons, 4-4 all-time.
  • Marcus Shaver Jr. and Max Rice both look incredibly comfortable on the court, which bodes well for this team as the season develops.
  • Naje Smith is the 6th man glue guy that the Broncos needed. 12 points off the bench, big plays on defense, and not afraid to mix it up in the paint. He’s an absolute energizer bunny with the full court press, I have absolutely no idea how he kept that up for so long.
  • As some FKWG contributors noticed, foul trouble seemed to be related to a small rotation tonight. Other than some late action for Pavel Kuzmanovic and a Sadraque NgaNga sighting, the starting 5 and Smith got the bulk of the minutes.
  • Aside from a couple Rice and Agbo scores in the second half, the Broncos stayed inside the arc for their offensive points. Layups, putbacks, and some midrange fades ruled the night, with several and-1 opportunities off the physical Cougar defense.
  • Despite letting a lot of physical defensive play go in the first half, the refs started whistling liberally in the second. While I am not a ref, and clearly didn’t have the best vantage point, at least two of both Agbo and Milner’s fouls seemed awfully soft.

Next Up for the Broncos:

Boise State faces Charlotte at Extra Mile Arena on Thursday, November 17th.