The iconic blue turf, that is how most people know of Boise State but their basketball team has also been making some noise in previous years. Led by Leon Rice, the Broncos have risen to the top of the Mountain West and are still hungry.
The season started off very well for Boise State; they headed into East Lansing and took the Spartans for a full 40 minutes and ended up losing by four. Less then two weeks later, Derrick Marks exploded for 35 points and Boise shocked Creighton at home.
Marks, the Plainfield Central product, has provided the Broncos with a pure scorer and play maker that they previously lacked. He has no problem putting the team on his back and shooting when the game is on the line. Marks dropped 38 points, hitting timely shot after timely shot, against Colorado State, which was one of the biggest marquee wins that boosted them into March Madness.
In the "first" round of the NCAA Tournament, the Broncos fell to a quick and athletic DeSalle squad who eventually made a deep tourney run. This and other losses exposed the Broncos' lack of post presence and sometimes absence of discipline on defense. Rice will have the offseason to work with the majority of the Boise roster from last year, minus Kenny Buckner.
Looking forward, Rice signed Australian 6'8" forward Nick Duncan, who is coming out of Australian Institute of Sport (Anthony Drmic and Igor Hadziomerovic). Also coming in the fall is 6'4" guard Dezymn Trent from Tacoma, Washington. Averaging 26.9 PPG, Trent was honored on the Washington 3A All State Team his senior year.
Boise State will not back down from bigger opponents; they will be heading into Lexington on December 10th to take on Kentucky, who feature a recruiting class of six All Americans.
The Broncos have the athleticism, shooting ability, and length but will have to fine tune a few things before they become major bracket busters.