Boise State hoops to get new court at Taco Bell Arena; Broncos planning foreign trip

Boise State coach Leon Rice said that Taco Bell Arena will have a brand-new, redesigned surface for the 2013-14 basketball season.
He said he prefers a more “traditional” look, then joked that it will be all-blue. It won’t. The design has not yet been finalized.
A few more notes from my talk with Rice on Thursday:
-The team will take a foreign trip in August, but Rice wasn’t prepared to say where quite yet. A foreign tour allows teams to play exhibition games against teams from those countries while giving them up to 10 extra practices. Teams can take a foreign tour once every four years. This 2011 story looked at the advantages to such a tour.
-The Broncos are expected to add three new players this season, while only senior Kenny Buckner has departed. That means two players are likely to leave the program. Rice said he hasn’t had those discussions yet, but “that always sorts itself out, guys want to play, guys figure out their roles on the team, some want to be in that role and some seek out options to create new roles somewhere else.”
-Rice spoke with Mike Bobinski, the chairman of the NCAA Tournament selection committee, in Dayton last week, and said he plans to speak with him again after the tournament is completed — “I have to be really, really conscious of what the committee looks for to put ourselves in the best position we can.”
-Boise State has not solidified its 2013-14 nonconference schedule, but with 18 conference games (as opposed to the 16 it played this past season), there aren’t a ton of free spots. Rice said the team will host Utah, Texas-Arlington and Seattle, while playing on the road at New Orleans and in Hawaii in the Diamond Head Classic (which includes teams such as Iowa State, Saint Mary’s and Oregon State). The games against Creighton and Michigan State this season were one-off games and won’t be returned.
-Rice said one of the broadcasters on hand in Dayton told him that the Broncos this season reminded him of the 2008-09 Butler team, which lost in the first round to LSU in the NCAA Tournament. The Bulldogs did not have a senior on that squad (Boise State only had one in 2012-13), then went all the way to the championship game in 2010.’s Jeff Borzello wrote on Thursday that the Broncos are a candidate to go from first-round loss to the Sweet Sixteen next season.
-Rice also is reconsidering tipoff times for non-weekend games next season, saying “I want it to be family-friendly, but I want people to get there from work.” He said 6 p.m. games “might have been too early,” and seriously has given thought to polling fans for when games should tipoff.

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