The Broncos (6-4) thus far lack that marquee win that would draw much attention to themselves. A win over the nationally-ranked Ducks would certainly provide that.
Boise State has already faced a busy season against Top 25 teams, falling twice to #12 Arizona and to #1 Michigan State. Tonight's game will mark the first time in Bronco history that Boise State has faced four ranked nonconference teams in the same season. The school record for ranked opponents in a season is five (2011-12 and 2013-14).
Boise State is 3-3 in games against nationally-ranked nonconference opponents, having defeated #20 Fresno State (60-52 in 1983), #15 Washington (69-61in 1998) and #20 BYU (73-70 in 2007) while losing to #5 Wyoming (59-55 in 1987), #3 Cincinnati (78-46 in 1999) and Washington State (86-74 in 2007).
Boise State will match up against a Pac-12 opponent for the third time this season, one shy of the 1997-98 season that saw the Broncos take on four Pac-12 teams. Boise State is 3-3 all-time vs. Pac-12 opponents at home.
Boise State is 66-15 under coach Leon Rice at Taco Bell Arena. The Broncos have won 12 consecutive games at home and have won 34 of their last 35 games at home against nonconference opponents.
Tyler Dorsey was one of the nation's most sought-after recruits before committing to Oregon. Dorsey, a McDonald's All-American, was ranked as the 23rd best recruit by Sports Illustrated after his senior season at Maranatha High School in Los Angeles, when he averaged 34.0 points, 10.4 rebounds, 3.7 assists and 1.9 steals per game.
Dorsey injured his knee against UNLV and did not play Monday in Oregon's win over Navy. On the bright side, 6-foot-9 forward Jordan Bell could make his season debut tonight after offseason foot surgery.
Bell is "getting closer," coach Dana Altman said prior to Thursday's practice in Eugene. "Maybe Saturday, maybe next week. I'm not sure. We'll see how practice goes, see how he feels."
Bell had the second-highest field goal percentage (59.7 percent) in school history last season while earning All-Pac-12 All-Freshman team honors. Bell is a shot-blocking machine; his 2.69 blocks per game led the Pac-12 and ranked 18th nationally last year. Bell finished the season with 94 blocks to set a school record.
Bell's absence has provided an opportunity for 6-10 forward Chris Boucher, and Boucher's 3.9 blocks per game rank third in the nation. Boucher was the 2014-15 Spalding NCJAA Division I Player of the Year last season after averaging 22.5 points and 11.8 rebounds a game at Northwest College in Wyoming.
6-6 forward Elgin Cook garnered Second Team All-Pac-12 honors last season; Cook was 7th in the Pac-12 with a 52.0% field goal percentage.
6-7 forward Dwayne Benjamin is one of three Ducks to rank in the Top 10 in the Pac-12 last season in field goal percentage. Benjamin was 8th (53.7), while also ranking fourth in three-point field goal percentage (44.4%).
Forward Dillon Brooks also made the Pac-12 All-Freshman Team last season. Brooks was a member of the Canadian national team that defeated the United States earlier this year and won a Silver medal at the Pan-American Games.
Graduate senior guard Dylan Ennis was an important member of Villanova's 2014-15 season as the Wildcats advanced to the third round of the NCAA Tournament. Ennis averaged 9.9 points while playing in all 36 games last season for Villanova.
Guard Casey Benson started nine games last season as a freshman, and was second on the team with 72 assists.
Meanwhile, Boise State's Anthony Drmic is ranked in the all-time Top 10 in most records in the Bronco book, and he is near the top in several categories. With two points, Drmic will pass Roberto Bergersen (1996-99) for fifth-place in career scoring at Boise State. With one basket, Drmic will tie Bergersen for sixth in career field goals, and with six field goals, Drmic will tie Chris Childs (1985-89) for fifth.
Tonight's clash between the Broncos and Ducks is set for 5 p.m. Mountain Time.