Memphis, Connecticut will play Boise State in basketball, Memphis AD says

Boise State's men's basketball team will start a four-year, home-and-home series with new Big East member Memphis in 2013-14, Memphis AD R.C. Johnson told the Memphis Commercial Appeal on Thursday.

Memphis announced it was joining the Big East on Wednesday.

Boise State officials were unaware of any scheduling arrangements Thursday morning.

Second-year coach Leon Rice said it was news to him when asked by reporters.

"We're looking for great opponents, especially in home and home situations. And we want to keep bettering the schedule and keep bettering the schedule, so if you can get a great basketball program like Memphis for a home and home, that's terrific," Rice said.

He said his program would welcome the chance to play Connecticut and other Big East schools.

"That would be just an amazing opportunity for our program to have those kind of home and homes. We'd love it," Rice said.

Johnson said Big East Commissioner John Marinatto asked Memphis to play both Boise State and San Diego State. Johnson told the newspaper that Connecticut has also agreed to play Boise State and San Diego State, who are joining the Big East in 2013 as football-only members.

Boise State is moving its other sports to the WAC from their current home in the Mountain West.

In Boise State's "Big East Conference Membership Expansion Agreement," the league agreed to "facilitate discussions between the University and current Conference members regarding the scheduling of two home basketball games each season with current Conference member basketball teams and two away basketball games each season with current Conference member basketball teams."

— Brian Murphy, Idaho Statesman

Boise State injury update

Rice said he's been encouraged by the progress made by injured guards Igor Hadziomerovic (foot) and Jeff Elorriaga (hand) and expects that both players could be ready by the Mountain West Conference Tournament next month.

"I'm optimistic by that," he said.
Hadziomerovic broke his foot in mid-December during practice, while Elorriaga fractured the pinkie on his shooting hand during a Jan. 21 loss at TCU.

"I want to be very cautious about bringing them back," Rice said. "I'm trying to keep it slow, especially with Iggy. It's hard to hold these guys back. They want to get in there and help the team. And they know they can."

Hadziomerovic, a freshman from Australia, played in first 10 games of the season, making four starts. He averages 7.0 points and 2.1 assists. Elorriaga, a sophomore from Portland, is averaging 6.7 points and 2.3 rebounds per game. He's played in 18 games and started 14 of them.

Boise State (10-12, 0-7 MW) returns to action Saturday night at Air Force.

— Nick Jezierny, Idaho Statesman

Mountain West commish 'open' to AD job at Minnesota

Mountain West Commissioner Craig Thompson is "open" to considering the athletic director job at Minnesota, his alma mater, he told the Pioneer Press.

Thompson is the only commissioner the Mountain West has ever had, taking the job in 1998.

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That's cool

I guess I better renew my season tickets. Hopefully this isn't one of those "be careful what you wish for" things.

UCONN

This will sell tickets.

They had better get...

...better quick!

Awesome!

UConn and Memphis would provide excellent measuring sticks for the program and motivation for the players. Coach Rice might come to realize he needs longer, more athletic players on his team.

Would love to see Jeff and Iggy back for the MWC tourney, but not at the risk of injury aggravation. I'm sure Coach Rice feels the same. It would be great to see BSU well represented at the tourney. Great basketball and lots to do when you're not watching a game!

As for Commish Thompson... don't let the door hit ya, buddy.