Hanstad playing catch-up at Boise StateBOISE, Idaho — For Boise State freshman Joe Hanstad, it was an easy decision to relinquish his redshirt after 10 games.
By: Nick Jezierny, Idaho Statesman
BOISE, Idaho — For Boise State freshman Joe Hanstad, it was an easy decision to relinquish his redshirt after 10 games.
Hanstad, a shooting guard, had planned on sitting out this men’s basketball season because of the Broncos’ crowded backcourt and having four years of eligibility left starting next season.
But when guard Igor Hadziomerovic broke his foot two weeks ago, Boise State coach Leon Rice gave Hanstad the chance to play — if he was
“I really wanted to play — that’s what I wanted to do from the beginning,” said Hanstad, a Dickinson High School graduate. “Missing a few games really didn’t bother me.”
Hanstad has appeared in three games since being activated and will be ready to go Saturday when the Broncos (9-4) take on rival Idaho (7-6) at the Idaho Center.
Of course, it’s not as easy as it sounds.
“I’ve seen guys be All-Americans in redshirts when they are running the opponents’ offense and there is no pressure or no consequences,” Rice said. “It does change when you’re playing on the real deal.”
Hanstad understands and has been trying to adjust.
“My mindset had to change a little bit,” Hanstad said. “A lot of it is mental. I’ve got to be mature about it and keep my head right.”
The last Boise State player to take off a redshirt during the season was Abe Jackson in 1998. Jackson, who is the color commentator on KBOI’s radio broadcasts of Bronco games, said the decision was easy.
“At that time, the team needed me and I did the best I could,” said Jackson, who started in his first game and wound up averaging 7.5 points and 4.8 rebounds on a team that finished 21-8.
But Jackson said the actual transition was tough.
“Physically, you don’t have those extra games to get your body used to what a game feels like,” he said. “And mentally, it’s probably even more tough because leading up to that you were preparing yourself to help other guys get ready for games. Then when they were gone, you were focusing on yourself getting ready for next year.”
Rice said it was “almost unreasonable” to ask Hanstad to do it, but that’s how much confidence the coach has in Hanstad.
“Joe is a smart player,” Rice said. “He’s going to come along. What I’ve seen so far is nerves, which is understandable. He can shoot the ball at really high level.”
Hanstad only has taken one shot — an off-the-mark 3-pointer at home against Fresno State — since he was activated. He’s one of the best shooters on the team. He said adjusting to the speed of the game, the physical play and the details are biggest thing he must adjust to.
“We’ve just got to get him confident,” teammate Jeff Elorriaga said. “He’s a great shooter. He’s a smart, heady player who knows what’s he’s doing. Hopefully we can get him going and get him into the mix.”
Jackson’s advice for Hanstad?
“Concentrate on the things you can control,” Jackson said. “You can’t control if your shot is going to go in, but you can control boxing out every time. You can control your defensive rotations and you can control how fast you get up and down the court. If you do those, the comfort factor will start to come.”