The Boise State men’s basketball team had one of its more successful seasons in recent memory last year.
In Boise State’s second season in the Mountain West Conference last season, the Broncos went 21-11, grabbing the last spot in the NCAA Tournament where they lost in the First Four to La Salle
With the Broncos regular season less than a couple weeks away, Boise State is working hard to prepare for an early exhibition game at Taco Bell Arena on Nov. 1 against Lewis-Clark State College.
“It’s an early start this year so as coaches we’re trying to figure that out a little bit on what’s appropriate to do now,” Boise State men’s basketball coach Leon Rice said.
With the season just around the corner, here are three things to watch for in the Broncos exhibition game on Friday.
1. Derrick Marks and Anthony Drmic
The two juniors were the highest scoring guard tandem in the Mountain West last season. With each averaging over 16 points per game last year, Marks and Drimc gave defenses fits all season. They pitched in on upsets over Creighton, San Diego State, UNLV and nearly taking down Michigan State.
Marks was named to the Bob Cousy Award watch list this season, and Drimc was second in the Mountain West in scoring last year. If Marks and Drmic are able to establish themselves as efficient scorers again this year, the Broncos could make a push for a Mountain West Conference championship.
2. Plays in the paint
Once again, the Broncos head into this season severely undersized. The Broncos return their tallest starter, in 6-foot-9-inch senior forward Ryan Watkins.
Other important players to watch this year will be 6-foot-9-inch sophomore forward Edmunds Dukulis and 6-foot-7-inch freshman forward Nick Duncan. Look for Duncan to get some key minutes against LCSC and to get some game-speed experience.
Duncan is a strong post who possesses presence on the perimeter. Duncan’s shooting ability could be a key asset for the Broncos this season.
The Broncos allowed over 70 points on 10 different occasions last season. If the Broncos prove to be as streaky on offense this season as they have been the last couple of years, a strong defensive presence will be something to watch for this year.
While LCSC isn’t the most formidable opponent, it is expected the Broncos will try and establish themselves strongly on the defensive end against the Warriors.