When you hear about “Boise State” on ESPN, it’s usually about football. But what many do not know is they have a very good basketball team that hides behind the football program.
Coached by Leon Rice, the Broncos have seen success in recent years. In their 2014/2015 season, they won the Mountain West regular season title (well, they are co-champs with San Diego State, even though Boise defeated them both times they faced each other). The Broncos marched into the NCAA Tournament for the second time in 3 years, but were selected to face Dayton in the First Four play-in games.
Seems normal, right? Well, the First Four play-in games are held at Dayton’s home arena. The Broncos fell 56-55 thanks to a late comeback by the Flyers. This continued the trend of Boise remaining winless in the NCAA Tournament (including play-in games).
However, entering this season for Boise basketball fans was different. Instead of thinking the Broncos may make it to the NCAA Tournament, fans came into the season with not only the expectation of an NCAA Tournament, but to make a Cinderella run- which seems to be a role Boise State loves to take in all sports.
So I’ve told you a bit about the recent history of Boise State basketball, but who are some players that you should look out for?
Last year, you may have heard the name “Derrick Marks” on ESPN. He broke out on to the national scene as he averaged 21.3 points per game, which lead the Mountain West. He was voted Mountain West player of the year for the 2014/2015 season. Marks has also made an appearance on SportsCenter’s Not Top 10 with this literal slip-up. Although he wasn’t drafted, the Philadelphia 76ers signed him to their Summer League team. He never did play in the team and ended up signing with the Italian team Orsi Derthona Basket.
Here are highlights from Marks’ 2012/2013 season.
Anthony Drmic is another fan favorite in Boise. He is currently in his fifth year at Boise State, as he was injured last season. Drmic averages 15.2 throughout his entire career at Boise State, and has featured in Australia’s U-19 team in the 2011 FIBA U-19 World Championship .
However, there’s a player that finds himself in many mock NBA Drafts- James Webb III. The redshirt junior has made some highlights with his dazzling dunks and great shooting, but has been a key player in his years at Boise State. This season Webb is averaging 14 points and 8.9 rebounds.
Boise has shown they are not going anywhere anytime soon. They have gotten good recruits such as four star point guard Paris Austin, and 3 out of their 5 top scorers (in terms of points per game) are juniors and a sophomore.
The 2015/2016 season has been alright for the Broncos. They opened the season with a bad loss away to Montana, and have lost 3 other times. However, those 3 losses came to Arizona twice and to Michigan State. But the Broncos have won 8 games, with their highlight win being a home win against the at the time ranked 24th Oregon Ducks.
Although their court isn’t blue, that doesn’t mean they aren’t worth watching. The Mountain West is an entertaining conference, in which the Broncos are a common pick to be champions of.
I write about the beautiful game. From the smallest islands to the biggest teams, it all will be covered.