Last year Anthony Drmic was held scoreless against the LSU Tigers in Baton Rouge and forward Ryan Watkins’ toughness was questioned occasionally.
Both of those issues were addressed Friday night at Taco Bell Arean in front of 11,000 fans as the Broncos rolled to an 89-70 victory over the Tigers.
The ups and downs of last season appear to be gone for the young Broncos team. They started three sophomores and two juniors against the Tigers, and although still somewhat young, this team has become an experienced bunch with a tough non-conference schedule that should give them a good taste of what Mountain West league play will be like.
Drmic, and fellow sophomore Derrick Marks, who had 23 points on 5-of-13 shooting, have helped the Broncos establish a formidable one-two punch on the perimeter.
The “doughnut” he put up last year was an afterthought as Drmic gave LSU plenty of trouble Fright night.
The second year starter hit 3-pointers from all angles while dropping in easy deuces down the lane, he did it all. Not to mention the two -handed dunk he had that nobody expected, leaving a pair of helpless LSU defenders in the rim.
“My teammates were getting me open looks and I was knocking down shots and started feeling it,” Drmic said. “When you pack that arena around and there’s people screaming like crazy it just gets you going. It was really amazing.”
That wasn’t the only move that brought a roar out of those who bleed blue and orange in attendance. Drmic missed a breakaway dunk that would have given fans the opportunity to cash in on a free cheeseburger from Wendy’s had they surpassed the 90-point mark.
Watkins, the long-armed six-foot-nine southern Californian down low brought his hard hat and lunch pail to work as he cleaned the glass for a season high 17 rebounds, 10 of which came on the offensive end. This was big because the Tigers had a noticeable size advantage over Boise State.
LSU power forward Johnny O’Bryant III measures in at 6’9” while starting center Andrew Del Piero
Foul trouble kept the beast that is O’Bryant at bay opening the door for Watkins to go to work.
“I wanted to come out and rebound because that’s how I know I can help this team win,” Watkins said.
“Me and (Buck), we didn’t want to let them push us around like that so we had to hold our ground and fight for every rebound so that’s what we tried to do.”
The end result for Watkins and the Broncos was a positive one, as he added 12 points on 5-of-11 from the field en route to a double-double, bringing the toughness that was in question when Boise State needed it the most.
Up next for the Broncos is a trip to downtown at CenturyLink Arena as they host the University of Idaho Vandals (5-5) Thursday night with tip-off scheduled for