Boise State senior forward Ryan Watkins once again provided a yeoman’s effort Tuesday night in the Broncos’ 69-67 win over Utah with eight points and 10 rebounds.
If Watkins had one more point and one more rebound thus far, he’d be averaging a double-double — he has 9.9 points and 9.9 rebounds per game through the Broncos’ 7-0 start.
“He did a great job, and you can count on Ryan to do that,” Boise State coach Leon Rice said.
Watkins has 29 offensive rebounds, and has grabbed 21.2 percent of available offensive boards, currently No. 2 in the nation. He was No. 1 last year in that category among players averaging at least 20 minutes per game. As Boise State has continued to drive to the rim, forwards tend to stray toward the man driving, and Watkins is as good as anyone cleaning up if the shot doesn’t go in.
Rice said after Tuesday’s game that sophomore forward Edmunds Dukulis, who has not played since Nov. 23 at New Orleans, is battling a knee injury. Dukulis injured his knee last season as he sat out ineligible and has worn a brace when he has played this season. Initially, Rice said it was a hamstring injury when asked last week. On Wednesday on KTIK’s Bob And Murph Show, Rice said the injury deals with Dukulis’ meniscus, but he still is not aware of the severity.
Of course, the sportswriter’s curse lives on — I wrote about Dukulis before last week’s game against Idaho (here). He didn’t play that night and hasn’t since.
Jeff Elorriaga and his teammates had a good sense of humor about the fact he missed both free throws with 3.8 seconds left and the Broncos holding onto a 69-67 lead. Utah’s final shot from halfcourt wasn’t close, but Elorriaga showed a little humility afterward on Twitter.
His teammates had some good responses.
“We’re not worried about Jeff,” Derrick Marks said.
“He’ll make the next two,” Anthony Drmic said.
“He’ll make 98 out of 100,” Watkins said.
In his career, Elorriaga has made 55 of 69 free throw attempts. The senior often doesn’t go to the line as he tends to be on the perimeter, but he has attempted 10 free throws in six games so far. He only shot 20 in 29 games last season.