POCATELLO, Idaho (KIFI/KIDK) - Idaho State hosts Idaho to begin its Big Sky schedule on Saturday. The Bengals start league play with a 3-6 overall record. First year head coach Ryan Looney is still working on getting his system in place.
"There's definitely some areas where our team has improved. I don't think our record necessarily reflects that so far." Idaho State has played six out of their nine games on the road. Looney says he's seen the improvement, but notes, "We're still no where close to where we probably need to be offensively."
Looney says Big Sky play presents a fresh start to the season. "We know that a lot of our opponents we're going to play moving forward are more similar to us. I think that is exciting to our entire group"
Idaho State's leading scorer Tarik Cool is eager to show what the Bengals can do. "It's just an opportunity for us to go out and shock the conference." The Bengals were picked to finish 10th out of 11 teams in the preseason polls. Cool says that adds to their motivation. "It really gives us an opportunity to make a name for ourselves."
As far as the rivalry with Idaho, Looney says that feeling will come in time. "Where we're at in our program, we haven't made necessarily that big of a deal in regards to who our opponent is or the rivalry that may come along with it."
Cool says he's feeling it now. "They're another school in our state, so it's nice to able to win that regardless. To be able to say you run your state."
Tip off against Idaho is Saturday at 7 pm at Reed Gym.