The Broncos received their first test of the season on Tuesday night when they hosted Pac 12 foe, Utah. A dramatic win in the closing seconds gave the Broncos to their best start in school history.
With the outcome hanging in the balance, junior guard and Bob Cousy award watch list member Derrick Marks did what he has done many times for the Broncos in the last couple of years. He came through in a late game situation to secure a win despite being in foul trouble for much of the second half.
“Last year I was always in foul trouble so this year I know how to handle it,” Marks said.
Early in the second half, Marks picked up his third and fourth foul within three seconds of each other. His foul trouble would send him to the bench with 15:56 to play, and he would not return for nearly 12 minutes.
“I should have got him out after the third foul,” head coach Leon Rice said. “He’s a junior now so I tried to give him a little leeway but I probably should have just taken him out and got his head right so he wouldn’t pick up a cheap one (foul) like he did there.”
Rice alluded to Marks’ maturity in the preseason on how he had worked on not picking up unnecessary fouls, something that Marks had issues with during his freshman and sophomore seasons.
Marks answered brilliantly for Rice after sitting more than 10 minutes, coming up with big plays for the Broncos on both the offensive and defensive ends of the floor.
“All I can do is cheer on my teammates,” Marks said. “I tried to keep myself engaged in the game and I just stayed in the game and I was ready when my number was called.”
Marks’ six points in the final two and half minutes of the game helped seal the win for the Broncos late and kept the Broncos unbeaten record in tact.
“He’s just a baller. He makes those shots when we need them,” junior guard Anthony Drmic said. “He goes out there and he doesn’t care how much time is left, he’s going to make those shots.”