#103 Boise State Men's Basketball 2012-13 Preview

Boise State Broncos

2012-2013 Overall Rank: #103
Conference Rank: #6 Mountain West
Boise State Men's College Basketball 2012-2013 Team Preview
Boise State Team Page


Boise State only won three conference games a year ago, but expectations are much higher this season. Coach Leon Rice started a dozen different players during the 2011-2012 campaign and only two players started more than 16 games. The Broncos never really found their groove with so much turmoil in the starting five. However, that leaves the Broncos with a ton of returning talent with starting experience. One player who was consistently in the starting lineup was Anthony Drmic. The 6-6 Australian had an amazing freshman campaign, averaging a team high 12.0 points and 5.0 rebounds. Drmic likes to shoot, but was very inconsistent from long range. Once he starts knocking down those long balls and using his size to attack the basket with the ball instead of just for rebounds, he will be one of the best scorers in the Mountain West. Drmic does not have to score to make an impact, but he will anyway. He can pass and play decent defense too. And Drmic is only going to get better with a year of experience under his belt.

2011-12 Record: 13-17, 3-11
2011-12 Postseason: None
Coach: Leon Rice
Coach Record: 35-30 at Boise State, 35-30 overall

Who’s Out:
Boise State will also look to Drmic to fill some of the leadership role lost with Westly Perryman. Perryman, the only other player to start over 16 games last season, was not much of a scorer, but he was the team’s best defender and a good wing player who could help out on the glass and even handle the ball at times. He was the prototypical glue guy. Tre’ Nichols, Jarrell Crayton and Drew Wiley were part of that large group who started at least a couple games, but they are all moving on and the Broncos will not have much trouble without them due to their large group of newcomers.

Who’s In:
There is a lot of frontcourt depth in this class and there are also three players who were around last year redshirting. That experience in the program is never a bad thing. The long backcourt newcomer is Mikey Thompson, a lanky 6-3 guard who can score and use his size to play some defense. The rest of the newcomers will add depth in the frontcourt. Darrious Hamilton and Jake Ness were on the bench last season, while Emunds Dukulis, Vukasin Vujovic and Joe Nebeker will be in for the fall. Vujovic is an interesting prospect who could make a big impact right away. The 6-9 Serbian has plenty of international experience and is physically ready to play at this level. The Broncos have other options at the power forward spot, but Vujovic will get his chance too.

Who to Watch:
And it is in that frontcourt where Boise State could make a big leap in production and a big leap up the Mountain West standings. Center Kenny Buckner proved to be a reliable scorer in the paint and is now an experienced senior. He is only 6-7, but tilting the scales at 251 pounds allows Buckner to create space for himself in the paint. He is not a great rebounder because he is only 6-7, but as long as he can continue to score in the paint and open up space for the rest of the team, he will be doing his job. That does put some pressure on Ryan Watkins and Thomas Bropleh to help out on the glass. Watkins, a 6-9 junior, averaged 6.8 points and 4.0 rebounds in just 15.5 minutes per game last season. If he can keep up that production while increasing his workload, the frontcourt will be in great shape. Bropleh is more of a wing than a forward, but he is a decent rebounder and the Broncos will have the option to play big when needed thanks to the depth the frontcourt has found with the newcomers.

Final Projection:
Drmic is the star of the backcourt and the team, but fellow guards Jeff Elorriaga and Derrick Marks will make life easier for Drmic. Elorriaga, a former walk-on, is the point guard. He is not an explosive athlete or a great all-around scorer, but he can get the job done. His ability to shoot makes him a dangerous weapon. Marks will likely start at the shooting guard position after averaging 9.4 points and 2.1 assists last season. Like Drmic, Marks is another sophomore who had a great freshman campaign. And, like Drmic, he can handle the ball if Elorriaga runs into any trouble. Marks is not a shooter, but he will finish around the rim with ease. Igor Hadziomerovic and Joe Hanstad will look to add depth on the perimeter again this season. The backcourt is full of young potential and the frontcourt is a versatile group that should be able to open up the offense as long as the young guards remember to work through their big men. This may not be the most talented team around, but they could be very dangerous if Drmic and Marks can avoid sophomore slumps.

Projected Postseason Tournament: CBI/CIT

Projected Starting Five:
Jeff Elorriaga, Junior, Guard, 6.0 points per game
Derrick Marks, Sophomore, Guard, 9.4 points per game
Anthony Drmic, Sophomore, Guard, 12.0 points per game
Ryan Watkins, Junior, Forward, 6.8 points per game
Kenny Buckner, Senior, Center, 8.4 points per game