When a fan base is used to it's team winning at least 20 games a season it's hard to put a finger on whats missing on this years Boise State men's basketball team.

Even more frustrating for head coach Leon Rice who had put together s string of six straight 20 win or more seasons. When the season began it was all about youth and looking to find a team identity.

Several early season games were lost by one possession, including a late score by Idaho State to lift the Bengals past the Broncos at Taco Bell Arena. ISU is 3-3 in Big Sky play, a middle of the road basketball program in an overall weaker league.

Boise State University

So how can Boise State take 10th ranked Nevada to the wire, losing on a three point shot pretty much at the buzzer and then score just 53 points against Fresno State, their second lowest output of the season and once again drop a must game at home?

Now 8-10 overall and 3-2 in Mountain West play the Broncos find themselves in fifth place behind 5-1 Nevada, 4-1 UNLV, 4-1 Fresno State and 4-2 Utah State. They also find themselves on a plane to Colorado to face an Air Force team that recently destroyed UNLV 106-86.

Boise State is missing a closer. They miss the likes of a Derrick Marks or Chandler Hutchison who not only kept the Broncos in play every game but knew how to close the deal.

Boise State University

Ironically, Marks and Hutchison weren't always game closer's....They learned learned the trade with playing time and maturity.

So far none of the 2019 Broncos has risen to the occasion. Make no mistake, they can play the game, coach Rice knows talent otherwise they wouldn't be in Boise but for some reason a leader has yet to emerge and put this team on his back.

Justinian Jessop and Alex Hobbs appear to be the most likely candidates but neither asserted themselves to lead play maker, game winner.

That was Hutchison's role last year and so far nobody has picked up the slack. Nice thing is, there is still time and that time starts tomorrow night in Colorado Springs against Air Force. The Bronco's hold an 11-4 lead in the series against the Falcons and that might well be the spark the Bronco's need to make a run in March Maddness.