Are Local Basketball Stars Good Enough to Play at BSU or UI?
We talk about it all the time when it comes to football on how colleges in-state need to recruit local talent, so why is there no discussion when it comes to basketball?
It is no secret that Boise State Basketball is struggling right now and there are a lot of issues when it comes to fan support at Taco Bell Arena. The team finished in last place throughout the regular season and even when top 25 teams come in to play the Broncos, the lower bowl is not even full. One reason as to why this is the culture around the program is that there are no players that fans can identify with. Go ahead and try and name three players on the Bronco Basketball team. I know, its pretty tough to do.
As for the Vandals, they are producing wins on the court, but still have the same issues when it comes to attendance and with fans trying to identify with the players on the team. And as for the Idaho State Men's Basketball team, 90% of the state does not even know they exist. Take for the instance that they made the postseason tournament for the 1st time in a while and no one even took notice. In addition, they are about to hire a new head coach and no one has taken much interest.
With all of this being said and after watching the basketball talent pour through the Valley this weekend, why wouldn't each of the three schools above go after at least one or two in-state high school athletes to put in their program? It would give fans someone to follow and, more importantly, a reason to care about college basketball in Idaho.
A few players that come to mind are: Ben Tucakovic, (Borah) Isaiah Wright, (Borah) Mitch Vanderwiel (Cole Valley) and James Livingston. (Fruitland) These four have a lot of potential and with the exception of Wright, who will for sure play Division I basketball, they are all seniors looking for somewhere to play next season.
If you don't think that more people would follow BSU if they had a player from just down the street in Tucakovic, then you are crazy. At the very least, they could name a player on the team that gives them a reason to pay a few bucks to go watch at Taco Bell Arena.
There is basketball talent in the state of Idaho, its time for coaches to make sure they don't leave.