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NIT: Boise State Game Preview- Part 1

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Get to know Boise’s key contributors leading up to Wednesday night’s game

Dayton v Boise State Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images

We normally provide a game preview/open thread but since this is the NIT we’ll expand things out a bit. Part 1 of this preview will have all of the stats for Boise State as well as an in-depth look at their key players. Tomorrow in Part 2 we’ll look at some of the Broncos’ characteristics and how they compare to previous UW opponents. In Part 3 on Wednesday we’ll give the final analysis and my prediction for the game.

The Essentials

Date: Wednesday, 3/14/18

Tip-Off Time: 7:00pm Pacific

TV: None (ESPN3)

Radio: KOMO 1000

Streaming: ESPN.com/watch

Location: Seattle, Washington

Boise State 2017-18 Statistics:

Record: 23-8 (13-5)

Points For per Game: 77.5 ppg (68th)

Points Against per Game: 68.9 ppg (72nd)

Adjusted Offensive Efficiency: 110.6 (77th)

Adjusted Defensive Efficiency: 97.5 (42nd)

Strength of Schedule: 100th

Boise State Key Players (listed in order of minutes played):

F- Chandler Hutchison, Sr. 6’7, 197: 19.3 ppg, 7.5 rpg, 3.5 apg, 46.7% FG, 35.2% 3pt, 72.7% FT

Hutchison is the centerpiece of this Boise team. He exploded onto the scene last year and put up almost identical stats this season with slightly lower shooting percentages and an increase in his assists. He leads the team in scoring, rebounding, assists, and steals. I don’t have the numbers on how rare that is but it has to be almost unheard of to do. Chandler led the Mountain West in % of his teams’ shots taken and was 11th nationally in that category. He’s viewed as a late 1st/early 2nd round NBA draft pick.

Hutchison’s excellence comes from being above average at everything rather than spectacular at any one thing. Of his 5 most common play types, Hutchison is between the 54th and 78th percentile in all of them. He leads the team in possessions as the pick and roll ball handler but still functions as a spot up shooter almost 30% of the time. That’s on top of being ranked in the 85th percentile for his defensive points per possession.

Similar to Oregon’s Troy Brown or Oregon State’s Tres Tinkle, Hutchison is one of those players seemingly built in the lab to feast in the middle of a zone. He’s long, an accomplished shooter, and an above average passer/ball handler. There may be one hole in the armor though. Hutchison has struggled on his jumpers from inside the arc. He’s shooting just 21.4% on jump shots inside of 17 feet. Expect UW to dare him to shoot those early and hope that he misses and Washington can deploy resources elsewhere.

G- Justinian Jessup, Sr. 6’6, 200: 11.7 ppg, 4.8 rpg, 1.7 apg, 47.3% FG, 46.5% 3pt, 79.5% FT

Jessup is the shooting guard in a foursome of Boise starters that are all 6’6 or taller. He was one of the best 3-point shooters in the country this season with the length to get his shot up over almost any perimeter defender. He did tail off a little towards the end of the year as he “only” shot 42.1% from beyond the arc in Mountain West play. Jessup is almost completely a spot up shooter. Nearly 75% of his shot attempts came from deep.

Jessup will be a major focus while he’s on the court as the Huskies’ #1 goal is to limit the 3-point shot. Jessup actually shot 4% better on guarded jumpers than he did on unguarded ones so he’ll make his fair share even with the long arms of Matisse Thybulle leaping into his face. He tied Hutchison for the team lead in steals this year on defense but he has the tendency to roam for those steal opportunities and give up open looks from deep.

F- Christian Sengfelder, Sr. 6’9, 246: 11.7 ppg, 6.4 rpg, 0.6 apg, 47.5% FG, 39.6% 3pt, 75.9,% FT

Sengfelder is the prototypical stretch 4 and is a knock down shooter at 6’9. He was a grad transfer from Fordham and originally hails from Germany. Christian was 2nd in Mountain West play in offensive efficiency as he shot 65% from 2-pt range and 40% from 3-pt range. He’s also a good but not spectacular rebounder. He would probably have better rebound numbers if he played as close to the hoop as a normal 6’9 player.

There really isn’t a play type that Sengfelder has below average numbers running. He ranks in the 84th percentile as a spot up shooter and in the 95th percentile when cutting to the basket. There’s a chance that he’ll see time in the middle of the zone looking for free throw jumpers. But the good news is that while he’ll make a lot of them, he’s a poor passer and isn’t much of a threat to find the Boise center waiting under the hoop.

G- Lexus Williams, Sr. 6’0, 167: 9.7 ppg, 2.3 rpg, 2.4 apg, 44.4% FG, 42.5% 3pt, 87.1% FT

Lexus is the nominal point guard for this team but he plays a role more similar to David Crisp last year. He’s capable of leading the point but it isn’t his primary objective. Williams is yet another great shooter on this Boise team but unlike Jessup it isn’t his only move. He finished the regular season with a 50/50 split between 2-pointers and 3-pointers.

Almost all of his offensive possessions came either as a spot up shooter, as a pick and roll ball handler, or in transition. He’s much more efficient at the first two and was particularly deadly in the P&R, finishing in the 95th percentile. He also has done better against zone defenses than man.

G- Alex Hobbs, So. 6’4, 191: 8.8 ppg, 2.6 rpg, 2.5 apg, 49.8% FG, 30.2% 3pt, 87.2% FT

Hobbs is one of the few Boise State players who are below average from deep. He shot 30% on the year but that includes a 3/3 performance against a D-III school so he actually shot 26% on about 2 attempts per game against D-1 competition. He’s an average rebounder for a shooting guard and is also a below average ball handler. Despite being a driver, he doesn’t draw very many fouls and tends to avoid contact.

Hobbs gets better the closer he is to the basket (91st percentile at the rim, 65th percentile on runners, 39th percentile on jumpers). If he gets the ball on the perimeter then the defender should play the driving lane first and have the rest of the defense play the passing lanes.

C- Zach Haney, Jr. 6’11, 239: 6.8 ppg, 5.7 rpg, 0.7 apg, 51.7% FG, 18.2% 3pt, 49% FT

Haney is basically the Boise State version of Sam Timmins. The biggest differences are that Zach is a better ball handler while Timmins is a slightly better rebounder/shot blocker. Haney won’t wow you with his ball skills but he’s big and he can catch a pass near the basket and dunk it. He’s most effective rolling to the basket rather posting up.

Expect Haney to sit behind the UW center in the zone and wait for Hutchison to deliver a feed after drawing the defense in from the foul line. Haney isn’t the kind of player that you game plan around but he’s capable of putting up a 12 points and 8 rebounds type of performance with a few putbacks that really hurts the Dawgs. On defense, Haney isn’t a shot blocker and will have real problems stopping Noah Dickerson from backing down on him.

G- Marcus Dickinson, So. 6’2,177: 5.7 ppg, 2.3 rpg, 1.4 apg, 36.5% FG, 35.6% 3pt, 80.7% FT

Dickinson served as yet another spot up shooter for the Broncos as he took about two-thirds of his shots from beyond the arc. He really struggled against premium competition as his shooting percentages went down to 26.3% (2pt) and 20.3% (3pt) in KenPom rated Tier A+B games (this will be an A game for Boise). He didn’t drive very often but when he did he was one of the more adept BSU players at drawing contact with a free throw rate of 42%. That’s comparable to UW’s Nahziah Carter or Hameir Wright.

Dickinson shot 17% better on unguarded 3-pointers which means that unlike Jessup, close outs are going to be very important. He’s also not much of a threat around the rim so Thybulle should feel free to leap out for the contest. Dickinson was in the 13th percentile nationally on shots around the basket this year.

Come back tomorrow for part 2 of our NIT preview.

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