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Aussie Takeover: Boise State basketball adds another Australian standout

Nick Duncan - Arbiter Online, Boise State University Broncos

The student section at Boise State men’s basketball games, better known as The Corral, has become notorious for shouting the common Australian chant: “Aussie, Aussie, Aussie! Oi! Oi! Oi!,” following a made basket by Australian players Anthony Drmic and Igor Hadziomerovic.

With the addition of Sydney, Australia native Nick Duncan, members of the student section may need to pace themselves for the on-slot of scoring by the Broncos newest Aussie.

Along with Drmic and Hadziomerovic, Duncan is an alumnus of the Australian Institute of Sport (AIS), which produces some of Australia’s most talented athletes. Because professional basketball is much less developed in Australia than in the United States, Duncan chose to accept the recruiting advancements made by Boise State head coach Leon Rice.

Duncan was recruited by Washington State and St. Marry’s, to name a couple, but ultimately gravitated towards the Boise State program.

“The program itself, and how it’s building up from just a couple years ago to now, we’re kind of a big team,” Duncan said. “I felt as if I could come in here and fit in very well under (Rice), and his coaching ability and I could develop my game as well.”

Duncan isn’t the first, Australian basketball player to call Boise State home. Drmic and Hadziomerovic were both attending the AIS before Duncan arrived, but the juniors never met their future teammate. Since meeting the two veteran Australian players, Duncan has become a lot more comfortable with his transition.

“It makes me feel more welcome,” Duncan said. “Even so, the other guys that are American have really welcomed and supported me. It’s always nice to have someone from your same country here to help you out with the small things of settling in.”

Duncan was a highly touted player in Australia’s basketball realms—he played on Australia’s 2013 U19 World Championships team, but the transition to American basketball will not be simple.

The biggest challenge for Duncan has been executing plays at the speed in which American basketball is played, and staying physical with the taller, stronger opponents.

“(American basketball) is more upbeat, and it’s quicker. You’re getting things done in a short amount of time—I’ve never trained so hard,” Duncan said.

Rice acknowledges Duncan’s struggles with the playbook, but claims the forward will also be one of the team’s best players moving forward.

Duncan’s 6-foot-7-inch and 225 pound frame will make him a difficult matchup for
any team.

“He knows how to play, and he’s a tough kid,” Rice said. “He gives us another big that has a feel for the game. There aren’t that many bigs that do have
a feel.”

Lack of size was an issue for the Broncos last season, and led to their sub-par defensive efforts in Mountain West play, Duncan adds both offensive and defensive stability to Boise State’s roster.

“He’s really good in structure, and he’s found his niche,” Drmic said. “He can shoot the three—you don’t really think he will —and he draws out the defense.”

After a short number of weeks on the court, Duncan has already found his place with the Boise State men’s basketball team.

Find him outside the three point line, as well as down under.

About John Engel (0 Articles)
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
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