Boise State men’s basketball coach Leon Rice said Tuesday that junior Anthony Drmic, the Broncos’ leading scorer, will play against Nevada in Boise State’s home finale at 7 p.m. Wednesday.
Drmic (16.9 points per game) missed the final 11 minutes last Wednesday at Fresno State after hurting his ankle. He did not play Saturday in the Broncos’ 72-63 win at Wyoming. Drmic is 10 points shy of seventh place in school history. Ron Austin (1968-71) is currently there with 1,378 career points.
“He’s going to play,” Rice said. “… had it been the last game of the year, he would’ve tried to limp out there and play (Saturday).”
Rice also said junior Derrick Marks, currently 10th in school history in scoring (1,220), got his infected wisdom tooth removed Sunday. Marks struggled with five points on 1-of-5 shooting in 17 minutes at Wyoming.
The Broncos played one of their better defensive games when they played at Nevada on Jan. 14 in a 74-65 win over the Wolf Pack. Nevada shot 19-of-55 from the field (34.5 percent) in the game, including 6-of-25 on 3-pointers. Deonte Burton had only seven points on 1-of-8 shooting, his worst game since Dec. 28, 2012. Burton is averaging 19.7 points per game.
“They’re an explosive offensive team, there’s no question about it,” Rice said. “… I think we were pretty dialed into that defensive gameplan. Sometimes with a guy like him, you’re just kind of fortunate if he misses.”
Nevada (13-16, 8-8) has six of its last seven.
A win Wednesday will give Boise State a bye in the Mountain West tournament as one of the top five seeds. The Broncos (19-10, 9-7) would play next Thursday in Las Vegas to open tourney play. A win would give Boise State its first back-to-back 20-win season since 1987-88 and 1988-89. Rice gets an automatic one-year extension for hitting 20 wins. A win would push his deal through 2018-19.
Wednesday will be the final regular season home game for seniors Ryan Watkins, Jeff Elorriaga and Thomas Bropleh. Naturally, I’m writing about those three for tomorrow’s Statesman. At the tail end of the video above is a sneak peek at what will be our center package photo.
The Broncos are 54th in the latest NCAA official RPI rankings. An NCAA tournament at-large bid is highly unlikely at this point, but a mock NIT bracket has the Broncos as a 5-seed against Illinois. Check it out here.
Two Mountain West teams are in the AP top 25 this week — San Diego State at No. 10 and New Mexico at No. 21. Check out the full poll here.
Here is my AP ballot for the week:
3. Wichita State
9. San Diego State
15. North Carolina
16. Saint Louis
17. New Mexico
19. Iowa State
21. Michigan State
24. Saint Joseph’s
25. Virginia Commonwealth