For the first time in recent memory, the Boise State men’s basketball team will have to adjust to unfamiliar preseason distractions. Instead of the football team garnering all of the campus attention, it is basketball that enters the 2013-14 season with lofty expectations.
The Broncos were picked to finish tied for second in the Mountain West with UNLV in the preseason media polls after being selected to finished eighth in the same poll last season. In 2012, not a single Bronco was selected to the All-Mountain West team. This season, juniors Anthony Drmic and Derrick Marks were both given All-Mountain West
Drmic has already noticed an influx in attention from students on campus regarding Boise State men’s basketball, to the point where people have started to stop him on the street.
“It’s a lot different from the first year or second year,” Drmic said, now entering his third season with Boise State. “Some truck driver was driving and stopped me in the middle of the road, and he was like, ‘Oh, I’m looking forward to the season.’ It is much bigger than I expected.”
As the Broncos continue to improve on their first round exit from last season’s NCAA tournament, off-court distractions will present themselves more frequently.
Marks was featured by ESPN.com previewing the upcoming season, and telling the story of his arrival at Boise State, earlier in October. Despite the national spotlight, Marks isn’t changing his attitude towards basketball.
“It was nice,” Marks said. “I try not to pay too much attention to (the hype). I’m not the type of person to believe in hype. I try to be happy for only one day.”
The Broncos are returning all five starters next season, making the transition to a new year much smoother. Head coach Leon Rice believes Boise State still has a lot to prove.
“We didn’t get picked to win (the Mountain West). They want to accomplish some things, and so they know how much better we have to get for us to accomplish those things,” Rice said.
The added attention hasn’t derailed Boise State’s mission of improving on defense over the offense. The Broncos workout shirts have the number 214 printed on the front, representing the team’s NCAA rank in field goal defense last season.
The Broncos were second in the Mountain West in scoring last season with 71.1 points per game.
“We know as a team that we can score,” Drmic said. “Defensively, we definitely need to pick it up.”
Coming off one of there best seasons in program history, it’s no surprise Boise State men’s basketball is garnering new preseason attention.