Marks-led Broncos march into new season

Marks-led Broncos march into new season

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Riley / The Arbiter

Anthony Drmic may be the heart of the Boise State men’s basketball team, but sophomore guard Derrick Marks is undoubtedly the soul.

In the Broncos’ 75-55 exhibition victory over Saint Martin’s, Marks finished with 14 points on 3-of-9 shooting along with “six assists.

Boise State had four players in double figures – Marks, Drmic (12), Ryan Watkins (14) and Igor Hadziomerovic (17), who led all scorers. The only bright spot for Saint Martin’s in the loss was guard Roger O’Neil, who led Saints’ scorers with 14 points and two assists.

“Exhibitions are tough,” said Boise State Head Coach Leon Rice. “We did a pretty good job of creating turnovers.”

Along with the rest of the Boise State team, Marks struggled finishing at the rim in the first half. Despite starting the game 1-4 from the field, however, Marks was able to put his stamp on every facet of the contest imaginable.

With his blinding speed and undeniably quick hands, Marks finds himself in a leadership role for the Broncos. Since the Broncos sport one of the youngest starting lineups in the MWC, Marks has prepared to become the team’s rock.

“I have to lead by example. It’s something that I definitely have to work on as a player,” Marks said.

Marks capped off the first half with a no-look pass, which led to an easy Ryan Watkins layup. As usually, the only emotional reaction from Marks was a simple, yet genuine grin.

“Derrick is all about how hard he plays, concentration and discipline,” Rice said. “He’s a strong guard and a strong defender when he’s dialed in.”

Hadziomerovic has been the most consistent back-court piece for the Broncos of late, and with a more focused Marks, Coach Rice believes the duo will prove challenging for many MWC teams.

“That’s a big strength of what we do offensively. We need those guards clicking,” Rice said.

Seeing as the matchup against Saint Martin’s was the first time the Broncos had seen game speed since last spring, new plays are difficult to implement early.

According to Hadziomerovic, everything will fall into place with time.

“This is a great opportunity for us to get under the lights, we’re just trying to execute some plays and get the rotation in,” Hadziomerovic said. “Sometimes we just have to execute some plays better, and that’s what we’re going to work on.”

The Broncos will begin the regular season in Taco Bell Arena against Texas Southern on Sunday, Nov. 11, at 2 p.m. They will open Mountain West Conference play in January.

John Engel
John Engel is the sports editor of the Arbiter. He got interested in journalism when he was cut from the baseball team his junior year of high school. He started writing for his high school newspaper and swore he would one day work for ESPN, and indeed he did. He recently finished an internship with ESPN as a radio production intern where he talked to Kobe Bryant and almost fainted. He still works with ESPN Radio's Boise affiliate, ESPN Boise as a studio engineer, reporter and SportsCenter anchor. He is majoring in communication with an audio production emphasis, and plans to graduate sometime in the next decade. Follow John on Twitter: @EngelESPN