We continue our season preview coverage with Boise State G Alex Hobbs. The Broncos lost a ton of talent from last year (including NBA 1st-round draft pick Chandler Hutchison) but the cupboard is not totally bare thanks to their junior guard. He played in 26 games as a freshman, was named MWC 6th Man of the Year last spring, and is the best FT shooter on the team. HoopsHD’s Jon Teitel got to chat with Alex about starting last season with and ending the year in the NIT.
You grew up in Texas: what made you choose Boise State? I always wanted to go to college out of state and Boise was 1 of my 1st offers so I felt that loyalty. My visit was great and I felt that it would be a great opportunity.
You play for Coach Leon Rice: what makes him such a good coach, and what is the most important thing that you have learned from him? He taught me that my mindset is just as important as my skill/talent. A lot of guys are talented but cannot bring it every day. I respect him so much for what he has built here: it is easy to play for him because even if you make a couple of mistakes he will have your back.
You played in 26 games as a freshman: how were you able to come in and contribute right from the start? That was part of the opportunity I mentioned earlier. I did not play very much at the beginning of the season but eventually I learned what it takes to play at this level. I worked hard and then flipped the switch toward the end of the year.
In last year’s season opener you scored a career-high 21 PTS/9-9 FG in a win over Eastern Oregon: what was it like to have a perfect shooting night? It was nice! I just credit my guys because I came out real aggressive and after I made my 1st couple of shots they kept getting me the ball for good looks.
In the 2018 NIT you scored 5 PTS and tied a career-high with 6 AST in a 3-PT loss at Washington: what did you learn from that game that will help you this year? I learned that a slow start can really kill you. We were able to come back from a couple of slow starts during the year but in March it is “go time”. We have to figure out ways to be better and start faster: we just have to learn why we started slow.
Last year you were named MWC 6th Man of the Year: what did it mean to you to receive such an outstanding honor, and are you going to stay in that role this year or become a starter? It meant a lot to me. I really took pride in coming off the bench, doing what I do as a playmaker, and providing a spark. I was truly honored to see my hard work pay off and see that everyone around the conference took note. We just started workouts so I am not sure what the future holds but we will just see where it goes.
You led the team with 87.8 FT%: what is the secret to making FTs? Just being dialed in. The more reps you get then the better you will be: step up to the line, get your feet set, and get locked in. Just zone everything out and you will have a good FT percentage.
You lost 3 of your top-4 scorers from last year (Chandler Hutchison/Christian Sengfelder/Lexus Williams): how will you try to replace all of that offense? We are missing a lot but other guys are ready to step up as they enter new roles. Being able to guard your opponent will keep you in a game and the guys have worked all summer to get better on defense while taking over that scoring role on offense. I also think that the better we get defensively, the better we will be as a team.
Your non-conference schedule includes 1 game against Creighton in November and 2(!) against Oregon in December: which of these games do you feel will present your biggest test? Those will be big battles for us for sure. The coaches fulfilled their promise of giving us a tough schedule: they will be good tests for our new guys to see where we are at.
What are your goals for the upcoming season, and what are your expectations for the upcoming season? There are different expectations coming into every year. As a competitor, every time you step onto the floor you try to win, so everyone in the conference is trying to win a championship. I just want to focus on getting better every day as we try to win the MWC.